Completely bombed Verbal section... what to do?

<p>Hey guys,</p>

<p>I took the GRE this morning and did way worse than I had imagined I would ever do... I did miserably on the analogies and antonyms because I had never heard of any of the words, and on a lot of the sentence completion questions I was able to narrow them down to 2 choices but I think I got unlucky. Ultimately, I ran out of time since I started to get frustrated and pretty much guessed blindly on the last third. Needless to say, unofficial score came back a 410. I was aiming for at least a 550. My primary method of preparation for the exam was taking a few practice tests, memorizing ~300 of the most common GRE vocab words, and doing a lot of practice problems for the analogies and antonyms. I felt somewhat comfortable about it before, but now I'm completely frustrated because I feel like I wouldn't have done much better regardless of how much vocabulary I learned. </p>

<p>I felt like I did well on the Analytical Writing part (the essays felt like at least 5's to me, but I'll see when I get those scores back), and I got an 800 on the quantitative part. Yes, I am an engineer :)</p>

<p>Anyway, I know I have the potential to do so much better on the Verbal than I did so I'm going to retake the GRE in the future. Does anyone have any success stories on going from abysmally low scores to very respectable and competitive scores for inspiration, and what you did to improve? I'm planning to retake the GRE in a couple months, if that gives you an idea of the timeframe I have to work with, and I'll have a lot more spare time since all I've have this summer is work rather than those painful engineering courses.</p>

<p>I don't really know if I want to just wait and take the revised GRE... I've already spent the time studying the old GRE and getting accustomed to that format, so it would be a pain to learn another format that's so much different. However, I feel like I might do better on the verbal since the analogies and antonyms will be gone. Any input on this?</p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>It's possible to beat the verbal section with studying, but I also think that luck plays a big role. I scored a 590 when I took my first diagnostic test three months before the exam, and scored a 720 on test day. Some words that appeared on the test were words that I had gone over just that morning, and I entirely guessed on quite a few.
I bought the Barron's book and memorized their massive list, and I believe that was the most important factor that contributed to my score. Once you begin understanding word meanings, you will be able to eliminate choices faster even in the other sections. Also, this might be vague advice, but pay very close attention to word relationships. ETS likes to put forth very similar relationships and confuse test takers, so take the time to reason out your choice instead of just going with what looks right.</p>

<p>PLEASE NOTE: The newly revised GRE general test will not have analogies or antonymns beginning, test date: August 1, 2011 and after.</p>

<p>good luck</p>

<p>Just an update... ended up getting 5.0 on the analytical writing, and registered for the new GRE for the middle of August to see if I can do better on the verbal reasoning this time around.</p>

<p>Has anyone else planning on taking the new GRE tried preparing for it? I've come across the realization that there isn't very much prep-material for it yet..</p>

<p>I heard that the new test is going to be much harder (verbal section), so im going to try to squeeze in at least 1 more attempt at the old one.</p>

<p>My story is very similar to yours. I learned a lot of vocab, i practiced, and on the test day not even one word that i learned showed up. I honestly believe the verbal part is 80% luck. Im an engineering like you and i got high on the quant but bombed the verbal. Im taking it again this Saturday, and ive learned a lot more words since the last one, and ive been practicing like a maniac since my semester ended. </p>

<p>I hope to be that success story that youre looking for haha and ill update friday unless im extremely heartbroken haha</p>

<p>so what exactly is the best book for the verbal?</p>

<p>I believe it all comes down to luck too, after taking it today. I learned 300+ words and have a strong vocabulary to begin with. A legit ETS practice test yesterday gave me a 680 and I got a 570 today! The words made me panic, and I ended up with 5 minutes to read a passage and answer 7 questions. I'm so mad because I'm going to work at a camp and I'm not going to be able to take the current one again. I'm so scared the new one will be horrible. I feel like I just ran into bad luck today, so I'm actually now more worried about the new GRE math D:</p>

<p>The reading comprehension sections really reward those who can skim and rapidly acquire information. Given the amount of reading in graduate courses, this is pretty key.</p>

<p>What I did was buy the 500 GRE word flash cards. Read 25 of them every day for 20 days followed by 50 a day for 10 days, followed by 100 a day for five days, then all 500 of them the day of the exam. (Had to wake up at 3 AM to do this because the exam was at noon)</p>

<p>I ended up getting 670 in the verbal section. :)</p>

<p>My story is somewhat encouraging. I took the GREs last summer and received a 430 verbal, 730 quantitative. I had done no preparation and it was 2 days after my 21st birthday. What a dumb decision that was! I actually studied this time around, memorizing 500+ vocab words and taking every verbal practice section in an ETS prep book. I improved my verbal by 110 points up to a 540! Needless to say I cannot attest to whether my preparation truly paid off seeing as many of the vocab words I did study were not on the test, but I will say that I was so accustomed to the question types and just by doing extensive preparation, I felt more confident during the test. I've heard of some people memorizing as many as 5000 vocab words which I think is absolutely insane but that method seems like the only way to actually disprove the whole "luck" theory about the verbal section. If you know that many words, odds are you'll recognize most if not all of the words on test day. I would say take it again and just prepare until you feel completely confident. Odds are that you will improve somehow! Good luck!</p>

<p>Hey guys,</p>

<p>I'm taking my second attempt at the GRE on Monday (which is why I'm studying vocab by candlelight and on College Confidential on this lovely Saturday night). I've mainly been studying up on some vocabulary, reading strategies for the verbal section, and doing GRE practice questions. </p>

<p>Has anyone taken the new GRE this month that has advice for me when I take it on Monday? In particular, would you say that the PowerPrep II practice test was representative of the level/types of questions on the GRE? I just used the software, and I was shocked at how much my predicted Verbal score rose (it predicted 620-720 from the practice exam, a significant improvement over the pitiful 410 I scored back in May); hoping it wasn't a fluke! I like the new format a lot better, so here's to hoping I get good results on Monday too!</p>

<p>^No, the prediction is not incorrect. New GRE scores are inflated like that and many users have been reporting astronomical scores. A bunch of people got 750 - 800 projections on both sections. I think ETS may have made the test too easy. </p>

<p>Perhaps your score will turn out lower again when converted into the 130 - 170 scale (as in back to your 410 score's percentile) .</p>

<p>Hey guys,</p>

<p>It's been a while, but I thought I'd leave an update now that my official revised scores were released; I'm ecstatic right now! When I took the old GRE, my verbal score was an abysmal 410 (147 on the old scale, 36 percentile).</p>

<p>New GRE Scores:
Verbal- 156 (72 percentile)
Math- 169 (98 percentile)
Writing- 5.0</p>

<p>My percentile doubled from my first try, so I'm glad about how things ended up :)</p>