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The following GRE experience was sent by Shankar, a AEG blog reader.

Hi Every1,

I am shankar. Gave my gre on monday at kolkata. I am a BE mech grad. Now working in kolkata.Here is my test debriefing.

Q – 800
V – 730


Started with the awa section. Got an issue essay first. I had my skeleton of essays ready. This is how I scheduled myself for essays.

  • 5 Mins for important points
  • 5 Mins for filtering the points and arranging them in sequence
  • 20 mins to write the essay
  • 5 mins for grammar and other corrections
  • 5 mins for altering and adding some more points
  • 5 Mins for proof reading again

I followed the same pattern for my argument essays too. I personally feel essays are a very crucial in gre score. I devoted a good time in my preparation for essays.

My advice in preparing for awa is instead of reading written essays one should master the essay writing strategies and try to write as much as one can. Getting them reviewed is also very important. GreBible essay tutorials are good for this. To know how real essays should be you can go for the Arco essay book, which is good.


The verbal section bitched me with RC passages. The ones that I got were very dry and very lengthy. A passage, which deals with world economics and the suggestions and arguments of economic experts. Damn, I really got nervous again. But I was used to long RC’s. I always practiced RC’s with cat materials.

Preparation. Luckily I got 4 analogies directly from grebible practice test that saved a lot of time, which I used efficiently for my RC’s.

The RC questions in cat tests are really really tough. My advice, browse some mba-cat websites and get the RC questions from previous year cat papers and solve them. I attribute my good verbal score to this. I personally believe if you can do your RC’s well in verbal sections others can be cakewalk except analogies, which will make u sick. I got 5 – 6 words, which were not in barrons. Pals beware as 5 – 6 means a 100 – 200 points in verbal score. Though barrons is best to start with do not rely completely in barrons.


Quans is very easy. It’s a cakewalk wen compared to verbal section. Never get into this idea jus coz everyone says this. Damn both my quans and verbal sections very tough. Quans was filled with Prob, And Permutation that too got 2 prob ques and 1 permutation within my first 10 questions, which consumed a lot of time. I got nervous and got ease only when I got some easy problems from algebra and geometry. Time is very crucial and deciding factor in quans. Nowadays ets asks problems involving surface area’s of the sphere and sector areas of circles.

My Preparation materials:

  • Wordlist – Barrons, GreVocabularyBible
  • Reading Comprehension – Cat RC’s and as many RC’s from all test prep software.
  • Practice long and dry passages.
  • Sentence Completion – Requires no guidance
  • Analogies – GreBible coz got 4 analogies straight from their practice test
  • Antonyms – Requires no guidance but a good hold in wordlists
  • Essays – GreBible – The essay tutorials ans strategies were excellent.
  • Geometry – Questions like surface area of sphere are coming nowadays. Have a formula sheet ready with you while preparing.
  • Probability – GreBible for their prob tutorials and also on some tough quans sections
  • Rest of quans – Kaplan, Try to practice some gmat quans questions. www.testmagic.com is an excellent online resource for us
  • http://www.grebible.com/download.htm – for maths formulas

Full length practice tests :

GreBible, Kaplan and the mother of all, PowerPrep Scores from practice test:

  • Kaplan1: Verbal – 610, Quans – 730
  • Kaplan2: Verbal – 550, Quans – 770
  • Kaplan3: Verbal – 670, Quans – 800
  • GreBible1: Verbal – 710, Quans – 710
  • GreBible2: Verbal – 640, Quans – 730
  • GreBible3: Verbal – 700, Quans – 800
  • GreBible4: Verbal – 680, Quans – 700
  • GreBible5: Verbal – 590, Quans – 770
  • GreBible6: Verbal – 710, Quans – 800
  • GreBible7: Verbal – 710, Quans – 680
  • GreBible8: Verbal – 730, Quans – 650 (Got really tensed after seeing my score. Mailed those guys. They replied asking me not to worry the difficulty level of their questions is very very high when compared to actual gre questions in test. They also assured me a (their score + 100) in actual gre exam. Got convinced and eased only after that.)
  • GreBible9: Verbal – 670, Quans – 710
  • GreBible10: Verbal – 630, Quans – 730
  • PowerPrep1: Verbal – 690, Quans – 800
  • Kaplan4: Verbal – 750, Quans – 800
  • Kaplan5: Verbal – 710, Quans – 800
  • PowerPrep2: Verbal – 710 , Quans – 800

A word about these tests, PowerPrep is a must before gre. Save at least one powerprep test before 3 days to your gre. I took my 2-nd powerprep 5 days before my gre and started working with probability and permutation from grebible as I answered questions from those topics incorrectly in my 2nd powerprep.

GreBible full-length tests are really tough. Do not panic if you get a low score or a score less than your expectation. The score is less due to the difficulty level of the questions.

Another thing you can see is that though my score was slightly fluctuating but I saw a steady increase in my score and confidence level after taking these full-length practice tests.

Waiting for my essay score. I’m optimistic that my essay score will be good, as I have done both of them well.

Standard advises which worked for me to

  1. Stay calm during the test. Do not panic by seeing a difficult section.
  2. Spend more time in the initial 10 questions as they are ones which play a major role in fetching a score between 700 – 750
  3. Take as many practice test you can. See I took nearly 17 full-length Practice tests.
  4. Do not study always study or take test with paper format books, as u will find it very difficult in answering questions from a computer screen.
  5. Confidence is the companion to success
  6. Solid Preparation and practice. (I tell I never expected this score wen I started my preparation. remember Things change as you work towards them)

All the best to you guys. will mail you ppl after getting my essay scale and for guidance in application process.


Thank you very much to Shankar for sharing his experience and best of luck during the next stage – graduate admissions. If you would like to contact Shankar, you can email him: shankarmech80 @rediffmail.com.

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