Today, we’re hearing from S.Anirudhan. Want to know how he scored a 332? Read on!
About me: Hi, I’m S.Anirudhan from India. I am currently pursuing my undergraduate degree in Computer Science in one of the universities around here. I have always wanted to give myself a world class education and hence was very much interested in doing my masters in the United States. In fact, I even attempted taking the SAT a few years back to try and pursue my undergrad in the US, but things didn’t work out (read- I didn’t do too well on the exam). I intend to pursue my post-graduation in either Networks or Computer Architecture. My hobbies and interests include reading books or watching tennis.
My biggest challenges: The part of GRE that troubled me the most was the reading comprehension, especially the inference questions and the argument passages. I was able to narrow the options down to two or three, but ended up answering a lot of them wrong. It took me sometime to understand that the passages were inherently boring and I wasn’t reading them actively as Chris Lele would say in one of Magoosh’s video lectures. So, I tried following his advice, and I must say it worked out pretty well. (I ended up scoring 163 in Verbal). Another part where I got confounded now and then was the quantitative comparison questions related to integers and powers. But once I got the hang of what numbers to use for testing, I developed the mind set necessary to do well in those questions.
Tips for students:
1) Pick one or two standard practice resources and stick to them. (I chose Magoosh, and bought Manhattan’s 5 lb book to complement it)
2) Have a schedule and stick to it. Ideally register for the GRE before you start your prep. I say this because nothing drives you more than an actual exam looming around the corner.
3) Learn your vocabulary before moving on to solving the questions in verbal. Without sufficient knowledge of GRE level vocabulary you are going to get plenty of questions wrong which may end up demoralizing you. I made it a point not to attempt any verbal question until I was through with my vocab. I used the Magoosh flash card app and finished with it twice before venturing on to the verbal questions. I also recommend that you take a look at the Manhattan Flash cards. There are some pretty important words in that too. Note: Remember to note down those words which you come across when solving questions (the ones you don’t know) and work on them as well.
4) Do plenty of standard practice tests. I did ten, and that was one of the reasons why I did well on the GRE. Magoosh offers the option to take practice tests in the premium package. You can also work on Manhattan’s practice tests (it comes along with their books. Any one book will do). Additionally there are two ETS practice tests available through their Power-Prep software which is a must. Do not go for tests that are easy such as the Princeton Review or Kaplan’s practice tests (They are slightly below the actual GRE’s difficulty level).
5) Do not underestimate the importance of the AWA. Work on it. There is no way to get a good score in your AWA without practice unless you are someone who is on the same pedestal as Charles Dickens or John Grisham. ETS offers an excellent essay grading service for 13 dollars. You can consider using it.
6) Read the Magoosh blog at least once a week. There is some pretty good information there, especially “Vocab Wednesdays” (which is a weekly post).
7) Motivate yourself and aim high. Close your eyes and imagine how it would be if you had a perfect score on the GRE.
8) Last but not least- work hard. This is the most vital tip I can give. There is absolutely no substitute for hard work. The sentence is pretty trite or banal, I assure you. But nevertheless, it is truest adage I can think of. I worked out about 2100 problems inclusive of the question papers, and ended up scoring 332.