I scored 333 (170Q + 163V) on the GRE General Test. First of all, let me tell you that this test is just a rejection criteria. If you haven’t done well on this test, it’s a red flag. That being said, one would probably not like to raise the red flag. This post is mainly aimed at Indian engineering students.
How much time is required to prep?
I worked full time while preparing for the GRE. I only studied in the early mornings (Okay, I lied. It was only that one morning.), evenings and weekends for it. Even with my tight schedule I think a good 4 weeks of preparation time was enough.
Revise formulae from the official GRE guide. Assume you don’t know any math when you attempt the paper. Do each step in the question, you’ll be fine.
For most students who come from a technical background, this is the most challenging part of the exam. I’ll list down sections one can concentrate on:
While this is important, most prep websites overemphasize the importance of knowing vocabulary. A lot of the time, context and inference can be your friend. I recommend the Magoosh GRE Flashcards. Do this thing top to bottom (including the advanced) and you’re golden.
Text Completions and Word Equivalence
These go hand in hand with vocabulary. Switch when you get bored of studying vocabulary, and vice versa.
Practice, practice and some more practice. I solved about 200 (~ 800 questions) of these by the end of my exam. I started enjoying doing these immensely, and my accuracy improved steadily. I feel these questions make or break your Verbal section, so don’t ignore them.
A wise man once said “The GRE is also a test of how to give the GRE”. If you’re like me, you’ll probably want to know what you’re heading into exactly. I recommend doing aroung 8-10 mocks (including the 4 official). This will give you a fair idea of what to expect in the paper. Do the official mocks in the end when you’re the most prepared. The scores in the other mocks (Kaplan, Princeton etc) will generally by much lower than the actual test.
Take a snack for the break. Chocolate granola bar is highly recommended.