gre coaching classes test prep

6 Reasons to Join GRE Coaching Classes. You Won’t Agree to #3

Raghu GRE 21 Comments

Do I really need to attend GRE Coaching class to get a good score in GRE Test?

Well, first of all, this article – How to select the best GRE Coaching class and if GRE Coaching is required is long overdue. I should start off by saying “Scientia est potentia” – “Knowledge is power”.

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Let me make a BOLD statement before moving any further:

Improving your GRE test score is directly proportional to your skill level, effort, and hard work. You might be good at Math, some at good at Verbal and some at good at both GRE math and verbal section. But, attending GRE classes class may or may not improve your scores.

First, lets’ look at an experience shared by a student who got 22 point increase after attending GRE Coaching, but he swears that he joining the coaching center not to increase the test scores.


My quest for finding a good GRE coaching institute began a while back and I’m happy to say that I found one and finished the test prep and training. But, why did I attend the GRE Test Prep Classes?

Let’s face it. Not many people have the motivation or the grit to allocate the time for GRE Test Prep every day. So, I joined a GRE Test Prep class – just to get find my groove, but not to increase my scores.

Now, you might wonder, why would someone spend all the money to find the grove, but not to boost the GRE test scores. Sound against the very reason why anyone would want to join GRE test prep classes.

My GRE Coaching Classe Format

The GRE Coaching Institute I joined offered the following:

  • Total Hours of Coaching: 60 hours
  • Total Duration: 10 weeks (6 Hours per week)
  • Access to GRE Test Prep materials
  • Access to Study Lab to take the mock test without distractions.

Now one might ask, “Is that sufficient and necessary?“.

Well for a majority of the GRE Test takers and those who struggle to find motivation (& maybe lacking hard working skills), the simple answer is Yes. GRE coaching classes are necessary if you want to stand a chance of getting decent GRE test score. I am not telling that the classes are mandatory, but if you lack

GRE coaching classes are necessary if you want to stand a chance of getting decent GRE test score. But, as I mentioned, I didn’t join the GRE classes with primary motivation to increase my GRE Scores. I will tell you why in a bit. I am not telling that the classes are mandatory, but if you lack

I am not telling that the classes are mandatory, but if you lack the discipline to get going with your GRE Test preparation, classes will help you to get into a routine and certainly attending them would not hurt.

Reasons to Join GRE Coaching Classes

The reasons are threefold to join GRE

  1. Helps you get into a rhythm of GRE Test prep
  2. You can form study groups if  you are a group study person
  3. Just by joining centers will not boost your scores
  4. Ever present teachers can help you in case you have questions
  5. Opportunity to network with GRE Test takers along the same timeframe.
  6. You paid the money, so you are committed (& forced) to attend classes at a set time.

Now the place I have joined a GRE Test Prep center in Chennai, India. Of course, the big-name company is Princeton Review, where every other GRE Test taker seems to join.

I opted for a lesser-known GRE coaching center. Compared to Princeton this place costs less and offered more class time with instructors. In short, you get more bang for your buck. Remember, I joined Test prep class to get into the grove of preparing for the GRE, not to boost the test scores.

How to select the best GRE Coaching Center?

After a long search and visiting a lot of different GRE Coaching and test prep centers, I zeroed in on this and I should say its probably the best decision I have taken.

The teachers are excellent and moreover one of them is a freelancer working for ETS, India. The Classes were taken in a beautiful classroom setting and the courses was engaging.

I also should mention that their material is more comprehensive than other expensive coaching center contents.

Plus, I’m aware of this important fact:

The value of the GRE coaching depends on the quality of the instructor. I can get lot more value from a no name GRE Test prep center if the instructor can teach strategies to solve problems is a shorter time and keeps me engaged during hour long class. 

Are you convinced yet? If not continue to read.

Do Attending GRE Classes Really Help?

I took a mock a computer based test with zero preparation. I scored 299 out fo 340 using ETS online practice test. That was before I joined the GRE Coaching classes.

After 10 weeks long GRE coaching and little extra GRE Test Prep from my part, I took another test on the same ETS online practice test. I scores 321. So yeah, attending the GRE class helped me a little. But, I still think it’s the self-prep got me the 22 point boost.

So finally I would sum up by saying, if you are not a self-motivated student nor have the discipline to allocate two hours per day for GRE test prep, then join a GRE Coaching classes (or any other test prep).

Be Honest with yourself – two hours daydreaming is not hard work.

Plus, joining a GRE coaching classes will not automatically boost your GRE scores. Just because your friends and everyone in your around you are attending GRE coaching doesn’t mean you have to join on as well.

If systematic hard work is not your piece of cake, well then buckle up and join the GRE Test Prep classes.

Again I wish to reiterate my point to why you should join GRE classes.

  1. Just to get into the groove of studying for GRE.
  2. Forcing yourself to allocate time to attend the classes
  3. Getting into the rhythm and prepare for GRE test.

Once you understand that and coupled with real hard work, scores would then naturally improve over a period of time, not overnight.

GRE coaching centers and instructors are not miracle workers. You would have to understand what’s taught, apply that to learn new test strategies for various question types, then you would start to see an increase in your test scores.


Is GRE Coaching Required to Improve GRE Score?

The answer to the question depends on you. Every person is unique and only you can decide if you really need to spend time and money to attend GRE classes.

GRE Test is required to get admission in Graduate Schools in the USA and several other countries. Many prospective students struggle to prepare for GRE and decide to attend GRE classes. In this article, I will explain both advantages and disadvantages of classes

Different Ways to Study for GRE Test

I can think of several ways you can prepare for getting GRE Test:

  • Self-prep
    • Using GRE Test Prep Books
    • Online GRE Test prep courses
  • In-Person Instructor lead class (expensive)
    • Offered by test prep companies
    • Offered at universities
    • One on one tutoring

The effectiveness of above options depends on individuals effort and interest. You cannot improve your score, only by attending GRE class.

Pros of Classroom Coaching

  • After observing several comments and questions, I have realized that many students start studying for GRE without knowing much about GRE test. You want to know as much as you can about the GRE Test, to effectively help you with test prep, then joining GRE classroom class is a good idea.
  • Everyone is not born nerds! but you don’t have to be a bright student to ace the GRE exam. If you are willing to work hard and smart, you can get a good score. Higher GRE score equates to getting admission in good universities with scholarships.
  • If you find it difficult to allocate specific time every day, then I strongly recommend attending GRE coaching.
  • Find a coaching center where classes are offered daily. If not, see if they have good library, so you can allocate study time, go to the library and prepare for GRE.
  • You will be able to find few study partners from GRE centers you attend. You can derive lot of motivation when you work with someone who have similar goals and aim in life.
  • Typically, tutors in the class have good knowledge about the test strategies and have gained insider knowledge and experience. Even though you can buy several books, if find it difficult to understand certain concepts, experts in the GRE coaching will be able to help you.
  • Don’t select a center where there is no library. It’s not possible to buy all the study materials. Library will get you access to several GRE books.
  • Its easier to learn test strategies from the books and from GRE centers. Before you go to the class, spend few hours studying on the topic, that will open up lot of ideas and you will be able to understand the strategies being taught.

Cons of  GRE Coaching

  • If you are not using the tutoring sessions effectively, you are wasting time, money and letting yourself down.
  • Don’t attend a class because everyone else is also attending (peer pressure)
  • Blindly assuming joining GRE coaching will boost your score by several 100 points.
  • Ask for references and recommendation about best centers in town.
  • GRE Coaching centers would list high scores by students, who attended the coaching class, but they will not say how they were scoring before joining the center. Its hard to find that information, but observe close friends who are attending classes.

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Your Comments

I would like to hear your thoughts about attending GRE classes

  • Did you attend any training classes?
  • Did you really improve your GRE score?
  • Which GRE  test prep class did you attend and where?

Comments

  1. What is the name of the test center you joined? I’m looking for one to join in Chennai and would like to know.

  2. i want to do MS from US so as to pursue my future in robotics right now i m doing Btech in Automation and Robotics.I am 2nd in my branch in my University(PTU),studying in 6th Sem.I wanna few questions:
    1. Should i give GRE and TOEFLS at the end of 6th sem(3 year) or after my 7th Sem or 8th sem?
    i am planning to give this exam after 6th sem so as to get some time for admission process ’cause i wanna get in the Fall semester.

    2.Should i go for GRE coaching or not ?

    3.Which Universities are there for Master’s in Robotics?

    4.Will my project on Robotic arm and my Certification of KUKA Robotics,Germany(internationally valid certi) as a Robotic Programmer will help me or not?

    5.Do my Bachelors of tech in Automation & Robotics really give me some benefit or edge ?

  3. 1.2. Preparing for gre so early will not hurt you…as it would only improve your grip over english. Try concentrating more on Reading comprehension and essay writing. These are useful 4 u in many ways.

    3. No..waste of money

    4. Nothing

    5. Not sure abt the scholarships (I'm not 4m b-tech background)

    Having a research exp. is an added advantage but it is not necessary. Then again, u r still in 2 yr… u still have ample time. Surf this Blog and u cud find a lot of useful info & suggestions.

  4. It will depend on an individual.Main use of going to gre coaching is that it will give momentum to your preparation.If you are dedicated worker you don’t have to attend classes.
    Serious thing is that you will get updated of every single change happening in GRE test by going to classes.

  5. i think preparation is important but what is important is the number of patterned exams u take before your original exam that will make u familiar with the exam pattern and make u feel better when u take your exam and which in turn lead to a good score.These are offered online for money which makes u familiar with ur marks u get and make u improve ur score by giving u the complete analysis and by that u can improve ur score and work with areas where ur are weak and giving stress in that areas

  6. Well,

    The first thing is this is like the right post for me to read at the right time 🙂 THANK YOU HSB once again 🙂

    Also,

    I have to mention that i live in a place that doesnt have any centres that offer quality gre coaching.Though i d be spending my in a different city/ place where i can get some access to coaching.I was planning to attend coaching and prepare simultaneously.I d like to know how far this works for the good.:)

  7. Hi,

    Few days back. I appeared for my GRE exam for the IInd time, and this time I even scored less. Inspite of preparation for 2 months, I got 300 in Verbal (Ist attemept was 330 in Verbal). Any how I maintained a same score in Maths of 760 for both times. What I am very worried. Friends say to appear for GRE again (IIIrd Time), when have full strength and confidence. But others say that IInd attempt should be the Final.

    I am really messed up. Please suggest what should I do.

    I am a B.Tech (Electrical Engg) with 74.57% aggregate, 2010 passed out. Have R&D experience and Presently working in same…TOEFLiBT 90/120.

    Want to do MS in Power systems EE in US or Canada…

  8. I do not reckon you really need a coaching for GRE, until your maths needs really good improvement..

    I gave GRE yesterday and scored 570 V and 780 Q(1350) without any coaching in 6 months prep and in those 6 months also i had some troubles

    and i got nervous in Verbal or else i expected around 650…so seriously no coaching for GRe but i strongly recommend Meditation classes if you have problem with nerves

  9. Hi,

    I did attend two classes. One was waste of my time and money , the second one was better and it did help to improve my scores. In general if you have time, Right materials, good prep plan then you can prepare by yourself. I am currently working and it was really hard for me to find time to prepare. Thats why i choose to attend GRE coaching.

    Santhosh

  10. Hi,

    I enrolled at a GRE coaching class, but couldn't go after a week, as I couldn't manage it with my college timings. On my first attempt in Feb 2010 I got V-450 and Q-800. But then I wanted a good scholarship and teaching assistantship too. So I gave it again on 3 Nov 2010 and got V-610 and Q-800.

    I would really suggest students out there to study on their own with nice books such as Barrons or Princeton, mug up the master word list (thats enough). Practice the math problems and try to grasp the concepts, and you'll find the test a piece of cake.

  11. GRE coaching is worthless.What they do is either teach you 100's of words or solve their printed material(which is of-course a direct ripoff from standard gre books). Some coaching institutes will make u mug-up words that would never appear in real test. I joined Visu for gre coaching. All they did was to solve their printed material for entire coaching period. I just got 1070. An year later, after my bachelors i took 1 1/2 month period for preparation and retook the test and got 1350(without any coaching). ….know completely about the test b4 starting the prep,, it will give u some confidence and an idea "how to prep". If u cud spare a whole month or another for prep. follow this

    wordlists(barrons) + hindu newspaper+ Test papers (around 27sets in bigbook ;;daily 2-3 sets )+ power prep + antonym and analogy software(available for free on net)+essay writing.

    Schedule the above accordingly for better result. Try to put the words in context for the entire prep. period.

    Only your zeal will help you

  12. Joining GRE coaching wont do much help unless u r below avge.

    For avg. to above avge. self prep is more than enuf.. But there are 2 reasons to join coaching classes:

    1) You will get access to plenty of books/cds/mock tests. (unless u decide to download cracked/pirated ones)

    2) Your coach can evaluate you Writing tasks- which is not possible in any softwares..

  13. yeah for getting good scores we have to go for gre couching because they ill teach you the tricks to solve a problem in a second or more than a second.

    time really matters in any mode of xam's.so i think this tricks ill be very usefull in solving a problem in limited time.

  14. I always wanted to share this to the BLOG because it has HELPED ME LIKE ANYTHING. I did join one of the classes but did not attend it because i had only time of three months in my hand. My classes were ending after 3 days of my GRE date. It will help you some or the other way but if you are good at analyzing yourself than you can make it through solely. BTW if you are wondering about my score, it was a decent one but comparing to 3 months study with engineering side on it is satisfactory for me( Total-1260, Q-760, V-500). Studied for maths for just 4-5 days. Most important thing

    1. Is to keep your head calm and firm while writing GRE.

    2. Just dont think about the world for the moments while writing GRE.

    3. Be positive.

    4. PLAN your study (most important)

    5. Analyze yourself.

    6. If have time for preparation best way to get 700+ in verbal read novels as much as possible. (This will offer you to understand the different writing styles of various authors, of course vocabulary is must before doing this)

    7. Dont underestimate GRE maths (Try to get 800)

    Thanks for your guidance HSB.

    Thanks!!!

    1. For me, I 'needed someone' who would force me to study for GRE everyday, and that is why, I joined a coaching institute. However, it really didn't boost up my scores a lot; I got 1300 (770Q + 530V+4AW), although my preparation was way better than this. Still, I would say, joining a coaching centre 'forces' you to sit down and study 🙂 But this is my point of view, ofcourse!

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