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GRE 314 - Umer Saleem

Hi Everyone!

Before I share my experience I would like to say that many people have scored much better in GRE than me. Still, I want to share my experience with all of you so maybe.

My preparation for GRE started in mid-july when a friend of mine suggested me to join Scholar Den to have access to all the material and proper guidance from experienced mentors in this group. I got all the material and took the Manhattan diagnostic test and scored 300 (156 in Q, 144 in Verbal). I from the start knew that being from an engineering background I will not take much time to improve my score in the Quantitative section but yes will struggle a lot in verbal. I talked to the mentors and after their guidance, I started off with Scholar Den for the preparation. Along with that i also started learning vocabulary and also using some other sources (Word Smart and Barrons High Freq Words).  I assigned the next one month of my preparation for the ETS material. During this period I completed the ETS Official Book along with ETS Verbal Reasoning and ETS Quantitative Reasoning and read all the strategies and completely solved the practice tests for both parts of the GRE. I would suggest you guys that practicing from the ETS sources is one very important part of your preparation for scoring a good GRE score. They are the closest sources that can help you in getting a sense of the questions that appear on the test day. So after I was done with the ETS material too. My exam was on initially on 28th September. So after preparing for 3 months I took a practice test and scored 311. I talked to the mentors and they suggested that I should shift the test to somewhere mid of October just to practice a  bit more and improve my score. So that's what I did and got my test date changed to 17th October 2017. I  kept practicing for almost another month and I also improved my score. In the first week of October, I started to attempt mocks from different sources. I attempted 8 mocks in total (4 princeton,2 Kaplan and 2 ETS) and I was scoring in the range of 310 to 315. Here I want to make an important point that i think is really very important to your preparation. Although I was confident seeing this score that I will go above 320 or at least will come close to it. But before my exam day, I literally slept at 9 pm and till 5 am the next day on which

I had to give my test at 9 am, I couldn't sleep for even 10 consecutive minutes. Because I made a routine for my self according to which I slept in the morning and mostly did my preparation at night. Secondly, another important thing that I want to discuss here is the exam fear that many of you might have. Its good to show concern about something but having fear is not good in any way. I was literally so worried about my test that I just felt as I just don't know anything and I will fail. Honestly, one thing I believe is that my preparation does not reflect my score in any way and these things do matter a lot in tests where you are tested not only through knowledge but also how well you have control over yourself and keep yourself mentally stable and alert in such situations. So I would suggest you guys take care of these things just to improve your chances of getting a good GRE score. All the Best!


  • Scholar Den

  • ETS Official Book

  • ETS Verbal Reasoning

  • ETS Quantitative Reasoning

  • Reading from Websites (NYTimes, economist for the reading difficult passages)