My Step 2 – The GRE – was on November 11. A Nov 27 post on a Nov 11 event is indeed a delayed one ;) College Tests and the forthcoming Exams kept me busy, not to mention the Graduate Admission Process. To be honest, I was a tad disappointed with my score too. I wasn’t in any hurry to share it with the rest of the world :P :)
I scored a not-too-bad not-too-good 1370 – 680 on the Verbal and 690 on the Quantitative section; Quite Happy with the verbal score, much disappointed with the quantitative score :( For a few days, I did consider giving another attempt. Finally, after a discussing with my parents and a few good friends, I decided to go ahead with my current scores. It is somewhat of a risk, proceeding with a low quant score for an engineering admission. We’ll know a few months later if the risk paid off or if it was foolhardy :)
Like my TOEFL centre, finding the GRE centre too turned out to be rather difficult. Ah. I really need to go to the city more often :P :)
To be honest, I don’t have anything drastically different to report about the GRE experience than what you would find on the kazillion helpful blogs out there. I will, however, share some resources I found extremely useful during my preparations. I found the Verbal section easier than anticipated. These are mostly Verbal Section resources. Quite apparently, my quant preparations were flawed :P I can’t really give out advice on that section ;)
The Barrons GRE book was my primary word list. My secondary word list was the one at Number2. That is one awesome website for test preparations. What I found most impressive is their er… Vocab Expanding Mechanism. Their word list has around 1600 words.
My other resource was the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. I like learning new words. Every time I came across a new word anywhere – TV, Newspaper, Internet – this was the place I looked it up. I don’t remember any words I looked up appearing on my GRE, but hey, I learnt a Kazillion new words ;)
For me (and I am sure for most others too), the toughest part of the GRE Verbal section is the Reading Comprehension [RC]. As with anything, only practice and familiarising oneself with the question types can help you improve your RC skills. I didn’t get much time to use this RC resource as much as I would have liked, it definetly is worth your time.
If you come across a GRE question to which you need an explanation for the answer, the internet and more specifically, the TestMagic forums is the best place look it up. The overwhelming odds are that the explanation you need is in there somewhere. All you need to do is use the search option. Even if you don’t find the answer, you can post your question there.
Speaking of forums, Edulix is a good forum to use after your tests. You can read/discuss everything about graduate admissions and the application process.
If you have a long way to go before your GRE, you can afford to take it slowly in the beginning and intensify your preparations as you get closer. I had only about 11 weeks to prepare. And I lost around two weeks due to my undergraduate course tests and assignments. If you only have a relatively short time like I did, a study plan is what you need. List out where you need to be in your preparation at the end of each week. Give yourself enough time to take a few full length tests. GRE PowerPrep is usually the most accurate indicator of your actual GRE score.
I have a few more GRE related applications. If you need help or more test resources, send me a message. I will e-mail you.
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great ~ Mark Twain