Abhishek Surya’s GRE Preparation Online
“You’re not alone in your GRE preparation online, especially when you have trainers like I did.”
GREedge: When did you start thinking about GRE?
Abishek: I had always planned to do an MS for an entire year before I actually started preparations. I was working with Cognizant back then and I felt that kind of lifestyle was not ideal for me. So, I started googling about GRE and asked a couple of my friends who had already given it. By, September 2015 I decided that GRE is the way forward for me. I gave my exam in May and now I’m preparing my admission profile.
GREedge: You mentioned the working lifestyle wasn’t ideal for you. Was that the primary motivation for doing higher studies?
Abishek: Yes, initially. I had to work in three shifts throughout the week and each had a different timing. So, my sleep patterns were getting affected. It wasn’t a highly technical job either, so I wanted to try for a Master’s degree and see where it takes me. But now, I’m convinced this is the right path for me because I’ve always been a good learner and interested in the field of Computer Science. I spoke to few of my friends who knew me well. They instilled the confidence in me to quit my job and give this a shot.
GREedge: How did you come across GREedge?
Abishek: I was googling about GRE preparation when I found the ad on Google and I registered with GREedge. At the time, I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t have a learning schedule, I wasn’t sure of what type of questions I could expect. Basically, I was new to GRE preparation.
I got a call from one of the student counselors who first understood my situation and then patiently explained to me what I had to do to score a 320+ in GRE. I was so impressed that I had to join and try for myself. I enrolled in the Rapid GRE program and scored a 310 finally! [grins]
GREedge: What major challenges did you face in your GRE preparation?
Abishek: I was sure I could deal with the Verbal section, but I was not so confident about the Quant portion of GRE. I gave the diagnostic test and mock tests. I ended up with scores like 300, 305,307. I was improving but slowly. So, when I got my final score, I was thrilled!
GREedge: How was your experience with GREedge?
Abishek: [smiles] You know, most of the students tend to imagine themselves to be slogging away alone when they prepare for GRE. They feel more desperate and irritated every day because they don’t know who to turn to or whose advice to trust. But in my case, I didn’t feel that way at all!
I took the plunge and bought the program because I found out that they had separate trainers for Verbal and Quant, called SFAs (Student Facilitators and Analysts). Both my SFAs were passionate about helping me achieve my target score and were there with me every step of the way. They would make it a point to reach out every week to have a one-on-one feedback session as well as provide feedback for the everyday test. It was like going to class with my favorite Math teacher!
However, the highlight is in the small things that the SFAs do to provide you a holistic experience. I was asked to read articles to improve my Verbal. They also suggested websites that would help me improve my reading speed.
The Student Welfare Team added me in a WhatsApp group with students who had similar capabilities like me. They shared questions and gave feedback to the group too!
I felt so secure in my preparation strategy. Wouldn’t you be happy too? [laughs]
GREedge: I agree. It sounds like you had a wonderful time preparing for GRE.
Abishek: I did! I could learn at my pace, check my progress, see how much more I needed to do to achieve my target score. GREedge made learning fun for me. I had a good time studying! I didn’t think that was possible.
Our SFAs would be very happy to hear this. But, tell me, why did you choose to prepare Online?
Oh, there was no doubt about that in my mind. You don’t have to travel far to a coaching center. You have help waiting for you, whenever you need it and they are just a call away. I get a lot of doubts when I study and I was sure I wouldn’t be able to learn new concepts and clear the doubts in one sitting in a classroom.
I didn’t have to focus on studying even if I didn’t want to at a specific time of the day. It was flexible and I was comfortable with the pace at which I was learning. Online Training was the way to go for me.
GREedge: Great! So, you mentioned you had a flexible study schedule. Can you elaborate on your GRE preparation plan?
Abishek: Sure! I was given a customized study plan after my diagnostic test by the SFAs. I needed help with Quant, so my study plan was focused on that.
I would tackle Math as soon as I woke up in the morning for about 2 hours. And then I moved to doing Verbal for 1-2 hours. I was active in the WhatsApp group so I sometimes spent an hour there too.
I would spend the evenings to revise the concepts I learnt in the morning and if I had any doubts I would ask them then. My doubts were always solved immediately or the at the max, the very next day. So, I didn’t lag behind in my preparation schedule.
GREedge: Wow, you did all this for 2 months? How did you remain focused and motivated?
Abishek: As I said, learning became fun! I wanted to do justice to the number of effort people were investing in me, sort of like a give and take. I have learned that when you are surrounded by positive, empathetic people you tend to become more relaxed and confident\
I was so happy with the service that I have enrolled for the admission services also!
GREedge: And how is that going so far?
Abishek: I don’t have any complaints. I got a call from an admission counselor who explained the admission timeline to me. I understood what universities would suit my profile the best. I’m waiting for my official transcripts from college and I can start applying soon. I can’t wait! [laughs]
GREedge: Your enthusiasm is contagious, Abishek! Keep it up!
I’d like to wrap up the interview with one last question. What does the future hold for you?
Abishek: Wow! That’s a difficult question. I have a lot of hopes. But for now, I’d like to finish my Master’s, work for a few years and then start my own organization. I’d like to give back to the society, that’s my motivation. I want to help small children study better and personalize education for them.
Yes, we agree! A good education can be life-changing!
GREedge wishes Abishek lots of success in all his future endeavors.