GRE Test experience 1: Kalhan Koul
We interviewed Kalhan Koul, who took the GRE in 2015 to get an understanding of his experience of the test. With a limited amount of time to prepare for the test, he was able to get a respectable score in both Quant and Verbal. So, if you find yourself looking for some quick tips on how to crack the GRE within a few weeks, Kalhan should serve as an inspiration.
Q – What are you up to these days?
A - I am currently living in Seattle, USA and I work as a Software Engineer for the AWS System Manager Team.
Q – What was your undergrad course?
A – I did my BE in Computer Science.
Q – What was your Verbal and Quant score?
A – Verbal: 150, Quant: 164
Q – How much time did you have to prepare?
A – 5 to 7 Days
Q – That is a fairly limited window, what resources did you use for your preparation?
A – Magoosh was my primary preparation source for all sections of the GRE.
Q – How much time did you dedicate each day?
A – One hour each day.
Q – How was your experience on the day of the GRE exam?
A – First thing you will notice is the that the time will seemingly pass pretty quickly even compared to the mock tests. It did so especially for me because it had been a while since I sat for a timed MCQ style test.
Q – Were you able to stay calm during the exam?
A – Yes, absolutely. They key is that if you are stuck on a question, move on.
Q - How important was it to memorize important vocabulary words?
A - Hardly got any reference to words in the vocabulary list but it surely can be useful in some scenarios
Q - What advice would you give to yourself if you had to take the test again?
A – As I said, time will be slipping out of your hands and the last thing you want is to run out of it. The most important advice is to manage your time better and also try to double check your calculations.
Q - How important was the GRE score in your MS applications?
A - It is just the minimum threshold. So, it is important if you want to be considered for some elite universities. However, you must understand that your comprehensive profile and story will be considered.
Q - Did you have to wait long at the test centre before the test?
A – No, barely 5-10 mins. The exams are well organised and start on time.
Q - Was is silent enough to concentrate at the test centre?
A - Some people were giving their verbal test at same time I was having my hearing skill test. So, it wasn’t silence per se, be ready for that.
Q - Do you think reading articles from reputed sources would have helped with your verbal scores?
A – Yes, I think it would have.
Kalhan went on to do his MS from the University of Southern California and is now working with Amazon. Though he is surely an exception to the rule, we do suggest that you give your GRE preparation at least a few months. However, if you do find yourself in a situation similar to Kalhan, then we hope his insights would be helpful.
Also, we would like to hear from you. Please let us know what questions would you like answered? You can also let us know if you would like to share your GRE exam experience. Thank you.