gre mistakes

Avoid These 8 Common Mistakes in GRE and Get High Score

gre mistakesDo you want to get really high score in GRE Test?  Then you have to learn how to minimize the mistakes in GRE Test.

Here are some of the common mistake to avoid while preparing for GRE and during GRE Test.

#1. Don’t scrimp on study materials

Trying to save some bucks by not buying some good (expensive) study materials will get you nowhere.

I know some people who were reluctant to buy study aids like Manhattan GRE Guide since they are a bit expensive.This is not about Manhattan if you think of a book which can help you in your preparation but cost a little more then go get it!

You have to spend some lakhs of rupees for masters. Saving few thousands by not buying good material is not advisable.

#2. Take GRE Practice Tests every weekend

Many people save practice tests for last 10 days before exam.

I do not recommend this strategy, instead I advise you to do practice tests every weekend since it helps you to identify your weak areas, so you can concentrate more on them.

#3. Do not underestimate quantitative section of New GRE

Please do not make a mistake of underestimating quants.

Many of us are of impression that getting through quants section is just a cake walk (even I was under the same impression).

Remember GRE math isn’t hard but it’s tricky. Without enough practice and proper strategies it can turn out to be a major score bummer.

Guys, Quants is the scoring part of GRE and we Indians are good at maths so with enough practice it can boost up our score.

#4 Verbal section is not just about vocabulary

You can’t crack verbal section of GRE just by learning words, however that doesn’t mean vocab is useless. You need vocabulary for  Text completion and Sentence equivalence.

As ETS states emphasis on vocab is reduced and I experienced this first hand. Please note that 50% of question in verbal were from RC’s where vocab doesn’t help you much.

Even in sentence Equivalence and Text Completion, you have to focus on nuances in sentences and learn to work in context. Just to say, I know many people who memorized 5000 wordlist and scored less than 145.

Take away – Without vocabulary you can never beat verbal section. Just with vocabulary the result is the same. You need to know more than words to slay the verbal monster.

 #5 Try to do 5 sections in practice tests instead of 4.

This is a major score bummer for me, I don’t know how many people feel the same but it affected me and all my friends.

In general, majority of practice tests have only 4 sections (2 verbal and 2 quants),most of them do not have the 5th section i.e.  unscored section which we will find in real GRE. I did 8 practice tests (7 CAT and 1 paper based) in all these there were only 4 sections and I was tuned to expect score after 4 sections.

Even we all know that there would be an additional section in real GRE..I couldn’t focus on the last section and I petered out. Practicing 5 sections instead of 4 surely helps as it reflect the test conditions more accurately.

#6. Official guide and power prep are must do things

I came across many people who plan to attempt GRE without using Official GRE guide. If you are serious about GRE then you should definitely get official guide, no other test prep book is equivalent to Official guide.

Similarly no other practice test can reflect real GRE as powerprep does.

I didn’t do powerprep until last moment as I had some problems in installing power prep in my pc and finally I took test on my friends laptop and it is very helpful.


#7. No last minute preparation.

Preparing on test day is an absolute no-no. I saw people in test center solving Barron’s and Kaplan, this would never help you and in bonus you can get stressed too much. I would also strongly recommend that you try to relax and rejuvenate your mind before the test.

Make sure to get a good night’s sleep and have some time where you are not studying. Going into the test stressed is not an asset.

Kindly note that GRE is all about testing you under stress.


If you want to get a good(high) score on GRE …you have to work hard and smart …just by buying books,downloading practice tests cannot achieve high scores..

Remember there is no magic formula which can make you virtuoso overnight ,you have to work sedulously. “There are no shortcuts to success”

Don’t make the above mistakes and stultify months of hard work.


  1. Vanan on November 6, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    The Video clipping on this blogpost doesn’t play.. Plz look into it HSB…

  2. shanthala on November 6, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    thnks sir, i wish to know the venue to meet u in bangalore on 8th november. please post the venue!!

  3. nandishcs on November 6, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    i scored 293 in my first gre exam …then i bought princeton review self study program and my current score is 313 …..and they give 8 mock exams and every exams contain 2 verbal ,2 quants and one experimental section …It is really good

    • Swati Gaekwad on November 6, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      Hi Nandishcs!
      Can you tell me where and how did you purchase “Princeton Review Self-study”??Online?!How much did it cost for you???
      I have never heard about it….

      • Vanan on November 6, 2012 at 5:26 PM

        @ nandishcs:
        Ya.. How did you go about buying PrincetonReview Self Study program.. How much it costs in Rupees../? Please reply….

        • nandishcs on November 6, 2012 at 7:35 PM

          ya Princeton review has many centres in india just go to
          there u have to ask to enroll to self study program ….gre and it cost somewhere 7000rs..i enrolled in one of centers in bangalore
          and this package is best they will teach u everything from

          1. how to setup scratch paper and utilize efficiently
          2. they explain concepts very clearly
          3. there lot and lots of problems to workout
          4. every problem type of problem is explained throughly.
          5. mock exams are tougher then actual gre exam.
          6. They really give good tips to solve comprehension problems
          7. I have already gone through nova, barrons , princeton 1014 question nothing comes closer to this program.

          • nandishcs on November 6, 2012 at 7:38 PM

            one more thing u must and should have a very good internet speed atleast 512 kbps and the package last for only 180 days..

          • Swati Gaekwad on November 9, 2012 at 1:19 AM

            Thank you Nandishcs.I am finding verbal part the toughest one of all and couldn’t improve my score even after practising alot.Very much woorried about verbal part.Can you tell me how much you secured in Verbal?And can you give some tips to study for verbal so that I could crack verbal with a decent score of atleast 150-155 range?

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