Meet SriHarsha, a former Magoosh student who has some great advice on studying and correcting your own mistakes. SriHarsha lives in Hyderbad, India, and plans to pursue an advanced degree in computer science.
Experience with Magoosh:
Before subscribing to Magoosh I joined a GRE coaching center near my home. My instructor was excellent for the old GRE pattern, but he didn’t mend his teaching style for the new GRE; he was more inclined towards teaching vocabulary than any other aspect. At that time, I was under the impression that the number of words I knew was directly proportional to my score in verbal. I studied vocabulary excessively by employing all kinds of methods like making flash cards, audio tapes , mnemonics and by using the words I learned to write silly stories. Additionally, I didn’t take quant prep seriously–I underestimated it. Consequently, with this level of preparation I took my first practice test in which I scored terribly low–290. I observed that every word that popped up in the practice test was familiar to me but I still got questions wrong. It became clear to me that I was lost in preparation. And then came Magoosh. I was skeptical to spend $99 on online coaching, so I initially signed up for the free trial and I was quite impressed by the tactics in the video lessons and the difficulty level of the questions. I immediately bought a premium package and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I made. The features that enthralled me the most in Magoosh were the study plans–the Magoosh 90 day study plan helped me greatly, not to mention the Magoosh software like the score predictor, mark and notes feature, timer and of course the amazing email assistance. I got prompt and fully satisfactory replies for each and every question I asked. My questions included not only the doubts in the subjects but also advice regarding strategies and tips. Its like having a personal tutor answering questions from my email.
Other prep material:
Kaplan 500 gre flash cards – I used this before subscribing for Magoosh. And, as my 90 day study plan suggested, the Manhattan RC book, Official Guide, Nova Math GRE Bible.
Biggest challenge on the GRE:
RC passages were the most difficult concept for me. They were like dementors (Harry Potter Stuff) sucking all my enthusiasm and energy away from me, but by using Magoosh and Manhattan strategies I was finally able to produce a ‘patronus’ which helped me to repel them without a major score bummer. It took a lot of time and effort for me to improve on RCs as I am not an avid reader and English is my second language.
Advice to test-takers:
I couldn’t help but notice that the majority of test takers were in the same confusion that I was at the beginning and, from what my experience taught me, the only difference between top scorers and others is a proper plan and awareness on the test. So, I started a Facebook page called GRE Vocabulary and a blog called Learn with Harsha to share the tips and tricks that I had to learn the hard way. You can read more of my advice on my blog, like this article that discusses how to avoid a major score bummer.
If you’re making silly mistakes in quant (like me) then I can tell you a simple tip that helped me a lot. Make a note of each and every type of silly mistake you made and advise yourself on how to avoid it in a journal (I don’t mean the exact question). Now, peruse these notes daily; after some time, when you come across the same type of question you previously didn’t get right, you’ll recognize it easily and hence avoid it. It sounds so simple but it had an amazing result for me.
By following all the above mentioned things my score improved from 290 to 317.
I hope you all find this article helpful. 🙂