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Reshma: Taking the GRE as a Full-time Mom

Here’s another write-up, from Reshma! You can submit your own or check out the list of stories from other students at Student New GRE Experiences.  They’re very helpful (and entertaining), so I’d recommend reading through all of them as a productive study break!


“Hellooo, everyone

I’m Reshma, and I took the GRE more than a month back on August 19th in San Francisco. As expected, it was a tiresome 4 hours.  I prepared for about 2 months but couldn’t utilize the whole 2 months since I am a mommy of a 1-year-old but i think 2 months of real hard work is more than enough. I was always tracking Magoosh and Happy Schools Blog for all the updates and I must say that Chris’s videos regarding the verbal section were really helpful. I was very weak on the verbal section and used to get 200’s in my practice tests but got to see some verbal videos from Magoosh just day before the exam, and I think that helped me get 100+ points higher than Powerprep score on the day of the exam. The 1 week of free trial from Magoosh was very helpful.


The RC’s were really, really hard. As said elsewhere, practice a lot of RC’s, at least 1000. It eats up all your time. I couldn’t even review my answers since I was stuck on many of the passages.

For material:

Princeton Review- This is best for verbal strategies. If you can really get a hold of those strategies then the verbal section will be easy to crack.

ETS Official Guide – A must-buy to get the real feel of questions.

Magoosh GRE Prep All of those videos regarding verbal strategies are a must watch. The wordlist pdf and the Princeton Review hit parade.



I got 4-5 geometry questions, about 2 coordinate geometry questions,1-2 statistics, 1-SD, 1-2 probability (1 was a diagram-based question), 1-2 exponent questions, and some data interpretation questions.  Data interpretation was really, really easy. You could answer by just looking at the graph and using the basic percent and ratio formula.  I got to practice a few coordinate geometry questions from the Magoosh free trial which I didn’t see very much of in other GRE books.

ETS math review PDF-  covers all topics

Princeton Review- I found it helpful for covering basic concepts and some strategies regarding SD, averages, and percents

Barron’s- If you want to cover every math concept.  Difficulty-wise it is set quite high.

Take a lot of timed practice tests to experience the real 4 hour experience. This also helps a lot with time management.

ETS Powerprep is the best preparation.  I got 100+ points higher for both the sections on the real exam.

Though my score was very low, as I didn’t have the time to prepare really well for the exam, my projected scores were:

Quant -600-700

Verbal – 340-440

I just subscribed to Magoosh Premium yesterday to achieve my dream score of 1300.  I really hope to get ateast 500-550 for Verbal and 750-800 for Quant. I already registered to take the exam next November. I am finding the video lessons really helpful to review my weaker sections. Thanks a ton for the sale, guys.

Hope I achieve my dream next time…cheers!!!!!!!


By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

2 Responses to Reshma: Taking the GRE as a Full-time Mom

  1. Sarah September 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    I think I can relate to this post. I just took the new GRE yesterday. And I just found this site today! The verbal section is really hard, especially reading comprehension. UGh, those readings makes me bore out of my mind. And they are written in such a complicated manner.

    I am thinking of purchasing magoosh plan since it seems like there are many positive reviews, but I’m really interested to know how it much it will improve on my verbal score. Is there any stories that talk about people’s score improved because of magoosh? I really want to up my verbal score by 200 and math by 100. Is that possible? I’m going to take the GRE again in November.


    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette September 29, 2011 at 11:24 am #

      Hi, Sarah

      Reading comprehension passages are definitely pretty dry: here’s our page with a quick basic strategy for RC, as well as links to other articles on the bottom that include video explanations of sample problems: I think it really helps to see someone map out the passage so I’d definitely recommend watching those.

      Here’s a recent story from a user who used Magoosh and did quite well in Verbal, even though he was a Statistics major as an undergrad:

      And lastly, if you’re taking the exam in November, here’s our 2-3 month study plan to keep you on track:

      Hope that helps, feel free to let us know if you have any other questions!


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