Akram Tariq Khan, a current student at XLRI, had scored 330/340 in the GRE in his first attempt. We had a quick chat with him where he told us how he prepared for the GRE. Find out Akram's advice on how to crack GRE here!
1) Please give us a brief introduction about yourself and your profile.
I am a 2017 computer engineer graduate from AMU, Aligarh and am currently pursuing PGDM from XLRI, Jamshedpur. Prior to joining XLRI, I was working as Senior Manager at Tech4Planet Solutions within the digital marketing department. I appeared for GRE, IELTS and management examinations for Indian colleges (XAT, CAT and IIFT) in 2019 for the first time. I love learning new languages and am conversant in German having reached B2 level according to the CEFR scale. I have also been part of multiple startups since my college and that experience has been instrumental in my selection for a Product Management internship at media.net
2) How did you prepare for the GRE? What resources did you use? What were your weak and strong sections and how did you improve your weaknesses?
I prepared for GRE alongside CAT and ended up scoring 330/340 in my first attempt. The breakup was 162/168 in verbal and quants. To prepare for the GRE, I bought a trial account for Magoosh and completed the 1200+ questions within a week which familiarized me with the GRE format. A month later, I bought another trial account (Magoosh premium is pretty costly) and attempted the question set again. Spaced repetition is the mantra to success. It is not about mugging up the question types but revisiting the concepts and refreshing them. Magoosh’s reports reveal the weak and strong areas and one can specifically practise their weak areas to work up the concepts and strengthen them. Video lessons explaining the fundamentals should be completed prior to attempting the questions. Each question also has a video+text explanation and I used to go through them when in doubt.
The quants section in GRE was my forte as the questions are elementary and straightforward, while verbal required extensive practise - I worked on my vocabulary repertoire from multiple sources, I almost mugged up all the words offered within Magoosh's free mobile application which has somewhere around 1000 words and also practised at vocabulary.com.
I also read the NYTimes and Guardian on and off for long term retention of vocabulary. When one reads the words being used within context, they are triggered again and tend to stay in the long-term memory.
A fortnight prior to the examination, I also attempted the two free mocks available from ETS when you register for the GRE. I ended up scoring 162 in Verbal and 168 in Quants with a total of 330/340 in the GRE.
3) What will be your final to aspirants preparing for the GRE?
Stick to a schedule and be consistent because that is all it takes to ace the GRE. Keep attempting online mocks to understand your current level and get an idea of what areas you need to focus upon. Ideal time for focused preparation should be 2+ months though it would largely depend upon your current level and dedication. It is the number of intense hours that matter - quality over quantity. Do not follow those thick textbooks unless you happen to score very low on the mocks and have ample amount of time (6+ months) for your preparation. Stick to quality online resources and prepare religiously. Be calm and you will sail through. All the very best.