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Student Post: When to STOP Studying for the GRE

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Hear about what Karthik did to ensure a high GRE score – he’s sharing four great tips! Thanks for your advice, Karthik!

About Me: I’m from Bangalore, India. My undergraduate major is Telecommunication Engineering, but I’d like to pursue my postgraduate in Computer Science. Since I managed to get a decent score on the GRE, I am a little ambitious regarding the universities I’m applying to. I like building stuff (code and software, not bricks and construction). I have included a picture of myself playing pool to denote another hobby I enjoy but also because my face cannot be ascertained from the picture which protects my interests in espionage.

Biggest Challenge: I found Reading Comprehension the most challenging component of the GRE because I wouldn’t bother reading the passages with the intention of grasping key concepts. However, after practicing with Magoosh’s surplus of questions, I realized my mistake and corrected it.

If I could re-do my prep, I’d probably give myself more time to complete all the study materials. The first time I took the test, I rushed into it and regrettably ended up getting 319. 

Helpful Tips for Others:

1. I can’t stress on this enough: the day before the test do NOT revise, study or attempt to solve any more questions. If you have any trouble, it’ll only kill your morale; if you haven’t yet learned something for the GRE, there’s no way you’ll learn it now. That being said, be thorough during preparation; give yourself ample time before D-Day to finish all the materials that you’ve procured.

2. Do not get cocky and think you’ve mastered the test because you’ve been scoring well in the mock tests. They are not the actual thing.

3. Don’t take too many practice tests. They’re time consuming and quite useless; do practice questions instead. 4 hours for 80 questions is horrible preparation. This doesn’t mean don’t take any. You should complete all the ETS practice tests – they mirror the difficulty and other attributes of the actual test. Maybe the free Manhattan test if you’re looking for a perfect score in Quant and one practice test on Magoosh.

4. Sleep well before the test. This is something else that I cannot underscore enough. If you don’t sleep, you’ll be too drowsy during the exam to put in your best efforts.

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 Student Post: When to STOP Studying for the GRE

  1. Nick October 8, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    Hey Karthik and Rachel,

    Thank you for the insightful tips. You might as well save my life regarding the ‘do not study on the day before the test’.

    I’m taking the test next Wednesday now. I hope to score at least 315 – 320 with 4.0 for AWA. I’m pretty optimistic about it.

    Thanks again!


    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel October 8, 2014 at 11:07 am #

      Awesome, best of luck! 🙂

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