Here’s the Magic Formula to Score 325 in GRE with 30 Prep Time

Just wanted to drop in and tell you that anyone who has about a month to prepare for GRE can do so and still get a good score.

I gave my GRE on 3rd June’11 and got a score of 1410 ( 790 Quantiative,  620 in Verbal ). I started my preparation roughly 3 weeks before the exams.

  • Equivalent Score in Revised GRE is 164 + 161 (Verbal)

In the first two weeks I studied an average 6 hours a day and in the last week I studied approx 12 hours everyday except on the day before the exam which I used to relax myself and studied only a little.

If you guys are interested, below is a very comprehensive guide to the things I did.

GRE Study Material Required

  1. Barron GRE Book and CD
  2. Kaplan Book and CD
  3. PowerPrep Software (given by ETS themselves a few days before the test by post and also downloadable for free download at ETS Home anytime)

Side note : Kaplan and PowerPrep might not work if your PC has windows 7. You’ll have to simulate windows xp or something from virtual machine software etc. and it will be helpful if you create a power-iso images of these CDs so that you don’t have to shuffle through them every time you want to practice

Barrons GRE (most crucial)

Its word lists are mandatory. Its test practices are all okay, but not the main thing to rely on, only use them as good practice and don’t evaluate your actual performance based on it.

In my very 2nd test I scored 1400 after I’d scored 1240 in its previous test. Didn’t even bother giving it again cuz in my Kaplan tests I was in 1300s during my first 2 tests!

Kaplan GRE

Helps a lot in verbal and in essays. Its most important function – 3 Full Tests in its CDs along with 12 sectional practices in quant and verbal combined. Give the full length tests during the late-middle and ending stages of preparation. The last Kaplan score will be the minimum you will score in the GRE because Kaplan’s test are one tough cookie to crack.

So, howsoever you score in both the sections, be assured that your total score will be atleast 30 points more in the actual GRE. Especially in the quant section. So make sure you do well in the last 2 Kaplan tests.

I gave the starting two very early when I wasn’t prepared and they were a nightmare. In the last one I gave, which was 2 days before the test I scored alright so it was a confident booster.

PowerPrep

To be given only after you’re almost on the end of your preparation and have finished with the word lists etc. It will have two full tests in the CD along with a few sectional practice questions. It is reputed for estimating how you’ll fare in the actual GRE. Not true for me. In one I scored ridiculously low in math and high in quant.

I scored the exact in quants in my actual GRE. In another, I scored high in verbal and okay in quant. I scored almost the same as verbal in my actual GRE.

But, whatever score you get in it don’t judge anything based on it. Kaplan is the main thing.

Also, its verbal sectional tests are pretty brutal, so don’t fret over it if you try to practice on them and score low. (happened with me and I was a little down because of them for a while, esp since it was the morning before the actual test!!!)

GRE Verbal Prep Tips

(In order of execution and importance)

  1. Barron’s Word Lists [ Barrons Essential  word for GRE]
  2. Reading the strategies given in Kaplan on how to solve ANALOGY & SENTENCE CORRECTION questions. Analogy question’s strategy was a great help – 10/10, sentence correction – 8/10.
  3. Kaplan’s Word List [Kaplans Vocabulary in a Box] given at the end of the book – not more than 100 words extra from Barron at max. (after finished with Barron)
  4. Practice exercises of Verbal from Barron’s given before the word lists begin. (important)

Quantitative Prep Tips

  1. DO NOT waste any time on reading theory unless you don’t know the very basics as it will turn out to be a sheer waste of time. What you’d rather want to do is solve as many sectional tests you can given in the books and CDs.
  2. My weak area was probability and P&C section. But I didn’t need to worry because there were no tough questions that could come, only the most basic such as adding or multiplying probabilities, counting nCr/nPr in a question (not even circular p&c problems, but the most basic). That was it.
  3. Another main weakness I’d was in solving the graph/data interpretation (DI) questions. But it was mostly miscalculation etc. and not trying to understand the actual question and doing it in a hurry.
  4. I used to try to solve the entire section within 25 mins while practicing, while it is actually for 45 mins, so doing it within 25 mins did improve my speed but I lost a couple of points in my practice tests etc due to silly mistakes etc… even if I’d spent time to actually put values etc I’d solve them alright but I just was in a hurry as if doing it before time was gonna help me score more points, typically impatient mentality I tend to have. Same happened in the actual GRE, did it way before time when I could have spent time on the one question I now know I marked wrong.
  5. Again, take your time in solving problems, you’ll have enough time so make sure you don’t make any silly mistakes even while practice. I know I know, 45 mins is too much time during practice and one mistake during practice is alright, but reduce it to 30-35 max!
  6. Solve all the sectional tests you can get hands on – from Barron’s, Kaplan, Powerprep etc.

Also, the sectional tests in Kaplan, if you are getting the score of range 22+ on 30 consistently, then that’s a good score believe me. It’s minimum 700+ on the actual GRE.

GRE Essays Prep Tips

Kaplan recommended.

There are two essays that you’ll have to write and these are the first two sections of the test. One will be an Issue Essay (45 mins given) that will require you to choose a topic between two and give your actual viewpoints in it. The other one will be an analytical essay (30 mins) that will require you to critique the argument that the paragraph has used etc.

Essays in Kaplan are very well written but are of a level that isn’t required of us so don’t be disappointed reading them. It has an excellent strategy on how to write an essay.

But don’t go too into it – except the first step which states things like defining the topic, scope, conclusion, evidence and assumption of an essay, everything else is just normal common sense after that, but topic/scope etc things help to define a framework and will help to organize your points well.

So just read through the strategies provided in it, and read a couple examples in it for getting the info on how to begin and end an essay – the language used to conclude etc.

Example – getting sentences such as “The writer’s assumption is in-conclusive” etc in the argument essay type thing etc … Read it two or three types trying to look for things that you can use to copy-paste in your essays regardless of whatever topic you get etc and it will be all good because we can actually write sensibly, atleast okayish, on any topic if we are given 30/45mins.

If not, practice a day or two on getting your essay skills alright.
There are also a pool of essay topics mentioned on the official ETS website from which the actual GRE essays come from, so you can practice writing 2-3 essays from there. (I didn’t do it though)

GRE Prep – DON’Ts

  1. Don’t refer any other book/thing other than Kaplan and Barrons for GRE. I wasted my time trying to remember words from flash cards for a while (which weren’t from Kaplan etc but from T.I.M.E – which is a coaching institute for C.A.T exam for MBA in India, so I am not trying to generalize here). Although I did learn quickly from the flash cards, it contained a lot of useless words which weren’t important for GRE so that was just a waste of time. [How to Use GRE Flash Cards]
  2. Don’t waste a day by not studying in the last ten days. I wasted 2 very crucial days – got a good score on my first practice test, felt it will be a breeze and didn’t do anything for two straight days.
  3. Don’t study on the last day. Except going through the word list maybe if you want to, otherwise not recommended. I gave a powerprep test in the morning – hopeless! LoL. Also, I hadn’t prepared for the essay except studied an hour or something a week before, so I had to devote my last day trying to figure out how to start and an essay well etc… but it didn’t take me more than 2 hours (at max. including breaks Lol). But just to be thorough, practice a couple essays ATLEAST a week before.

Also, whenever you give any full length test, be sure to write the essay and not be in a hurry to just check your verbal and quant score. I used to skip them but later realized that going through them was actually helpful.

Important Observations

1. The most important thing is, that your improvement on the practice tests is not going to be gradual. It will come in spurts and your score will improve exponentially.
You will get stuck in a score range for some time and then suddenly shoot up and be stuck up there.

I was stuck in the 1300-1350 region for a long time. Then suddenly I started hitting in the late 1300s etc. Given this rate if I was given a day or two more, I would have made it consistent and could have even scored 10-20 points more on the test. But anyway, there’s gonna be an exponentially increase in your score, and so expect a lot of spurts and being stuck on plateaus.

2. The most annoying thing while I was preparing was to cram up many words very thoroughly, but come back to them a few days later not having a clue what they meant. The word lists I learnt in the very beginning I still remembered them well, but around the 7-20 mark it was a haze. It was because I was cramming too much in too short a time. My maximum was 7 days before the exam when I finished 15 word lists in a day!

It won’t be that you won’t have enough time to study… you’ll have enough time but your brain will be saturated for the day if you try to cram up too much.

That is why some extra days etc are ideally required to remember the words. GRE Score Range Calculator.

GRE Practice Tests

  1. Start with giving the Barron’s diagnostic test – ideally from the CD itself – you’ll get a rough idea of what you’ll need to do. During the middle of your preparation in learning words from Barron’s etc, I’d say give the Kaplan’s diagnostic given in the book….. or better, go to Welcome to Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, register there and give a test online for free. It’s the same as the diagnostic almost, but it gave me great feedback. But because I’d already given diagnostic, most of the questions were the same so I scored over 1550 ;D!
  2. Save the Kaplan & PowerPrep Tests for the last week before the exam. No need to waste them if you’re not prepared thoroughly with your course.
  3. Give your best shot in the practice tests you give and whatever score you get in them, analyze your weaknesses etc and work on them diligently.

(sidenote: During the last few days, give tests from ETS powerprep software. Anything you score there is going to definitely be more than what you score in Kaplan. The verbal of it is going to be pretty accurate… I’d say the actual verbal score will be closer to the one in which you score more… and the same goes for quant… in quant you’ll score better than you did in Kaplan and this would be a much more accurate evaluation of how you’re actual score is going to turn out. )

Additional GRE resources

Check out this site for vocab – Homepage | Freerice.com. Time pass site for solving vocabulary questions. I used to go on there instead of facebook in the last few days helped me relax and still stay a little close to the coursework.

My Scores in Practice Tests :

  1. Barron’s
    • First Test (750Q 490V)
    • Second Test (750Q 650V)
  2. Kaplan
    • First Test (750Q 550V)
    • Second Test (700Q 600V)
    • Third Test (760Q 620V)
  3. PowerPrep
    • First Test (700Q 650V)
    • Second Test (700Q 550V) — gave it when I was very sleep so even I didn’t took it seriously.

Actual GRE Test Day

I reached the test center about an hour early so that I would get enough time to relax and get acquainted with the surroundings etc. Once inside the prometric test center it was all taken care of and well managed by the staff.

Just before my test started they gave me earmuffs to subdue the distractions etc – found this to be very helpful.

  1. On my first section – Issue Essay – I got a pretty general topic but couldn’t write convincingly enough because I couldn’t think of examples to back up my claim.
  2. On the second section – Argument Essay – I got an easy argument and nailed the whole essay basically.
  3. Third section was verbal. Started very cautiously so as to not make any mistakes in the first five questions. Got stuck on an antonym on which I spent too much time (not recommended). The RCs were a little challenging – one was easy, other was lengthy with tricky options, third was lengthy, tricky and had confusing options as well.

Overall I’d to rush things in the end because I spent quite a lot of time in the beginning questions.
(note : every word was from barron’s although they wanted some alternate meaning which was not mentioned in the book, so that was one reason why I got stuck in the antonym question when I was trying to figure out by eliminating options etc)

Fourth section was quant, which was pretty easy overall. I breezed through it quickly enough. It had one probability question and one P&C question – both basic in their nature. I actually got stuck in a number system’s question and ended up marking it randomly because I didn’t want to loose time. But in the end finished the quant section with 18mins to spare – not recommended, if you get stuck in a question and have a good speed in quant, then try to solve it somehow even if it takes an extra min or so.

Finally I had volunteered for ETS for the extra section, it was a basic topic on which I wrote quite well in 20 mins.

A few clicks later – 1410!

I guess that’s what I have for now… or later! LoL

Anything you guys want to ask – feel free to do so.

All the best to everyone!

Thanks to Apurv for sharing such an detailed test prep tips covering all aspects of the test prep, books, GRE score  improvements.

Now you know the magic formula to score 1410 in GRE. Just like what Apruv did to score 1410 in GRE

Next  : Top GRE Test Prep Books

155 Comments

  1. sachin kumar sharma on July 31, 2012 at 5:03 AM

    willu plz tel me,my academics marks are not so good.if my score is1250-1300 or more.Then i m able to take admission in any university for doing masters in computer science.

  2. Vidhyashree on June 25, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    hi again:-)
    I had some doubts regarding the books after checking the links . it takes me to pages where i can find only vocab lists and cards from barron and kaplan….. i felt like, if it includes both quant and verbal it ll be helpful, rite.
    so can you suggest me on that please.

    thanks:-)

  3. Vidhyashree on June 25, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    hey Apurv,
    congrates for your GRE score . i liked your smart preparation 🙂
    I have a manageable skill set in quant but vocab ? m damn bad at it….. i feel its so hard to difficult so many words from the list and i would want you to suggest an easiest way to crack it.

    Thank ykou

  4. JATIN BANSAL on October 28, 2011 at 7:20 AM

    congrats apurv.. for ur score
    apurv actually i want to appear for gre 2 years later or should appear now but my study is nill regarding gre. i havent started yet my preparations please guide me should i go now for the preparations or after btech gets over after 2 years

  5. raki on August 1, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    Nice apurv u got a good score…..anyways congrats…..so i wanted to ask u based on ur score which endall university did u apply and which 1 u got…wats ur branch?……anys the information provided helped me lot nd boosted my confidence still more…….

  6. Satish on July 25, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    I need to take 800 in revised gre….could anyone pls guide me???

  7. Dhruv on July 20, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    Hello apurv,
    I am Dhruv and one thing uncommon than other people is that i will have to face new GRE pattern,but thing is i hvent yet started studying….
    So if you can please share some idea about it….. 🙂

    • Apurv Mathur on July 21, 2011 at 3:35 PM

      Hey Dhruv,

      I don’t think the new pattern would be cause much of a problem – the syllabus remains the same and the same amount of work would go into preparing for the exam.
      You didn’t mention when is your test date so I can’t comment on whether you not studying is a problem now :P, but in any case the earlier you start to prepare the better.

      If you’ve yet to decide on the date, I would say give yourself at least a month to prepare for the test.

      Again, don’t worry about the new pattern… somehow I think it’s going to be a lot easier than the earlier one.

      Cheers mate! 🙂

      • Dhruv on July 22, 2011 at 8:05 AM

        Actually apurv, i haven’t taken date yet,as i said,i have to start from beginning …And the most important thing is which materials to use and from where are they available??
        Any thing for toefl if you can please explain…. 🙂

        Thank you….

  8. parthiban on July 18, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Hai,i am parthiban i finished my gre exam in last month,and my score was 810.(verbal-270),quantitative-540). it is possible 2 get university and visa…

    • Apurv Mathur on July 21, 2011 at 3:29 PM

      Hey Parthiban, I’m not really sure about this. I don’t know for sure but I guess there are many factors on which it’ll depend on ranging from the course you’re applying for, the university you apply at, even your TOEFL score (considering your verbal section is a little low) etc….

      Do a little search on google for the average GRE scores required for the course you want to apply in. If it seems you’re falling short in the averages then retaking the test would be a safe bet.

      Cheers mate! 🙂

  9. Dominic on July 16, 2011 at 5:41 AM

    Hi Apurv, thanks for sharing this. Frankly, I’m quite intrigued about how you still managed to have some time to spare. In my practice test, hardly do I finish before time and consequently reflected in the main test itself. I could not finish in either of the sections in the alloted time. Sadly I got a very low score (330V, 680!Q). In fact, I even had to randoml;y guess on all the three RC passages questions I had as well as guess on 6 quant questions and yet couldn’t finish.

    With low scores, especially in the verbal section, I’m tempted to resit for the exams with the hope that there will be improvement. Basically, till now, I don’t understand why over 4 months of prep time couldn’t give me the scores I needed. The irony of it all is that the very first practce test I took from Powerprep before starting with the preparation in general is better than the results I received in the main exams. In that practice test, I scored 340V and 710Q as against 330V and 680Q in the main exams. I can’t tell whether the mishap results from the materials I used or the seriousness I attached to the studies.

    Cracking The GRE by Princeton Review, Barons GRE, and GRE Math Bible by Nova Press are few of the books I used. I mostly used Cracking the GRE and made sure I finished their word list, The Hit Parde (about 500). I first started with Barons, made possible by GRE Boot Camp that HSB implemented. Howecer, I couldn’t follow it through to the end because at that time I couldn’t get off-time from work. In all the books that I used, one thing that was revealing is the RC questions appeared difficult to me, and I should think that’s the main reason why during my main exams I anwered the RC questions without even reading the passages. I needed a score of about 450 in verbal so I thought that if I could just avoid the part that poses a challenge to me and concentrate on the other sections I’ll be better off.Because I didn’t anticipate much in the verbal, I did little to complete the Barons Wordlist. And now, I wouldn’t allow such inordinate negligence to get in my way again in my next attempt.

    As it’s apparent that I’ll retake the GRE hopefully in Ocober or November, it’s necessary to seek for advice to help me in my preparation. Please tell me how I can manage to finish on time and any general tips on tackling RCs would be greatly appreciated.

    Please reply.

    Thanks and congrats!

    • Apurv Mathur on July 18, 2011 at 3:02 AM

      Hey Dominic,

      Good that you’re re-taking the test – you obviously deserve a much better score!!

      Since you’re planning for Oct/Nov we have atleast a good 2.5 months in our hands – more than sufficient to crack this thing down.

      For verbal, as you mentioned, don’t forget to go through with the Barron’s word lists. They are immensely helpful. Not much would be needed in terms of vocab after you’re done with the Barron book.

      I don’t know much about the other books you mentioned so I can’t really comment on them, but the ones I used were Kaplan and Barron. Kaplan is a great book. Do get yourself a copy if you can. It has some really cool and easy tips to crack down the verbal section.

      Apart from the tips given in the Kaplan book, I would say that RC basically just require practice – the more passages you read and solve the better your reading speed and accuracy is going to be. Practicing on the RCs is gonna fine tune your head to check out details that really matter and tune out stuff/answer options that don’t.

      Now, I myself wasn’t very good at RCs, I just tried to practice enough so that I could manage to do 2 out of 3 reasonably well.

      Overall, don’t worry about your RC skills right now. For now, just keep on practicing and cut yourself a lot of slack. Don’t worry if you score poorly in the practice tests for the initial weeks or even months!, it will improve over time.

      For Quant I would say just practice a lot of sectional tests. And try to complete it in 40 mins (5 mins less than the actual test). Then as you get comparatively good at solving it in 40mins, reduce it a little again and try to get comfortable in the new time settings. What I mean by comfortable is that you should be able to finish around 28 questions atleast out of 30 by the time limit you’ve set for yourself.
      Continue doing this and in time you’ll experience a good increase in your speed in quant.

      Remember, its not going to happen in a day or two… a week or two or three maybe! Just keep on doing that and you’ll be absolutely fine!

      That’s all I can think of right now. I’ll chime in with more whenever I think of anything useful.

      I’m always here to help you in any way I can.

      Cheers mate! 🙂

      • Dominic on July 18, 2011 at 4:12 PM

        Hi Apurv,

        Thanks for the response. I’ll follow the advice given to the very core.

        I’ll keep in touch should I require further clarification.

        My regards.

  10. naren on July 15, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    apurv thnks mate …i gt 1180 just simply followed ur tips ;……thnks a lot

    • Apurv Mathur on July 18, 2011 at 2:42 AM

      Cheers naren!!! 🙂

  11. Sharath on July 15, 2011 at 4:09 AM

    Thanks for sharing!!!
    Took first test in powerprep and got 1250+ sucked in verbal..you give me hope.
    Anyway i Got till Sep end to study…hoping for a 1400+
    Good luck applying

    Sharath

    • Apurv Mathur on July 15, 2011 at 10:28 AM

      Hey mate, thanks for the props!

      That’s a good score that you got in your powerprep test!!

      You’ve got a lot of time in your hands and I would say hitting 1400+ would be a walk in the cake if you keep studying regularly! Try hitting 1500+ 🙂 !

  12. neha kulkarni on July 10, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Apurv,
    your suggestions are helpful & gives me confidence, I am going to give my GRE on 23 july 2011 only 11days remaining.I have finished with barron’s wordlists & now revising it , till now I have given 2 practise tests.
    scores-1130, 1270 but I am not doing good at maths in first test in maths I got 630 & in second 710 & as you said I have completed all barron problems & even kaplan but score is not improving . what you will suggest & will you please tell me how hard GRE maths questions will be generally?
    Thopugh I have completed barron’s & kaplan while solving practise tests of maths I feel that I have to practise more maths. My verbal is not so strong so I have to get 800 in maths please suggest something.
    If you can suggest anything that will help me out? I am very much tensed!

    Reply

    • Apurv Mathur on July 15, 2011 at 10:25 AM

      Hey Neha!

      Its good that you’re done with barron’s word list!
      You’ve got a couple of days and I would say just keep on practicing on a lot of sectional tests. You might not score well in them for sometime but as I mentioned you will improve suddenly and exponentially.

      The difficulty of the math questions would be pretty much the same as what you’re practicing now so don’t worry on that account. Just keep on doing what you’re doing and you’ll do great believe me! Keep on practicing. You’ve still got more than a week left and a lot can be done in this week if you manage your time well! 🙂

      All the best for your test!!

      P.S. I’m sorry for not answering for so long. Was kinda busy!! So do ask me anything if you feel you need to and I’ll answer it ASAP. 🙂

  13. neha kulkarni on July 10, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Apurv,
    your suggestions are helpful & gives me confidence, I am going to give my GRE on 23 july 2011 only 14 days remaining.I have finished with barron’s wordlists & now revising it , till now I have given 2 practise tests.
    scores-1130, 1270 but I am not doing good at maths in first test in maths I got 630 & in second 710 & as you said I have completed all barron problems & even kaplan but score is not improving . what you will suggest & will you please tell me how hard GRE maths questions will be generally?
    If you can suggest anything that will help me out? I am very much tensed!

  14. Apurva on June 30, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    heya apurv…!!!ve decided to stick on with barrons and pwerprep for quant is that enough..!!!and as i said ma gre is on 20th july ma kaplan book is of new scheme …can u temme is the new scheme quant is similar to current scheme???can i use that oly as reference for quant??

  15. Apurva on June 30, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    Hey Apurv!!!its apurva here.. i took kaplan book from other place and wen i get back and saw it was fully new version i mean new scheme .!now i cant return book back ma gre date is on 20th of july,how can i manage ?em doin barrons for all but after i saw ua prep i thought of taking kaplan em runnin in short time.is their any source in net to download it directly and i can get printout of it..i tried doin that also its not gettin downloaded.can u plz help me..!i still gotta work with vebal and quant part:(

    • Apurv Mathur on July 15, 2011 at 10:20 AM

      Hey Mate,

      You’re doing well and I don’t think you’ll miss out on anything if you study from the new scheme books because the format is different but concepts etc would still remain the same!

      I’m sorry for replying so late! I hope you do your test well! All the best mate! 🙂

  16. Gurpreet Singh on June 25, 2011 at 4:17 AM

    Hey mate, how much you scored in AWA section?
    thanks.

  17. sai on June 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    my exam is on 4 july…i started preparing from today only…how can i get 1200 score…??

    plz help………

    • Apurv Mathur on June 24, 2011 at 3:04 AM

      Start off with giving a full length diagnostic test and see where you actually stand.

      Then I’d say try to maximize your score in Quant. To improve in Quant is a lot easier than doing the same in verbal. Give as many sectional tests as you can from Kaplan etc.

      For verbal I’d say go through the high frequency word lists from Barron and Kaplan, and be sure to read the analogy and sentence completion strategies from Kaplan.
      Solve the exercises and model tests given in Barron.

      Forget everything else and immerse yourself into this whole deal for the next 10 days.

  18. Neha on June 23, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Oh and one more thing will an old edition of Barron do? I have the 16th edition, which is pretty old. Do they make any changes in the newer edition that I may miss out?

    • Apurv Mathur on June 23, 2011 at 11:12 AM

      I don’t think there are any drastic changes in the editions so that seems unnecessary. I had the 17th edition when the current one was 19th I guess.

      However, it would be wise to check on the new editions due to the fact that the test pattern has changed, and even though they have made it easier, to be able to familiarize yourself with the pattern always comforts you on the day of the test. So I would say spend some extra bucks and get a paperback Barron’s new edition. 🙂 !

  19. Neha on June 23, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Can you tell me from where should I begin with Math? Just right away start solving practice tests or go through solved examples first?
    And from wich book should I begin? Barron or Kaplan??

    • Apurv Mathur on June 23, 2011 at 11:10 AM

      If you’re absolutely new to Quant go through the solved examples first before getting onto the sectional tests.
      I didn’t study concepts from any book because I’d quite a handle on Quant, so the only preparation I did was give as many Quant sectional tests as possible – both in Kaplan & Barron CD + Model Tests given in Barron + Powerprep sectional tests.

      Of everyone, Kaplan is the best!

      Cheers mate!

  20. sai on June 23, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    i did not got any Cd’s to my address????
    what should i do now???

  21. Sindhu on June 23, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    Hey Apurv!!!Can u suggest me a proper book for quants?Kaplan or Barron’s…..Which wud be better…I jus went thro d techniques in Kaplan…They wer pretty gud…But u temme which wud b better…

    • Apurv Mathur on June 23, 2011 at 11:07 AM

      Regarding Quant I definitely feel Kaplan is better.
      Also, be sure to give the sectional tests in the Kaplan CD, they are superb.

      Cheers mate!

      • Sindhu Rao on June 29, 2011 at 3:05 PM

        Tanx a ton Apurv…

  22. Ayush on June 19, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    This post is not accurate at all.I scored 1100 and 1140 in Kaplan Tests,and i read this post couple of days before my GRE(it was on 13th June).It really screwed up my preparation and hit hard on my confidence level.Somehow i managed to flush it out of my system.Scored 1310(Q-760,V-550) in the actual GRE test.Don’t lose hope if you are not scoring well in the mock tests,I scored a highest of 1230(power prep) before mt GRE,was totally hopeless.
    Cheers!!

    • Apurv Mathur on June 20, 2011 at 2:59 PM

      Don’t know where you read that the mock tests are a correct representation of your actual score.

  23. lalith kumar on June 17, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    congrats apurv..
    my gre is on7th july,i don’t have kaplan cd for tests can u suggest me from where i can get……
    awaiting for reply

    • Apurv Mathur on June 17, 2011 at 1:27 PM

      Thanks lalith,

      You can get the Kaplan CD almost anyplace where you can get a Barrons copy.

      Cheers! 🙂

  24. Abhijit on June 16, 2011 at 7:34 AM

    Quite helpful post.Thnk u very much.
    I wud like to ask u one question tht i ve seen GRE maths is mostly based on school levell mathematics, so do i have to go thru school level books or directly start with Barron and Kaplan? pls tell me.

    • Apurv Mathur on June 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM

      Thanks Abhijit! 🙂

      I’d say go with the GRE books themselves instead of reading the school books – it will cut off unessential parts for the most part and only teach things that really do come on the test.

      Cheers mate! 🙂

      • Abhijit on June 25, 2011 at 8:31 AM

        Thank u Apurva very much Apurv.

  25. Sahana on June 14, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Hey Apurv congrts on ur score. your article was really enlightening and really boosted my confidence. am giving my GRE on june 30th.I got no probs with verbal and analytical section. its all cool for me but quants is my main probs.
    Iam nt pathetic at maths as such but since am a science major I have been out of touch of quants since last 11 yrs. Am wrking hard at it and your tips were really helpful.
    Am preparing from the Barrons and POWERPREP. At this critical juncture do u think going thru Kaplan is going to be fruitful?
    I mean its just 2 weeks more so.. Besides u sure that wrking on quants thru Barrons is nt enuf at all?
    Plz do reply asap. awaiting ur reply….

    Sahana

    • raghav on June 15, 2011 at 3:35 PM

      It depends on what score you are aiming for in quant.
      I’d say go through Kaplan if you want to score 750+ otherwise barrons would suffice.

      • Sahana on June 17, 2011 at 11:55 AM

        thnk u so much Raghav.

        • Sahana on June 17, 2011 at 11:56 AM

          hw much score wud barrons help me in scoring?

  26. krishna somayajulu on June 14, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    congrats apurv, i have given my gre (1070-v-430+q-640-awa-3.0) i am giving one more attempt on july 18 th. my quant score is very low i prepared quant from barrons. i made mistake and the questions in the actual gre are tough than what i expected. Is kaplan book good for math,some one suggested me to go with NOVAMATH BIBLE. WAITING FOR YOUR REPLY.

    • Apurv Mathur on June 14, 2011 at 7:24 PM

      Thanks a lot mate! 🙂

      I’ve actually no idea about Nova Math Bible so I can’t really comment on that.

      Kaplan is good for maths as in its good for giving sectional tests etc – questions are tougher than they come in GRE and that way it will help you prepare for anything that might come on the actual test.

      But if you’re having trouble in learning the basic concepts of maths etc then there’s this book by Jeff Kolby called GRE math – contains the most basic thing required for GRE math, nothing fluff etc…

      Another thing is, if you tend to make silly mistakes then try to pause and give a little extra time before you fix on an answer. Also, while giving the practice tests make a note of all the types of silly mistakes you tend to make, that way if you face any similar question next time it will help you be more aware and careful while solving the question.

      Also, don’t worry if you’re not getting great scores in the practice tests initially – it will all improve very well if you just stick to the practice and keep going!

      Cheers and All the best mate! Do ask me anything if you need my help! 🙂

    • Apurv Mathur on June 16, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      Thanks Krishna,

      I really did find the Kaplan’s sectional tests to be quite helpful so if possible do go through with them.

      I don’t really know about NOVA Math Bible, but I did have a Nova GRE Math by Jeff Kolby as a reference book.

      Cheers mate, and all the best! 🙂

  27. Sindhu on June 12, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Apurv…Will d words appearing in official gre for antonyms,sent comp n analogies ll be from barron’s n kaplan alone or it might include other words too?99% of d words are covered in dese itself i guess.. but am not sure abt it..so temme how it actually s in the official gre…

    • Apurv Mathur on June 14, 2011 at 7:17 PM

      Hey Sindhu,

      The words I got were 100% from Barron’s & Kaplan… but the thing was, in the antonyms section, I got 2 questions that required a different meaning than were mentioned in the Barron’s book. It came down to 2 very close answers for both the questions and I just had to take a guess.

      Cheers! 🙂

  28. Sindhu on June 12, 2011 at 4:14 AM

    Hey Apurv!
    One more doubt..U hd specified about sectional tests..did u mean d tests in
    Barron’s…?

    • Apurv Mathur on June 14, 2011 at 7:15 PM

      Hey mate,

      Practice on any and every practice test you can get your hands – one’s given in Barron’s book and Kaplan’s CD especially! 🙂

      Cheers! 🙂

  29. naren on June 11, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    apurv…ny strategies for solving analogies and sentence completion?

    • Apurv Mathur on June 12, 2011 at 3:24 AM

      Hey mate, if possible do check out Kaplan – shows a great approach on how to solve these types of questions.

      In analogies it always help to find your answer through the process of elimination – any relationship if repeated twice, you can be quite certain that its not going to be the answer.

      In Sentence Correction be very aware of the Detour words (“but/and” etc) the sentence uses and the meaning of the words already given in the sentence – most of the times the answer has a close link to the word mentioned in the sentence.

      Other than that, sentence correction and analogies both depend heavily on Vocab so make sure you are done with the word lists from Barron.

      Cheers mate! 🙂

      • naren on June 12, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        thnks apurv

  30. Naman on June 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    Hi Apurv!

    Congrats brother!i am giving d test for da second tym!!i rily get nervous wen i c quant in front of me..i am weak at DI and word problems!!Please help me…i tend to get so nervous 🙁 i rily want to score high!!!Can u suggest few tips for practicng quant!!!
    I gah nova,barrons and power prep!!!am mpstly done with all da three…but i am not getting da confidence 🙁

    • Apurv Mathur on June 12, 2011 at 4:20 AM

      Thanks Naman! 🙂

      Barron and Nova are good books for understanding the basic concepts of Quant etc.. but the real preparation and confidence is going to come through giving a lot of sectional tests – you need to go through every sectional test you can get your hands on. Giving practice sectional tests will help you to familiarize yourself with the section and will reduce the fear factor for the most part.

      Even if you’re in the beginning of the preparation don’t postpone giving sectional tests just because you feel you’re unprepared – we all are, just give the test and don’t even bother if your score is low. The scores on the actual test matters, before that its always a learning process. So don’t worry if you are getting low scores here – just keep on practicing on them, marking down the types of silly mistakes you tend to make, going through solutions when you answered something wrong etc.

      For DI, just take your time in understanding the graph and the actual problem asked…. its mostly calculation from there on, so if you can just get the gist of the question etc you’ll do fine. Practicing different types of DI you encounter in practice tests etc will give you a good feel of it. Remember, you’re not going to score well in practice tests – thats a given, thats why we call it practice so that we are prepared on the actual day… so just go through a lot of questions and you’ll do fine.

      We want that you feel at home in every section – in order to do that, you need to go through a lot of practice and struggle, but in the end the rewards are great. 🙂

      Cheers mate, and all the best for your test! 🙂
      Do let me know if you’ve any question at all. 🙂

  31. madhur Khandelwal on June 10, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    hi Apruv!
    !!!Congrats!!! for your score.
    My GRE is on 12th july.
    i have not yet started my preparation.
    I gave Kaplan diagnostic test today n scored 540 in Q and 330 in verbal .

    Could u just tell me how you learned the word list in detail?{how did u manage to remember all the words.}please enlighten me with this fact.

    While learning the wordlist did u were doing Quant and verbal practice in parallel?

    which book in Quant i should start with Barrons or kaplan?

    u wrote that u were having some problems with Probability,P&C and Reading Comprehension so how did u overcome that?

    What do for AWA? any suggestion{i pretty bad at writing essays..so just some tips}

    waiting for ur reply….asap

    Regards
    Madhur

    • Apurv Mathur on June 11, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      Thanks a lot mate!

      1) I’m copying this portion from a comment I posted on here for explaining what I did to remember the words.
      Here it is – when I used to go through a word list I used to write down the words (also their meaning) which I didn’t have a clue about and the words which were marked with important bullet point in the Barron’s book.

      Writing them down this way did two things –
      A) it separated out exactly what all words I actually needed to concentrate on.
      B) it helped me to memorize a bit better cuz I actually wrote down the words.

      So once I used to write say 5 word lists in my notebook, I’d go back and try to cram them by reading them once or twice and then move on to the next 5 word lists.

      Once I completed the word lists, I tried to learn them all once and then began this process again – this time filtering down words from the original notebook.
      Although it did require a lot of time cuz I was basically writing down tons of words, but it was worth it.

      That’s basically how I did it but I guess any way that you cram up usually will be good… and don’t worry if you don’t seem to remember the words even after 2-3 repetitions, its gonna be all good if you keep going at it.

      2) Secondly, when I was studying the word list I figured there was no point giving practice verbal tests. But for Quant I did give a sectional test every two days atleast whenever I was tired of learning the words and wanted to take a break sort of.

      3) I never actually studied Quant, but I feel Kaplan is a better book for preparing Quant.

      4) For improving my RCs I just practiced them quite a lot every place I could find them – especially Barron.
      I didn’t do anything special to improve my Probability and P&C section, but every sectional test I gave and I encountered a question from them which I didn’t know how to solve, I made it a point to check out their solution. That was it. After a couple of tests I could understand a few concepts, and solved the rest of the questions based on them cuz the questions were of the same difficulty always.

      5) Essays — Kaplan. Do go through Kaplan’s strategy for writing essays, really really helpful. Also, every full length practice test you give, make sure you don’t skip to the verbal and quant section and actually put in time to attempt the essay questions… that will help you familiarize with organizing and writing stuff down.

      That’s pretty much it mate. Just don’t waste a single day not preparing now, and you’ll do just fine. 🙂

      Cheers mate, all the best! 🙂

  32. Sindhu on June 10, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Hi apurv..Diz s Sindhu..Thanks a ton for sharing ur xperience….My xam s on july 13th..I hv ma Barron’s n powerprep..I don’t hv d Kaplan wid me..Wat do i do now?

    • Apurv Mathur on June 11, 2011 at 1:37 PM

      Hey Sindhu,

      If you can I’d say definitely get yourself a copy of Kaplan.
      Apart from its very useful practice tests, it is also immensely helpful in verbal as well as writing the essay section.

      Cheers for your exam mate! 🙂

      • Sindhu on June 12, 2011 at 3:58 AM

        Thanks a ton…Ll buy a kaplan for sure..

  33. shruti on June 10, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    Thank you so much apurv. I really got an idea to prepare well. My exam is on July 2nd. I am yet to receive the PowerPrep cd by post. What do I do?

  34. Hadiar Rahman on June 9, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Apurv
    Definitely you deserve thanks from all of us. We are expecting more to share who already appeared the test whether the score is good or bad.

    • Apurv Mathur on June 10, 2011 at 12:33 PM

      Thanks a lot Hadir! 🙂

      Yeah, it would be great if everyone shared their experience of the test… its obviously beneficial for the person on the receiving end of it, but I really found that writing my own experience down really helped me look at the holistic view of my preparation and made me realize a ton about myself… and the most cool part being that doing this might help someone, and even if it helps only a little – then that too is enough. 🙂

  35. SNEHA SURESH on June 9, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    *apurv …sry for spelln ur name wrong…

  36. SNEHA SURESH on June 9, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    hey apruv !!! congo on ur gre scores…
    jus wanted to ask u whether its better to take d new gre o d old one?

    • Apurv Mathur on June 10, 2011 at 12:29 PM

      Thanks Sneha! 🙂

      I personally feel that it won’t make any difference in the total score no matter what format the test is based on. However, if there’s an element of familiarity with any particular pattern than its better to choose that one.

      Cheers! 🙂

  37. prachi t on June 8, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    hi apurv, really a helpful post,i m gonna giv my gre in a month.not yet started wid any full length test,essay solving.Reading words frm barrons,u wrote about d extra words frm kaplan,is it essential,do i need to buy kaplan nw.n is solving big books essential,they r too big n too many so as to consume time.
    thanx a lot.waiting for ur reply.one more thing is,dat many says givin gre in last week is good as d questions r repeating so is it really true.

    • Apurv Mathur on June 9, 2011 at 2:08 AM

      Thanks a lot Prachi! 🙂

      I would suggest that you do go and get yourself a copy of Kaplan, not only for the 100 odd words at the end but for both the essay and the verbal strategies. The strategies for solving Analogies, Sentence Correction is just perfect in the book.

      I didn’t go through the Big book so I can’t really comment on that. You can always use more material to practice on if you have time. But considering that you only have about a month I would say not to dissipate your focus on a lot of things and stick to only a few core essential things and be thorough with it. Give the most priority to get the word lists from Barron’s done first and that too as soon as you can.

  38. life2jib on June 8, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    ongratulation Apurv Mathur !!!

    You have done very very well.

    My exam is in next month…I’m also reading the 3 materials what u’ve suggested. But I’m forgetting the words and I’m trying again and again. Meanwhile I’m solving BigBook tests also.

    (i) Pls give me the most effective tips to remember the words
    (ii) What do u think abt BigBook tests…its killing my time. Do I stop to solve it and do I need only the above 3 ?

    Thanks a lot. TC

    • Apurv Mathur on June 9, 2011 at 1:56 AM

      Thanks a lot mate! 🙂

      Here’s what I did to remember the words – when I used to go through a word list I used to write down the words (also their meaning) which I didn’t have a clue about and the words which were marked with important bullet point in the Barron’s book.

      Writing them down this way did two things –
      1) it separated out exactly what all words I actually needed to concentrate on.
      2) it helped me to memorize a bit better cuz I actually wrote down the words.

      So once I used to write say 5 word lists in my notebook, I’d go back and try to cram them by reading them once or twice and then move on to the next 5 word lists.

      Once I completed the word lists, I tried to learn them all once and then began this process again – this time filtering down words from the original notebook.
      Although it did require a lot of time cuz I was basically writing down tons of words, but it was worth it.

      That’s basically how I did it but I guess any way that you cram up usually will be good… and don’t worry if you don’t seem to remember the words even after 2-3 repetitions, its gonna be all good if you keep going at it.

      All the best for your test mate! Cheers! 🙂

    • Apurv Mathur on June 9, 2011 at 2:00 AM

      I personally didn’t go through the Big Book at all so I can’t say anything about it mate. As per my experience I really think being thorough with Barron and Kaplan is really sufficient in itself but you can always use more material for practice if you have time.

    • smithjaxx on June 9, 2011 at 6:01 AM

      @life2jib
      Big book practice tests are essential; you have to take them seriously. If you practice a lot of the Analogy questions, be sure to find analogy as a cakewalk. Also, learn to read and understand the “long RC passages” within 3mins time limit at most, keeping in mind that the answers to the inference questions are not the most obvious options.
      You’d do just fine when you read the GRE-level words in Barrons. If you practice a lot, any forgotten word encountered during each test could be looked up after each practice test. You could practice your antonyms with “http://www.gre-usa.blogspot.com/

      I hope you find this helpful. All the best.

      • ramani on June 13, 2011 at 10:21 PM

        hey rashmi here..
        i just wanted to know abt d material kaplan or the big book to follow…
        i ant hav ne of dos n mready to buy nething but i feel vl i be able to do both at a time its not possible so wat do u think is gud for quant and verbal i mean word list i hav barron,s old version vl dat be okay…
        kaplan stuff is gud for what and big book for what?if big book ‘s older version has got sufficient papers to practise. help me guys…

  39. archana on June 8, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    hii…………….
    congrates…..really you have done a great job,…and your description about your preparartion is really awesome..it gonna be very very useful to us …..i am going to write new pattern gre……..i think your way of preparation helps me alot….thnku..

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      Thanks a lot Archana! 🙂

      All the best for your test!! 🙂

  40. siddehesh on June 8, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Thnx apurv for such a meticulous description

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      Thanks siddehesh!

      Cheers! 🙂

  41. vimal on June 8, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    hey apurv,
    u gave a great confidence wid ur post..thank you somuch and all da best. my doubt is whether we need to study total barron`s words list or just high frequency words are enough..

    thanq
    vimal

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 12:48 PM

      Hey Vimal thanks mate!! 🙂

      I’d say going through the entire word list will be much better than just the high frequency words.
      One reason is obviously – more words the better. The other is kinda psychological i.e. you would know that you are prepared thoroughly… hard work will trump smart work here, cuz choosing to learn from barron is already the smart thing to do! 😉

      Cheers mate and all the best! 🙂

    • smithjaxx on June 9, 2011 at 6:04 AM

      Do not rely on just the high frequency words. Read as much words as you can from the Barrons’ word list.

  42. ramani on June 8, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    hi apurv,
    ur blog is amazing sirely gonna be useful.
    this is ramani.js started my preparation for gre now.i dint book my slot yet.iwas late i know.i want to write for the old version and if no slots the revised one.bt i want to score a good score can i contact u through mail.
    kindly let me know the details.
    thank you.

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:37 AM

      Hey mate, I have a feeling giving the new GRE will turn out to be a little easier than the previous version so don’t worry.

      If you happen to book your date in September then you will have a 50% discount as well – but leaving the monitory reasons aside, the chances of you scoring a good score (1400+ atleast) no matter where you stand right now are pretty high if you follow a proper study routine which suits you.

      You can comment here or contact me on Facebook anytime –

      Cheers 🙂

      • ramani on June 8, 2011 at 3:26 PM

        hey!! i just wanted to know whether do i get any slots in the month of july..i heard ppl saying dat u dont have ne more slots now . and coming to preparation i js want to know where from do i get the kaplan material i mean in the normal bookshops..? hav got many more doubts…do be in touch
        thanku so much

        • satyanarayana on June 8, 2011 at 11:46 PM

          they may open

        • Apurv Mathur on June 9, 2011 at 4:26 AM

          There aren’t any slots left in July as far as I can tell.

          What you want to do is book the GRE date atleast 1.5 months before the actual date. The slots will be filled up very quickly as there are tons of people out there wanting to give the exam. So just be cautious over this. Plan accordingly.

          And yes, Kaplan is available almost everywhere where there’s a Barron’s book.

          Cheers mate! 🙂

  43. ramani on June 8, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    hi apurv,
    this is ramani.js started my preparation for gre now.i dint book my slot yet.iwas late i know.i want to write for the old version and if no slots the revised one.bt i want to score a good score can i contact u through mail.
    kindly let me know the details.
    thank you.

  44. mounika on June 8, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    hi..congrats!! my exam is on 28th of this month.19days to go.reading your post made me feel a little more confident as you said that you have started your preparation 3 weeks before. im feeling very nervous about verbal section.i have not got such a good vocabulary.and im not even done with the barrons word lists.i have just started with high frequency words in barrons.any suggestions?

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:43 AM

      Hey Mounika,

      As I said, your improvement will tend to be exponential so don’t worry if you get stuck up at a low score rate, just keep at the word lists and you’ll do fine.

      3 out 4 sections – Analogies, Antonyms, Sentence Correction – depend heavily on your vocabulary, so you don’t need to do anything except improve upon it.

      You can try to cram it howsoever your style is – you can write down your own word list including only the important bold letter words and the ones which you don’t know leaving aside the other words which you kind of know already. This will do 2 things –
      1) it will separate out exactly what you’ll need to concentrate on.
      2) it will help you memorize a bit better cuz you actually wrote down the words.

      So once you’re finished with doing this process for like say 5 word lists, go back on them and try to remember them (without writing down etc)… keep doing it till you reach the end, and repeat this process.

      That’s basically how I did it. It will require a lot of time cuz you’re actually trying to write down a whole lot of words etc.. but it’s gonna be worth it. So yeah, just put in a lot of time doing whatsoever it takes to get the vocab down and you’ll be all good.

      Any help needed feel free to ask me again! 🙂

      Cheers 🙂

      • mounika on June 9, 2011 at 12:52 AM

        hiiii

        thanks a lot!!!i will definitely follow what you said.nice plan.
        i guess i have to work on 6-7 word lists a day as the time is really very less.
        as the days are getting reduced,tension is building up,which is not making me concentrate… 🙁
        anyways..i guess i have to work really hard,,,otherwise i am not gonna do well..
        and once again thank u ..
        barrons words will be sufficient..right?

        cheers,
        mouni

        • Apurv Mathur on June 9, 2011 at 4:23 AM

          Yes you might need to really slog from now on… 6-7 word lists is a great rate to work at, and in the end it will improve drastically cuz you’ll be able to breeze past them cuz you would know most of the words.

          But, don’t be tensed cuz you’ve your exam approaching. Take it one day at a time – do all that you can for the day and if you stick to the plan you’ll be able to finish well on time! 🙂

          And yes, you’ll need to work hard for a few days… worth the effort especially since the material (Barron’s word list etc) you have chosen is already the smart thing to do… so a little effort here will reap huge rewards.

          Barron’s word list is the core thing which I think will be sufficient in itself. Also, check out the words given at the end of Kaplan. (many will be covered in Barron already) 🙂

          Cheers mouni! All the best! 🙂

          • mounika on June 14, 2011 at 12:04 PM

            hey
            thank u once again.I am trying to focus 🙂 . In quant, the toughest part for me is the data interpretation from those charts and stuff.. Im getting most of them wrong 🙁

            mouni



  45. OGECHI IGBOANUGO on June 8, 2011 at 5:01 AM

    Good day Sir, please what materials do I need to study for GRE. I have never studied for it before and I have 1 month deadline to submit my scores. Are the Barrons and kaplan books also essential for the computer test? what types of tests are recommended for GRE? is it written or computer?
    Thank u.

  46. saranya on June 8, 2011 at 4:40 AM

    OOH its great apurv…. ur name suggests ur r a city guy and had a good touch with vocab from childhood…….but friends all of u dont think that u too can it in just 3weeks… GRE is resoning with words.. needs acquaintance with words and shoud be able to reproduce handful words with obviously takes time…..me too an aspirent of gre with a score above 1200……. and way apurv ur approach is too gud and article is encouraging…

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      Thanks a lot Saranya! 🙂

      I’m not from a big city but I always was pretty okay with. But I only knew the most basic words and not many complicated ones, so if I was a guy who knew very little of English, I’d start my prep say 1.5 months before just to be safe. 🙂

      Cheers mate! 🙂

  47. Pritesh on June 8, 2011 at 3:48 AM

    Hello Apurv….
    Congratulation For your GRE score.one thing i want to ask that are you from english meidum ?????????

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:46 AM

      Thanks Pritesh! 🙂

      Yes I am from an English medium school.. but that should not deter your hopes at all. I’d say if you’re willing to work for about 1.5 months diligently then you’ll be all good in verbal for sure! But earlier the better ofcourse.

      Take care mate, cheers! 🙂

  48. Lopa on June 8, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    Thnx Apurv for d wondrful write up. M preparing fr GRE which i intend to appear in Aug 2011. Its a revised GRE then, & m unsure of the study materials(book, cds, etc). Plz help.

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      Hey Lopa, thanks for the props!

      I’m pretty sure the revised GRE except the changes in navigation and skipping sections won’t alter much as to how you actually score in the exam.

      I would recommend the materials I used – Barron, Kaplan, PowerPrep, but even apart from that, if you need any help in learning a few concepts in Quant etc then you can search them up on the net or check out this book by Jeff Kolby called GRE Math… it doesn’t go into too much detail but does cover the basic aspects of all the sections asked in GRE.

      Also, if you are more worried about the new pattern change and you want to acquaint yourself with it then you could check out the tests given by IMS/TIME/PT etc just to get a feel for what it will be like. But I don’t think that would be required much cuz the new editions of Barron, Kaplan, Powerprep will cover that efficiently as well.

      Apart from that, feel free to ask me anything!

      All the best and cheers mate! 🙂

      • Lopa on June 13, 2011 at 1:42 AM

        thnx buddy…a lot.

        I have got ETS official guide to GRE as Kaplan for revised GRE is not yet available in market. Should i go for both Kaplan & Barron or either one will do??

  49. mihir suchak on June 7, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    thanks apurv..this is surely going to help!!

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      Thanks mate! 🙂

  50. Abdul on June 7, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Nice score, in nice time too. Thank you for the post, and good luck with the rest. Cheers.

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      Thanks a lot mate! Cheers! 🙂

  51. Tam on June 7, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Oh, this is great. I am taking new GRE in September and this is super helpful to get a view from someone who already took the test.
    I got pretty convinced with your article and ordered Barron’s and Kaplan’s new GRE books.
    Thanks for your insights, really appreciate it!

    • saranya on June 8, 2011 at 4:36 AM

      Hey, if u r taking the test in new patern, plz be acknowledged of the books for preparation of that pattern…ofcourse word lists of barrons helps u, once again enquire…

      • SNEHA SURESH on June 8, 2011 at 11:47 AM

        hey apurv took d new gre o d old one….?

        • Apurv Mathur on June 11, 2011 at 1:38 PM

          I gave the old 0ne mate, new ones start from August.

      • Lopa on June 13, 2011 at 1:46 AM

        Ya saranya..very true. I will be appearing GRE revised format in August and is really unsure of which books to order/purchase. Can u help?

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:53 AM

      Thanks a lot Tam!

      Good that you ordered the books right now mate – you’re well on your way to success already! 😉

      • indu on June 8, 2011 at 12:14 PM

        hey Apurv ….did u finalize universities 4 d addmission ??

        • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 3:13 PM

          Nah indu, haven’t done it yet. Will probably start after a month or so! 🙂

  52. aref on June 7, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    thank u for ur post

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:53 AM

      Thanks aref! 🙂

  53. Megha on June 7, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    You seem to be a genius, if u did it in barely a months time. I am aware about Barons but not the other one you mentioned. Would I get the kaplan book in a bookstore? or pls suggest me where to find it. thanks for ur insight on the GRE. take care.

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:55 AM

      Haha, thanks a lot Megha! 🙂

      Kaplan is a pretty popular name when it comes to GRE so you’ll be able to find it in any good bookstore no problem! 🙂

  54. Kedar Limbkar on June 7, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Thanks a lot buddy! 🙂 It is such a nice, well explained way to prepare for GRE.:)

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:55 AM

      Thanks a lot Kedar! 🙂

  55. Shekar Sharma on June 7, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Hey Apurva,

    I am little skeptical about this post. Not the part of you scoring 1400+, but the fact that you only prepared for a month flat!! I mean, dude, forget quant but 3500 words. Just clarifying that prior to the month you had never touched any of the GRE books, never went through the “The Wordlist”? And if you didnt, dude you are GOD.

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:58 AM

      Haha, I understand your confusion Shekar.

      But yes I really did do it within a month. I really slogged with it as much as I could – which was tough for me in the beginning cuz I’m wayyy lazy! :p
      One time I slogged so hard I could see the words drop when I tried to sleep matrix style 😉

      • Shekar Sharma on June 10, 2011 at 2:34 AM

        Hey Apurva,

        Apurva I dont know if what you are saying is true or not, but yes thanx for the post brother because you just gave me a new hope of light. My GRE is in a month and I am really word about the Vocab section but after reading your post I am all the more confident. Thanks a ton bro. And all the best with whatever you are setting out to achieve. Cheers.

        • Apurv Mathur on June 11, 2011 at 1:39 PM

          Thanks a lot Shekar.

          Give your best shot and you’ll be surprised what you’re capable of yourself. 🙂

          All the best for your test mate! 🙂

  56. vinay on June 7, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    hi Apurv . thanks for the post . its is really helpful. right now i m stuck with same situation . i am harassed by words…. and trying very hard to remind them .still working over it . given some diagnostic tests and scored very poor so badly need your help .any way thanks for post .its helping me now…………

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 12:01 PM

      Thanks vinay! 🙂

      Don’t worry mate if you’re scoring poorly right now… remember, there’s gonna be a lot of spurts and plateaus you’ll have to go through.

      Just keep on learning the words and don’t fret if you think you’re already forgetting the ones you learnt in the last word list… it’ll all come together in time.

      Cheers mate, and all the best! 🙂

  57. raghav on June 7, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    I’m bookmarking this!!
    My test is in mid july, I know this will help me no end.
    Thanks a lot!!

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 12:01 PM

      Thanks a lot mate!

      All the best for you test! 🙂

  58. ttamil on June 7, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Even if you get good score in gre you cant fetch admit in good univs

    • naren on June 7, 2011 at 1:22 PM

      its nt point of discussion here dude……

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 11:58 AM

      I know mate but we do what we can do!

  59. angel on June 7, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    hi , could you plz tell me on what issue u got an essay so that i may get an idea plz, and wat on arugumentative ,your help will be appreciated alot.

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 12:03 PM

      Hey angel,

      I’m pretty much not allowed to say anything about the topics that turned up as ETS makes you sign a contract sort of… but rest assured that the essays were based on some very basic topics – not related to General Awareness or anything at all – just your viewpoints on the most basic things.

      Read the essays given in Kaplan and you’ll pass through them like a breeze! 🙂

  60. naren on June 7, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    hiii apurv …this is really gonna help me dude. my xam is on 14th of july…..man im gonna follow d same….one month 1410…but im weak in verbal…how did u managed to learn 3500 barrons in just one month…have u used mnemonics…ny shortcuts dude..will wordpower made easy help me …

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 12:10 PM

      Hey Naren!

      I didn’t particularly use any techniques etc because to apply a technique on more than 3000 words gets pretty crazy…. I just crammed them DESI style! 😉

      What I did was write them down – not all of them but only words that I didn’t knew. Then I tried to cram them up. A few days later when I was finished with my first cramming session, I started this process of writing them again – this time filtering the words I wrote in my register…. that way I’d cleared up the mess and kinda memorized them cuz I read them a few times and also wrote them down!

      So try to cram up anywhich way you can, but that was how I did it – actually my friend who had cracked GRE excellently a few months back gave me this advice and I followed it to the book! 😉

      • Milind Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        Great Apurv. Awesome post man!!!

        • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 3:16 PM

          Haha! Mate, couldn’t have been possible without your help. 🙂
          And thanks for stopping in here! 🙂

      • naren on June 8, 2011 at 11:58 PM

        thnk u apurv….ill follow d same…desiiii ……like it 😛

  61. Veenit on June 7, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    Thanks Apurv!
    I will surely take care of those tips.
    My GRE is on the 5th July!

    I wanted to ask regarding the study material you had.
    1. Barron GRE Book and CD
    2. Kaplan Book and CD
    3. PowerPrep Software.

    The above are the 3 things you mentioned. I have got two of them.
    The 1st and the 3rd i.e. I DO NOT have Kaplan Book and CD.

    Can I get the soft copy of that book online? (I do not wish to spend on it)
    How can i get that book ?

    Waiting for a positive reply!

    Regards,
    Veenit

    • HSB on June 7, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      There are certain items that you have to spend, if you cannot find them for free. Seriously, how much do you think GRE book will cost compared to getting good score and better future and career? If you don’t want to spend on books that are low cost edition, what would you do when you have to have in US$ for books?

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      Hey Veenit!

      I’d be glad to help you out, but its always much better to have your own personal book on which you can scribble and mark stuff rather than seeing somebody else’s scratch work and getting annoyed! 🙂

      Also, the powerprep software is available at ets.org for free so you can check it out there.

      The Barron and Kaplan, I don’t think there are any soft copy versions of it yet!

      Take care mate!
      Cheers! 🙂

  62. srinivasu on June 7, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    hi indu……….hw the new pattern would be?bcoz u r going fr new pattern know.i hope u have collected required information.

    • indu on June 8, 2011 at 12:04 PM

      hiii
      srinivasu…. i will definitely share my GRE experience …….:)

  63. indu on June 7, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    hii apurv
    congr8s ….:)
    u got good score,,m also going 2 give gre on 31 oct. ur blog will help me ….:)

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      Thanks a lot Indu!

      All the best for your exams! 🙂

  64. Aman on June 7, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    That was a great help!
    Thanks Good luck.

    • srinivasu on June 7, 2011 at 12:27 PM

      congrats……….apurav ur blog will help me alot
      thanq al de best fr ur bright future

      • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 12:16 PM

        Thanks a lot srinivasu! 🙂

        Good luck to you as well mate! 🙂

    • Apurv Mathur on June 8, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      Thanks a lot Aman! 🙂

      • Raghu on June 11, 2011 at 5:27 AM

        Hii Apurv…
        congrats…. that was a very good score..
        I have my exam in july first week.. when i read a wordlist, i am unable to memorize a few of them them after a day.. what would you suggest me to do to grasp those words?? Your advice is helpful!!

        • Apurv Mathur on June 11, 2011 at 1:46 PM

          Thanks a lot Raghu!

          I know mate, memorizing words at times can turn out to be very frustrating at times…. the important thing is that your retention rate for them isn’t going to be gradual, but more in spurts. You might go through the same word for 3 times and still not have a clue what it was, but the 4th time will prove to be the time you nail it on the head. So keep that in mind while you’re studying… just keep at the word list and you’ll do just fine mate.

          Cheers! 🙂

          • Raghu on June 12, 2011 at 3:50 AM

            Thanks Apurv!!! for ur advice
            I have to do it!! and I have a lot more to do!!



          • neha kulkarni on July 8, 2011 at 10:34 PM

            Apurv,
            your suggestions are helpful & gives me confidence, I am going to give my GRE on 23 july 2011 only 14 days remaining.I have finished with barron’s wordlists & now revising it , till now I have given 2 practise tests.
            scores-1130, 1270 but I am not doing good at maths in first test in maths I got 630 & in second 710 & as you said I have completed all barron problems & even kaplan but score is not improving . what you will suggest & will you please tell me how hard GRE maths questions will be generally?
            If you can suggest anything that will help me out? I am very much tensed!



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