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Your New GRE Experience

If you’re taking the revised exam sometime in the next few weeks and you’d like to contribute to a guest blog post with a post-exam account of your experience (just like Chris’s), we’d love your help!  We can offer a free Magoosh T-Shirt, as well as the satisfaction of knowing you’ll be helping other Magoosh GRE blog readers who may be studying for the new GRE too.

Just fill out the form on this page and leave us a comment if you have any questions!

If you’d like to read the submissions we’ve received so far, head over to Student New GRE Experiences to learn from other Magoosh blog readers who recently took the new GRE.  Enjoy!


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.

38 Responses to Your New GRE Experience

  1. apoorva September 29, 2011 at 4:40 am #

    hey everyone…
    I plan to take GRE by the end of november but i have started prepating from kaplan….
    Is this the right book?

    please suggest from where should i study?


  2. Lisa September 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Hello everyone,

    I took the revised GRE on September 10, 2011. I only had 7 weeks to prepare while working a full-time job, but found that was enough time, for myself at least.

    Many of the practice tests I took over those 7 weeks did not give scores on the official GRE scale which weren’t helpful in judging what my scores would be come test day. They all seemed very easy as well as prone to having erroneous answers. Beware: if you know you have the right answer and your practice book says it is wrong, double check it, you are probably correct. I used the McGraw-Hill revised gre study manual and found several errors throughout the book. Trust yourself.

    As mentioned above by others I found that all the practice tests were much easier than the actual GRE. Unfortunately, I only practiced one timed gre practice test provided online through their powerprep software. I would have felt much more comfortable on test day if I had taken more than one “real” GRE. The math review on the GRE website is helpful if you are having any problems on a certain type of question otherwise it is very time-consuming especially if you don’t have a lot of time to study.

    On test day I had no problems until I finished the second essay. The first Verbal section came up and the Sentence Completion and some of the passages made my eyes twitch. What did not help was that as I got to the test center early I was one of the first people to start the test and many of the people after me were typing for a good half hour after my first verbal section started. Yes, headphones are provided, but they do not remove all of the noise. Bring ear plugs and do not feel the need to be the first one into the test. There are way too many key bangers out there!!! My nervousness may have made my hearing hypersensitive, but I do believe almost everyone is nervous the day of. Also, almost all study sites and manuals will say to study in a quiet atmosphere such as a library. I don’t agree. You should practice a few tests or sections in a moderately noisy place because the test center will not be absolutely quiet (people coughing, clearing their throat, typing loudly, moving chairs, etc.). A computer lab would be a good simulation.

    The quantitative sections and the next two verbal sections were slightly easier since I was able to concentrate. At times I thought I was doing horribly, but I ended up getting a preliminary verbal range of 600-700 and a quantitative of 740-800. Given the fact that I only was able to study maybe a total of 15-20 days for this test (on weekends) I am very happy if these scores are close to my final scores.

    I was hoping other readers could tell me how accurate this preliminary score has been in the past to the scores they received once they got their score reports. I know that we all have to wait until November to get our revised scores. However, I would like to know if the score we received at the test center needs to be taken with a grain of salt or if I should be very happy. A couple of my friends have tried to reassure me, but I like facts and statistics. 🙂

    If you have any info for me please reply.

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette September 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

      Hi, Lisa

      Thanks for your write-up! The best advice I could give is that you should wait until November for the final word, even though it may be a bit frustrating to have to wait! Chris just updated his point scale post to add his take on “translating” scores here:


  3. Trehan September 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    I took the new GRE yesterday, and I had 3 verbal and 2 quantitative sections.
    1st verbal: barely managed to finish it, text completion was sort of tricky, and RC was manageable.
    2nd and 3rd verbal: sentence equivalence were easy and so were the text completions. RC was challenging here, particularly the single question, 10 line passages à la critical reasoning questions in GMAT.

    Both the quant sections were simple, and I finished with time to spare. Data interpretation was actually silly!!!

    For vocab, no difficult words whatsoever. The most difficult word i encountered was “reticent”. Just doing the Princeton hit parade lists would suffice!!

    I used the ETS Official Guide, Kaplan Premier and Princeton and Kaplan Verbal Workbooks. I also glanced through the RC and critical reasoning sections of the GMAT Official Guide, which I guess is key material right now, considering the dearth of difficult testing material for the revised GRE.

    Scores: Verbal 640-740; Quant 750 – 800

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette September 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

      Thanks, Trehan!

  4. suraj September 2, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    Hi all,

    I took the new GRE on aug 29th.
    There were 3 verbal sections (1 unscored) and 2 quant.
    In one of the verbal sections, the RC’s were a bit challenging. I found it hard to complete them in time.
    For quant, one section was difficult and the other one was easy.
    The calculator helped me a lot with eliminating answer choices.
    The analytical section was easy.
    The books I used were Kaplan and Barrons. Do not use Kaplan for math, it’s not enough. Barrons will be more helpful.
    Also, practice a lot of RC’s because there are quite a few in there.

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette September 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      Thanks for the tips, Suraj!

  5. sourabh September 1, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    I gave GRE on 30 th aug 2011 in the revised pattern. It was exhausting as well as interesting. I got 3 verbal sections and 2 quants. I found the sentence completion and RC part pretty challenging. Overall I got 670 to 770 in verbal and 750 to 800 in quants. I dont know whether its the 1570 that i would get or 1520 or 1470 or in which range of the above lot. can anybody assist?

    • Nothingman September 1, 2011 at 6:48 am #

      Pretty awesome score. Any comments on how to tackle the Verbal section or books that I should follow?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 1, 2011 at 11:54 am #

      Great score! I am happy if we helped in any way. Also, if you want to write a more thorough blog-esque take on your experience, we’d love to hear about it.

      As for the range that’s exactly what it is. Nobody will be able to answer that question until Nov. Not even ETS. Your range is between 1420-1570.

      • Chris Lele
        Chris Lele September 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

        Also, I see you mentioned how RC and Text Completions were challenging. That is exactly my point – none of the publishers out there are providing questions that are nearly as challenging as those you’ll see test day. You must prep with LSAT, GMAT Official Guides. (Also, I’m busy here at Magoosh crafting very difficult text completions – coming soon!).

        • eakhan04 September 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

          Hey Chris. I am planning to take my new GRE exam on October 14th. Firstly, thanks for all your great advice’s to tackle the new GRE’s. I have couple of question regarding the Verbal Section. I have a magoosh premium account and I was wondering if I should buy LSAT and GMAT official guides to practice RC’s and Text Completions. Or should I just practice n practice on Magoosh. As far as Vocab is concerned I am using the PR Word Smart for the GRE 2nd edition.
          For Math Section, I am using NOVA’s GRE MATH PREP COURSE. It is a great book to re-polish your math skills. Are there any other things you will recommend for my exam. I will really appreciate your reply. Thank You.

          • Chris Lele
            Chris September 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

            Actually, GMAT and LSAT just for RC (they do not have text completions).

            GMAT for math (LSAT has no math) and NOVA is good for math too.

            In a post this week, I mentioned GMAT math and how both the book and the on-line test can be helpful for those looking for a high score.

            For an in-depth take:


    • pushpak March 12, 2012 at 2:52 am #

      hey ,
      can you tell me which books you used and which are the other good books?
      hope you will help me soon….

  6. Santo August 18, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Hi all,

    Congrats to all who took the challenge to appear for the revised test. i am taking the test on 23rd of aug. Can you please share your experiences on the new gre, especially on the verbal section?

  7. Yb August 18, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    Hey guys,
    I took the revised test yesteday and got scores that were consistent with my practice tests, and of which I was content about. However, I’ve been seeing people talking about unusually high scores for the ranges that ETS gives out.
    Now I am wondering how accurate are these score ranges and just how much these will change in relation to percentiles. Hopefully, these high ranges will not convert to ‘meh’ percentiles/scores on the 130-170 scale!

    Any insights?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele August 18, 2011 at 10:41 am #

      Honestly, I’m not really sure. However, I think that those who receive higher scores than they expected are more likely to report them on-line. After all, if you scored significantly lower on the actual than on powerprep tests, you will probably be glum and reticent.

      So really, it’s hard to say. My feeling from the test was that the math content was easier than some of the problems in The Official Guide. I can’t say there were any truly difficult problems. A few somewhat tough ones but nothing too bad.

      For verbal it’s always hard to say. Some very difficult problems can seem deceptively easy. I guess we’ll just have to wait to Nov. to see just how the old range equates to the new one.

    • Dana August 18, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

      Hi Yd,
      I had the same feeling when reading the scores of others on this blog and posted a similar comment on another entry. I received scores that i was happy with but were not as high as the ones reported on the site. For the percentile ranking, ETS will be using scores from the past 3 or 5 years, so it will include more than just the new scores from the revised test, which may have been easier for some. Also, I agree with Chris (below) about the people who are likely to post their scores/look at this site in general. Good luck!


      • Yb August 19, 2011 at 8:16 am #

        Thanks for the replies Chris and Dana!

  8. sri August 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Hello everyone,

    I need some help with reading comprehension part. I’m having hard time getting this questions right. so can any one suggest me some good material for RC,which can boost my reading comprehension skills. Appreciate your effort !!!


    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele August 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

      Hi Sri, funny you ask. I was just writing a blog post to address this very question! Look for it in the next couple of days. If I don’t answer your question there, please feel free to ask more questions.


  9. Phillrodrigues79 August 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Hello everyone,

    I took the new GRE on august 8th, in my hometown in Brazil. I spent 2 months studying with Princetons review’s “cracking the new GRE” and Kaplan’s New GRE Premier and workbooks. All prep tests I took showed a Verbal score of 550 to 650 and Quant from 730-800. So I figured my score range was pretty much set. (Needless to say I was worried because all the Phd programs in Management Sciences say they want people from 75th percentile and above.

    So came the test. Analytical writting and quant were pretty much the way the Kaplan tests had. To my surprise, Verbal was a lot harder. To make it even weirder, the preliminary results were:

    Verbal: 640-740 (92 to 99th percentile) !?!?!?!?!?!?
    Quant 730-800 (75 to 94th percentile)

    I’m not complaining at all. Just saying that something strange happened as the practice tests seemed easier and I had low scores, and so came the real deal and the test was harder and I got pretty good scores….go figure…

    Anyway, 4+ hours of testing truly gets to you. I was exhausted.

    Best of luck to the future test-takers.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele August 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

      Thanks for your candid comment, and congratulations on your great scores. That’s interesting to hear how much more difficult the real test is. One thing, ETS material is much much more difficult than both Kaplan and PReview (this especially holds true for Kaplan’s text completions and sentence equivalence questions, which are so easy and unlike the actual questions that they do more harm than good. Nevertheless, in your case you did well. Again, congratulations on your success!

      • phillrodrigues79 August 10, 2011 at 5:00 am #

        Thanks. i’m curious to know what other people think of the test, specially if they had the same impression.

    • Mayur August 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

      I am curious to know how much did you score in ETS Powerprep. Was it in the same range ? Also did you find the difficulty level the same in the actual exam as compared to ETS ?

      • Phillrodrigues79 August 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

        I only took powerprep as a first attempt to attack the GRE, prior to any study, as a means to know where I stood. With that said, I scored on the powerprep 440-540 verbal and 580-680 quant.
        I took all kaplan’s new gre premier 2011/2012, though. They grouped up at Verbal score of 550 to 650 and Quant from 730-800.
        My actual score range at the new gre was the same on quant but higher at verbal, as I said previously, verbal was harder than kaplan’s.
        Best of luck!

        • sourabh September 1, 2011 at 2:50 am #

          very true …verbal was harder than kaplan

  10. ayush August 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    I’m focusing on high frequency word list from various sources like kaplan, mcgraw-hill, barrons, princeton review etc. Magoosh vocab blog posts have been extremely helpful too. I found this list in the web, from another useful GRE website, which I will focus on my final week of prep.

  11. Erika August 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    Thanks Ayush. Good luck! I keep my fingers crossed for you.


  12. ayush August 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Mine is on August 15th. I’ll be more than happy to post my experience then. By the way, I’m international student, currently senior in college.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele August 8, 2011 at 11:09 am #

      Great, I’ll be interesting to see how the test goes for you from your perspective. Which vocab lists have you been studying from?

  13. trubulu August 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    yeah, Am interested in posting my experience but for that u’ll have to wait fr couple of weeks!

    • Erika August 6, 2011 at 9:28 am #

      trubulu are you a native English speaker?

      If you are an international student and you are taking the revised GRE, please post your experience. I live in the USA and I’m fluent in English, but still to get a very high verbal score on this test for non native speakers I think it’s a miracle. 🙁

      Good luck for all of you and THANKS MAGOOSH!


      • Chris Lele
        Chris August 6, 2011 at 10:19 am #

        Yes, the GRE verbal for non-native speakers is a very formidable challenge. I’ve had some students who have risen to the challenge but for the most part many find it frustrating. I always tell students though it’s not impossible. Vladimir Nabokov didn’t start learning English until he was 18. Open up one of his novels written in English – his sentences are long and labyrinthine (and chock full of difficult GRE words!).

      • trubulu August 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

        nah , am Indian ! not a native English speaker .
        U.S people shouldnt b scared erika u’ll score good marks , and nothing’s miracle everything is achievement of hardwork!
        i cancelled my appointment of old pattern and shifted to new one! coz i needed some more time lets see what happens now?

      • Roaa December 17, 2011 at 6:33 am #

        I am a non native speaker. I am struggling with the verbal section. However, the math section seems okay except when I find that I have to revise some of the basic rules from high school.
        Good luck guys 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 6, 2011 at 10:14 am #

      Thanks trubulu, I look forward to hearing about your experience!

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