How to Score 315+ in the GRE

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Believe me when I say that cracking the GRE is easy. Vulgarly easy. When you compare it with other graduate level competitive exams like the GMAT, CAT, GATE…the GRE is simply cakewalk. The basic difference between the GRE and all the other exams mentioned above is that the GRE tests how much verbal comprehension you possess, whereas the other tests judge either your technical knowledge, your quantitative aptitude and pretty much everything that gives me the nightmares.

Ofcourse, half of the questions asked in the GRE are based purely on quantitative ability (the other half being verbal-ability), but the math involved in those questions is…ummm…lets say our average 10th standard level. The only catch is that sometimes in some math questions some really heavy verbal comprehension is required. Now that we know what to expect from the GRE… –

The pattern of the Test:

The GRE consists of 5 sections:

 

SECTION TYPE

DIFFICULTY LEVEL

NUMBER OF Q

MARKS

Section 1

Math / Verbal

Medium

20

0-20

Section 2

Verbal / Math

Medium

20

0-20

 Section 3

 Math / Verbal

Easy- if less score in previous section; Tough- if high score in previous section

 20

0-20

Section 4
Verbal / Math
-do-
20
0-20
Section 5
Experimental
Random
20
0-20

 How GRE Scores are calculated:

Let us assume that the 1st section we get is math. The GRE is a computer adaptive test, hence the difficulty level of the next math section will depend on our score in the 1st math section. Suppose the 5th section is also math, we now know that the experimental section is math. But the sections may not be necessarily be in the above said order. So, any of those 3 math sections can be experimental, not definitely the last section.

  • Never ever attempt the final section casually by assuming it to be the experimental section

The score of the so-called experimental section is cancelled and the raw score of the rest of the sections is added and is compared on a scale of the raw scores of other test takers. And abracadabra (raw score is added to a minimum score of 260), our GRE score is born.

  • A score of 325 out of 340 (260+65=325) does NOT mean 65 correct answers 
 

Online Prep for the GRE:

The official site to register for the GRE is http://goo.gl/LgXhE

There is abundant online help for preparation but choosing the necessary and ignoring the rest saves a lot of time and energy. 

http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/content/ is the content and question types of the GRE from the official test makers. 

http://goo.gl/9zuvN is the best site for analysis of your performance during your preparation. This site also generates tests on specific target-areas and weak-areas.  

This single site is more than sufficient for thorough prep and analysis. I bet you will see an improvement in your performance within two weeks of sincerely using the site.

However if you are still not satisfied with your online preparation, I recommend the Official Guide for the GRE and the Barron’s GRE, both easily available in a good bookstore, each costing around Rupees 500/-. They even come with a CD with tests that simulate the GRE.

Additional GRE Prep:

Though the GRE math requires no additional prep, we do need simple tricks and tricks to save us some time. There really is no dearth of time while taking the GRE, but hey, some extra time on hand does not hurt, does it? Math trips and tricks (Video playlist) These tricks are described with wonderful clarity in the playlist. It takes some time to realize what to do with what sort of Q, but do apply these tricks when taking the practice tests.

For acing the verbal ability, you don’t have to be born with a ‘book’ in your mouth, all you need is some basic vocab. Now don’t run off to the shelter of this so-called Barron’s list. The list is soooo huge and ultimately never-ending that you most probably will reach only up to the letter ‘E’ by the time you take the exam. Anyway for the O.C.D folks out there, here is Barron’s List in PDF.

There are numerous mobile apps for vocab, including those ultra fancy once with flash cards. Some of such apps can be browsed at http://goo.gl/atPml. Do not sit with vocab for more than 3 hours a day. Regular learning and revision helps retain an amazing number of words. I recommend studying the vocab flash cards given out by http://www.princetonreview.com. It covers a brilliant range of words and the number of words is optimum (250-300).

  • Memorizing the words with the help of mnemonics is of great help 
  • Always link up sets of words with a common root word

RELATED Top Books for GRE Preperation

Final GRE Prep:

The week before the GRE take the two powerprep tests on the powerprep software available online http://goo.gl/3Klz6. This will give you a pretty close idea of the score you will get in your test. Remember, take these tests as the last step in your prep. Never ever leave any question unanswered in the GRE. I am not saying this because you have nothing to lose if you attempt all questions, but sometimes marking an answer can place you over the other test takers who did not answer. All the best! :)

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