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Student New GRE Experience: Hari

Here’s a write-up submitted by Hari, who scored very well after studying for only a week! Hari, if you’re reading this, we didn’t receive your email address with your post submission, so leave a comment here so I can contact you about sending you a free shirt! :).

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  • Test date: September 12th, 2011
  • Test location:  Chennai, India
  • Projected score range (displayed at the end of your exam): Q 750-800, V 710-800
  • Basic self-introduction (where you’re from, whether you’re strong in math or verbal, your study style, etc.). Indian. Strong in Math but weak in Verbal.
    Study style: I first identified my weaknesses and then worked only on those. I also tested my strengths through diagnostic exams. It should not be that studying hard for verbal and neglecting math might ruin QA scores. I was always aware of the possibliity of making silly math mistakes and have practiced to avoid this.
  • How long have you been studying for the GRE? First, I took a disgnostic test. Realized that I am still weak in GRE verbal as I made mistakes in sentence completion questions. RC and QA sections were OK. I had already taken the GMAT 2 months back, and studied for a week for the GRE mainly by cramming new words. I also took a total of 6 PowerPrep tests and Barron’s GRE tests in the last 5 days before the test. For GMAT, I had prepared for 1 full month (2 hours per day) focusing on SC. My projected GRE score based on GMAT score was 1500+ in old format (as per the ETS website excel sheet).
  • How long have you been out of school (took a break after completing undergraduate education vs. applying right after)? I graduated from school in 2008. I intend to enroll for graduate finance programs in Europe, in the July 2012 batch.
  • Was this your first time taking the GRE? Yes.
  • What prep material did you use? Barron’s Guide with CD containing two timed tests. PowerPrep software. Barron’s GRE word list. Online verbal sentence completion questions.
  • What worked best for you? Taking 4 timed tests and learning new word lists worked best for me. Cramming the Barron’s GRE word list helped increase my verbal score past 700, though knowledge of esoteric words is not as beneficial as in the earlier test format, making an effort to know them didn’t hurt my chances.
  • What would you have done differently? Made a couple of mistakes in math. If my math score is less than 790 (old format) I plan to retake the test. In Verbal I did the best of my ability. I had to take a toilet break in between 1st verbal section, which cost me 5 minutes!

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