preparation time for gre and its significance


hello friends scheduled my gre on 22 oct ,got 308 in diagnostic test and is aiming for       315 -320 ,friends wil my less gre stanch me from getting in a good main nightmare is verbal ,i think i can get at least 168 in math.

need help for verbal and its preparation

Aug 12, 13 12:12 am

Aren't you glad spelling or proper grammar isn't part of it?

Aug 12, 13 10:34 am

i wrote this in hurry ,ya i  m really glad for not having proper grammar and spelling,at the end of the day i m not interested  in critical writing so even wrong grammar will never affect me 

Aug 12, 13 10:55 am

Practice, practice, practice: take as many mock/ sample exams as you can.  That's a good way to prepare.

Aug 12, 13 12:15 pm

I would really only focus on learning vocab. I studied my but off for math and it was of no real use. A pratice exam or two so you can get familiar with the math is about all you need. As long as you don't bomb the GRE you'll be fine unless it's a top tier university. Schools are more intersted in portfolio.

Aug 12, 13 12:25 pm

Would a 151 V, 155 Q, and 4.5 AW be considered bombing? I've taken the test twice and to my frustration these are the best scores I've had so far. I freeze up when I see that clock ticking down.

I figure three times the charm, and if I don't improve that much at least they might say, "he took the test three times, he obviously cared enough to trying but maybe hes not good at standardized tests."

I'm not looking to get into ivy league schools, but solid regional schools hopefully with some money attached.

Aug 12, 13 12:38 pm

I got into grad school with a 152, 152, 4.5. My verb/math scores were dead average.

Aug 12, 13 2:03 pm

i m also applying for top tier school (cornell,yale,havard),what is a safe score for such school,?as i m from an engineering background and is targeting a perfect score in math .but is mainly concerned with verbal

thanking you

Aug 13, 13 6:41 am

It worries me that you're not concerned with grammar and critical writing.  Critical thinking and communication are essential in architecture..

The GRE is quite meaningless for an M.Arch program.  There may be some standard minimum scores that a school will set in some cases, but otherwise, if you were being graded on your total application, it might make up about 5% of your total score for admissions.

A safe score?  160-160-5 maybe? but unless they have a minimum score established, someone with a 140-140-3 and a stellar portfolio will still probably get in over someone with a perfect score and bad portfolio.  If we go back to that percentage model, the portfolio would be worth something in the 40-60% range.

I would argue that your time is better spent worrying about your portfolio and any admissions essays that you'll need to write (these essays will probably be as significant as the GRE, if not more-so).

Aug 13, 13 7:40 pm

Proper grammar and spelling is very crucial in the application process to any college and or job and YES it will affect you.

While on the board for undergraduate admission, poor written portfolio got very low points from me, while I did not care about the GRE tests scores if the portfolio/admission letter was very well written.

I'm not on admission board any more, but if I do get a resume for a job application and spelling/grammar is is thrown away.

Aug 13, 13 8:53 pm

 i will  check  my sop from my   counselor and make sure that it has almost no mistake


Aug 13, 13 11:11 pm

When did the GRE go off the 800 point scale?  Now, it looks like it shares a platform with the LSAT.  Those bunched scores are difficult to interpret, so Joseph above sounds like he's in the know.

I agree that the really prestigious schools will evaluate it, and if it is below a certain level, your portfolio needs to identify you as a Mozart to get in.  Similarly, the less popular schools will hardly evaluate it.  In the "olden days," not really that long ago, I believe you were knocked out of flooded UVa if you didn't hit 600+ on both parts (and this was probably used by the high-end schools as well) and the other less competitive schools that required it wanted to see 500+ on both parts.

Don't underestimate the verbal aspect of architecture, especially as your career makes you more of a manager or a leader.  You may have to pen letters to mucky mucks or make presentations in front of a city council.  You will be writing an awful lot.

What does a 600 convert to now?  And a 500?  That might provide the benchmarks.  But, yes, the portfolio is the key ingredient.

Aug 14, 13 1:08 am

You probably want to be in the top 50th percentile for each, so unless you are way below that I wouldn’t worry about it (top 50 is about 150/150). Even most of the “top” schools don’t care, as long as you’re near their range. Cornell is the only school I remember that had a specified minimum, and I know someone who got in there with well under it. In reality, they probably just don’t want their averages to go down because that looks bad haha. I asked MIT about it back when I was applying to grad school and they said “we don’t really care about the GRE.”

Touching on what someone already said, you should be worried about the application letter. People really underestimate how important it is.

Aug 15, 13 6:18 pm

The main thing that really matters for verbal is your ability to memorize vocab words. I know five people for whom English is a second language that scored 800s (back when it was 200-800)  on the verbal exams just because they spent 6 months memorizing vocab.

... Come to think of it... i don't know anyone who is a native English speaker who has gotten a perfect score on the vocab.

Aug 15, 13 6:25 pm

I actually find it a bit odd that people here are stressing the Q/V portions of the test and dismissing the written part. While I (like everyone else) found the GRE to be nothing more than a pointless hoop to jump through in the admissions process, I actually found that studying for the W part helped my analytical/argumentative skills, not just in the testing room compared to the Q/V, but also in the everyday. I used a prep book that explained exactly what they were looking for and how to address the given essays quickly and succinctly. After learning how to break down an argument point-by-point, I've found that I can see through bullshit now both in academia and real life much more easily than before taking the GRE. This is coming in especially handy for actually writing a thesis. Just a thought...

observant: As of 2011 the GRE switched scoring formats. I'm not totally sure what they work out to but I had a 158/158/5.0, which worked out to roughly 75th/75th/87th precentile I believe.

Aug 15, 13 7:11 pm

thanks natematt, in some way or other i think the difficulty level for english is too high ,as compared to maths ,it is easy to get an almost perfect score in maths ,as topics are so elementary .but english just blows off the mind,its more a test of endurance than test of grey matter

Aug 16, 13 9:43 am

very happy to see someone here above who is involved in admissions and claims to look more to portfolio and less to the GRE.

(i realize this is what you might call an "unproductive comment" so my apologies):

the GRE is perhaps the biggest load of bs i've ever come across. it measures nothing in terms of your actuall skills in doing anything, architecture or other field. in fact, it pretty much measures only on thing; how good you are at taking the GRE test. and oh, the director of ETS who administers the GRE pockets $1M a year (as director of a non-profit) and although the ETS quite literally have many intelligent peoples' futures in their hands there are no requirements on them neither on accountability nor transparency as to how they grade the tests.

i've never taken the GRE so this isn't that kind of post. in fact i would probably do quite well since i'm typically good at memorizing facts and rules without necessarily understanding how to connect the dots and create context and useful knowledge out of it.

kadim - i can't help you as to how to take the GRE, i'm sorry. i just want to express my sympathy that your future plans are dependent on this load of nonsense, nothing more than another instance of bureaucratic abuse of power.

Aug 24, 13 2:46 pm

ya empea i also agree with you .but i cant do any thing ,here in india we r accustomed in giving test like these(4-5 times difficult than gre) now and then .so this is just an extra one .

Aug 25, 13 4:11 am

I took the GRE last week and got 164 quantitative, 162 verbal--pretty good---but I received a 4.0 on the writing. I'm super bummed about that score, which puts me in the 54% percentile. I struggled with the "analyze an issue" essay; I realized 15 minutes in that my points were weak, but I just needed to get it done.

Do you guys think 4.0 on the writing means it'd be worth it for me to retake the test? I would really, really rather work on my portfolio...but I will retake it if need be. I'm more concerned about the prospects of receiving scholarships than I am about how it would affect my chances of being accepted.

Oct 4, 13 1:53 am

^ you should worry more about the writing in your application letter.

I feel like you didn't even read this thread at all... You're fine with those scores, move on to something that really matters.

Oct 4, 13 2:13 am

I did read the thread, and going to put a lot of time into my application letters...just stressing is all :)

Oct 4, 13 12:22 pm

Hi Kadam, if you are still giving GRE try practicing as many mock test as you can. You can also download GRE exam prep app on Mobile and practice as many questions as u can during your free time. 

All the best

May 17, 14 3:09 am

Hey Kadam and others preparing for the GRE,

I'm working on a site that might help you with the analytical writing section of the test. It's going to have a section for helping non-native English speakers maximize their scores, but it will also have plenty of tips for anyone looking to get that Perfect 6

It's still under construction, but feel free to check it out!

Thanks and all the best,


Jul 22, 14 1:26 am

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