Here’s another blog from one of our Academy’s stars, Adheesh Gokhale, who scored a superb 338. What makes his performance even more creditable is that he was a working student. So, his is another inspiring story to let you know that getting a great score is possible.
Finally, with apologies for my procrastination (you can look up the meaning of the word here; I won’t tell you! :)) here’s my blog. Now, let’s get down to business.
I will not tell you what to do; instead I’ll share what I did. (But I do believe that anyone who can do this will be able to score above 330 – I won’t say much on AWM though as I have a score of only 4 🙂 ! So, here goes:
What was my state 10 days before exam?
1. I knew meanings (primary/secondary) of nearly 3000 words. I used to look up the words at http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ to learn the meaning. I used the flash cards to revise the words at regular intervals. (Guys, once you are through with ~1500 words, you’ll realize that retaining old and learning new words becomes more and more difficult at an exponential rate. To overcome this constant revision is the only way out.) Unfortunately, due to my work timings (and the fact that my office does not permit the use of smart phones), I could not use VaiVocab. However, I have tried it, and it is a really useful tool. Please exploit it to the max.
2. I had solved nearly all the Quant exercises, barring those of Data Interpretation and Statistics. I had also skimmed through the ‘mathreview’ PDF file available at the ETS site.
3. I had written few essays, both for Argument and Issue Tasks.
4. I could read and appreciate the articles on aldaily.com, without occurrence of effects like ‘blurred vision’, ‘headaches’ and ‘desperation of not understanding head or tail of it’. I was proud of this achievement because I had experienced these very effects, one month earlier.
What did I do, in the 10 days before exam?
1. I took a leave. (Guys at my workplace, please don’t leak this!) The point was that, for those 10 days, I wanted to be completely focused on GRE. I would suggest that you schedule your GRE at such a time, when you can spare nearly 10 days, for nothing but GRE.
2. I stopped learning new words. I only revised the words that I knew. (I used to revise nearly 500 or more words in a day, not in one sitting though. I would do that in batches of 150-200). I kept on solving exercises for Quant (especially the DI and Stats) and Verbal. I used to write one argument and one issue essay (randomly selected from the topic Pool available at ETS site) everyday.
3. In those 10 days I gave 8 mock exams- 2 ETS PowerPrep exams (2 from my CD and one from my friend’s CD), 3 exams of our academy, 3 from outside. I did this because I wanted to get ‘used’ to giving GRE. I can now say that giving exams from various sources exposed me to various flavors. Also, of these, the last 3 exams were given at 12 noon, my actual GRE time. I did this to set my body clock. It was a good step, for I remember that towards end of first such exam, I was terribly hungry and sleepy (you don’t want to give your GRE in such a state of mind).
What did I do, on the day of exam?
1. Warm up! I got up at 7 (I had had my full 8-hour quota of sleep). My exam was at 12. In those 5 hours, apart from time spent on traveling (nearly 1.5 hours), having lunch (nearly 0.5 hours) and other small things (add another 0.5), I spent 3 hours on getting my brain warmed up and relaxed. I solved nearly 20-30 sentence completion questions and 30-40 Quant problems. I read cartoon strips and solved the puzzles that come in Bangalore Times. All this, to ensure a calm state of mind and an alert intellect.
2. Reached test center in time, met two Dilip Oak’s students :), completed the formalities and finally sat in front of a desktop, a CC camera staring down at me.
3. I prayed, meditated, did a bit of breathing. (Finally, the moment of truth was here. I had paid 10K bucks for this exam (yes, it was my hard earned money), and had spent much more on tuition, mock exams etc. I had to make the most of it.)
4. I made complete use of the ‘break’, to get my hunger sated and mind relaxed.
5. FINISHED THE EXAM WITH 338 ON THE SCREEN AND A SMILE ON MY FACE!
BTW. To working guys and gals: I was NOT on bench. I was in a new project and had to work seriously from 9 to 7 or even up to 8, which meant that I left my home at 8 a.m. and came back at 8 or 9 p.m. But I made good use of the 1.5 hours I spent traveling in bus by revising words. Also I acted smartly and, whenever I got bored while working, I learnt a new word in a 5 minute break ( I took nearly 5 breaks every day 😉 ).
And that’s all I have to say!
Best of luck to everyone and I’m sure, soon we’ll see a 340 from our academy!