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Thread: How to crack the GRE in 30 days

  1. #1
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    Nov 2006
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    Post How to crack the GRE in 30 days

    A 1600 GRE score tips and tricks
    How to crack the GRE in 30 days

    THX To Original Authour....

    Until the pattern of GRE changes , the following fundae should be reasonably accurate.


    The author takes no responsibility WHATSOEVER for the (poor) GRE score
    the reader may achieve, but would be glad to take credit for anybody who benefits
    from the ideas in this document. (especially in the form of a top GRE score).
    Infact, it is mandatory to attribute any good score (even if it is not due to
    this document) to the author.

    For the benefit of the guys who arent well versed with the IITian jargon (and there seem to be quite a few of them checking out this site recently), here is a quick glossary:

    funda, plural fundae : ideas, concepts, paradigms (derived from fundamentals)
    junta : people in general (derived from the hindi word for people)
    infi : infinite, a large number

    Stuff to get(You wont need more than this..)

    1. kaplan (version 6.0)
    2. princeton (stuff that has proper tests - new version)
    3. 800 tests
    4. powerprep (get the latest version from the gre site)
    5. essay list from gre site
    6. math prep fundae from gre site
    7. wordweb - dictionary
    8. cambridge tests

    1. barrons
    2. any essay book which does gre essays
    3. if you have time, you may try kaplan or princeton books, but i didnt
    have time to do them
    4. big book

    (the time written in brackets is from an optimal schedule, NOT my actual schedule depending on the time you have, you may want to move this around)

    Step 1. Go through words in barrons - 50 lists - mark out words you dont know (5-10 days)
    Get some familiarity with the words that you dont know at all, read the sentences and try to understand them. at times when i wasnt clear with the meaning, i used for additional meanings and sentences.
    Also read the fundae on GRE given at the start of barrons so that you dont have any misconceptions.

    Step 2. Once a familiarity is achieved with most words start mugging just the words that you dont know and at the same time start with tests. (8-15 days)

    kaplans tests are good at this stage to frighten you (:-)). according to most ppl, kaplans scores are a strict lower bound on what you may get in the actual test.

    big book tests are also very good because they are from the actual gre guys and would necessarily test the same vocab. keep doing this - there are infi tests in this book and they wont run out. but make sure that in paper tests you follow the same attempt once and ditch funda rather than moving around arbitly in the paper. also paper tests have a different number of questions than the online test, so make sure you know that and time yourself accordingly.

    Step 3. General testing stage (15-30 days)
    keep doing tests in this stage, my rule was attempt one math every two verbals do a few full time tests as well.

    if you are done with kaplan, you may want to try princeton, pretty easy stuff not really at the level of gre, but practice nonetheless.

    you could do 800 tests too, the tests arent great, but its online.
    i think cambridge tests are good, but i didnt have the latest cd.

    the words that you find are not even there in barrons, write them separately somewhere for last minute revision.

    you should do the tests in barrons as well, they are pretty decent.

    Step 4. One week before the exam stage (7 days)
    you MUST do powerprep. it gives you an exact feel of the online gre exam and is really good. do the practice exercises in it as well.

    continue with the testing process, and revise the words from barrons. (if you had the time and the enthu to make flash cards, revise them now)

    read the fundae in barrons for both math and verbal to make sure that you know everything.

    also spend some time reading sample essays and discussing them with ppl / showing your essays to ppl and making them evaluate, stuff like that.

    Step 5. The day

    Chill and attempt questions sensibly.

    In verbal, try and finish up the antonyms, anal and sent. comp. quickly enough so that you can give more time to the comprehension sections. Maybe you can try this in practice tests: try and quickly review your answer before jumping to the next question, it helps to reduce careless errors.

    In math, i tried to review each answer in the first 15 questions, as a result i was nearly out of time at the end. be warned, for some reason, the math in the actual gre is far tougher than any of the ones uve faced so far, but still easy enough if done properly.

    Essays, follow the schedule that uve developed while writing practice essays. use similar techniques and stuff. for some reason readers in US prefer some kind of unconventionality, and you may want to try something different, but not too different. For the argument section there are usually 3 odd flaws, put one flaw per para and elaborate.

    The order of the sections in the exam can vary. But for sure, you will get the writing sections up first. Then you may get either verbal or quant: be prepared to attack whatever comes. After these sections you may get another verbal or quant or a known "experimental" section which they declare in advance (which is usually a second essay). If you know FOR SURE that its an experimental section (they told you so), you could ditch it halfway and go ahead and get your scores Even if you have slight doubts, attempt it properly.

    For some reason, whether you get a second verbal/quant or an experimental section depends on the following: (these are purely based on observation on a relatively small number of test cases - so it could be wrong!)

    1. Season: If you are giving the gre in july-august, for some odd reason, the chances of you getting an experimental are much much higer because for some reason, the number of applicants in that period are a lot more and they dont want to take too much pain.

    2. Score: This is again based on observation on 5-6 guys who gave the GRE in the month of jan-feb.
    Guys who got < 1500 got another quant/verbal and guys > 1500 got an experimental essay.

    Btw, I got an experimental essay, but even though I knew it was experimental, I sat for 20 odd minutes and gave it a good shot.

    Bottom Line: Dont think too much, give it your best shot.

    Also on the exam day:

    You would need the following (if i have forgotten something - pls correct me)
    - passport
    - ID Card (with photo ID) or drivers license with photo
    (Your name must match in all of these items)

    If you are carrying a jacket, either keep it on all the time or take it off after your ?tutorial? phase and keep it in your locker; they will pain you if you try taking it off/putting it on in the middle of the exam. I heard from a guy at the centre that he was giving the GRE again for this very reason; the administrators pained him because he kept the jacket on the chair or something, and they didnt like it - so they disturbed him in the middle of a passage. Poor guy cancelled his scores due to that! Its not too cold inside, but preferred keeping it on all the time. (and this was in august)

    Another relatively minor point but a friend got quite disturbed by this: keep the paper that they provide not on your lap, but on the desk - sometimes if they suspect of any weird form of cheating, they will be closely watching you and will not hesitate to disturb you in the middle of the exam.

    Watches, calculators, writing material are not allowed, might as well keep it inside the bag right away.

    This I have to add because I got feedback that junta are still confused about the pattern of the GRE: Please get the LATEST edition of Barrons (it doesn?t cost too much - just around 250 Rs. and read the fundae in it. They arecorrect.

    Words which were not in barrons Be prepared to find words which were not in barrons and those which you may never have seen before in your gre; even in the first 10 questions! One would tacitly assume that since the first 10 questions are ?supposed? to be easy, they definitely have to be easy - but this is not the case. There is a certain randomness in the system which even allows it to throw really hard or really easy questions at you. You would be surprised - I found a word ?commingle?
    which I had seen once in some test before (and vaguely knew the meaning) in my 4th question and got some ridiculously easy questions towards the end (due to which I was able to comfortably finish on time). Three of us who gave the test at nearly the same time found atleast one word which we hadn?t seen before in barrons. (for example, ?exemplar? - guessable though, like commingle)

    Also be prepared to encounter meaning of words which are different from those in barrons. Have an open mind to all possible interpretations.

    I feel that once you have done Barrons and know nearly all the words - with perhaps not able to recall meaning of say around 50-100 odd words without context and have done sufficient number of tests, you are well set for vocab.
    One really cant predict which words they will hit you with; so just hope for the best!


    20% of 500 > 100% of 100. I had seen this in some GRE book and this actually typifies the attitude one must have while mugging words from Barrons. It is more beneficial to recognise vaguely some 500 words rather than mugg up each and every denotation of 100 words. One must remember that the words list in Barrons is quite old and so isnt quite fully indicative of the words ETS can ask. I got some 2-3 completely new words in the first 6 questions itself. So, do mug words from Barrons but dont break your head in the last week over trying to remember each and every secondary, tertiary (and so on) meaning of words. More important during this period is that you learn and practise recognising different derivative forms of familiar words, recognising words formed with stems you have already seen, remembering phrases/contexts in which words are used and trying to test your intuitive ?feel? to completely new words etc.


    I found that mostly all the practice tests focus mainly on pure vocab i.e almost all questions are made tough only by giving you weird words i.e. once you know the primary meanings of the answer choices almost all the choices are useless and hence can be eliminated easily. But in the actual GRE and in the PPREP, the most challenging questions were based on recognising fine shades of usage of generally known words - so the answer choices are very close. Most often than not, the hardest analogies are the ones which involve known words only. As you cant possibly mug up all the meanings of a word, it is necessary that you know different contexts in which a word is used in every day english. Knowing the context helps a lot as it gives pointers to a word?s meaning as well as its usage. So, try and do this while studying the words itself. Dont be blind to a word?sconnotations and usage. Most of the times, meanings (as given in Barrons) simply dont give much insight.


    I heard from many people that their primary problem is that they cant do RC well. As this is the least vocab dependent part, learn to crack it properly. Improve your reading speed, accuracy and practise properly so
    that you dont miss out on any RC question. Time yourself properly and dont waste so much time on RC that finishing the section itself becomes a problem.

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  2. #2
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    Jun 2007
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    Thanx vitrag ji for this useful information. can we have the same for IELTS?
    thanx again...
    It Takes A Long Time To Grow An Old Friend

  3. #3
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    Aug 2007
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    Default re GRE


  4. #4
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    IELTS is easier and tons of textbooks and past papers available in the market.

  5. #5
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    thanks any way

  6. #6
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    Default Thanks!

    Excellent advice!! Thank you!

    Have you actually applied this system?

  7. #7
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    The Big Apple, New York!
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    You know this is great advice for most exams!

  8. #8
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    Oct 2012
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    Great information. Thanks for sharing.

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