Oak’s Online GRE® Prep Tools

As the GRE® test is computer-delivered; the test-taker has to be comfortable with solving questions on the screen. After years of appearing for paper-based tests, this may be a little daunting for the average college student in India. One of the best ways to boost your confidence on the test day is to get used to the computer-based delivery of the GRE® test.

Dilip Oak’s Academy offers an online suite of practice modules and tests. This online suite will help you prepare on the go! The suite includes Focused Practice, Test Prep, Mock Tests, and Vocabulary App and has hundreds of GRE-like questions for both the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. A single sign-in will be your key to unlocking all the online features.

FOCUSED PRACTICE

(Available for our GRE® coaching students only)

  1. Reinforcement of the classroom coaching by helping you keep in sync with the concepts, tricks, and tips taught in the class
  2. 400+ questions for Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning
  3. Topic-wise questions for Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning

 

STUDY PLANS

(Available for our GRE® coaching students only)

  1. Carefully designed according to your GRE® test date
  2. Wide variety of plans — one month to four months
  3. Sent directly to your inbox: a detailed preparation method with built-in milestones to help measure your progress
  4. Regular reminders to help you prepare for the GRE® test in a more systematic manner

 

TEST PREPOaks Test Prep

  1. Personalized Dashboard to track your progress
  2. Customized according to the question types and difficulty level
  3. Convenient timed and untimed modes for practice
  4. Instant Review and question summary
  5. In-depth explanatory answers to gauge where you stand

 

Oaks GRE TestMOCK TESTS

  1. Actual GRE® test experience with full-length timed tests according to the ETS® pattern
  2. Analytical Writing section: Get essay scores and personalized feedback by our experienced evaluators
  3. Detailed Analysis: question by question break up of your performance to help you gauge your strengths and weaknesses
  4. Explanatory Review: help you understand what went wrong and how to get it right the next time

 View our Plans & Pricing for Oak’s Online GRE Prep Tools

 

VOCABULARY APPOaks Vocabulary App

  1. 1500 high-frequency GRE® words
  2. Images illustrating the meaning of words
  3. Sample sentences, and audio and text pronunciation
  4. An interactive audio-visual tool with test mode

You can buy the Vocabulary App from Google Play or App Store

Centre Shock: The Unexpected Challenges Your GRE Test Center May Throw at You!

Hi folks! Today’s post is a write up by Shraddha Barawkar, an engineering student (see brief bio below) about her GRE test experiences at the Prometric Center at Goregaon. We thought it might be interesting for all you GRE candidates out there to hear about how things worked out for her.

 


  • Name: Shraddha Barawkar
  • Branch: Mechanical Engineering
  • College: Pune Vidhyarthi Griha’s College of Engineering and Technology
  • GRE Date: 5 December 2014
  • GRE Center: Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd
  • Center Location: Techniplex I, Goregaon (West), Mumbai

 

Ideally, you should enter your GRE test center full of pep and leave it with a smile! But if you don’t prepare for conditions at the test center or think about travelling there, you may be in for an energy drain that can wipe the smile right off your face. And that can throw off your performance in the GRE!

One of the first things I realized is that it would have been better to be at the test location the day before. I live in Pune and my GRE test center in Goregaon West, Mumbai, was about 120 kms. away – that’s for non-Maharashtrian readers! (Google map and more details here) So, I had to wake up at 4 a.m. and eventually left my house at 6.30 for Mumbai. Not a good idea on the day of the exam!

However, it was early morning, there was only light traffic and so we reached the outskirts of Mumbai at 10 a.m. I heaved a sigh of relief: I had a 12.30 p.m. slot, there were still 2-½ hours for my test and we thought it would take only half an hour to cover the approximately 25 kms to the test center. But by then, the traffic had started up and so, it took us 1-½ hours. As a result, I didn’t even get to have breakfast in peace. Luckily though, my father was able to grab a couple of wadas for me from the vendors outside the center. Finally, at 12.25 p.m., I walked into the center.

My test room was on the 8th floor. As I entered the room, I saw 50 expressionless faces looking blankly at me: those of my fellow test-takers. Simultaneously, I was hit by a sharp temperature drop, from 300C outside, to around 180 inside. I felt as if I had entered a graveyard, and my hands started shivering. Nevertheless, I put a smile on my face and tried to converse with some of the folks there, but they were very reticent, adding to the nervousness I felt because of chill in the room. I could feel myself losing focus and giving in to the desire to just to get the exam over as soon as possible! The atmosphere at the test center, I realized, doesn’t help you to settle into the right frame of mind to take the test.

Shraddha's Overall Evaluation of the Test Center

Somehow, eventually, the formalities got over (passport, ID checking etc.) and, a painful half an hour later, we were asked to put our bags and accessories in the lockers. Then, one by one, we were sent to the main exam room. I relaxed a bit at that point, since I thought that the formalities were finally over. But I was wrong! Inside there was yet another room where I was asked to remove my blazer, unchain my back pockets, raise the collar of my formal shirt and unfold the lower portion of my jeans. This was all done by male authorities, which as a woman, I found quite embarrassing. Finally, I was sent to the test room.
During the exam itself, I encountered two important problems: firstly, typing with nearly numb fingers was a tough job in the analytical writing section. Secondly, during the 10 minute-break halfway through the test, I thought going to the waiting room would be a simple matter. But again I had to complete formalities involving signatures and time entry in order to check out. After the break the whole process of apparel checking was repeated which, took another 3-4 minutes. I was not aware that I had to include time for these things in the break as well and it was only by luck that I had come back early from my break. These circumstances made the GRE a tougher nut to crack!

You might wonder, why I am telling about you my frustrating experiences. It’s because I don’t want you to get demoralized by these things; I want you to be prepared for the worst. The first challenge lies in overcoming the unfavorable conditions at the test center. Only then can you attain the calm state of mind that you need to solve tricky GRE questions!

In conclusion, here’s my advice: if your test center is not located in your home town, you should be at the test location a day before. Find out about nearby places to eat and travel routes and times. Take into consideration traffic conditions too, and try to reach an hour early! You should also eat properly before the test and wear warm clothes. Sometimes the washrooms are far from the test rooms. So, be prepared for a long trek there and, if you are at the Goregaon center, all the formalities of signing in and signing out too!

Hope this helps folks.

This is Shraddha wishing you all the best to give your best!

ETS ScoreSelect for the GRE: a Boon …More or Less!

For students who have given the GRE more than once, the worry has always been that the universities will see their low scores along with their high ones. To deal with this problem the ETS launched the ScoreSelectTM feature some years ago. ScoreSelect allows you to decide which GRE scores will go to universities and colleges which means that you can omit poor scores from your graduate school applications. If you are retaking the GRE therefore, or have GRE scores that you are not keen to show the universities, it seems that ScoreSelect will allow you to breathe a little more easily. But you should be aware that this apparent boon does have its limitations.

Firstly, you won’t be able to mix and match your best maths and verbal performances from separate tests to create a super report. ScoreSelect only allows you to send score reports as a whole. Secondly, if you want the full flexibility that ScoreSelect offers then, it comes at a price.

As the ETS explains, after test day, you can send Additional Score Reports and select the ScoreSelect.

  • Most Recent option — using which, you can send your GRE scores from your most recent test
  • All option — using which, you can send your GRE scores from all tests in the last 5 years.
  • Any option — using which, you can send your GRE scores from one OR many tests in the last 5 years.

As you can see, it is the third option that gives you full scope to exclude the ‘bad’ scores you don’t want the universities to get. But, at this point, i.e. after test day, you will have to shell out $27/- per report. On test day, on the other hand, when you can choose 4 universities to send your score report to AT NO ADDITIONAL COST, this magical option is not available. All you have is the ScoreSelect Most Recent and All options. In short, if you want to get the full benefit of the ETS’s ScoreSelect option, you will have to pay for it at the rate of $27 per score report. As someone once said, there’s no such thing as a free lunch!

The third problem is that universities are all aware that you may be making use of this facility – and so, some may ask you to send score reports of all the GRE tests you have taken in the last 5 years anyway! If that’s the case with a university that you have selected, then you are stuck, and ScoreSelect is not going to help you.

So, the option exists. But it’s expensive, and it may not always be possible to use it. But, if the university you are applying to is willing to let you show them just the best side of yourself then, if you need it ScoreSelect is always there. Proceed thoughtfully!

Free TOEFL Score Reports

You can send four free official TOEFL® score reports to universities and colleges that you specify before you take the test (see ‘TOEFL Destinations‘ for a list of institutions to which your score can be sent).

ETS states that you can choose or delete universities to which your free TOEFL score report should be sent by using the TOEFL iBT® online registration system until 10 p.m. (local test center time) on the day before the test. You cannot change or delete score recipients after the 10 p.m. deadline. For every university or college that you select to receive a free score report after the 10 p.m. deadline, you will have to pay US$18.

ETS will send official score reports the institutions you choose approximately 13 days after you take the test. However, you should allow 4–6 weeks for locations outside the United States just in case there are postal delays.

For more information click here.

Free Score Reports for the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS Tests

Each of the major tests that students generally take to get higher education in the United States – i.e. the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL tests – allows you to send you scores to a certain number of universities or colleges free of charge.

  • GRE – 4 free score reports
    • names of universities to be specified on the day of the test, immediately after your exam
    • current fee per score report thereafter $ 18
  • GMAT – 5 free score reports
    • names of universities to be specified on the day of the test, immediately after your exam
    • current fee per score report thereafter $ 28.00
  • TOEFL – 4 free score reports
    • names of universities to be specified one day before the test
    • current fee per score report thereafter $ 25
  • IELTS – 5 free score reports (to universities accepting an IELTS score) + 1 given to the candidate
    • names of universities to specified in the IELTS application form
    • additional score reports may be requested directly from the testing center – the fee for additional reports will be specified by the test center
Read our subsequent blogs for more details on free score reporting.

 

GRE News: ETS Opens Customer Support Centers in India

Here’s an additional bit of good news for GRE test takers in India. The growing number of students taking the GRE® test in this country has pushed the GRE Program to open customer support centers here.

According to the ETS, the new GRE Customer Service Centers will “provide guidance and information for individuals preparing or planning to take the GRE® revised General Test or GRE® Subject Tests. Information about test preparation materials, test centers and dates, score reports and other test-related inquiries can be answered by call center staff.”

The ETS adds that India Indian students, “may call the new GRE Customer Support Center toll-free at 000-800-100-4072, Monday–Friday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. IST. In addition, inquiries can be sent via email toGRESupport4India@ets.org.”

This should make registering for, scheduling and cancelling the test much easier for students.

Related:

News from ETS: New GRE Test Centers Open in India

Starting in July this year, the GRE program made additional testing available across the country to support the growing demand in India. The cities where additional testing will be available include Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Calcutta, Dehradun, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, Vadodara and Vasad. A surprise inclusion is Nasik. Pune is yet, however to get a test center of its own despite the large number of test takers from Pune.

Dawn Piacentino, Director of Communications and Services for the GRE Program at ETS explains that there are two reasons for the increase in the number of test-takers: “Interest in the GRE revised General Test has been steadily growing as more people are choosing to submit GRE scores when applying for an MBA or specialized master’s program. The number of graduate schools around the world who accept GRE scores is also on the rise, giving GRE test takers a lot of options.” The GRE is obviously still aggressively challenging the position of the GMAT a the premiere test for students seeking admission to MBA programs in the United States.

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GRE Prep: Verbal Study Plan Overview

Here from Dilip Oak’s Academy are the GRE Prep highlights. As the graphic above indicates the basic plan for verbal preparation for the GRE is as follows:

  • at least 3-5 months before your GRE, begin vocabulary preparation and preliminary reading practice
  • 2 months before your GRE, begin going through the practice material
  • 1 month before your GRE, begin your practice on the Computer-Based Tests (CBTS)

This is explained below: As you can see there are four aspects of preparation that you have to cover:

  1. Vocabulary Learning and Revision
  2. Preliminary Reading Practice
  3. Covering the Practice Material
  4. Practice on the Computer-Based Tests (CBTs)

Each of the sections below gives you a brief idea of how to handle one aspect of preparation. Each section also contains links (in red) which give you further important details about the aspect of preparation that it deals with. Before you read through the sections below read through the post on ‘some principles’ for GRE Preparation. This will give you important guidelines on how to work through the material described in each of the sections.

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Free GRE Tips on Preparing for the Verbal Section

Guiding Principles

I. First Techniques, Then Timing

When working on your practice material, first get comfortable with the techniques and start focusing on timing only when you have reached a high level of accuracy and confidence with the techniques. If you try to push yourself to do the questions faster, without first getting a good grasp of the techniques, you will end up making more mistakes and losing confidence. So,start by getting accurate and confident with the techniques first.

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A Few Great Tips on How to Tackle the GMAT DS Questions

 by our Quantitative Reasoning Faculty

In last time’s blog we looked at why DS is so important in GMAT. In this one we’ll take a look at the 3 key things that you need to do in order to tackle this unfamiliar question type. There are:

 

1. Learn the Options

The first step in learning DS is to get absolutely familiar with the options. Fortunately, in DS, this is easy because the five options are always as follows:

(A) Statement (1) alone is sufficient but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked

(B) Statement (2) alone is sufficient but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked

(C) Both statements (1) and (2) together are sufficient to answer the question asked, but neither statement alone is sufficient

(D) Each statement alone is sufficient to answer the question asked

(E) Statements (1) and (2) together are not sufficient to answer the question asked and additional data are needed.

 

2. Remember the Aim

Remember, in DS our aim is NOT TO FIND THE FINAL ANSWER to the question but  just to verify whether the INFORMATION GIVEN IN THE TWO STATEMENTS IS SUFFICIENT TO REACH TO THE FINAL ANSWER!

So while solving the question if, at any intermediate step, you realize that you can reach the final answer then QUIT and mark the option accordingly.

 

3. Understand the Approach

Now let’s have a look at how you should approach DS questions.

Step 1: Carefully Read the Question Statement and Find the Crux of the Question

After closely examining the question statement and before you read the information given in statements (1) and (2), ‘identify the crux of the question’. What I mean by ‘the crux of the question’ is the piece of information that is the key to the solution. Sometimes you have to think a little bit before you get it. But once you have it, it will lead you straight to the answer. For example, have a look at this question statement:

 

If x and y are distinct positive integers then:

 

 

 

 

 

(1) x = 2 (y + 3)

(2) x2 = y2 + 4

 

Now, if you have lost touch with maths, just the sight of that forest of terms is enough to want to make you give up. But again, remember that we are not at all interested in solving this inequality. We just need find out whether the expression on the left hand side is positive or not (that’s what is implied by >0) – and this is a much simpler matter! Further, in this mass of algebraic symbols is a key that reveals itself when you examine about the expression and think about it a little.

In order to get this key, the first thing to do is to carefully observe the question statement. First and foremost, it says, that x and y are distinct positive integers. This is a very important piece of information – and you’ll understand why in a moment. Secondly, if you observe the numerator of the expression on the left, it consists of additions throughout. Given both these pieces of information, the numerator has to be positive in nature: it is the sum of distinct positive integers (which is why the information about x and y was important). By the same logic, even the second bracket in the denominator has to be positive. The only unknown factor, therefore, is the first bracket in the denominator, i.e., (x – y) and this is what holds the key to the entire problem.

The entire expression will be positive if and only if (x – y) > 0, in short, if x > y. On the other hand, if x < y, the whole expression will be negative. So, the whole gigantic problem is reduced to an extremely simple question: is x > y? Once we have arrived at this conclusion, cracking the rest of the problem is really easy: any information about the relative magnitudes of x and y will be sufficient to arrive at the answer! Thus, in this case, the crux of the question (the key to the solution) is realizing that all we need to find out in order to answer this question is whether statements (1) and (2) allow us to decide whether x is bigger than y or vice versa.

Once you have reached this stage you are can confidently take on the options of this seemingly insoluble problem. The discussion above takes care of Step 1 of the approach i.e. carefully reading the question statement and finding the crux of the question. In the next post we’ll look at Step 2 of the approach: tackling the options in DS questions – and we’ll be giving you tips that will reduce the complexities to a few simple steps! Watch for the tips in our third DS blog post next week.