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Magoosh Community: Student Experiences

There are 64,597 Magooshers in over 150 countries! Below you’ll find the GRE experiences of some of these former students. Click on their pictures or the links below to read their stories.

Thanks to all our student contributors; you guys rock!

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Name, Location, and Post Title 

1. Karan, Mumbai, India: GRE Verbal Tips for Non-Native Speakers
2. Niken, Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Persistence Pays Off
3. Elliot, St. Paul, Minnesota: GRE Math Tips for Humanities Majors
4. Saurabh, Mumbai, India: Allow Enough Time for GRE Prep
5. Jamie, Portland, Oregon: Returning to Academia After a 16 Year Break
6. Rittwika, Kolkata, India: Studying for the GRE with a Full Time Job
7. Benjamin, China: Benjamin’s Perfect Verbal Score
8. Jeanne, Idaho: Studying Without a Lot of Time
9. Vaijayanth, Bangalore, India: Vaijayanth’s Perfect Math Score
10. Niraj, West Bloomfield, Michigan: “I’ve never been good with standardized tests”
11. Katherine, SF Bay Area: Stay Positive and Confident!
12. Stephanie, Utah: How to Stay Organized and Productive
13. Megan, Columbus, Ohio: Studying for the GRE with Kids
14. Kamile, Missouri: My Prep Plan
15. Siddharth, Mumbai, India: My Test Day Experience
16. Alberto, Mexico City: How I Scored a 170V as a Non-Native Speaker
17. Neil, Boston: GRE Tips from a former SAT Tutor
18. Amanda, San Diego: Confidence is Key
19. Charlotte, Northern California: My 30 Minute-a-Day Study Plan
20. VN, Amsterdam, Netherlands: 165V + 170Q as a Non-Native Speaker
21. Mihir, Mumbai, India: How I Mastered Reading Comprehension
22. Mailee, Santa Cruz, CA: Know Your Basics + Test-Taking Strategies
23. Lynsay, New York: Keep Track of Your Mistakes
24. Steve, New Jersey: Taking the GRE as an Animal Science Major
25. Lanie, US: Pace Yourself!
26. Arun, Bangalore, India: Avoid Procrastination!
27. S.Anirudhan, India: How I Scored a 332
28. Joe, Omaha, Nebraska: How to Deal with Stress
29. Amy, Midwest: Returning to the GRE After a 20 Year Break
30. Muhammad, Dhaka, Bangladesh: Relax Before Test Day!
31. Marshall, California: Conventional and Unconventional Tips to Ace the GRE!
32. Mahesh, Tampa, Florida: How I Conquered the Verbal Section as a Math Major
33. Bryce, Texas: “If you want to get there, you need to stop procrastinating.” 
34. Tracy, Toronto, Canada: Bring Snacks on Test Day!
35. Will: How Recognizing Patterns Helped Me Improve My Score
36. Nina, Berkeley, CA: Don’t Cram at the End of Your Studies!
37. Rebecca, Berkeley, CA: Start Studying Early
38. Varun: “Always aim for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
39. Francois, Maryland: “On test day, just relax.”
40. Omkar, India: Work on Your Weakest Areas
41. Paul, Australia: Make it fun!
42. Chelsea, St. Paul, Minnesota: “Standardized tests are not my specialty.”
43. Pracheta, India: “Practice makes perfect.”
44. Tanaya, India: “10 Tips, Student to Student”
45. Risabh, Delhi, India: Prep is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
46. Ujjwal, Bangalore, India: “Take at least five full-length practice tests”
47. Sonal, Mangalore, India: “Positive affirmation helps calm the nerves.”
48. Sneha, Bombay, India: Well-Rested Equals Attentive
49. Varun: “Keep calm and carry on with your practice.”
50. Karthik, Bangalore, India: When to STOP Studying for the GRE
51. Olabode, Alabama: “Trust the process and put in the time.”
52. Prakhal, India: Never Stop Improving
53. Ricardo, Brazil: “Concentrate deeply and honestly on your mistakes.”
54. Rahul, India: 18 Days to a 322
55. Scott, USA: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been
56. Glenn, Toronto, Canada: A Perfect Score



PS. If you used a Magoosh Premium account and want to share your story, email Rachel at! 🙂

Magoosh students score 12 points better than average on the GRE. Click here to  learn more!

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76 Responses to Magoosh Community: Student Experiences

  1. Magoosh Test Prep Expert
    Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 10, 2017 at 2:06 am #


    Thanks for sharing your experiences with all of us in such a thoughtful way. You’ve raised a lot of interesting issues here, and I’m going to try to give you an equally thoughtful response. 😉

    First, let’s talk about discipline and the mix of questions you get. To my knowledge, there actually ISN’T a correlation between your declared discipline and the mix of questions. In your case, it probably felt like there was. But that’s because GRE Quant is very oriented toward the kind of math that happens to be useful in economics. But again, your discipline doesn’t actually determine the questions you get, in Quant, Verbal, or AWA. Instead, ETS collects your discipline and other information for statistical reasons. That data ultimately into the official report on GRE scores by major. (If you’re curious, Rita here at Magoosh has done a good breakdown of that dense ETS GRE stat report.)

    You also mentioned struggling with some aspects of Verbal, particularly RC, because you didn’t have much time to study for it. Now would be a good time to remind our readers to focus on Verbal and RC strategies in your studies. Strategies can be learned fairly quickly, compared to learning the meanings of individual vocabulary words. The “active reading” and “vocabulary-in-context” strategies for Verbal passages and questions are the most important ones. You can read a lot about these strategies right here on the blog. And if you apply those strategies to your practice, you can benefit more from each practice session…. In other words, with these strategies, your study can be more efficient and less time consuming. 🙂

    Now, let’s look at your Quant experience. First, it’s very interesting that you got an experimental section. And yes, hopefully one of your weaker sections was the unscored experimental one. (With your final score, it sounds like you may have been lucky with that!)

    As for time, and running out of time– yes, speed is so important in GRE Quant. That’s why it’s crucial to study mental math, shortcuts and estimation as much as you can before test day. For this very reason, Magoosh recently rolled out a set of mental math GRE flashcards specifically designed to help you build quick internal calculation skills. And of course, be sure to check out our estimation and approximation GRE math archive right here on the blog.

    Again, thanks for sharing! I think this conversation can help a lot of our other readers, Lamya. 🙂

  2. Satya November 17, 2016 at 4:53 am #

    Hi. I took the GRE twice. I scored

    Q170 V145 AW4.0
    Q166 V148 AW4.0

    I am applying to engineering graduate schools for fall 2017.
    Which score would be a better option to use. A friend of mine said “Q170 is a big deal so use that”. How much does it actually matter regarding Q170 vs Q166 also taking the verbal scores into account?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 17, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

      Hi Satya,

      In your case, it really comes to personal preference when you select your scores. Using the Q170 will emphasize that you have extremely strong Quant abilities. Because the GRE has a cap of 170, we are unsure of what your upward potential is. With the higher Verbal score, you can focus more on balance in your Verbal. A Q166 is still also a great Quant score. So, it really depends how you want to emphasize your scores or paint a picture of yourself.

  3. KC October 31, 2016 at 11:26 pm #

    I just took the GRE’s today and I feel so discouraged! I’ve been studying for a few months with a few Princeton Review study guides and did several practice tests. I’ve been out of college for 10 years and knew I had a lot to catch up on, so I put some effort into studying tons of vocab and math.

    The GRE test was actually HARDER than any of the practice tests I’ve taken and I scored LOWER than any of the practice tests, in both verbal and quant. For example, even though I understood all of the vocab in a text completion question, I still had trouble finding the correct word to put in. I was quite equivocated by all the verbiage and the constant game of deceit in those sentences. How could I study so much and still be understudied?

    Anyhow, I’m joining Magoosh and retaking it in Dec. I’m hoping my scores will improve by at least 5 points because I don’t want to get my money back. Please help me MAGOOSH!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 1, 2016 at 8:37 am #

      Hi KC,

      First, don’t be discouraged! Many have had the experience you describe, and you CAN bring your score up. We are happy to have you with us; feel free to reach out to the tutors through your Magoosh dashboard or through as you work through your retake studies. We can’t wait to celebrate a high score with you in December. 🙂

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 1, 2016 at 8:42 am #

      Hi KC,

      First of all, I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t reach your target score; however, if you put your hard work and determination into your studies with Magoosh, I’m sure you’ll see improvement! When you join Magoosh, I’d highly recommend that you select a study plan to help guide you through our content. Note that it’s not just about knowing the vocab, but also understanding how to approach the TC problems. The lessons and our blog will definitely guide you through this! Once you’re a premium member, note that you can use the “Help” icon on each page for further assistance. Good luck! 😀

      • KC December 6, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

        Wow Magoosh does work! I scored 11 point higher in my Verbal. That really shows to tell how much better your study material is. You’re the best!

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 7, 2016 at 10:32 am #

          Hi KC,

          Congratulations on some amazing improvement! I am so glad we were able to help you out 🙂

  4. Aakash October 19, 2016 at 8:03 pm #

    Hello everyone,

    I have scored 151(V), 164(Q), 4(AWA); TOEFL(105)
    i had participated in NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition, participated in SAE BAJA, & FORMULA Student,

    Have 1.5 years experience in Mechanical designing.

    Currently working on UAV utilizing Updraft, want to pursue MS/Phd in Aerospace Dynamics and Control.


  5. Bob October 15, 2016 at 7:33 pm #


    I had a question regarding the vocabulary/fill in the blank sections: are we guaranteed that the options for a particular question will all be the correct part of speech? E.g.

    The slow, _______ fox tried to jump over the fence but failed.

    A) energetic
    B) enervated
    C) quickly

    (C) is the incorrect part of speech. Will we get something like this, or will all the answers, like (A) and (B) above guarantee us a grammatically correct answer?


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 18, 2016 at 3:16 am #

      Hi Bob,

      You would never be given a question where the correct answer is not also a grammatically correct word to put into a blank! So if this helps you consider the questions, awesome. 🙂

  6. song October 11, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    hi, I am a student preparing for GRE. My problem with GRE reading comprehension is those complex sentences which are long and contain hard vocabularies and unfamiliar ideas. How should I deal with this kind of sentences?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 14, 2016 at 8:06 am #

      Hi Song,

      Yes, these types of sentences can really increase the difficulty of absorbing GRE reading comprehension passages. When you come across such sentences or vocabulary, you want to look around the context of the sentence for clues to help decipher or guide you through the sentence. If you are overwhelmed or unfamiliar with a word, you want to place yourself in the best position in understanding the sentence (even if you cannot fully comprehend it). Every word and sentence will have context clues that will be extremely helpful at absorbing the sentence. During the exam, this is one of the best strategies you can take. However, as you practice, jot down these vocab words and learn them. Also, continue to proactively study vocabulary words and practice reading difficult reading comprehension passages.

  7. Chandra August 30, 2016 at 10:36 am #

    Hi guys,

    First off, this is an awesome site; I’m really glad to have come across.

    Your blogs, in particular, rock. I really haven’t had much time to have a look at your video tutorials but I bet they rock too.

    Well, I’ve a question, over which I hope you’ll provide your insight.

    I possess really good Quantitative skills, and by good I mean great. I’ve taken few mock tests and managed to get over 165 in each of them. Unfortunately, I can’t say such about my verbal skills. Or may be I can. Ahh… this is where things get complicated. On a good day I get over 155 on Verbal Reasoning but this is contingent upon how familiar the passage is. Actually, I’ve a good vocabulary(or at least I’m tempted to believe so, thanks to your flashcards) and good reading comprehension skills. In fact, just by skimming the passage I can absorb whole passage into memory. And I do get the answers right, well, most of them. But there are some complications here. Foremost, I tend to absorb only those passages that look familiar to me. It doesn’t have to be from my field, but anything I’m interested in, for e.g, medicines, astrology, physics, entertainment and whatnot. However, I’m having complication with passages that divert from my domain of interest. Take for example, the one related with literature. In my worst day, I’m completely lost; I can’t seem to make sense of most of the sentences and my vocabulary (which I’m proud of) seems to fail me. Well, ETS claims that the field from which the RC passage are supplied should have no impact on individual’s verbal reasoning skills but I seriously beg to differ. Just to get a good grasp of the passage you’ve to be acquainted to many of those technical words the passage has to offer. Add them to your vocabulary and you’ll end up with thousands of words, all from different sorts of field. I’m starting to doubt if there is any limit for vocabulary at all.

    As I’ve addressed my complication here, I was thinking may you could provide some insight here. Is it just me or does it happen to everybody else. I’ve mastered 1000 words – in context, of course, from Magoosh flash cards and 2000 more from different sources. I’m not a native speaker, as my writing has already suggested, but I do have decent vocabulary, at least for the time being, and I’m looking forward to improving it to a whole new level. For now, I’d feel contended if I could just find my way with Reading Comprehension passages.

    Thank you, in advance.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 31, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

      Hi Chandra,

      Happy to help 🙂 I can tell that you have strong English skills, and it’s true that it may be easier for you to complete reading comprehension passages ‘from your comfort zone.’ Many students actually have the opposite issue and really struggle with the science artices! My best advice is to practice reading literary articles and other sources that you don’t feel completely comfortable with. Make sure that you identify vocabulary in context and structural things that might help you to make sense of GRE articles. For example, you might look through these particularly challenging pieces in this article of the month blog post. That will have plenty of literary jargon and complex structure to keep you occupied for a few days 🙂 You can also continue to explore The New Yorker the The Guardian sites for similar articles!

      • Chandra September 1, 2016 at 9:58 am #


        Great to hear from you. And I’ve something to confess: I’m an arrant idiot. All these days I’ve been practicing a whole lot of RC passages but it never, for once, occurred to me to read articles on a particular discipline I struggle with. After all, GRE RC passages are just a part of some sort of scholarly works. Reading at a broader level must be more comprehensive than reading a truncated part of it.

        Thank you a million times!

  8. anupom August 18, 2016 at 8:11 am #

    Hey Chris!

    Hope you are doing great!

    Actually I had bought Kaplan and Manhattan Mock test series and have almost exhausted them(sparing one last kaplan mock) and the score range I am getting ranges from 314-320
    (V: 150-155(range) Q: 165-169)(Couldn’t touch that 170 golden figure yet 🙁 )
    Left with a meager 15-16 days to my GRE.I feel like Its a plateau being reached.Please advise as to how to take things forward(Trying to take the final figure anything 325+)
    Currently following:

    Verbal: Kaplan,Manhattan-8sets,Princeton,Need to start 5lb
    Quant:Kaplan, Manhattan 8 sets,Doing 5lb now
    Vocab:Maghoosh flash cards

    Lemme know if I should add something (Highly tensed!)
    Eagerly waiting for your reply 🙂

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 21, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

      This definitely does sound stressful– I can tell you’re really working hard on this. The most important advice I’d give you on these final days before test day is this: start taking some authentic GRE practice tests from ETS. You can find practice GRE tests (some free, some costing money) on the official web page for GRE preparation.

      Ideally, you should go through these materials as early on as possible in your prep. ETS practice scores are the most accurate measurement of your possible score on test day. And sometimes, your ETS scores may be very different than the ones you get on third party practice test from places like Manhattan and Kaplan. But it’s certainly not too late for you to devote a day to taking a few GRE practice tests.

      As for your plateau, this is a common but frustrating experience for many GRE preppers. Once you reach this impasse, you need to really look at why you get certain questions wrong. What GRE skills are your weakest at this point? Really analyze the questions you’re still getting wrong, and think about why you’re getting them wrong,. Once you find your remaining weaknesses, you can focus on improving those skills over the next two weeks.

      • anupom August 22, 2016 at 5:47 am #

        Thanks 🙂
        Seems good strategy!

        Yah,have kept the 2 power prep for the last week will give them then!

        Thanks for your help 🙂

  9. Suraj July 19, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

    Hello Magoosh
    Thanks a lot for your wonderful blogs.
    I wrote GRE recently and scored 325(V-157,Q168) but my AWA is 3
    I wanted to get into good US universities. Would it be wise to write GRE again?



    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 20, 2016 at 4:35 am #

      Hi Suraj!

      It’s great to hear that you’re enjoying our blogs 🙂 Now, you’ve asked a deceptively complicated question. Firstly, what constitutes a “good” GRE score depends on the types of programs you’re interested in applying to. You can find out more information about what is considered a good score based on program type here: You have a very strong Quant score, while your Verbal score is weaker. Depending on where you’re applying and for what types of programs, you may want to consider retaking the exam to raise your Verbal and Writing scores.

      That said, programs take into consideration many factors when evaluating your application. Your score on the GRE is just one of these factors. So, whether your score is “good” enough is also a reflection of the other aspects of your application.

      I recommend checking out this blog post as you consider retaking the GRE: At the bottom of the post, there’s a link to a very useful flowchart that can also help you make your decision 🙂

      I hope this helps!

  10. Bill Hensing July 9, 2016 at 2:49 am #

    Hey everyone,

    I will be taking the GRE in exactly 2 weeks and I had a couple of questions about the format:

    1) I have practiced with the PowerPrep software and although it says there’s only 1 minute break between each sections, I have discovered that the time begins when I press “Continue”. Does this occur on the real GRE or does the timing begin on it’s own after the minute has elapsed.

    2) Statistically, when is the experimental section more likely to occur? I looked at Chris’ video on the test and he says he could recognize the math section as being different (due to higher difficulty). Would it be recognizable for verbal as well?

    Thank you for the marvelous blog, and I am sure it has helped me a lot.


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 13, 2016 at 8:01 am #

      Hi Bill,

      Firstly, thank you so much for your kind words! It’s great to hear that you’ve been enjoying our blog and that it has been helpful throughout your prep 😀 Now, in terms of your questions,

      1. The one-minute breaks are optional (although I highly recommend you take the full time!). This means that you can skip some or all of the break by pressing “Continue,” which will bring you to the next section of your exam. If you do not press “Continue,” you may get a few more seconds, but at that minute-point (or very shortly after), the exam will automatically take you to the next section.

      2. Unfortunately, the stats of the experimental section are kept secret by ETS, the writers of the exam. The section can come at the beginning, middle or end of your exam and may either be a verbal section or quant section. It’s also possible that you are not given an experimental section, but more likely than not you will receive this extra section. Typically, the experimental section will be at the same difficulty level as (or slightly harder than) the “hard” second section. This is true for both quant and verbal experimental sections. However, there’s no way to know for sure if you’re working on the experimental section. With all of that mystery, you should never try to guess which section is the experimental. Rather, focus your energy on doing your best on each question. 🙂

      I hope this helps, at least a little 🙂 Good luck on your upcoming exam!

  11. Øystein June 17, 2016 at 5:36 am #

    Hey, I took the GRE recently and got 162 for Verbal and 160 for Quantitative. I am happy with my verbal score, but would have liked to get a higher quantitative score since I am planning on applying for a materials science program at a prestigious school. I consider myself to be more proficient in quantitative problems than in verbal problems, but believe that I got a lower relative score because I had gotten fatigued from the constant time pressure on all the questions leading up to it, and by the time I reached the last quantitative section I was not as attentive to details as I should have been.

    If I retook the test and got a higher score on quantitative and lower for verbal, would the university admissions office just consider the quantitative from the last test and the verbal from the first test? In other words, would it be a good idea to purposely bomb the verbal section the next time I take it so that I can be fully attentive and mentally rested once I reach the quantitative section? I am guessing that that is not the case, but I just wanted to make sure.

    Thanks for any response

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 20, 2016 at 9:53 am #

      Hi Øystein,

      Good question! 🙂

      The answer is “it depends.” I have heard of schools that cherry pick the best quant and verbal score across multiple tests and I have heard of schools that will only look at a single test score. I would never recommend bombing something (I like to go after my absolute best always!) but if you want the right answer, you need to ask the school’s admissions how they handle multiple scores and what they go for before you make a choice.

      I hope that helps a little, and good luck gathering information! 🙂

  12. Dipesh June 17, 2016 at 2:03 am #

    Hey Chris…!!!
    Will you please consider going through my post and it’s very long post and I really need to get help from you because right now I am feeling totally confused and helpless.
    I gave my GRE yesterday and I am devastated by my score (Q-158 and V-152) since I have been preparing for GRE since 6 months mastering 5000-6000 vocabulary words from Magoosh and other resources as well. I practiced math from Manhattan, Nova and many other resources and to improve my reading comprehension I subscribed NYT and read most of the editorial articles and opinions section of many writers using Paul Krugman, David Brooks etc…!!!….Also I was getting 320+ in most of my practice test including ETS powereprep I(322), Barrons (329), Kaplan(324), McGraw Hill(323).
    Now my real score has made me feel that all these efforts went in vain….And since I am from engineering background and want to enter decent universities in US for graduate program that score will ultimately hurt me a lot. I don’t know how to get out of this imbroglio, tribulation, predicament whatever you call it…!!!
    My question is should I consider retaking GRE…?? I am thinking of applying for fall 2017 and considering I have no job to do and no other responsibilities and things to carry out rather than taking TOEFL exam, writing to professors, preparing other parts of application should I go for retaking the GRE…???
    If yes, please help me in the following matters and recommend me some solution…:
    Given I practiced some tough materials on Manhattan and Nova I couldn’t get pass 160 as well and I feel ashamed of myself.. Should I go for some tougher materials on GMAT..??..My one problem is I also suffer from a disease you call “calculator-itis” and couldn’t attend all questions on my GRE on time…Will you please recommend me some strategies and techniques in your blog and other resources that will help me in elimination strategies, approximation, finding answers more accurately in time…??
    I know most of the vocabulary words and my problem with TC and SE is that despite knowing the meaning of words I fail often to come at the right answers on some difficult problems. I know like techniques like anticipating the answers and guessing the right one based on clue but on some difficult problems I become confused and flounder.
    On RC, despite reading NYT and working hard improvement is not happening much in this period of time of 5-6 months..Isn’t that enough to improve RC ability. I am an avid reader but books I read are not matched with the difficulty level of passages seen in GRE. So would you recommend me some books (preferably non fictional) that match to the prose and style of writing of the passages that we commonly encounter in GRE and if I become read these sort of these things how much can I expect to improve…?? target score is 320+ so that I can get into decent universities.
    I also assume my exam went mishmash because I couldn’t relax some days before exam, will you please suggest me how to relax, meditate or some relevant resources as well…??
    Thank You…!!!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 18, 2016 at 2:46 am #

      Hi Dipesh,

      This is a very involved message, so I have sent it to our team of experts to answer via email instead. You should hear from someone soon. 🙂

  13. Rizwana Saife June 8, 2016 at 8:06 am #

    I score 315 on GRE.

    With about 3 months of preparation I was able to achieve this score. I referred most of the material that was available on official GRE website and it really helped a lot. I also attempted the two full length tests on official GRE website. One about a month before the test and the second one a week before the test day. Other than that, I also solved the sectional and full length tests given in The Kaplan and The Princeton Review books and Magoosh study material for Verbal Reasoning.

    This way I could assess my skills on the 3 sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and Analytical Writing.
    If you you know your strong and weak points, it helps you a lot in your preparation strategy.

    Practice is the key to a good score in GRE. Whatever time you have in hands before your test, use it effectively. Each day choose a section and practice different types of questions and strategies to solve them.
    Weekly full length tests are a great way to assess your preparation.

    Another most important factor is TIME. You don’t want to miss out on any questions in your test in which you might score well. So, always go for timed tests while practicing.

    On test day, as soon as the analytical writing part is over(which is the first section), forget about the topics and your essays. Concentrate on the upcoming sections.
    Maintain a reasonable pace from the beginning. Allow some extra time for Reading Comprehension questions in Verbal Reasoning section as RC is a bit more time consuming than Text Completion and Sentence equivalence.

    Try to maintain 100% accuracy. Double check each answer as you proceed, don’t wait for the end of the section to check answers. You may not have enough time. Mark the questions where you need some extra time to think and you may come back to them after finishing all the other questions, if you have time left.

    I scored quite well on quantitative section i.e. I got 163 or 86 percentile rank, and my major strengths here were Time and Accuracy. This applies to other sections as well.

    My verbal scores was 152. Here, I scored better on Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion than Reading Comprehension. Moreover, reading lengthy passages took me some extra time too which I could have used to double check my answers. So, the thing to remember is, while attempting RC questions, don’t devote too much time towards reading the lengthy passages and then attempting the question. Do both things simultaneously. Label every para of the passage. Go through the questions, find the relevant para and then dig deeper into it, if required. This strategy works well according to my personal experience.

    Well, I am quite happy with my scores and I have received admission offers from some of the best colleges in USA.

    All the best to all the aspirants!

  14. Shanu May 7, 2016 at 5:58 am #

    Hi there,
    Hope you are having a good day.
    I’m currently pursuing PhD in India(Masters in 2014) and I don’t have any publication. Now I’m seriously thinking about taking GRE and TOEFL. Are the year lapse and no publication going to a drawback for me? What score in GRE can overshadow these?
    Thank you for your time.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 9, 2016 at 12:40 am #

      Hi Shanu,

      Since we at Magoosh have much more experience in test prep than in grad school admissions, we unfortunately can’t give you much insight regarding your questions. However, I’d recommend checking back to see if another user of our blog can! In the meantime, you may also want to post your question and read through conversations regarding grad school admission requirements on some of the websites we mention in the following blog post.

      * Magoosh’s Recommended Grad School Sites and Resources

      I hope this helps, at least a little! Happy studying 🙂

  15. Tim May 6, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    I feel so stressed and my eyes just gets tied after about 2 hours of staring straight unto a computer screen. After that point, my concentration goes straight to zero and I feel like ending my section on the computer. How do I handle over 4 hours GRE computer based test? Is there any aids that could help me on the GRE software on test day? Is there any way of increasing the font size on the GRE test program?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 15, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

      Hi Tim,

      Happy to help! 🙂

      You are going to have to train your eyes to handle the extended computer use. Many students have to work on their test taking endurance for a variety of reasons–extended computer use, learning to be able to read for multiple hours, etc. You will need to work up to being able to handle the test for about 4 hours, but you will also want to adopt strategies like periodically letting your eyes rest by looking down at the keyboard or closing your eyes.

      As for the font size, contact their disabilities office. (Click here.) Note that they will probably not let you get anything (even as minor as a font size change) without documentation and proof of need, so you will want to learn what they need ASAP.

      I hope that helps! 🙂

  16. rishi April 27, 2016 at 12:04 am #

    hi. i just wrote my gre and scored 304 (v 147 q 157) i am pursuing b.e in ece (3rd year) . i am intrested in masters in engineering management. is it a good option? are jobs difficult of get after masters in EM? or should i continue masters in ECE?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 30, 2016 at 11:23 am #

      Hi Rishi,

      We don’t have nearly as much expertise and experience in career advice as we do with GRE prep, so I’m afraid we can’t be of much help. That said, I’d recommend directly contacting schools/programs you’re interested in to see if they can offer any insight, or check out the programs’ websites to see if they have any info about what the job prospects are for students who earn degrees from those programs!

      • rishi May 1, 2016 at 1:37 am #

        Thank you, with a score of 304 q-157 v-147 awa-3 and Currently pursuing b.e 3rd year ECE. I am planning for these univs Iowa state Univ,Kansas state Univ, Univ of California Irvine, Arizona state Univ, Univ of Illinois Chicago, Univ of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Are they good for ECE and with a score of 304 is it poss to get an admit? Thanks in advance.

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 3, 2016 at 4:39 am #

          Hi there 🙂

          It’s great that you’ve been looking into possible schools to continue your studies! To determine whether those schools have programs that are right for you, I recommend exploring their websites and contacting potential advisors and current students. They will be able to give you more detailed information about what studying at the school is like. Also, you can ask about admissions and how well your scores stack up against those of other applicants. Here are a few blog posts that can also help you evaluate your scores 🙂

          1. What is a Good GRE Score?
          2. GRE Scores By Program Majors

          As you’ll see in the second post, the average quant score for engineering programs is around 162. While GRE scores are only one aspect of the application, you may want to consider retaking the GRE to increase your quant score in order to be a more competitive applicant.

          I hope this helps 🙂

  17. Adnan February 16, 2016 at 4:55 am #


    It’s Adnan. I heard a lot about Magoosh and upgraded to the premium plan for 6 months.
    I hope to seat for the GRE at May.
    However, i have studied 900 words from magoosh flash cards and finished Manhattan prep 5 Lb.
    But, in reality , my confidence for the coming GRE is very low mainly because of the Verbal section. Confidence at Quantitative analysis section is not that good too.
    Now, i really need an expert assistance to guide my way of preparation.
    Please give me some suggestions.


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 20, 2016 at 3:28 am #

      Hi Adnan 🙂

      It’s awesome to hear that you’ve joined Magoosh! Welcome 😀 As a part of your premium account, you have access to our e-mail assistance. With that in mind, I’m going to forward your message to our test prep experts, so that they can provide you with a more detailed response than what we can normally provide on our blog 🙂

      Happy studying!

  18. Mihir January 12, 2016 at 6:10 am #

    I am in 3rd year of my undergraduate course.I am really not finding time to practice the GRE.I need some special focus on verbal.Can anyone please tell me how to spend time on GRE fruitfully daily.

  19. Amir December 20, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    Dear Magooshers:

    I am very happy to find your interesting site!
    I thank you all for helping us improve all free.

    a suggestion: Put the IPA pronunciation of words after each word wherever teaching vocab; it will help learning.

    Truly yours,

  20. Jojo December 19, 2015 at 5:12 pm #


    I recently took the GRE and scored a 165 on verbal reasoning, 151 on quantitative reasoning, and a 5.0 on analytical writing. I plan on applying to physician assistant programs in the spring so I just wanted to know if it’s recommended I retake the GRE to raise my 151 score. As of now, things are hectic trying to complete more observation hours and shadowing experience, alongside working so I doubt I have time to revamp my study habits for the test. With that being said, I was just wondering if it’s recommended I retake and try to see if my score increases? Thanks

  21. Berkhan Eminsoy November 22, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    Hello all, I just took a “diagnostic” test over the internet to see how I would do in the GRE if I took it today. It was basically a practice test very close to the real one from one of the vendors. And I got 148 QUANTITAVE | 151 VERBAL | IDK WRITING. I want to setup a game plan to ace the GRE in the upcoming months. I want to apply this fall (fall 16′) to grad schools. I’m looking for guidance from Magoosh supervisors or students with past experience. What would be a good plan for me to pursue with Magoosh? Should I do a 90-day advanced study or 90-day beginners study? (P.S. I have a full time job so I would be doing my studying in the evenings… that’s ok with these plans right?)

  22. Zoya November 10, 2015 at 3:10 am #

    V : 149 Q: 159…..I wish to pursue MS in computer science (in Fall 2016). Which universities should I be looking for? Need help please.

  23. Adesh Pai October 7, 2015 at 1:05 pm #


    I have scored 303 in GRE with a V-140 and Q-163 and TOEFL 103

    I want to do masters in Business analytics (data science) . I wanted to know if verbal score are considered for this course of study by US universities or Quant is laid more importance as mine is a non native english.

    Your help will be appreciated.


  24. Nicole September 26, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    I know that Magoosh allows one to see their predicted score in both the verbal and the quantitative sections. I was curious, those who have already taken the GRE and have used Magoosh; were their actual scores close to the predicted scores? What kind of variation did you see from the predicted score to the actual score?

  25. Holly September 23, 2015 at 7:27 am #


    I took the GRE on September 9th and scored Verbal 155 and Quant: 147. I’m applying to PhD. programs in Clinical Psychology and I have good letters of recommendation, lots of volunteer work but not as much research experience as I would like. Any suggestions on where I should apply?

  26. Pranava Keerthi S August 29, 2015 at 1:04 am #


    I don’t know if this is the right place for my question. Anyway here it is:

    If I write GRE this year and send my scores to four universities. Do I need pay 27$ each to send my scores to the same four universities next year?

  27. Vicky August 24, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

    Hello ! 🙂

    This is my first time writing on a blog so I’m really nervous!
    I graduated in June, 2014 and I’m planning on taking the GRE end of next month to apply to East Asian Languages and Cultures program in graduate school.

    I’m really not good at math and my English is also not perfect since it is my second language. I came to the United States 10 years ago and studied really hard, but the GRE is still very difficult for me. 🙁

    I also had a health problem last year so I had to spend about one year to study for the GRE, but I don’t think I’m ready yet… I’m really worried about the test and I know I shouldn’t be feeling this way, but I feel like I have lots of disadvantages compared to other people. My GPA was 3.92, I got honors in my major, university honors, and I also have a pretty good research paper to turn in and my professors promised me to write REALLY GOOD letters of recommendation. But, I’m really worried if I’m going to score low in the GRE and I’m also worried if the GRE is not going to let me get into one of the prestigious schools.

    Could you please give me some advice? I’ve been practicing with ETS book, Manhattan Prep, Kaplan and I’m keep doing online practice tests.
    (I’m pretty good at vocab sections though since I’m really good at and love memorizing! ) And does the GRE actually matter a lot when applying to a grad school?

  28. Wu August 24, 2015 at 3:53 am #

    Hello, I am not a native English speaker, but I have used Magoosh for 3 months and get a score of V:155, Q:170. But, my A.W. was only 3. I want to apply for Math or Applied Math in a top 20 US university’s graduate program. Will the A.W. score have a significant bad influence on my application? Thank You!

  29. Sai Teja August 8, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    I have received 147 in verbal and 164 in quantitative. Could you please suggest me some colleges and courses for masters in U.S.A. for my score. I did my undergraduate in mechanical and have cgpa of 8 till my 3rd year

  30. Ankit July 28, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    I just received my GRE score and I got a 154 in the verbal section, 168 in Quant and a 3.5 in the AWA section. I am targeting to do my masters in computer science from one of the universities – Stanford, UCB or CMU. I have a solid 9.91/10 CGPA and was also the college topper. Overall, I am happy with a 322 and I thank Magoosh for providing me with all the help and guidance. But, I am worried whether a low score of 3.5 in AWA could hamper my chances of getting into these prestigious universities. Should I re-take the GRE or should focus on making my other aspects of my application better?

  31. Partha May 30, 2015 at 2:12 am #


    I had my GRE test last week. I got 165 in quant and 153 in verbal section. Thanks to Magoosh team. It was a great experience with you. You really reduced my load. Looking forward for your Toefl section. Hope that will serve the same way. I had a unique experience during teat day. I felt some of the questions were from ETS practice book. Does that happen some time ? Or it was an illusion 🙂 . Any ways Thanks Magoosh.

    • Rita Neumann
      Rita Kreig June 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

      Hi Partha!

      Thank you so much for writing in to let us know about your experience – I’m so glad that you enjoyed prepping with Magoosh, and that all your hard work paid off. Congratulations! 🙂

      I can’t say for sure that the questions you saw were different than the ones in the ETS practice book, but my guess is that they were just really, really similar. ETS likes to test questions in the same format all the time. Often, they just switch around numbers to make them slightly different. I’m really glad that you studied with Magoosh and official materials – sounds like you got lucky with some familiar questions.

      Good luck with grad school!

  32. David Mynchenberg May 18, 2015 at 11:27 am #


    I am about to start out studying for the GRE coming up in 10 weeks! It’s daunting but the help on this site is getting me motivated. Chris’s 2-3 month study schedule looks great.

    Just to check in with you all I’d like to share what my plans for accomplishing a score of 300 or more: follow Chris’s study schedule, get the supplemental McGraw GRE Math, and possibly one or two Manhattan GRE books for where my weakness lies. I’m just not sure which MGRE books I should buy but I’ve read the most important part of those books is access to the practice tests that come along (do they work on MACs?). I’m going into speech pathology. My math is pretty rusty and a strong verbal score is needed from me. I am wondering if Magoosh is strong enough for verbal prep and the McGraw is enough supplement for math, or is it worth it to invest in a few MGRE books too? What do you think? 🙂 THANKS!

    I appreciate your dedication to helping us succeed.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele May 18, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

      Hi David,

      I like the enthusiasm!

      And good questions! While, I encourage students to use as many as the top prep resources out there. Many, however, only end up using Magoosh (with a smattering of ETS, maybe) and report that they did very well on the test. Esp. with verbal, I’d say a combination of Magoosh and ETS is great. MGRE doesn’t have the strongest verbal content, and this goes for the practice tests as well.

      As for the McGraw Hill, that’s the bare minimum. You’ll still need a resources that has actual GRE questions. Magoosh is fine and MGRE shines in this department as well. Of course, ETS is a must–for both math and verbal–for anybody prepping for the GRE.

      Good luck–and hope that helped 🙂

      • David Mynchenberg May 20, 2015 at 9:53 am #

        Super helpful Chris. Thank you so so much. You rock!

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele May 20, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

          Great, I’m happy that helped 🙂

  33. Akanksha April 22, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I had prepared for the GRE through the Magoosh Premium product. My official scores are out now and I have scored 160 on Verbal (thank you Magoosh!!), 170 on Quant, and 3.5 on AWA (wasn’t expecting such a low score).

    What should I do now- Should I retake the GRE in the hope of a higher AWA score, or go ahead and apply with these scores?
    I wish to aim for MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering at universities such as UPenn, UCLA, NCSU, Princeton, Purdue, Georgia Tech..


    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele April 22, 2015 at 11:14 am #

      Hi Akanksha,

      Congrats on the 170 math! The 160 verbal is also strong given your field. My sense is those scores should make you very competitive for an MS (esp. the coveted 170). For that field, the AWA just isn’t that big of a deal. While not stellar, a 3.5 is somewhere around average for your field and therefore won’t look nearly so glaring had you been looking to get an MFA in writing. Had you scored as low as 2.0 that might have been a red flag to the admissions program, but your 3.5 shouldn’t hurt you.

      Hope that helps, and good luck 🙂

      • Akanksha April 22, 2015 at 11:26 am #

        That’s a relief 🙂
        Thanks Chris!!

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele April 22, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

          You are welcome 🙂

  34. Ananth January 2, 2015 at 3:01 am #


    I wrote the GRE today and scored 336 (169V-167Q), and I have Magoosh to thank for my verbal score. All your blog posts were very very helpful.

    And oh the vocabulary builder app, that is the single most helpful GRE vocab resource on the internet.

    I’m really grateful to you guys.

    Thanks! 😀

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel January 2, 2015 at 10:03 am #

      That’s awesome, congrats Ananth! 😀

  35. Altamash December 31, 2014 at 3:23 am #

    I would like to thank Magoosh team for the wonderful job that you guys are doing.
    Your Flash cards are just amazing. And Chris’ explanations in the videos are unparallel.
    Amzaing stuff. Now I recommend every friend of mine to use magoosh.
    A big thank you to all of you 🙂

  36. Pradeep November 23, 2014 at 2:47 am #

    Hi Rachel,

    I recently took the GRE and scored 318 (Q160, V-158). During my sixth section my computer just froze for a good couple of minutes, with the timer still running and by the time the test administrator fixed it I only had 11 seconds to finish the remaining 5 quant questions. This lowered my quant score. I have registered a complaint with ETS and prometric four days ago and I’m yet to hear back from them.

    Now, I have a around four year’s of research and consulting experience (specializing in supply chain, procurement, operations) which includes one year of international experience working in Johannesburg (where I live right now). My undergraduate CGPA in engineering is 8.67 out of a scale of 10 (first class with distinction). I have published whitepapers in many international magazines like Automotive worldand metalminer and I’ve also been a key speaker at international conferences in the US, Singapore and India, in addition to being a top performer at work. I can get LOR’s from my company’s VP and senior managers at Fortune 500 companies for whom I have worked for.

    Based on the above, do you think I would have a chance if I apply to Stanford MS&E with the same GRE score? Or should I push ETS harder and reschedule another test? (They’ve already indicated that they might be open to an idea to giving me another shot, as the fault was at their end).

    Sorry for long question. I’m just in a difficult position right now.
    Kindly request your help.

    Thank you,

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele November 24, 2014 at 10:43 am #

      Hey Pradeep,

      Sorry to hear that happened! ETS should definitely get back to you–but I’m guessing you might have to wait another week or so :(.

      I wouldn’t apply to that program with a 160 quant, given that you can probably score in the mid-160’s, which will look a lot better, and be more commensurate with the other outstanding aspects of your resume. So if for some reason, ETS doesn’t give you a free retake–which would be terribly unfair–then you should retake the test anyways.

      Best of luck 🙂

      • Pradeep November 25, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

        Hi Chris,

        Thanks for your reply. I will wait for a couple of more days to hear back from ETS and then decide on how to move forward.

        Thank you,


        • Alana October 26, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

          Hi Pradeep,

          How was your issue resolved? Unfortunately, I encountered a similar problem while taking my test as well. I am contemplating waiting to hear back from them or paying to retake it again.

  37. Kevin November 15, 2014 at 2:08 am #


    I scored 326 (170-Quant, 156-Verbal) in the GRE test. Maths was never a problem for me as I am an Engineer and the level of quantitative problems in GRE is basic to intermediate. However, for the verbal section, some of the words used in the sample tests I had taken were something I hadn’t heard before. Also, finding high-frequency GRE words was an issue. Some of the books I checked had a bloated list of 3000-4000 words and I didn’t have that much time (just 45 days for prep). My friend told me about Magoosh’s online free resource of 1000 words most frequently seen on the GRE. I studied only that much from Magoosh’s site and it helped me get a decent score in the Verbal section (much better than my initial scores). So I would like to say “Thanks a ton – Magoosh Team”. Great Job with the website and the mobile interface. Loved it 🙂 !!!!!

    Kevin !!!!!!!!!!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele November 24, 2014 at 10:58 am #


      Glad to hear you didn’t have to slog through those terribly bloated lists! Indeed, that was one of our inspirations for coming up with the 1,000 words.

      Happy it helped 🙂

  38. Supriya October 30, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Thank you to all at Magoosh and the specially to the App developers.

    Precise. to the point. Just what people with limited time need.

  39. Mireille September 9, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    Oh, thank you so much, Rachel… 🙂

    I thought that honorific spot was long ago saved for Chris’s little daughter!! But they can share the podium — the more the merrier! 🙂 I already started calling her Mini Magoosher and she doesn’t even mind it — not at all! 😀 That actually made her evening… 🙂

  40. Mireille September 8, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    …not sure where exactly it’s best to post this, but since we’re talking about the “community” here, I would like to give you my 10-year-old’s “Thank You, Magoosh!” 🙂

    I watched about 6 math modules together with Anna, my daughter, during the summer and she just started her 5th grade. They had pre-tests already and when I picked her up today she proudly told me she got the highest score in the class! Although I knew the answer, I just wanted to hear it from her.

    – “What do you think helped you score so high?”

    And she said the word I knew I was going to hear:

    – “Magoosh!”

    So, I wanted you guys to know you’re already touching lives way beyond…”Magoosh community”! 🙂


    PS — We’ll definitely sign up again next summer vacation! 😉

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel September 9, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      Hey Mireille,

      That’s awesome! And really adorable. 🙂 She’s our first Mini Magoosher!

      • Mireille October 22, 2014 at 10:11 am #

        …and the Mini Magoosher did it again! 🙂 NWEA results are in and as a consequence, our 5th grader will start taking 6th grade math already this year! 🙂 She loves you guys and she especially enjoyed your Word Problems Module — that will definitely help her with her Math Olympiad! 😉

        • Rachel Wisuri
          Rachel October 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

          That’s wonderful! This comment is so amazing; I’m going to share it with the rest of the team. 🙂 Thanks, Mireille!

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