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5 ideas you can steal from Ashwini Nene, who scored 100% in GRE

It really helps to not lose your cool come exam time- take it from GRE topper, Ashwini Nene who knocked it out of the park!

When asked about her GRE experience, Ashwini Nene told us that she had begun her exam preparation as early as August 2012. She said her 7-month prep helped her stay calm while taking the exam.

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Ashwini Nene is among a few students from all across the globe to have achieved a score of 100% in the GRE (2013). Let’s hear it from this topper, and find out what her formula for success was.

Her GRE Exam Experience

When asked about her GRE experience, she told us that she had begun her exam preparation as early as August 2012. She says she took several tests to keep herself well prepared. She admits however that in her practice tests, the sections only kept getting harder and harder, but over time with the right amount of practice, she was able to build up her confidence. She emphasized that her seven-month preparation had a big role in keeping her calm while taking the actual exam.


While asked what her strategy was for developing her vocabulary, she said that understanding the actual definition of words within different kinds of context is very crucial. In order to develop that kind of understanding, she explained that reading is very important. Being an avid reader, she says vocabulary was never really an issue for her and that she already knew nearly 50-60% of the vocabulary words.

Acing the Verbal

When questioned as to how she managed to ace the verbal component of the exam, she reiterated the fact that reading books belonging to different genres is very necessary. As the time limit for the verbal is just 40 minutes and the number of questions to be answered is so many, she mentioned that mock tests must be made a regular part of the study routine. She unveils that the “three key elements to ace the verbal section include understanding the concept, applying the strategy correctly and completing the section on time.”

Preparation for Quantitative Reasoning

The quantitative reasoning is considered one of the most difficult sections and when asked how she prepared for it, Ashwini responded saying, “I am an engineer who had math as a subject throughout. Hence, understanding concepts was easy.” According to her, this section is all about time-management and concept application. Given the fact that questions asked will be advanced and the time given is just 45 minutes, it is of high importance to pay attention to details which will develop only over ample practice, she added.

The Analytical Writing

When asked if the analytical writing is one that requires preparation or one that is more impromptu, she told us that she had started her preparations for this from day one. She reasoned out saying that the grading system is strict and that was why it’s important to have ample time to prepare and practice for it. She would write a few essays and hand them over to her teachers for review and pick up on her areas of improvement. According to her, “The catch behind scoring well here is to be able to develop ideas, write well and also give a logical reason to it.”

Word to the Wise

Here’s what she had to say to future GRE takers, “Every student is different and so is their academic approach. It is important to identify problem areas, whether in the verbal or math section and work on them from scratch. Most importantly, have a structure to your preparation where you allot time, based on your strengths and weaknesses. Also, start early. Do not cram your preparation timetable all in a month or two. Prepare yourself over a longer period and you will sail through the exam.”

This is all it takes to prepare well for the GRE: practice, practice, practice, time management, and some more practice — in a nutshell!  Ace the GRE and find your place in your dream University soon.

Reference: Times of India

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Khushboo Gera Khushboo Gera,
Study abroad expert.
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