Success Stories > GRE Success Stories > GRE 314 - Umer Saleem

GRE 314 - Umer Saleem


Assalamoalaikum 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 alot in verbal. I talked to the mentors and after their guidance i started of with Manhattan 5lb book for the preparation of both sections.As i started solving questions i realized that i do need a quick revision of all the basic concepts related to all the topics of quantitative section.So along with the 5lb Manhattan i also started revising the concepts from the Manhattan Strategic guides.I didnt solved any questions from the guides but just read the theoory to refresh my Maths concepts so i went through all the strategic guides along with practicing questions from Manhattan 5lb. Along with that i also started learning vocabulary mainly from Magoosh and also using some other sources (Word Smart and Manhattan High Freq Words).I completed the 5lb book and strategic guides in this one month month i.e somewhere in mid August.After that i assigned the next one month of my preparation to 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. Manhattan 5lb for the quantitative part is a good source to practice questions but it will not help you get a score like above 165.For that aleast you also need to go through the ETS material as well as practicing questions from Magoosh account..And for Verbal part, its better to practice questions from ETS and Magoosh because actual test questions for verbal and quantitative part are a bt tricky and different from that in the Manhattan books.So after i was done witht the ETS aterial too, I took the Magoosh account for one month and started practicing questions from the account.Honestly i personally feel that Magoosh is the best source for practicing questions of every level of difficulty for both parts and it gives you enough practice to tackle questions of every type. And you also get to solve practice tests of Magoosh that help you manage timeas well as show you how much you are improoving with time.So its a better thing to do if you want to achieve a higher score than you should go for the Magoosh account as well.Okay so i kept solving Magoosh for more than a month before.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 shold shift the test to somewhere mid of october just to prctice a  bit more and improove my score.So thats what i did and got my test date changed to 17th October 2017. I extended my Magoosh account and kept practicing for almost another month and i also improoved my score. In the first week ofoctober i started to attempt mcks 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 confidant seeing this score that i will go above 320 or atlest will come close to it.But before my exam day i literally slept at 9 pm and till 5am the next day on which

I had to give my test at 9am, I coudnt 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 a fear is not good by any way.I was literally so worried about my test that i just felt as i just dont know anything and i will fail. Honestly one thing I believe is that my preparation do not reflect my score in any way and these things do matter alot in tests where you are tested not only through knowledge but also how well you have control on yourself and keep ourself mentally stable and alert in such situations. So i would suggest you guys to take care of these things just to improove your chances of getting a good GRE score.All the Best!


  • Manhattan 5lb (Complete)

  • Manhattan Strategy Guides (For Quant only)

  • ETS Official Book

  • ETS Verbal Reasoning

  • ETS Quantitative Reasoning

  • Magoosh (One-month subscription)

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

  • Magoosh Vocabulary App