How I scored 321 on GRE

Ranjith is a software engineer at Cognizant. He is passionate about pursuing higher studies at University of Pennsylvania in the field of computing. He took up the GRE course at Manya -The Princeton Review, Adyar during December-January and scored 321(math-164 and verbal-157) and 4 on writing. Phone Interview
The following is an excerpt from a phone-interview with him.

Are you happy with your scores Ranjith?

Initially when I had joined the course, I had a lot of inhibitions and was also skeptical about my performance in the exam. I was asked to take a test. I had no clue about GRE prior to this, and in that test I scored 301(math – 156 and verbal -145). After I joined the course, I actually learnt a lot about how to approach the exam. I learned how to maximize output with limited resources. And the material is akin to the original exam in the terms of difficulty level and standard. Faculty, of course, were great in terms of their commitment towards helping me realize my dream score.

What were your challenges while preparing for the exam? How were they addressed?

The speed and rate questions were one hell of a trouble during those days. I think doing well on the GRE is more about technique than the concept, because even if you know the formula for a+b whole squared it is not enough for the exam. How to intelligently get to the answer, and of course getting to the answer quickly, I think that’s what matters the most. The techniques taught were definitely useful for this. And with verbal, oh my god! It is all about reading comprehension and as expected vocabulary, which of course is never ending trouble. With verbal, the faculty gave me a lot of techniques to remember words and navigate through the passages, but the onus is on the student to stick to the approach and to put extra effort.

Any special resource that you found useful?flashcards

I would say the Manya TPR flashcards, initially I thought it is a time taking process, but yeah I realized that it is the most effective way to retain vocabulary, at least for me. Obviously for math, it should be the portal. But I wish I had spent some more time and scored 100% on math.

Do you have any comments on your writing score?

I never really liked writing so I never concentrated on it. But I realized something later, if only I had written 4 or 5 practice essays! Because I started with 1 which is bad and finally got 4 by just sticking to the templates given by the verbal faculty. Argument essay is sort of rigid. If you learn critical reasoning and apply them here you will really get to the high score. Issue essay is a little vague but as suggested I should have given more examples. But anyways given my starting point, I must say that I am relatively happy with the scores.

And any advice that you would like to give?

Advice, if you ask me, I think persistence is the key to crack the exam. Instead of rote and conventional ways of doing the exam, I would say that Manya, the Princeton Review has something better to offer. No doubt about it. image-


Would you recommend us to your close friend?

Undoubtedly. Anytime. In fact my friend suggested that I join here. And my decision was not wrong.

“*The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily those of Manya Education Private Limited.”


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Sidhardha Veeravalli


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