Sample Plan for GRE preparation


I have come up with a plan, that I followed for GRE in both my attempts (1420 and 1440). 
Everyday before you start with your preparation, repeat the words said by Will Smith in the Movie ‘Pursuit Of Happyness’ –
Don’t ever let somebody tell you that you can’t do something.
If you have a dream, protect it.
People can’t themselves do something, so they want to tell you that you can’t do it.
If you want something, GO GET IT. PERIOD!!!!!

First things first. I feel that quant in GRE is very simple. The biggest hurdle in GRE preparation is remembering words, having right plan, having right strategies, having right guidance.

Normally you should take your GRE in the month of July or August…see, the sooner you send you application packets to the univs, the better are your chances to get good RA, TA, scholarship…etc…. so to be in a position to take GRE in july or august, you should start preparing 4 to 5 months in advance. Normally people say “3 months are enough”. But I don’t feel so. 4 to 5 months of preparation should suffice. So start your preparation by March 1st .
Second of all, ignore what the world hypes about the difficulty level of GRE… people unnecessarily keep saying that ‘GRE is getting tougher day by day’..i don’t agree with that. It’s your level of preparation that is going to make the exam sound easy or difficult.

Third of all, before you start mugging the wordlist, go to the end of the word list of Barrons. There you will find the roots, prefixes, suffixes, etc.
Once you are familiar with that, you can easily remember the words from the wordlist.
Half of the words can be split or can be FELT by their prefixes, suffixes, roots, etc…
Understood??? So, DON’T EVER jump directly to the wordlist. Firstly create a good foundation upon which you can build your vocab.
Fourth of all, after you are done with the “prefixes, suffixes and roots” from Barrons, its time for you to start with the wordlist. Normally GRE takers get frightened by the number of wordlists – “50”!!!!… So the first thing that you need to do is do a psychological check! At least I used to use this kind of thinking — Do five wordlists at a time.
5 wordlist = 1 WORDLIST.
So at one go you should read 5 wordlists!
so if you see, as per normal maths, you would have to do just 50/5 = 10 WORDLISTS!… Getting my point??? When I started with the first WORDLIST, I had a consolation at the back of my mind that ‘there are only 9 more to go’!!…. I know this is kind of fooling yourself, but believe me this technique helps!… it helped a normal person like me.. it might help you too… once you conquer the fear of the number of wordlists, you will have a lot of confidence…. REVISION is the key to remembering the words.

Take a look at the link below for techniques on remembering wordlists.

Here is the timetable:
(4 hrs of preparation per day should suffice.)
March 1st – 15th March —- fully understand the “prefixes, suffixes and roots” from barrons.
March 16th – May 30th —- fully understand all the wordlists… you should know the meaning of any damn word given in Barron’s wordlist!

Along with the wordlist, also start preparing for Reading comprehensions. The basics need to be strong. So for that you should be able to understand any article on any damn subject under the sun… And as I said you can get anything under the sun, its important that you go to net and surf the web for any damn subject topic you can think of .. eg : importance of algae in the animal kingdom, why Florence nightingale is so famous, the colonization of a few colonies in America, the internal structure of proton, feminism in the 16th century, the strategy used by Google to be the number one search engine, how to electricity is produced….!!!!!!!!! Any damn article will help you familiarize with the content THAT YOU NORMALLY DON’T LIKE TO READ!

From March 1st up to April 15th you have time to READ DIVERSE material. After that .ie. till may 31st its time for you to start solving the 1000 RC document. You will find it on the net… for tips on RC please go thru this link..

Also, from March1st upto May 31st, solve with maths. Do maths half an hour a day. (the assumption is that you are already OK in maths.)

So, by May 30th you will have built a good foundation for verbal.
Now its time for you to know whether you are ready for the big battle in july/august.
Start practising vocab exercises with guru.exe, voca.exe, antonym.exe….

Practice these till june 10th. 10 days shld be sufficient for you to practice these.
LEARN from the mistakes you make here.
Its time to take a practice test from ETS POWER PREP (the CD which you get when you register). Take the test. Don’t get depressed if you get lower than you expected; because you are yet to polish your mind. Make sure ANALYSE your performance very thoroughly. Spend 2.5 hours on what went wrong, why it went wrong, what you will do to make sure it doesn’t go wrong.

Now, spend time from june 11th till june 20th just to go thru the barrons wordlist again.
And make sure you prepare for maths steadily…. STEADY PREPARATION OF MATHS IS VERY IMPORTANT!…
From June 21st up to july 5th solve the GRE Bigbook. There are 27 tests. Solve the first 10 tests just for practice. I mean don’t time them.

The later 17 tests should be solved in a timed’s ok if you don’t get time to solve all 17…
From 6th July up to 10th July focus on AWA. From the ETS site, you will get a pool of topics (issues and arguments) that might be asked in the exam.
Now its time to take the 2nd test from ETS POWER PREP.
In the actual exam you will get + or – 60 of what whatever score u get in the second test of ETS POWER PREP….
Now, uninstall and install again… again take 2 tests…
Now, uninstall and install again.. and again take 1 test.. by now you should have exhausted the database of the ETS POWER PREP….

Work for a week on your weaknesses… and then you should be good to crack the actual exam..!! ie. july 3rd week should be when you would come out with flying colours!!
Just to reword what Will Smith has said in the Movie ‘Pursuit Of Happyness’ –

Don’t ever let somebody tell you that you can’t score 1600 in GRE.
If you have a dream of scoring 1600 in GRE, protect that dream.
People themselves can’t score well, so they want to tell you that you can’t score well.
If you want 1600, GO GET IT. PERIOD!!!!!”

Give your best shot so that if ever someone googles “ the person who scored 1600/1600 in GRE”, the results should show up YOUR name!!!…
Happy GREing!!…
DISCLAIMER : pls dont sue me if this plan doesnt work for u :).. this is just a logical plan to help u score what you deserve..!


How I scored 1440 in GRE

First of all, ignore what the world hypes about the difficulty level of GRE… people unnecessarily keep saying that ‘GRE is getting tougher day by day’..i don’t agree with that. Its your level of preparation that is going to make the exam sound easy or difficult.

There are 4 types of questions that are asked in verbal section :
1) Antonyms (around 8questions)
2) sentence correction (around 7 questions)
3) analogies (around 7 questions)
4) Reading comprehension. (around 8-9 questions)

The first 3 types of questions can be very well handled if your vocab is good.
Of course I m not expecting you to know the whole dictionary! :)..just make sure that you are thorough with the word list given in BARRONS GRE. I really feel that BARRONS GRE is the bible for preparation for GRE!.. you would find many people who would say “ dump that barrons first”.. I wonder what makes them feel that!… I scored 640 2 times by using only barrons!
The wordlist in barrons is of 3500 words!… words like – discombobulated, recidivism, appurtenance, hiatus! WHO ON EARTH USES THOSE WORDS!! …someone tell me!

Anyways, there is no shortcut to learn the word list. You have to spend time to remember the words. You do anything to keep the words in your mind – write the words , use flash cards, make silly associations of words and some pictures in your mind, read out the words loud, start using the words in your day-to-day speaking. Discombobulate ur friends!!
I will give you one example. There is a word –stickler. It means a person who is particular about everything, someone who wants everything to be at its own place.! In engineering college, I had a room partner named Yogesh More who was very particular about cleanliness, neatness!… so I created a mental association of STICKLER and Yogesh More! So next time I see the word stickler, I know what it means!!!…understood?

Create ANY DAMN pattern to remember words. Don’t worry about what the stupidity or foolishness of the pattern. Its only till the time you take the GRE, that you need to remember those patterns!..right? J
Once you are done with the wordlist, you start reading a thesaurus. Thesaurus is mainly to give u an idea about the different shades of any word.

Softwares for helping you improve your vocab for Verbal section:

(this zip file contains very important softwares for GRE (pls change the etxn of this .ppt to zip and then extract the contents and then change the extension .xyz to .exe)


Vocab Tester



Like, the the example of the word – application.
The normal meaning we know is that of a formal letter to get some work done.
But there is one meaning of ‘application’ that normally all don’t know.
So, thesaurus will give u all the synonyms of a word.
After you are done with the barrons wordlist, you can directly jump into solving questions. Seriously, once you know how a word is used in different contexts, the above first 3 types of questions would be easy for you.
Reading comprehension has been haunting me since 2003!… I still haven’t been able to figure out what the passage said and what I understood! :)… kidding! There are many ways to tackle RC. I would tell you what I did to handle RC.
First read the passage slowly! Believe me, you will save a lot of time by solving Antonyms and Analogies quickly. So you can use that time in RC. I m not trying to blow my own trumpet, but really I could solve antonyms in just 5-6 seconds. Btw, there are 30 questions to be solved in 30 mins in verbal section. i.e a min a question. I used to save 55 * 8 seconds and I used to use that time in RC…get my point?

Use you strength to save time on easy questions and use that time wisely on the tougher questions. I used to spend arnd 4 mins to read a 70 line passage!.. I know you must be feeling that I was very slowly. But, I took time to comprehend! This is what happens when you don’t have a good reading habit!
When you read the first paragraph, try to judge what the next content is going to be. If the author is disgruntled about something, then be sure that he is going to propose something that is better than the previously mentioned method. And subsequently he will propose why he thinks the other method is good…etc. GRE passages normally follow a pattern. After solving some 50-60 passages , you will come to know the structure of the passage. You will even be able to anticipate what can be asked!…practice is very very important here.

this is the link for 1000 RC:


It’s a sea of RCs. But be sure that you understand what is going wrong after each RC. The NUMBER of ‘RCs solved’ is not important, it’s ‘what you learned’ is important.
After you are done with all this preparation, solve GRE BIG Book. It’s the bible of GRE exams. I had solved some 8 tests and I can surely say that the second question in the main exam came verbatim from the GRE BIG Book.!
And after that don’t forget to solve the tests given in the ETS GRE Powerprep (CD that you get on registering for exam)

This is the link for the GRE-big book:

GRE – Big Book

Happy GREing!!

Reading Comprehension in GRE

In GRE, you would normally get 3 passages — 1 or 2 passages of around 40 lines and 1 or 2 passages of around 85 lines. The passages come from various types of materials like magazines, text books, journals, biographies etc. The passages can be related to humanitarianism, feminism, cultural revolution, biology, astronomy, geology and ANYTHING UNDER THE SUN!!!
So what is important is that you get familiar with the type or the content of the passages.
And that will happen by diverse reading.
Before you start solving GRE passages, it important that you get a good idea of what kind of passage you might get. And as I said you can get anything under the sun, its important that you go to net and surf the web for any damn subject topic you can think of .. eg : importance of algae in the animal kingdom, why Florence nightingale is so famous, the colonization of a few colonies in America, the internal structure of proton, feminism in the 16th century, the strategy used by google to be the number one search engine, how to electricity is produced….!!!!!!!!! Any damn article will help you familiarize with the content THAT YOU NORMALLY DON’T LIKE TO READ!…
See, normal human beings that we are, we normally tend to read what we LIKE. But ETS is smart enough to not as you what you like and will ask something that you want to avoid or is uninteresting to you!… after doing the “READ ANYTHING” excercise, you are now ready to go through the 1000 RC document…

This is the link for 1000 RC document:


 It contains many passages asked in earlier GMAT and GRE. I really feel that going through these RCs is very important because that will help you understand what you will get in the exam. After solving some 70-80 passages you would have covered almost all types of passages that can be asked.
After solving each passage, it is very important that you understand why you made some mistake. I am sure that many of us will make get only 2 out of 6 correct. But don’t worry!… the passages are really damn difficult! So, after SOLVING a passage, re-read it and try to understand what the passage meant. Your understanding of the passage will be far better when you read the passage 2nd time. Then try to analyze why you didn’t understand some XYZ thing in your first reading. Try to find out what your frame of mind was when you read the passage for the first time and what your frame of mind was in the second reading. It’s very important that you spend a lot of time in introspecting what went wrong and why it went wrong and what you will do to avoid the mistakes. Just make sure that you don’t get frustrated by your mistakes.
how to read a passage:

A passage is normally written in a particular structure. By “particular”, I mean that you after solving some 70-80 passages, you will be able to identify the STRUCTUREs of passages. i.e. whether a passage was written to reject a theory, or whether a passage was written just to explain a new process, or whether a passage was written to explain a hypothesis regarding a process or whether a passage was written to support a new view about something…..etc!….

Normally the author puts forth some idea or theory and then he says that the idea or theory is not good enough to explain something. So he propounds a new theory and then gives a few examples to support the new theory. But he makes the end a bit confusing for an ordinary reader!…. don’t worry, after you follow what I have explained you in the earlier paragraphs , you will surely know what kind of structure the passage is following.

Whenever you start reading a passage, tell yourself “ok , don’t worry, this is just a small passage. No issues. I am surely going to understand what the author is trying to say. After all he is just a human being like me who is telling me something!…so I will read coolly and try to understand the passage easily”.
When you read the first paragraph of the passage, make sure that you understand what the main topic is around which the whole passage is going to revolve. Then try to understand how the author ended the first paragraph. Was he disgruntled or was he satisfied or was he angry or was he indifferent ???? Understanding that will help you imagine what he is going to say next.

See, it’s a very normal human being thing. Imagine that you are writing a blog about your experience about some X mobile. If you are disgruntled with the X mobile, you will start with describing about your bad experience with X mobile. Now that you are rejecting X mobile, its imperative that you are going to use some Y mobile. So you start describing the good qualities of Y mobile. You keep contrasting with X mobile to prove that your choice of Y mobile was good. And then finally in the last paragraph you will tell the readers of your blog to use Y mobile!!!
The passages in GRE are written by human beings like me and you!… so while reading the passage, you will FEEL the vibe of the author.

Imagine that the author is standing in front of you. And you are sitting on a bench listening to him. Imagination is the easiest way to understand the TONE of the passage. The IMAGINATION method takes a lot of practice, I agree. But it pays well. Try it out. Imagination also helps you to remember the data given in the passage. It’s not for nothing that it is said” a picture is better than a thousand words”.

 Whatever data you read in the passage, you try to create a mental picture of it. Once you are done with reading each paragraph, make sure that you sum up what each paragraph was trying to say. If you want, you can write down in one line what each paragraph meant and then finally after reading the whole passage take some 15-20 seconds to summarize what you read. So now, you should know what the author was trying to say, his tone, his suggestions, his rejections, the examples that he used to propose a theory and the examples he used to reject another theory….etc!
Whatever I have written above , will require a lot of practice ….but , believe me , every effort is worth is if you want a good GRE score… every 10 mark increase in ur score will help you get into a better college, will get u better RA, TA, Scholarship….and ultimately a higher-salaried job!!!

I hope I was able to help u in tackling RCs….
Practice, practice, read any damn thing, analyze, imagine, read any damn thing…!!!

This is link for RC from the official GRE-website:


Free download GRE softwares


This blog contains links for a few important softwares required while preparing for GRE.

NOTE: after downloading the below files, pls change the extension of the below files from .ppt to .zip and .xyz to .exe


Power Prep 3.1

Vocab Tester