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GRE Success Story - How to improve score from 300 to 330?


Hi, my name is Rabia and I will share how I improved my score from 300 to 330. I am an engineer with majors in Robotics.

The first time I took the GRE diagnostic or mock test without any preparation was 300. My aim was to score 330, so I started preparing for GRE test for around 3-4 months (with a job), and my primary source of prep was Magoosh  (premium account), a free app called ‘Prep4Gre’, Digital Kaplan Practice Tests, ETS own guide and a pdf I found online with essay topics and sample essays with them. ( ). My final score was 330 with a perfect quant and 160 in verbal.

Week 1 and Week 2:

Read up on the core concepts of the mathematics syllabus from Magoosh lectures. Being from engineering background maths was relatively easy to revise.  Took Magoosh lectures for verbal section too. Went through the Magoosh app for vocabulary, did around 40 words or so from the common decks. Went through the ETS guide and made notes, especially for maths.  Did a few practice qs here and there but not much. Took first practice test from PowerPrep GRE after two weeks to assess current standing. I don’t remember exact scores, but It was around 315 or so I think.

Week 3 to ~ Second Last Week:

I developed my own study schedule to fit around my job.

  • I used Magoosh Verbal App for Vocabulary building.

    • Ten new words every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Revise the new words learned that week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  

    • Revise 1/5 of all previous words memorized each weekday (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.).

  • Did 10 quant and 10 verbal practice qs every day. In Magoosh with every question, there is a detailed description including the video for an explanation.

  • Occasionally did practice questions from ‘Prep4Gre’ usually during the commute from office to home. Their reading comprehension questions are quite challenging, so good prep.

  • I only started on vocabulary questions after a month so I had some vocab prepared by then.

  • Wrote two essays every Sunday and compared with the sample provided.

  • Did a practice test every two weeks from Kaplan. (Choose whatever source you like, these were easily available so I used them. I believe Magoosh  and Manhattan questions are closer to the real test)

Last 10 days or so:

  • Took ETS PowrePrep GRE second practice test.

  • Revised whole vocab once.

  • Revised the maths notes.

  • Did nothing for three days before the GRE test, so I don’t make myself overwhelmed.

Some Personal Tips:

If you can’t take Magoosh subscription, I would suggest Manhattan GRE books build concepts, and practice questions. There is a set of 8 books covering both verbal and maths. Many people recommend these, even Magoosh creators recommend this for prep. There are free schedules available from Magoosh for 1 month, three months and six-month prep. Look through them if they can be useful for you.  You can tweak them for yourself. Give yourself time to set some foundation of concepts before practice questions so you don’t discourage yourself initially, even though in the start you are bound to scoreless. That’s ok.

Give due focus on Reading Comprehension part of verbal. It is, in my opinion, more challenging.

Keep a separate small notebook to note down tips from maths, like a special 90-degree triangle (3-4-5, 5-12-13). You will find these in ETS guide, Manhattan books, Magoosh and especially practice questions. If you have gone through a whole Bachelors (or Masters), with all its tests, exams, projects, final thesis/project, and stresses. You can take a test of Maths, English, and IQ.

Good luck to everyone.