Friday, November 6, 2009

First GRE Practice Test

I took the first of at least four practice GRE tests I plan to take before the real deal. The result: it is a good thing I am practicing.

Quant: 410
Verbal: 550

Total: 960

I need to increase this score by at least ~150 in quantitative and at least ~100 in qualitative. I need a total score of absolutely no less than 1200, including a verbal score of no less than 650.

Here's how my score breaks down right now. On verbal, I got through all the questions, which was the first big challenge. I had 0 unanswered questions, 21 questions answered correctly, and 9 questions answered "incorrectly." Among the questions I answered incorrectly, 2 were analogy questions, 2 were antonym questions, 1 was a two-blanks sentence completion, 3 were surprisingly reading comprehension specific questions, and 1 was a reading comprehension general question.

Some of the reading comprehension issues come down to rushing. But the global problem through the entire verbal section of the test for me is that it is difficult for me to look for the GRE's "best choice" rather than what I think is the "right answer." I need to do a whole lot of practice sets.

In the quantitative, or math section, I also was able to complete my work before the time ran out ( was 3 or 5 seconds to go!). I had 0 unanswered questions, but a whopping 11 wrong and only 17 right. Eeeks!

Out of my wrong answers:

  • 1 was a problem-solving fundamental error in which I didn't plug in "weird enough" possibilities for the plug-in method of solving with a variable
  • 2 were word problems for which I used too simple a method to solve when I apparently needed a formula
  • 2 involved trying to solve problems when the best answer was actually "a relationship can't be determined from the information given."
  • 2 involved basic level miscalculations (surprising it was just two, since calculators aren't allowed LOL), but in these two cases I think I need to practice *how* to complete certain types of calculations
  • 2 involved misreading graphs (which I knew I had done with one during the test, but I was rushing through)
  • 1 involved not looking closely enough at a geometry figure (again, rushing is definitely an issue)
  • 1 involved a geometery concept I haven't yet reviewed

So basically, my fundamental problem is that I am not yet skilled at looking at a problem and choosing the best method to solve it.

My goal for my second practice test, which I'll take the middle of next week at the latest:

Quantitative of 480, verbal of 580, total of 1060.


  1. I'm taking mine after the kids are in bed tonight. I'm skeered.

  2. Better to get it figured out in the practice version than the real one LOL. Good luck!

  3. 560V, 570Q. I also ran out of time. I feel like my math prep has been helping because a few of the problems were easier than my first few practice runs, but I got hung up on a few and lost valuable time. The last 4 I just guessed b/c time was almost out (and got all 4 wrong - bad guesser!).

    The Verbal is just so random. You either know the words or you dont. Ugh.

  4. Not bad at all for your first practice run, especially since your score was lowered by pacing. I'd say you're in good shape if you keep at this pace over the next little bit of time before your test. Congrats!