In today’s Q&A section, I have few pointers to improve your Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Score. Aparna Asks

I’ve just started studying for my GRE and I came across your blog. I’m just curious to know how students who obtained scores of above 1400 for GRE prepared for the exam? Is 3 months sufficient? Would just memorizing the Barron’s word list and practicing a lot suffice for the verbal section because that is my main weakness?
Any other strategies they can advise?

How to Prepare for GRE

When I started writing in Happy Schools, almost everyday I used to get email with similar question. So, I put together 10 Steps to Improve GRE Score. But, those 10 steps will doesn’t include particular strategy or how students prepared to score 1400+ in GRE.

I have seen atleast 15+ students in last 3 months who had score above 1400.  Now you know scoring more than 1300 is possible.  It’s not something, like only genius can do it.

But, to get that kind of score Graduate Record Exam, you need lot of dedication, time, perseverance and patience. Especially, if you scored 900 in first few practice test. Most of the students appearing for GRE Test from India, China, usually score 700 or more in quantitative, but scoring more than 500 in Verbal section is going to take some effort. Scoring 700 to 750 is easy in GRE Math section, but to get 800 it take some perfection. If you get few questions wrong or even one, 800 will be tough to get. You will have to read how GRE Exam is Scored.

Having good understanding about the scoring pattern will help you prepare in much better way. But, just spending 3 months or 2 years studying for GRE will not have huge impact if you don’t spend time wisely to improve your score. I will write an article on How Not to Prepare for GRE.

15 Step Approach to  GRE Quantitative Score

Here few steps, if you follow that will definitely help you to improve score ove a period of time

  1. Take a practice test. I know you will make mistakes.
  2. Make a note of the mistake.
  3. Have separate book for GRE Math section.
  4. At end of the test, analyze the mistakes.
  5. Analyzing for few seconds will not help. Like I selected Choice A, but answer is D and moving on will not help.
  6. Make a note of the problem, find how to solve the problem.
  7. If it involves use of new formula or concept, you are not aware of, then write it down in the note book.
  8. I’m saying again, write it down in your notebook.
  9. You will come across similar problem in future test, then make sure you get it right.
  10. If you haven’t made a note of that concept of formula, in 2-3 weeks time you will forget.
  11. If you still get similar problem wrong, then you can see a pattern. Which topics you get it wrong.
  12. Work on the areas where you are making constant mistakes.
  13. Spend time daily practicing the problems/concepts where you make mistakes often.
  14. Buy, Quantitative Aptitude book, solve some 20 to 30 problems in same concept.
  15. Keep doing above said steps, in 203 months time you will see gradual increase in your score.

Now you know a way to improve your GRE Math score. If you are reading this and if you have scored more than 1300 in GRE, I would appreciate if you can send your GRE preparation experience, I will be glad to post in this blog. I know there are few readers who have scored more than 1300 in GRE. I like  to know the books, materials, strategies, studying time, … you followed.

So many readers who are trying to improve their score are looking for such information. Few minutes of your time can help a lot of students.

  • sneha

    hello frnds..plz suggest me best book for quantitative aptitude..

  • Paul

    I scored a 1320. My biggest failure was time management on the quant section. If you have a decent vocab you should be good on the verbal. For the math section I would advise going through and answering all the questions that come easy first, and then returning to the ones that challenged you. Also, if you return to a question a second time, and it’s still taking you a considerable amount of time to solve, move on and try another. It’s better to minimize any guessing IMO. I never took any practice tests, and I wish I did. I just didn’t have time because of other demands. I’ve taken a great deal of engineering and mathematical coursework. One thing I’ve learned is that approaching math like a sport helps a great deal. Constantly working on your technique through repitition will improve your accuracy and efficiency. Also, warming up your mental faculties before the test will help a great deal. If you can sign up for an afternoon test, do so, and spend the morning going over practice tests that you have already taken. This will build your confidence and activate the parts of your brain needed to complete the quants section. The brain is an organ, just like a bicep. If you “warm it up” before exertion, it will perform better. This is because the brain relies on blood to operate, and when you are executing specific thought patterns, blood is directed to that part if the brain to support its function. Biological fact. You might even get lucky and see the same or similar problems on your GRE. Don’t make the mistake I did and undervalue practice. If nothing else, it will give you confidence by making you feel prepared. A BIG challenge in taking the GRE is overcoming the pressure you feel in taking it. Let’s be real, the GRE is a big deal. You have to set yourself up to feel the least amount of pressure while taking it. This can be accomplished through practice and enabling yourself to take it multiple times. I would say take it at least three times. Most schools don’t care about the repitition. They use the test to estimate your potential, and that is revealed by how you perform at your best. Good luck out there, and remember: the GRE is important, but it is NOT the end all. I haven’t heard any professor tell me that the GRE is what they’re really looking at when they examine a candidate. They place considerable more value on your academic performance and experience. I work with several grad students who scored way less than me, and my school is ranked one of the best public schools in the country for my particular field. Gig ‘em.

    • Hamed

      I just rejected for my GRE score(I had a 1100). Dean of department emailed me and told me to take another exam to be considered for the next semester. it is really important for them.

      • ajith

        which uni ?

    • bahar

      mmm!!!! how should i do for best score from verbal section?

  • krishna

    hie , iam krishna i wrote my exam 2 days befor i got the score 960 to 1160,i know its the bad score but,i dont even know how to prepare for if any body is intrested to give me some help,,,wat i must read ,which books and how to prepare for gre and how to get high score in gre,i having an ambition to get a good score and having all resorces but how to use them ,can u give any sujjestions it will help to me..

  • rohit bajaj

    i got 610 in verbal , i would like to say that i took coaching two times from Career forum ,mumbai and from Jamboorie , mumbai. But strictly warning all students never to take coaching. It did not help me as it is the way to make fool the people. I studied myself and solved around 1000 questions of sentence completion, antonym and analogies each. I put my best effort . I was always getting low score in practice tests. I got 10 test in which my score was: Princeton test1. 660 in verbal, test 2. 490 , test3. 410, test 4. 570,
    Kaplantest CAT1, 380 IN VERBAL, CAT test 2,again 380 in verbal, CAT 3, i got 510 inverbal, Barron’s CAT1: 650 CAT2: 660 and in POWER PREP1, 600 and in POWER PREP2(2 days before the exam) 440(extremely disappointed) but in final GRE i got 610 in verbal. So i will say don’t relate yours performance with the marks you get in test . These are not actual reflection of yours performance. I took quant very easy but it was not really like that in actual exam , i got 720 only much less than my expectations. So i will say that for preparation you should follow GRE big book test, and do as practice as possible. But stay away from the coaching centres. So believe on yours hard work,rest all factors like faculty of coaching center may harass you only for their own interest.

  • rohit bajaj

    i want to share my experience for gre , how to post it

  • bipin0588

    heyy I took gre recently… 1410…..but just 3 in AWA…..what r my chances?? does it matter much?

  • siddu

    i am going to write exam on july 4th.I am not too good at vocabulary.What are the most repeated alphabets in gre.SO that i can read that particular alphabets pefectly and attend the exam to get good score

  • Suparn Gupta

    I read your article about a month ago when I started my preparation for GRE. The diagnostic test thing was very effective. I therefore came to know that i need to work very very hard on my vocab . I have taken a date for the test on 11 July 2011. I have managed to cram up the barrons 3500 wordlist, at tips. I mean, I can get to a word from those lists in a second. I used flash cards for each n every word, and they helped me a lot. I m doing engineering right now. So my maths section is quite good. I have done quant questions from barrons itself and almost all were correct. I lag in Reading comprehensions and fill in the blanks where i m not able make out the correct meaning of the sentence or the question. Please guide and thus help me in making my study plan for the rest 20 days I have or my preparation.

  • Karim shabani

    I want to register for GRE general exam before August 2011 in another country. However, in registration procedure when it arriving to this step (Available Test Sites for choosing address- or the website does not work. Is it necessary I change Contact Information in my profile? I will be pleased if you help me.
    Karim shabani

  • shreya

    Hi, I have my gre exam in 1 month and therfore have less time to complete all the Barrons word lists. Will it be advisable to just do SPICE words and High frequency words from the book first and if time left try and do others.. please advice as soon as possible

    • Suparn Gupta

      try to learn the words using mnemonics and make flashcards. It took me exactly 11 days for all the wordlist (5 lists in a day but ‘p’ took my brain off)..
      try :)

  • Yogesh

    Hi all i need a help here i have completed 2 years in Software Company as Tester is it good option to go for GRE or MBA

  • Jay

    I Am taking My Gre Xam In june I have just one month..

    will u say how to prepare..

    i need to score 1200 +


    I intend to sit for GRE in new syllabus, but i am still confused about its marking or whether it will be tough

  • faiz

    Hello, i want to give my gre test in january 0f 2012….i will start my prep. from 5th of april…. will i get good marks or its sufficient time for me ????

  • nithin

    how to score max marks in verbal part…..?

    plzzz suggest me..

    • Shishir R Katote

      vocabulary has no option for antonyms, analogy & SC. Practice has no option for RC.

  • Srikar

    hi, I have registered for my GRE in july of this year. I have to prepare in best possible way to get high score. But the glitch is that I go to work, so from monday to friday between 7.30 am to 9.00pm i am occupied.

    Amidst this tight schedule how well can i start preparing for the exam.

    May I know what are the best ways to prepare ?

  • kanika

    hello sir, I am deciding to give GRE in July. After that will I be able to get adm in a good univ in jan? Are there any scholarships? I am confused about giving toefl..should I give it before gre i.e. somewhere in March or afterwards? Plz help..

    • Shishir R Katote

      same question. im appearing in June and m quite skeptical about getting admitted in jan 2011. kindly let me know if it is possible.

  • swapnil

    Hey, I m givin my gre on 21st march. So there are barely 2 months for me to prepare. Till today, I ve completed about a thousand words 2 months ago,but could not proceed futher coz of my exams.But i remember barely a few of those words.

    I dont understand where to start from. I m confused how to plan my day schedule as my college is reopening on jan 2nd week and thereafter i ll be busy for 5-6 hrs a day. Please, Can anybody help me plan my schedule? Where should I start from? I am also somewhat weak at quant. So can anyone plz guide me?……Thanks in advance…… :)

    • Anas

      hey swapnil, you have more than enough time for preparing, you have more than 2.5 months, for the first 1.5 months 2-4 hours of studying are enough,as for material i recommend Barron's ( as everyone else ), you may think those 3500 words will never stick, but believe me THEY DO!, repetition repetition repetition and the occasional funny relation of words, try using those words with friends, some use flash cards , for me i saw they were a bit of trouble to carry around so i started writing notes on my mobile phone arranging words that are related in some kind of story, every once in awhile i would look them up, this is how your neurons work , if something is to be printed in memory the synapses between the neurons must remain active and will be strengthened by repetition,,,, as for quant, i've

      been studying medicine for 6 years, the last time i did a calculation without a calculator is long long ago, so i lacked confidence in that field, but then again, practice practice practice, do all the match in barrons and then do it again, and as the VERY useful tip in this blog says ( btw thx HBS :P) mark the answers u've solved wrong and them again later…

      third, do as many practice exams as you can , and i'm talking >6 , powerprep is a must of course in addition to barrons 5 tests and anything else you can put you hands on, try and leave the testing to the final month, you can do a couple before though,,, but through the last month try to squeeze out4-5 hrs daily and u'll do more than fine , one last tip NEVER occupy yourself by how u're going to perform! take it day by day , do your alloted time daily and u'll be finished earlier than you think…. btw, i scored 770Q … 660 V.. though i was aiming for anything >1300, remember, persistence is the key, u'll surprise yourself :)

    • Sneha


      I agree with Anas, you do have more than enough time for preparation. I would suggest that you try improving your quant score by studying the basics and the techniques that are given in most GRE preparation books (I found the ones in Princeton Review and Nova most useful), find as much practice material as you can (alot of it is available online), and practice every single day. Remember to be super careful while solving the problems and follow the techniques. They really do help. Also, make a list of all the formulae that may prove to be useful in the test (as mentioned in the books) so that you have a quick reference tool if you forget formulae during practice. Although in many places it is mentioned that there are no specific formulae tested on the GRE, there are a few that are very useful if you want to achieve a perfect score on the quant section as they help improve your accuracy and speed.

      Also, side by side keep learning words. I have a horrible memory and would never be able to remember words specially if I tried memorizing the Barron's word list because it was quite overwhelming. I studied the word lists in Princeton Review's GRE book which has an approximate of 360-500 words only. These are very common on the GRE. After that I studied the word groups and word root-list from the Kaplan GRE workbook. Kaplan has divided the words which have similar meanings into groups because many of the questions of the GRE verbal section can be answered even if you only have a general idea of the meaning of the words. The root list gives an idea about how the word originated while gives you the knowledge to often figure out the meaning of a word which you may have never even seen before. Again, practice alot so that you don't end up forgetting the words. The best would be to find a friend who is also preparing for the GRE and while talking to him/her keep inserting and revising words from those lists. After that, you can move on to the Barron's word lists so that you atleast have a strong database of the most frequently used words on the GRE verbal section. Revise the words till atleast an hour before your test. Infact, on the day before your test, revise only the list of most frequently used words on the GRE. Also, do go through the tricks given in Kaplan's GRE workbook or Princeton Review's GRE book for tackling verbal questions as they come in handy when you absolutely do not know the meaning of a word on the test.

      Also, if you give practice tests, don't completely rely on the scores and panic. I never got more than 1370 on any test and ended up getting a 1460 (660 verbal, 800 quant) on my actual test which I gave just yesterday. The best way is to handle it coolly and confidently. All the best!

  • YSF

    Dear Mudassir,

    I would suggest u that only concentrate on GRE Barrons Quantitative Part first and then do practice tests of GRE Big Book, u can obtain up to 770/800. its my experience.

  • pallavi

    @ HSB – u explained about GRE Quant workout. Could you please elaborate on Verbal workout. How to practise, strategies to be followed.. I mean the same way as you explained the Quant above. I have gone through the 10 step, 15 step, 20 step strategies of yours. But couldn't get the Verbal workout as explained for Quant.Please help in this case.

    • pallavi

      there is around 3 months time for my retest. please provide your suggestions regarding verbal.I badly need the verbal strats and timetable from you becoz, I followed the quant strat of yours(the article above)and scored 790. But screwd up verbal (got 360).

      Awaiting your reply.

  • Mudassir Azam

    i am unhappy with my GRE score for quantitative i.e. 570 ,please help i am posting a question i.e. if there are 5 roads or buses going from A to B and 3 roads or buses going from B to C,how many possible ways would be there if i go from one bus or road ?

    Please Reply alsoi find problem in function regarding parabola.

  • http://[email protected] adarsh

    firstly thanks to HSB for sharing such a precise suggestions for GRE preparation.i would highly thank HSB for making such a drastic change in my GRE.My first score was pretty low (1100)….i was so dipressed and have no choice what to do..i used to peruse this side daily for an hour in order to boost myself.seriously the result was nvr expected.i made to 1400 this time and that to in just 2 months.thats the big achievement to me itself.

    i would like to share plenty of those who fails to do well in there first GRE,loose me GRE is all about practice.just practice and practice ,success will surely be at your doors.solve as many as book(big book,barrons,kaplan),i thing these three are more then suffient.Keep faith in yourself and surely you will achieve greater hieghts

    • HSB

      Congrats Adarsh. You should send us a write up of your experience (post her in comment, I will publish as blog post)

  • abhi

    ya its true friends plz follow these steps as i was also followin the same steps n it helped me alot…..

    make note of imp concept or problem whic u were goin wrong so that before the exam u can hv a glance…….

    all the best guys….

  • Niharika

    hey my date for the gre exam is this friday and I just dont know what to do my tests are done and neither quant or verbal is perfect and I am freaking out a little.What should i do?

  • Shyam Raj Pokhrel

    It is one of the most appropriate means of knowledge for those foreign students who have strong desire to study in US universities but almost unknown about how to proceed. I really appreciate the attempt of concerned party.

  • Rob

    Hey all,

    I recently took the GRE and made a 1410 – 750 Math, 660 Verbal. For those of you looking for study tools, I would suggest purchasing Kaplan's Advanced GRE Math book. It gives a pretty good overview of the various types of questions that the test will cover. Contrary to other blogs, I do not believe the ETS provided test provides the broadest spectrum of potential questions.

    Additionally, in preparation for the verbal, I would suggest doing a basic web search of "GRE WORDS" – or something like that. After finding a good list, I suggest making a few note cards of unfamiliar words and study in your free time…commercials, lunch, etc. This method was effective for me and will save you money.

    I hope this information helps.

    Good luck!


    • s.bhargav ram reddy

      first of all i thank u for giving a reference book for math,i hope it will help me!!

  • faezeh

    Hi every one. I have GRE schduled for 2o Nov. I really need a very high score, I don't know wether it is possible for me to get that in verbal section, especially that I am not native; but I hope to get a high score(>5) in analytical writing section. As a matter of fact, I am looking for some friends who have gotten such a high score. I want to use their special experiences. Also, I would like to ask them for some help, if it's possible. Is there anyone eager to lend me a hand?


  • Prabhjot

    hi, i m planning to take the test in Dec 2010. I was not able to give enough time till now in preparing as i m into 13 hrs job. please suggest whether it is possible to get good score by preparing in these last 2 months??

  • Rob

    Hi , my name is Robert and I just today scored 1340 on the gre. The first time I took it a year ago i scored a 500 on the verbal and a 650 on the quantitative. Today I got a 620 verbal 720 quantitative. I have taken the exam 3 times and might take it a fourth time to get into the program I want. the key is vocabulary. vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary. I realized the verbal section, atleast to me is a complicated vocabulary exam. The biggest help was the mini dictionary the Kaplan verbal book has. But by no means should one stop there. I memorized those 3k plus words and there were still some words on the exam I didn't know. I dedicated all the free time to this exam. I recommend all Kaplan books for this exam. plus if you can find the old Kaplan gre software, this also helps in providing practice. I have taken maybe atotal of 20+ practice exams both on paper and CAT. the bottom line is that the test is beatable with math practice and the right vocab. I did it and was an avg. college student. I raised my verbal by 120 pts. And my quantitative by 90 pts( I got a 740 on a previous) still feel I could have done better ( got 680v and 730q on ets powerprep test). Even if you don't do well, keep studying and don't be discouraged… trust me I know it's hard.. And can be daunting .

  • Vignesh

    Hey ,

    I'm Vignesh , I ve been a regular follower of this blog for the past year and would like to say a big thank you to Mr. HSB for all the info regarding the GRE and the application process. I gave my GRE last Month and managed to get a score of 1430 (Q:770, V:660) and a score of 4.0 on the AWA. I'd recommend Barron's and Nova as the best books for quants. There are also certain websites that post the most recent GRE questions, going through them will give you a very good idea about what to expect on D- day. For verbal , powerprep and the Big book papers are the best pratice material around. I found that the level of questions on the GRE was very similar to what I saw on big book. I prepared for exactly two months and I beleive that anyone can score 1400+, if they are willing to put in the required efforts.

    hope this helps,


  • ashish singh

    dearHSB, i have just completed BE(Mech) 68% from VTU July 2010. Class 10th score 75%, 12th score 77%. GRE score 1440( Quant 790, verbal 650), Tofel score awaited.I have got campus placement for Infosys & joining from Sep 2010.I am interested in doing MS Astrophysics/Astronomy from US university fall 2011. Could u please tell me that without GRE Physics they will consider me for admission? Please also suggest ambitious, moderate & safe universities to apply for Fall 2011 session. If i do'nt get admission in astrophysics/astronomy then my second choice will be for Aerospace/aeronautical Engineering. Please advise accordingly.Thanks. ashish singh

  • Andy

    Hi everyone. I scored 1460/1600 when I took my GRE (V=660 and Q=800). I did not, unfortunately, get much time to prepare for the test since I was working in a MNC at that time.

    I used Barron's GRE book for my preparation.

    I had a look at the Quant section – just skimmed through it in about a day and took a test to check my level. Since I was good at math in school (and was in touch with math due to my engineering background), it was a breeze. I then targeted and solved problems from those topics/sections I wasn't 100% sure of.

    I have been reading a lot since childhood and hence, the verbal section didn't terrorize me. I browsed the word lists and marked off words I knew already. Surprisingly, the list was shrunk to about 1/4th – those were the only words I did not know. Then I would target those words by learning their meanings and memorizing them. I also searched (online) for usage of those words in other sentences. I studied tips/strategies for analogies from Barron's since I was not too good at that.

    I couldn't solve any practice test either due to shortage of time! I took just 1 ETS Powerprep test, the night prior to my actual GRE, and scored quite well and was happy and took the actual test confidently.

    My advice for the actual test: Take time to solve the initial questions on the test, since it is a computer-adaptive test. You cannot afford to mess with that, otherwise you'll end up in the incorrect range at the start itself, making it impossible to score higher. Good luck to everyone!

  • sr_chatterjee

    Will my DGPA of 7.63/10 create any problem?
    My B.Tech Computer Engineering DGPA is 7.63/10 from WBUT university,kolkata.According to university rules this DGPA maps to 68.8%.
    But Only DGPA is GIVEN in marks sheet not %.
    Presently i am working at TCS as Systems Engineer for last 2 years.It wil be 3 years by the time i apply.MY GRE score is (Quant-770,Verbal-620) Total 1380 and Toefl 94/120. i will be applying for 2011 Fall at USA universities in Electrical and computer engineering courses and also German universities.
    Will my DGPA create any problem?I have decent reco,SOP, 2 projects,VT from IBM.

  • YSF

    could u please suggest me how i can improve my Listening and get more than 25/30 in TOEFL iBT

  • Mohan

    Hi, I am Mohan. I have completed my masters in Drug Design and Biomedical Science form Edinburgh Napier University, UK. I would like to continue my studies to PhD in US. But here comes the problem, I had 2 subjects backlog in my bachelors and a subject in masters. Am I eligible to pursue PhD in US?

  • anu

    I am not getting any job so i am planning to study now.

    I want to do MS in Computer Science and need to take up GRE and TOEFL.

    Can anyone suggest the best way to prepare for both in 2-3 months of time?

    Any help appreciated.

    • YSF

      to prepare for GRE Math, i would suggest you only concentrate on math portion of Barrons GRE book, if u master that, u can get up to 770/800, a
      good luck fr ur test

      • anu

        Thanks YSF!

        Another help needed – Can you suggest me a way to solve Data Interpretation (DI) questions as the other day while solving the DI questions from barrons i faced a lot of difficulties, got stuck with the initial problems itself. Any tactics,books or site that you can recommend for mastering DI will be a great help.

  • Abhishek jain

    hello friends,

    my name is abhishek and i'm doing engineering in Civil from MNIT,Jaipur. i have entered 6th semester(going to start from 4th january,2010). i have many questions regarding GRE. A few of them are as follows:

    Q1. i have entered 6th sem.. When should i write my GRE exam? ,ideal time?

    Q2. My branch is Civil engg.. so,am I supposed to write GRE subject test also in addition to GRE General test?

    Q3. Is passport compulsory before registration?

    Q4. Is it worth to study MS in US instead of taking job? I mean ,you will be spending a lot on your education in US. How are MS graduates recognised in comparison with their counterparts Undergraduates?

    There are many other questions but for the time being please reply back with your suggestions.

    thank you

    my contact no. (in case you want to explain in brief);9610895863

  • abimbola omiyale

    i did my gre yesterday and i scored 1410,700 in quantitative and 710 in verbal.the advice that i have is this;study strategically,meaning identify your weak points and work on it consistently,secondly based on the knowledge you have of yourself give yourself 2-3 months of consistent and thorough preparation.finally the nova prep course is the best,you can also visit the best guys

    • ketaki

      i hav less than 25 days left…
      jus tell me…..hw to go bout it…for a decent score of 1300…

  • divya

    can i plz knw hw to fix d date for the gre xam.i will be thankful if u reply me as soon as u can sir.because i have to apply be prepared accordingly.and im confused with people abt gre they speak.

    • HSB

      @Divya – You have asked few questions, but its totally confusing on what you are trying to ask. You are saying you want to taker GRE in Jan, but your question "is tat ok if i write xam in march". SO, be clear on what you wan to ask.

  • divya

    hello sir,

    i just started my gre preparation since one month.i jus wanna write my xam in jan in the score boards should receive by tat ok if i write xam in march?and plz may i knw hw the collges are to b selected.and the imp thing is that i did yet have got with my that compulsary to write my gre xam.

  • InTheRut

    Just came across your website while doing some research on how to study GRE. Well I’m bound to take mine this November and hopefully do well on it! :) Well I must say good luck to everybody who will be taking GRE and I’ll update everyone once I get the results.

  • supriya

    plzzzz suugest me book 4 the preparation of maths 4 gre……m lil bit weak in maths…….so if possible den plz advice me sum tactics to overcum my remedy……..

  • john flair john

    give to Johns fundamental training program association some important tesson by mail thank you

  • Vincent

    I think you are right Mark. That's why I am not so much concerned about giving GRE again, and I didn't got crazy for it. I had good research internship experience at a top company in the US and some undergrad research experience that might work for me. I hope to get interviews. Thanks

  • Mark

    I think a lot of people misunderstand how the GRE is used in admissions. It is not given the type of consideration that people generally think, i.e. the committee usually doesn’t say, “Well, he got a 700 quantitative and the other guy scored 800 so Mr. 800 wins.” Doesn’t work that way. GPA trumps GRE score every time, especially if you’ve graduated from a rigorous school/program. However, few foreign universities carry the cachet of top U.S. schools–with a few very notable exceptions. For foreign students, a good TOEFL goes a LONG WAY, as does a cogent, thoughtful statement of purpose. Any research activity is a HUGE bonus, and professional experience also earns brownie points. GRE can tip the scale in your favor, though, if you’re on the cusp of admission.

    Bottom line: universities identify the top prospective graduate students as people, not test scores, and they evaluate them from a holistic perspective. Interviews can heavily influence a faculty member’s choice of student, and often trumps all of the paperwork combined in the end. Strive to be strong in all aspects of your admissions profile.

  • Vincent


    Firstly, thank you for your effort of creating this blog.

    Probably most of your readers are from India since you mention India a lot of times in your blog. Well, I am not from India, I am from South America. I have scored 1320 on GRE, sadly for my desire of studying Computer Science I have just scored 720 in the quantitative section while 600 in the verbal section. This has been my first and only attempt to GRE.

    I prepared for 2 or 3 months for the Verbal section, 3 to 4 days a week for half an hour each session. I studied the 500 frequent words from Barron's Book and then I studied the Kaplan Verbal GRE list which groups them by meaning instead of solely alphabetical order like Barron's Book does.

    I prepared myself for the Quantitative section too, and I scored as high as 750 or 780 on my practice tests with a lower bound of 720. Sadly Murphy's law won in this section for me: "Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time, in the worst possible way". I prepared by doing the practice tests on Barron's Book, the practice tests from 800score and some from Kaplan.

    • anjali

      i jus started my gre preparation jus one month ago n i'm
      taking gre on 31st jan. I'm finding it difficult to solve
      analogies,please help how i can improve in analogy

      • eddy

        Dear Anjali,
        I think for analogies you should try to make or try to learn to make relations between the words.