Hello HSB,
I am a regular reader of HSB from very beginning, when HSB was launched.

HSB has helped me a lot in GRE. The posts here are very good and accurate in information. The HSB guy doesn’t post anything according his knowledge, whatever he posts is substantiated.

Anyways this was just a token of regard to HSB I know I have to share my experience and not advertise HSB ;).

In short: Great Work Mr. HSB and yah I am jealous of you for every new apple product you buy :P. Hope now I can also buy them in US.

GRE was my dream from a very long time. I think I got to know about it when I was in 3rd semester of my engineering degree from a friend of mine. From then I used to keep looking at US universities websites, GRE forums on orkut and blogs related to it.

I tried to prepare for GRE many times but always gave up after 2 or 3 day while mugging up the huge barron wordlist.

Contacted coaching institute many times but never joined them due to hectic schedule of college. Though it was not that hectic but HEY! It is engineering college dude we have so many things to do. 🙂

GRE at 8th Semester

At last I got serious about GRE after my 8th semester. It was too late though, I must have given GRE after my 6th semester.

The pattern change was something which made me serious about taking GRE before it happens. I read several numbers of posts many of them on HSB only, saying that new GRE will be a hard nut to crack. Since, I was not good in verbal I decided to take GRE before the pattern changes.

At that time I had offer letters of 3 companies which I tried to delay as long as possible to take my GRE. 😀 My GRE date was on 16 July which I rescheduled to 30 July so that I can get 30 days time for my GRE as my engineering was getting over in last week of may.

Giving GRE after my 8th semester was a very tough decision to make. To prepare for it I have to leave Accenture as they had their training of 14 days in June and joining from 6 July.

I really wanted to join Accenture among the 3 job offers I had. But as it is said to get something in your life you have to leave something. We have to make choices in our lives and stick to them!

GRE Study Plan One Month

I joined Princeton review classes in Bangalore; it was a crash course batch (as they name it) with only 3 students in it. I will not get in any detail of what it covered and how it was because it’s not worth mentioning on HSB.

Just know this no matter what other says of coaching classes being good, they make you practice regularly, you give some hours daily, they teach you tips and trick etc. etc. etc. remember only thing coaching classes are just wastage of time because:

  1. No one can make you remember words (Note: Wordlists are still very important for new GRE else reading comprehension and test completion will be “Taare Zameen Par”.
  2. The tips and tricks to solve verbal questions are already written in book. If you are planning to do M.S. then you already have enough skills to read and understand a book on yourself. You don’t need a mentor to guide you.
  3. Maths: If you are science students it will not be a problem for you at all, just need a little but practice. For others who are weak in maths you can easily practice maths daily from a good book like Nova Math Prep Course (the best for old pattern; don’t know how good it is for new pattern) and score good in maths. If you are seriously very bad in maths then you may need someone to guide you. A friend, relative good in quants will do. No need to spend 10 to 20k for it.
  4. AWA: No one can make you a good writer in 1 or 2 months. They only tell the structure and what all to write and what not to write; which you can find in any book. (Barron’s is sufficient to know structure and ETS official guide have many sample essays with a scoring of 6)

All sections covered. So, in short avoid coaching classes unless you have lots of money and even if you have then buy a new cell phone or keep it to explore GOA! After getting an awesome score in GRE.

Note: This is my personal experience GRE Study plan for one month, there are many people who feel that coaching classes are beneficial; no offense to them.

Coming back – GRE Study Plan

I just had 28 days to prepare. In those 28 days; it took me some time to get adjusted to the city and the place where I was staying (my friend’s house). It was a tough time I was not able to prepare much at my friend’s house 🙁 (With movies, parties, etc.)

Time passed like a flowing river. At last 30th June was on calendar. I was not completely done with my preparations. I had just complete Princeton Review Hit parade and Beyond the Hit Parade and 7 or 8 GRE wordlists from major tests wordlist.

Quant’s was not a matter of concern for me and for AWA I was not bothered after practicing 3 essays.

First GRE Exam : 30 June 2011

  • Quant’s: 740
  • Verbal: 350
  • AWA: 3.5
  • Total: 1090

I was completely dejected by my score especially in verbal section. Though I never got above 400 in my mock tests but I was expected database to repeat and above all expecting a lot from my luck to score more than 1200. But I was hapless.

It was a tough time. I did not know at all what to do next; whether to take GRE in old pattern one more time or take it in new pattern.

Many people told me not to take it again in old pattern as I will not see a lot of improvement in just 20 days. But at last no matter what others say it is always your call. Finally, I decided to take again in old pattern only, there were 3 reasons:

  • 3. I did not wanted my 25 days work to go in waste like this and again invest money in new books 😀
  • 2. I have already lost 1 job offer and delaying it further would have made things worse.
  • 1. the most vital reason: I believed in myself. I believed that with a constant and dedicated effort of 20 days I will be able to crack it!

2nd July

I was back in my city. The only thing I did from 2 July to 20 July was studying 🙂

You should not believe on that completely because you know real engineering students never take studies seriously: P (We have so many things to in life: D). But from morning 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. 90% of time I spent on studying.

The only thing I did was mugging barrons wordlist nothing else. I was completely sure about the fact that I don’t need any preparation for quants and if luck don’t f*** me this time i will get 790 or 800.
My GRE Study Plan Included many things: Do barrons wordlist, revise them, practice big book etc etc… But we only have 24 hours in a day. I was not able to do everything till 20th. But I managed to master 40 wordlist of barrons, gave 5 to 6 mock test only verbal section and squeeze everything out of powerprep.

On 21st July I was in Bangalore. I had already decided that I am not going to study anything on the last day. But anxiety – I kept on revising words.

My GRE Study Plan for One Month – Part 2 where Rohit Scored 1420 will be posted tomorrow.


  1. Gredaada on August 26, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Very Practical approach and really useful..Thank You

  2. manas agrawal on August 15, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    hey rohit i think my condn is same as urs i am goin to appear 3 sem now…….
    can u plz help me….

    • Rohit Sinha on October 12, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      Only you can help yourself.

      If you need and sugstn ask

  3. Rohit Sinha on August 12, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    No coaching classes at all. Buy 2 – 3 good books and that will be enough.
    If you think you are okay with maths then just have a glance on the basic concepts and then get over it when you will give mock test then you will have practice for it.
    If you score fine no extra work required in maths else consider going back and finding where you go wrong and correcting them.

    The verbal section needs to be prepare nicely. Start with wordlist and then solving problems

  4. Shruti Sahay on August 11, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Hi Rohit !
    I am a B.Tech 2011 passout willing to do M.S. Even I’m in B’lore city only and suppose to write my exam by the end of november but am really perplexed on how to start with as am novice in this especially revised GRE syllabus. Do you suggest if I should go for some coaching? Any kind of suggestion is most welcome

  5. machhindra garad on August 9, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    I am B-Pharm IV student. My GRE score is 1030 and TOEFL appearing. I have one year experiance of working in Neuroscience Lab. I have presented one national and two international posters. The work of two international publications is going on. Can i get admission for PhD with funding in US universities in Pharmacy? Please guide me, thank u.

    • Rohit Sinha on August 9, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      I don’t have any idea for you department. But your GRE score is very low. If you increase it then you will surely get into very good universities with ur experience.

  6. Aurin on August 3, 2011 at 6:06 AM

    I am from Bangladesh……I have already completed my graduation in forestry……. But I don’t like this subject much….. I want to study physics in abroad, especially in U.S.A.
    Is it possible to take another bachelor degree in U.S.A? Can I get admission for anotherbachelor degree at any University in U.S.A. by attending in GRE exams? How much score gives me the chance to get full free scholarship….. please help me….. i hv been frustrated with my studies in forestry….. 🙁 🙁

    • Riad on August 6, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      HI Aurin, I am from Bangladesh 2. As far i know it is possible to do MS in any Subject. With a good GRE score u will easily get Fund/Scholarship.

  7. raj on August 2, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    hey rohit congrats for ur score. Can u tell me dat how many words should i learn for new gre nd how many did u learn? And other thing since i m very poor at english i m facing a lot of problem in d reading comprehension,although i practised nearly 20 to 30 rc’s in some of the websites i m not able to improve my score so can u suggest me for dat too plz???? And finally is it necessary to through phrasal verbs nd idioms to get rid of RC’s..? plz suggest me i m really tensed about these things nd i have only 40 days to go …..plz …….plz….

    • Rohit on August 2, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      40 Days is a long time. First of all don’t panic it will give rise to more problem rather than solving it for you. I don’t have any idea about the wordlist of new pattern but i was comfortable with 40wordlist of barrons rest 10 i have not even seen.
      I think you should atleat get hold on 3000 GRE words before writing the exam. Don’t over think on whether you are good or bad in english. I should worry more about improving it. RCs are not that difficult if you are get hold on it and the hold differs for individual. So for rcs i will suggest you to just stick there and practice as much as you can. Don’t try to rush through rcs take all time you want to read it grasp each and everything you can and then tackle the question do this for 20 25 rcs and then you can try to increase your speed. You don’t need to solve all 3 rcs (old pattern) you can solve the first one which you get with utmost attention then a little fast on second and completely skip the third or use 2 1 1 F.

      • raj on August 3, 2011 at 8:48 AM

        thank u rohit, but at last wat is 211F ? sry i didnt get u…

        • Rohit on August 3, 2011 at 11:20 AM

          Its a reading method.

          Read the first 2 lines of the the first para then first 1 line of remaining paras and get a feel of what the author is trying to say.

          It is only for passages which u get after 15th or 18th question

  8. priyank on August 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    hey .. congrats for your score. i am on with my preparation for new GRE and its going good. but i am getting it hard to find some mock tests. can you provide me name of such books or websites where i can get these mock tests? thank you and congrats once again

    • Rohit on August 2, 2011 at 11:19 AM

      For old pattern these were good and there cant be any darastic change in new pattern

      princetonreview : they have 1 test free


      are good

      save powerprep for last week 🙂

  9. Rohit on July 30, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    HEY !
    Please post the second part of it 🙂

  10. raghav on July 29, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    hey HSB!!
    What if while giving your GRE you initially volunteer to write the research section, then after your quant and verbal sections are over you dont actually write anything in the research section and submit a it as blank? Does it cause any problems in score reporting or any other such problems?

    Also, how long does it usually take for scores to be reported on the websites? After 15 days my online score report is showing ‘absent or not available’

    Please help!!

    • Rohit on July 30, 2011 at 2:51 AM

      It doesn’t matter at all 🙂 Both the times i have left it blank. Bit be sure it says “This section will not affect your score” or something like this.

      Chill !!! its perfectly okay to leave it blank unless you don’t want to be a lucky winner of ets 😀

  11. ANKITA on July 29, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    hi ronit
    its my sem5 in bachlors biotech …..i dont hav any info abt gre actually wat it is exactely wat i hav to do for scoring n its criteria …..plz help me…

    • Rohit on July 30, 2011 at 2:53 AM

      Google it you will find every information. 🙂
      Happy school blog is very good for starters search post which are for beginners. It will provide you sufficient info about everything related to gre.

      You can also look at :
      Orkut GRE communities and urch.com/forums/gre/

  12. Nainsukh Khaira on July 29, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Hey this was the most helpful article I ve read on GRE till date.I am taking Gre on oct 5..was not very serious untill now..but afer reading this article I surely know that if I dont start studying now it will be a grave mistake..So thanks for guiding me and putting my mind on track!!

    • Rohit on July 30, 2011 at 2:57 AM

      Thank you 🙂
      Just remember one thing. GRE is not everything but if you seriously want to study in top notch universities in the world then you cannot just sit there and depend on luck for you to place there. You have to work hard 🙂

      The rewards of so lavish :). search google to know what are they 😛

      You have more than sufficient time. You can easily score good in gre even if you have not studied anything till now .. Just remm..

      “Don’t count your days, make them count”

      Best of luck do well.. 🙂

  13. Mini on July 29, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    Can Somebody tell me which book should i practise for quant part as i am not that good in maths for new GRE pattern .Please help .

    • Rohit on July 29, 2011 at 9:10 AM

      I don’t think math pattern has changed a lot. You should first start with barron’s or else you can directly go for NOVA Math bible. It will provide you enough practice and give you lot of confidence.

      • ketan on July 29, 2011 at 3:51 PM

        does academic marks matters to get good college???

        • Rohit on July 30, 2011 at 3:01 AM

          I am not sure what you are referring to when you are saying academic marks.

          If it means your under graduate marks then YES!! they matter a lot. There are many university which they take them so seriously that even if you have very good score in gre they will reject you because of poor academics. See it like this GRE is a score that you get in a day academic marks are representation of your 4 years work !!!

          If someone have low academic score they need not worry so much about it because the damage is already done. There nothing they can do about it now. Just concentrate on your gre score and try to get a high score that will compensate for low academic little bit. 🙂

  14. anita on July 29, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    hi Rohit,

    I am giving TOEFL in August end…I havent done much preparation…can you suggest me a book that can get me a good score…..

    • Rohit on July 29, 2011 at 9:11 AM

      I have no idea about toefl. I am planning to take it in mid of sep but lets see whther it will be possible or not .. no seast avail 🙁

  15. megha on July 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    ah….this is smthng incredulous……i suppose u r very gud at quant….but hw cud u make it …i also agree ur opinion regardng coachng institutes….i’m also gng for a coachng and i dnt understnd wt they r upto..they juz intoduce the modules ..make us to do sme 2-3 excerces tht 2 nt in al the modules and they r done….i xpectd smthng else…tht they would make us do allll the available practice tests…my test date in on 22nd of sept and till nw i dnt knw ver i stnd….

    • Rohit on July 29, 2011 at 9:16 AM

      First and foremost i am not good at quants. I suck in quants… Being very good technically i was unable to get in some very good companies just because i was unable to crack the first rounds which include quants…
      But gre quants needless to say is different it is so simple that with some practice and a very cool and composed mind i think 90% indian students can get 790 or 800.

      Don’ think too much about it if you are scoring poor just practice that is only think you can do. If you are scoring 670+ or 700+ then don’t bother your actual score can be 800 u just have to to handle all the shit ets throws at you as perfectly as you can… and remm its CAT you dont have to solve everything !!!

  16. Rakesh Kumar Ghosh on July 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM


    This is me Rakesh Kumar Ghosh, I am going to complete my MBA soon. Therefore I am planning to start PhD as my further higher study. Can you please send me all those up-to-date newsletter which will help me to prepare for the GMAT Exam. I will be really very thankful to you.

    Rakesh Kumar Ghosh…

  17. Shreyas on July 28, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    It seems to be an apocryphal !! 😀

    • Rohit on July 30, 2011 at 3:02 AM

      Yah totally !!! MBA and GMAT here :O


  18. raj on July 28, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Hey man congrats for ur score.. I need to ask u one thing. U said that u took ur 2nd attempt in Bangalore,but the dates were full even before june. Then how come you registered in July?

    • Rohit on July 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

      Yah dates were booked. I used to keep on checking constantly the the availability for slots. First i got in ahmedabad on 21 then i was a little bit relaxed that i have one seat. Then i kept on checking in banglore because it is the most convenient place for me and by good grace i got it 🙂

  19. Sudhanshu on July 28, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    I think I read your post when you were confused between joing comapnies and preparation in such a minimum time. If you are that person, then really appreaciable. Atleast your experience is eye opener for me in my MBA entrance exam prep. I already appeared for GMAt, but failed to get a descent score. Now, atleast I have an example wit me. Thanks for your post.
    If you are not that, even then, congrets.

    • Rohit on July 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

      I am the same person who was confused about whether to attend company training or to give gre.
      At last its all about what you really want 🙂

  20. NIBIN on July 28, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Hi How can you take GRE twice within 30 days??

    • sunil on July 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM

      you can take the test only once in a perticular month and 5 times in an year….
      so,over here he took first exam in june then next one in july………

      • Rahul Raj on July 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM

        Yah sunil you are right. It depends on calendar month. I took on 30 june so july is new calendar month 🙂

        • Rohit on July 28, 2011 at 11:54 AM

          Yah sunil you are right. It depends on calendar month. I took on 30 june so july is new calendar month 🙂

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