First Attempt: Yes
When did you take your GRE?
I took my GRE in September 2017 and I scored 320 – 165 in quant and 155 in verbal.
Can you tell us something about your background?
I did my engineering from Punjab University, Chandigarh in 2014 with a CG of 8.6. After that, I worked at Infosys for one year and three months in a TAC project with Juniper Network Security. My profile was that of a Technical Assistance Centre Engineer; I used to help customers in fixing their networks which Juniper firewalls deployed. Then, I joined Cisco as a TAC engineer and I am currently working on their firewall and firepower self-defence devices. Around July, I joined CrackVerbal to prepare for my GRE. I had a great experience with them. I took my GRE on 18th September and on 25th September, I took my TOEFL exam. I scored 104 in TOEFL and 320 in my GRE. I have a total work experience of 3.5 years and my CG is 8.06. I don’t have any published work as of now but I will, soon.
What made you take up the GRE?
I always wanted to pursue my masters. Initially I thought of doing it in India, but after I started working in Infosys and speaking to my friends in India and the USA, I figured out that an M. Tech from India will not give way for great opportunities. Also, when I was working in Cisco, I realized that there are a lot of things that I’d want to get into more depth in, like doing research. It’s always great to work in a company like Cisco, networking geniuses work in Cisco. But to get into research, it’s important to pursue Master’s. That’s when I decided to take up GRE. Initially, I thought of preparing by myself, but while I was preparing, I always had a time issue because, after coming back from work, I used to be tired and say let me postpone it for tomorrow and I was not focused much. That is when I decided to join an institute because I’ll have a fixed syllabus and I thought somebody with sufficient experience will be able to guide me through and I joined CrackVerbal. Since I’m an engineering student, I always thought Quant will not be that difficult – not a cakewalk, but relatively easier. I thought verbal would be a little difficult, because I do read, but not that much. GRE English is not something that you come across in everyday usage. I attended the demo class by Manoj at CrackVerbal. He is an amazing teacher.
How did CrackVerbal help you?
I think one of the biggest problems for GRE students in the verbal section, probably, is reading comprehension. Manoj was so clear and concise about the way he taught us to deal with this, he explained how it is not necessary to read the entire passage. He showed us which parts to focus on. That was massively helpful. One thing I really liked is that CrackVerbal is very structured. I joined a weekday batch because I thought I’d come back from office and do it. But CrackVerbal is very flexible. The classes were from 2 to 5, so I informed Prateek that I wouldn’t be able to make it at 2 – so he shifted the entire batch by half an hour! I think that was a very sweet gesture. And yes, the classes are very structured. For example, for one week, we only do RC. On the first day, Manoj gives us the context, second day we do questions, and on the third day, you can discuss and come up with your own questions and solve the workbook. If you miss a class, you can book a session and watch the video for that class and catch up with the others in the class. That’s a great added option. Plus, you can attend the same class at another centre according to my convenience. They have amazing faculty for both verbal and quant. I have friends who joined other coaching centres, they have a class strength of 100-odd people and they can barely interact with the faculty. Our CrackVerbal batch had around 20-25 candidates. We had Aditya for Quant and Manoj for Verbal. Both the tutors gave individual attention and made sure that you are sure about something before moving on to the next concept. I think it is very important to get personal attention. If you concentrate properly, you don’t even have to go back home and revise it.
What advice would you like to give for the aspirants?
You should practice as many questions as possible. I think you should keep in mind that time is a very important factor. It’s not important that you get two hundred questions, but what is important is how much time you are taking for those two hundred questions. Similarly, it is not important that you are able to solve all the five questions in your RC, but how much time you take for each reading comprehension. So, initially, you should practice just for accuracy, but when you think your accuracy is good, you should focus more on time because GRE is more of a time game. You have to solve 20 very difficult questions in 35 minutes. Always time your preparation. Take a lot of practice tests and don’t pause your practice test, ever. Sit through the test exactly like a 3 hour GRE test would be. Then you will have a fair idea of what you will be going through on the actual exam day. After the tests, make sure you go through every question where you went wrong. Definitely take the two ETS practice tests by GRE because they are very similar to the final test. Also, do practice the first writing section (AWA) that a lot of students miss. I did not score well in that test, I got 3.5. I applied to a university that had a cut off of 4. So, I did regret for that and thought I should have practiced more on that. At CrackVerbal, Manoj took time for that as well, we had two classes on AWA. So yeah, that is important.