GRE Success Story - 330
My GRE score detail is 330 ( 170Q / 160V / 3.5 AWA). I am going to break this essay down into different sections so that the readers can get my perspective on everything related to GRE, from preparation to the analysis of the achieved score.
The material you will be using is extremely important when it comes to GRE. I recommend going through all of the Manhattan guides first to get an idea about the topics that can be tested on the exam. After doing so, start solving the 5 lb book for an in-depth practice of your concepts and then go to Magoosh Premium Account. There are many companies that can help you in this process but remember, they are only there to provide you with the right guidance and how much you actually score is ultimately up to you.
The most important part of your preparation phase is to identify your weak spots. What I used to do was that I would mark all of that question that I got wrong in any specific exercise and revisit them at the end again to see if I was making the same mistakes over and over again. So I recommend that you get a new register and note all the important concepts neatly related to any specific topic. Then proceeded to solve the exercise and mark all of the questions you get wrong or face a difficulty in. This way you will be able to identify and make amends to your weaknesses.
For the verbal section, I suggest that you start reading, and by reading I mean like a lot. I personally used Manhattan 5 lb book and LSAT practice questions. You can start to read articles from the Guardian, New York Times or the New Yorker but I recommend that you stick to 5 lb or the LSAT questions because they will provide you a metric to test your progress. For the vocabulary part, just familiarize yourself with the basic and medium words of Magoosh. They are good enough.
Before you start taking the mocks you need to understand the basic purpose of their existence. They are not there to tell you how much you will score on the D day. On the contrary, they are a tool for building stamina so that you can perform at your highest continuously for four straight hours. Personally, I only managed to score a maximum of 166 on the quant sections of all the mocks that I took during my preparation. So don't worry about your mock scores and more importantly don't get cocky as well :P. The mocks that I would recommend are listed below in descending order of importance.
1. Manhattan Mocks. They are a must-have.
2. ETS. They are good to familiarize yourself with the actual GUI of the test.
Don't skip the AWA section. Also, do your mocks at the same time when your test is scheduled. I can't emphasize more on these two things.
It's all about being in your comfort zone. What works for someone else might not work for you. For example, most people suggest that you should stop doing mocks two days before your exam. I, on the other hand, did one 24 hours ago. So try to be in your comfort zone.
Analysis of your score:
The moment your test finishes you will know whether you have done your best or not. If the answer is positive, then great, don't worry about your score and focus on other aspects of your application. If the answer is negative, but you have still managed to score above 310, then that is good enough. Focus on your application because your application is the one which will get you a scholarship, not just your GRE score. I wish I knew this back in my time.
So, work hard, do your best and hopefully, things will fall into their place.
Preparation Time: 2 months and 10 days
Mocks: 2 ETS + 6 Manhattan