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Student Post: Why the GRE is All About Reasoning Skills

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 1.56.32 PMAbout me: Hey guys, I’m Rohit from Chennai, India. I’ve majored in Electronics and Communication Engineering in my Undergraduate degree and I hope to do a Masters in Computer Science. I’ve always been artistically inclined my whole life. I love to doodle away in my spare time, and I’m bit of a songwriter as well. And on the geeky side, I love to code! Yes, Coding is an art form of its own!

Biggest Challenge on the GRE: VERBAL. Everything in it, everything about it.I have this complicated relationship with English that I simply cannot explain. I am, by NO means, bad at English but it never fails to haunt me on standardized tests.

What I should’ve done to improve it: Read more.

I was never one to read books, and that’s what cost me in the end. But how did I overcome this eventually? The Magoosh Blog is Your Friend.

Chris Lele, in his posts and videos, has a very “expressive” way of teaching and that helped me A LOT!! I can’t thank him enough. This whole concept of reading “actively” made such a huge impact on the way I approached every question in the questions from then on. And that was just half the problem solved.

Then came VOCABULARY! I was never a fan of mugging up words, and I didn’t succumb to it either. All thanks to the verbal explanation videos and “Vocab Wednesdays” videos.

Helpful tips for other GRE students: While starting your prep, you’ll notice that you’re not too bad in the test. But there are a few hiccups in between that you can’t seem to get a hold on. Aim, shoot, FIRE! Attack your weaknesses, work on them till they cry for help! If things get ugly and those weaknesses get you crying instead, follow this:

Look at the sections in the GRE:-

– Quantitative Reasoning

– Verbal Reasoning

You’ll realize, both sections have the word ‘Reasoning’ in them, and here’s why.

With verbal there are no formulas, so we’re forced to reason out questions, and honestly I believe the same should be done with Quants. Yes of course, we need the basics like finding the LCM and HCF and all that, but apart from that it’s really all about reasoning the problem out.

One thing that you will definitely realize during your prep, is all the math problems are a good/bad combination of different topics and you will not be able to identify one from the other without the power of reasoning. Sometimes formulas can even complicate the question even more than it should. eg: Simple and Compound Interests

Secondly, Practice. There’s no substitute! The more you do, the more you get comfortable with the types of questions. I finished the whole Magoosh product and I can safely say in my GRE I came across 99% of the question types from the question bank.

Third. For those who want to know how to go about the AWA section–again, Magoosh Blog. There is NO better place to pick out ways to score, especially the Student Issue Essay Analysis series. The Best. Check it out at least ONCE before the exam!

And lastly, enjoy yourself! The GRE is a standardized test and it is not as intricate as our fields of study. So enjoy every question you take on with a go-getter attitude and it will definitely reflect on your scores in the end.

Bottom Line(s):

– Target your Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 1.56.32 PMweaknesses

– Understand what you practice

– Practice, practice, practice

– Enjoy your preparations!

Did I mention Practice? All the best guys! 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.

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