I made complete use of the official material by ETS: from their books to sample questions to the mock tests. Aside from that, I used the Manhattan 5 lb. book and two mobile apps—Quizlet and Magoosh—for building my vocabulary. Finally, I also read The New York Times and other fiction novels I liked.
The bulk of my preparation was during my third-year summer internship, where I prepared one section every morning, alternating between quant and verbal. I timed my sessions and tracked my accuracy. I spent more time on the questions I didn’t get right, detecting patterns and improving one cluster at a time. I realized I was struggling with reading comprehension, so I practiced more of it from the Manhattan 5 lb. book. For AWA, I only practiced the questions specified on the ETS website and timed myself every time I wrote an essay.
I simulated the exam environment and took six mock tests to ensure that my body was used to sitting down and thinking for 4 hours. Apart from the ones provided by ETS, I also took other free tests from the Princeton review, Kaplan, and Magoosh.
—Anirudh Swaminathan, University of California, San Diego