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Roshan: Scoring above the 90th Percentile on the GRE

Here’s Roshan’s advice for preparation and test day, based on his exam experience. If you’d like to read others like these, or submit your own write-up after you take your exam, head over to our Student New GRE Experiences page.

“I took the revised GRE 2 days ago in Atlanta, GA and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. I am glad that I won’t have to retake the test because I think I did well. The scores that were reported at the end of the test were in the new scale (130-170) which was surprising. I got a 164 on both verbal and quant; the percentiles are 94th and 91st respectively.


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I studied on and off for about a couple of months. Looking back, I feel like a slacked off a lot and could have put in more effort. The materials I used were the Official Guide, Barrons, Kaplan’s 500 Essential Wordlist, and Magoosh. I took Chris’ advice and purchased an LSAT test book to practice reading comprehension (although I only went through half of the sections). This is a great idea and I’d recommend it. Barron’s was helpful in brushing up on a lot of the math concepts. My undergrad degree is engineering so I did not spend too much time on quant prep. Kaplan’s 500 wordlist was also a useful tool and I think I encountered a few words on the test. Again, Chris’ recommendations (Quizlet and Wordnik) were helpful with vocab. I got a hold of the Official Guide 2 weeks before the test to get a feel for the difficulty of the problems. I’d say that Barrons is not a bad resource for practicing verbal either. I signed up for Magoosh verbal part 2 weeks prior to the exam too. This is an excellent resource although, again, I feel like I should have used it more. I mainly focused on the medium and hard questions and it was great practice. I wasn’t able to get in much practice in the last week before the test because I had to travel to India so I was a bit worried when I got back and the GRE was in a couple of days. I then took the Powerprep II test and scored Q 750-800 and V 730-800 which boosted my confidence.

Test Day:

I always dread long exams but this one seemed to go by in a flash. I tried to prolong the breaks as much as possible in order to relax. I’d say the quant sections were slightly harder than expected but still doable. The verbal sections were pretty much what I had expected, although I did notice the increase in difficulty after the first section. I kept trying to guess which of the sections was the experimental one. Don’t even bother. Since the math sections were harder than I had expected, I was expecting the 6th section to be quant but I was mistaken. My experimental section was verbal and I was starting to dread my quant score. Luckily I didn’t do as badly as I thought on quant. I do feel like I performed better on the Powerprep software but those score ranges are pretty quirky from what I’ve seen.

So, I hope this stuff helps. I know that the student experiences posted here helped me along the way.

Thanks Magoosh!”

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One Response to Roshan: Scoring above the 90th Percentile on the GRE

  1. Katie Johnson September 6, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

    I took the gre without spending time preparing; I just reserved my time, went in cold and lived to regret it. Zero prep time earned me a 139 in quant. What surprised me was my writing and verbal scores. Again, after zero prep–not even looking over test format: nothing! Yet, I somehow scored 154 on verbal and 4.0 on written. Not great, but pretty surprising, giving that I just had no idea this test required prep as I’ve never in my life had to retake any exam. I am now preparing diligently and plan to retake next fall. Tell me your thoughts and experiences with gre and get prep??

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