[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Our greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising every time we fail.”- Confucius[/perfectpullquote]

Every successful person has a story to tell. The essence of which usually revolves around sheer determination, the resolve to thrive, and an iron will to win.

They have conquered obstacles, won mind battles and obliterated negativity.

When you start taking your GRE mock tests, there will be times when your score will be below your expectations. But the mantra here is: “It’s not about how many times you’ve failed; it’s about how quickly you get up”.

But all the greats have one thing in common – they never quit.

That I think is the essence of a winning mindset. I’ve put together a few tips that will help you in your quest of seeking that unparalled GRE score.


1) Plan:


This is the most crucial step in getting you closer to your goal. Plan your time of study; plan your duration of study. Make a study schedule for every weekday.

 It is more often in long term plans we loose focus/track: cut it down, make it simple and attainable. Plan for a day, rather an hour, and track your progress.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]GRE is all about “how good you are as a test-taker. ”  To improve in this regard, you MUST utilize your time effectively.[/perfectpullquote]

Perhaps, you are at work and you have a project deadline ahead, and there is no way you can spend the  hour you had scheduled for GRE prep. Instead utilize 5 minutes of your break time, to solve a couple of Quantitative Comparison questions. Even these quick bursts of 5-minute sessions, without pen and paper will help you in the long run.

Make a schedule – slot in time for your breaks, your dinner prep, well even your weekend nights! But stick to your plan. If your calendar calls for 45 minutes of study on a Tuesday evening, you must make it happen, come what may.

This is your blue print. Steven Covey re-iterates this in Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind. It is tedious, but this task of scheduling will give you a sense of direction and purpose.  Aiming for, say solving one sectional test from the Official Guide, has tremendous value. These bite size revision times, could be finished in one sitting or even during tea breaks. However, it MUST be done by the end of the day!


2) Practice:


Even during his prime, Michael Jordan was the first to arrive for practice and the last to leave the gym. He believed hard work is the only ‘formula’ for success; not talent. Interestingly, Michael Jordan at first did not make it into his high school basketball team. He used that rejection to fuel his determination. Bad mock scores should fuel your determination and good ones should aspire you for better scores.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The more you practice, the better you become. But the key here is consistency. It is dedication to discipline. Put your head down and plough through your practice. GRE scores will always be directly proportional to your discipline: the more disciplined you are the better your score will be![/perfectpullquote]


3) Patience:


Sometimes you have to wait a little longer to realize your dream score. All the successful people have been rejected at some point in their journey. So, what if this is your 2nd GRE attempt or 3rd one? Learning from your mistakes, picking yourself up and moving on is the key and no doubt patience plays the most important role here. If you are retaking your GRE use Anannt’s one of a kind GRE Diagnostic analysis tool.

What better example to personify this statement than Thomas Alva Edison. He succeeded at refining the light bulb at the 1000th attempt! When asked about his other failed 999 attempts, he famously stated “ I didn’t fail 999 times; the light bulb is an invention of 1,000 steps.” Failure was not defeat for Edison; it was one step closer to the solution. His teachers said, “He was too stupid to learn anything.”

Your patience will specifically be tested in Reading Comprehension if Verbal is not your strong suite. Understanding the reasoning behind the answer will make the difference. Mind you: it’s a Verbal Reasoning test, you are supposed to be good at your reasoning ability and not your English language.


4) Positive Attitude:


[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Mind over matter. You must get into the habit of visualizing your victory. View your setbacks as stepping-stones. Always remember, “the more you sweat in the mock tests, the less will you bleed in the actual GRE”.[/perfectpullquote]

At 22, Walt Disney, ironically enough, was fired from his job with a newspaper firm, for ‘lacking creativity!’ Another anecdote from the life of Walt is that his proposed theme for Disneyland was initially rejected. He did not listen to the naysayers; instead pursued his vision and created a magical world that has been entertaining children and adults from 1955.

The visualizing technique is a tool that all athletes use. Create a physical visual of your goal like a Vision Board and create a vivid picture of your triumph in your mind. Visit these positive images often during the day.


5) Play


Make time for play. This can be in the form of a walk, a PS4 game, shooting a few hoops. The trick is to schedule it in and to stick to your ‘planned’ time frame. But you have to earn your rest time. You have to work purposefully and reward yourself with a well-earned break. I reiterate, you should achieve your goals first and then think of rewarding, not vice-versa.


6) Pray


This is not to be viewed purely in a religious context. It refers to balancing your mind. Meditate or pray to calm your mind. You can even consider this as a tool for introspection:  ponder about your mistakes in the GRE mock tests, analyze  your strategy and think of corrective measures. The length of this can vary from a minimum of 3 to 15 minutes.

Sitting in stillness will help your focus, give you a renewed sense of purpose, and negate your doubts. There are apps to help you with this process too.

Sometimes it takes you a bit longer to get your goal; but you will get there in the end if you persevere. As a toddler, all of us constantly fell down in our attempts to walk.  The motor skills that are required for a baby to learn to walk are quite challenging; but none of us gave up in spite of constantly falling down. We all picked ourselves up and persevered!

There is no a magic formula that would promise instant success;