GRE Experience: Viral Sinha

This is the third edition of our ‘GRE Experiences’ series and you can access the first two parts here. Through this series, we try to bring you deep insights and unique perspectives from previous exam takers that can help you in your pursuit. If you are preparing for GRE, this is certainly the place to be.

We recently sat down with Viral Sinha who scored 306 with three months of preparation time. 

Q – Hi Viral, what are you up to these days? 

A – I am currently a computer science student at University at Buffalo. It’s been an amazing experience here so far. 

Q – Good to hear that, please tell us what was your Verbal and Quant score on the GRE?

A – I scored a 149 on Verbal and 157 on Quant

Q – When did you take the GRE?

A – 6th November 2017

Q – What was your undergrad course?

A – I am an engineer. I did my B.Tech from Kolkata (I.T.M.E/N.I.T.M.A.S)

Q – How much time did you have to prepare?

A – It took me around three months and I had a full-time job during that time as well.

Q – That is a fairly limited window, what resources did you use for your preparation?

A – I had two primary sources - Magoosh & Manhattan 5lb 

Q – How much time did you dedicate each day?

A – Since I was working, I only had around 3 hours to spare every day

Q - What resources did you use for your AWA preparation?

A - Just read around 2-3 sample AWA essays

Q - What did you do 2 days before the test?

A – (chuckles) I watch Narcos and took a few sample tests

Q – How was your experience on the day of the GRE exam?

A – It was super hectic, as I got 3 math papers and had to keep doing calculations all the time

Q – Were you able to stay calm during the exam?

A – Yes, I was. The idea is not to waste too much time on questions that stump you. 

Q - How important was it to memorize important vocabulary words? 

A - Really important actually. Sometimes just a few critical words can help you understand the entire essay. 

Q - What advice would you give to yourself if you had to take the test again?

A – Give more mock tests, at least 10. With each test, you improve your score by 1-2 points plus you also build stamina for the actual test.

 Q - How important was the GRE score in your MS applications?

A – It is very important. Luckily, I had around 4 years of experience with me so it kind of balanced out but obviously with a better score I could have applied to much better colleges. 

Q - Did you have to wait long at the test centre before the test?

A – No, not at all.

Q - Was it silent enough to concentrate at the test centre?

A – Yes. 

Q - Do you think reading articles from reputed sources would have helped with your verbal scores?

A – I read NYTimes regularly, which helped because the same kind of language turns up on the paper as well. 

Thank you for your insights Viral, we appreciate it. Viral was able to crack the GRE while being employed at a full-time job. Though this can be challenging, with the right kind of preparation you can surely crack the exam as well. To know more about how reading everyday can help you crush GRE Verbal, please click here

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. 

This blog was written by PrepForGRE.