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Study Tips to Score 1460 in GRE [690 Verbal, 770 Quantitative]

This article is written by Vani [ PhD Student – University in Georgia] long time  follower of Happy Schools Blog. She scored 1460 in GRE Exam ( 690 in Verbal and 770 in Quantitative). Just the article alone explains why and how she scored 690 in Verbal.

This is not an April fool article like the one published few days back – How I scored 1560 in GRE using Telepathy

Top GRE Score

Everyone wants a top GRE score, understandable, it improves their chances of getting into a university of their choice. GRE score is not the only factor universities look at while selecting, apparently they look at the overall performance, including undergrad scores and recommendation letters, SOP, and intensity of interest.

Having said this let me share my experience, and hind-sight of course!

Preparing for Quantitative section

If you are applying for math oriented fields, aim for 800. To get a Quant score above 700, the only tip I can give you is “Practice, Practice, and more Practice”. Really, this seems quite obvious, but many think that by just looking through, or working out at the last minute, they can nail this section. They could not be more wrong! However good you are at math, never underestimate this section. Most score below their capabilities because they are unable to complete this section due to complacence and poor time management.

Initially, do work out all the problems from the book you follow without timing yourself. That comes after you have polished your rusty edges. If necessary, borrow 11th standard Math text book. It never hurts to work out more math, also borrow as many GRE books as you can. The tips given in the books, a few of them are good, help in shearing minutes off your time. And, start at least two months before your test date.

Preparing for Verbal section

Even those from English-medium schools, find their knowledge is restricted to passable, everyday language. One way to overcome this is to read extensively. Read anything you can get your hands on: novels, editorials, newspapers, magazines, non-fiction. I Do Not recommend comics! A waste of time. Even so, it is not necessary to get a headache trying to figure out Shakespearea’s King Lear. Reading should be a pleasure, and not torture.

By reading, you can understand the usage of difficult words. Once you know how an insanely complicated word is used in context, you have a good idea of its meaning, and also the different ways it can be used. You don’t have to mug up the word list; anyway most of them never stay in your head!

The people who set the Comprehension section choose the most convoluted and boring essays. There really is no way you can crack this, unless you have done your reading. If you have read enough, you will get the knack of picking out the gist of the passage, without getting yourself tied up with the difficult words and stilted sentence construction.

As you may have figured out by now, practicing for the verbal section starts much before your GRE. If you still have not developed the reading habit, start now.

Preparing for Analytical Writing

Ah, my Nemesis. Please do lots of writing. This will not only come in handy for GRE, but also in future. It is very important to be able to express yourself clearly in writing. I did not bother to practice, and had to settle for a mediocre score.

  1. First, for a given topic, decide the stand you want to take. Most important is how you feel about the subject. If you cannot empathize with your stand, you may have nothing worth while to say for it.
  2. Second, jot down salient points.
  3. Third, write out the introduction and conclusion.
  4. Fourth, expand upon the points.

You may of course interchange the order. Use clear, simple language. No point in using grandiose words if they don’t fit in. Be unambiguous about what you have to say.

There can never be a fool-proof method to get that monster 1600. There is always a bit of luck involved. The best you can do is to prepare well, and make your own luck by “Planning + intelligent hard work

Remember Jane Harper’s “We Don’t Plan To Fail – We Fail To Plan


  1. Oluwatobi on October 16, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    ..this is about the best instructional guide i've read in a long time.

    I am particularly impressed at the mechanics of your flow..Its amazing, what u've done to help ease the many tensions of mine. Thanks a lot, Vani…

  2. lakshmi bhavani on June 26, 2010 at 8:54 AM

    hai vani

    nice tips.can u give me more information about verbal.i am just starting now .how much time will it take to achieve perfection?what should be the score to get scholarship?

  3. Raj on June 15, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    hi to every one.Actually i have completed my B.Pharmacy.I want to do M.S. Pharmaceutical analysis in U.S. But everyone is telling that there is no subject like that.Can any one help me.Plzzz……………..

  4. smrutirekha on May 15, 2010 at 4:09 AM


    i want to do ms in electrical engg from USA only.

    i am a Btech student with 8. cgpa . so can anyone suggest what should be my target score in gre to get a scholarship at least for 1 yr and also the score for full time scholarship. i am appearing gre in September.

    i hav 3 months in hand .

    so please suggest a target score and a strategy also…

  5. nivedhitha ramesh on April 12, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    hi vani,

    your tips are really very useful and so it reflected in your score. let me follow the tips of yours to score like you. all the best for your bright future.

    with regards,


  6. Ankur on April 6, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    Thnx.. its a good one. I'll definitely follow this rule.

  7. U.S.Mallik on April 6, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    Hi Vani,

    It's a great pleasure to read such suggestion.Thanks a lot


  8. swetha on April 6, 2010 at 4:59 AM

    Hii vani..this is a gud article..n ur gre score is depicted in the usage of the words..

    heyy i m just a beginner..can u help me out in my preparation..

  9. easwaran on April 5, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    Beloved Vani
    please accepts our congratulations
    for it is certainly a great achievement
    keep going further, in every field
    that you dare to tread
    i am sure a very bright future is awaiting you
    wishing you great time in your Phd
    keep it up vani
    since your name suggest lot of cheerful attitude
    kind regards

  10. Karthikeyan S on April 5, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    Hats off Vani!

    Your English is awesome! No wonder you got a great score.

    Excellent article HSB!

    Thank you for providing such great articles… It would be great if more experiences of current students,like how they studied,how much they scored,the universities that they applied for,the ones in which they got admits and the like are posted..

    And just curious, Can YOU(HSB~blog owner~'Raghu?') post an article on YOUR OWN PERSONAL scores,admits,college life and current career in the US??

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