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Aishwarya’s New GRE Exam: Overcoming Test Day Anxiety

Here’s Aishwarya’s test day experience! If you’d like to read others like these, or submit your own write-up after you take your exam, head over to our Student New GRE Experiences page. There are dozens of stories from students of various backgrounds with really great tips– we encourage you to learn from their successes and their mistakes. Enjoy!

“Been telling myself I will post my experience soon but never did till now! Just received my Official scores, so I decided to finally write down my experience!

I took the test on November 10th. As expected, I was nervous, much more so than for the Xth XIIth Boards or even for my Engineering finals! To add to the tension I realised I had left my passport behind at Pune when my center was Ahmedabad. I managed to convince BlueDart to send it through an Airport-to-Airport service !

Well anyway, I reached the center pretty early. The guard who was in charge spoke in fluent English, even advised me to calm down and that it would be a piece of cake Smile.

The proctors came in and seemed very helpful, and realised I just wanted to start with the test right away!

It started off, and I was surprised to see the AWA topics were very easy. I always preferred writing about familiar topics, but who doesn’t? Word of advice for future test takers: Kaplan provides a vast list of what not to do while writing the issue/analytical topics. Do go through them, at least the first few pages, because they are the most common mistakes. Luckily for me I had read them just the day before.
I got a 4.5 in AWA. Not bad, eh?!

I finished the AWA feeling confident, clicked on continue, literally crossing my fingers, hoping for a Quant Section. Horrified and had to gush out a few abuses when I saw a Verbal section.
I started off  telling myself “all is well Laughing“,  but it was only a matter of time before I realised that I wasn’t actually applying the strategies that I’d learnt during the latter part of my preparation. It was a little late, but I knew then that I had screwed up my first verbal section!

Moved on to Quant. It was easy, no doubt, not lengthy. I would say just about enough time to solve the Math, but I realized that the levels of the questions were all jumbled up. First Quant was easy, I was sure to get a 19/20, and then one was a DI Question, which I wasn’t sure of.

The break: honestly I just wanted to continue with the test. I’m not usually one who would sit continuously but that day I felt like taking it in one go. Nevertheless, splashed water on my face, with my inner voice screaming “Crap! The first verbal is gonna cost you big time!!”

The second Verbal section was relatively easy. But then again, close answers, managed to eliminate 3 options and struggled with the remaining 2. RC’s were long. The difficulty level was alright, but they were (no offensive words to be used) long. I started working on the strategies I learnt and could see the answer gleaming! I wished I had applied them in the first section!!

I struggled for time on the next Quant section. I misread 2 questions and wasted about 5-6 mins redoing them, and as a result had to guess on 4 Questions, without even reading them! Ah! Painful!

I finished the last verbal and had no qualms about the last section.

I saw the scores: 150 & 157. I was initially taken aback because until the previous day I knew scores were still reported in the Old Range, and I had been anxious about interpreting them. I was disappointed with the Quant part. On Verbal I guess could have gotten 5-6 more marks. No fretting about it now though!

Best of luck fellow test-takers! Blast the Revised GRE!! Cheers!

P.S Apologies for the long post!! Very Happy Couldn’t help it!”

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