Dear Mentor:

How should I improve my English for the GRE?

I am an engineering student. I have only 70% in my graduation and I am planning to write the GRE. Will it effect my admission for the MS? I am planning to prepare for the GRE. I am not so good at English. So how should I plan to start? How many words should I learn every day? How much time should I spend for it? How can I get a score of more than 2000?

Improving Performance, India

Dear Improving Performance:

Yes, your academic performance will affect your chances for admission! The primary ingredients for admission to an MS program in the US are: the quality and reputation of your academic institution, your academic performance, and your performance on the GRE (Graduate Record Exam, a standardized entrance exam).

We are glad that you recognize and are willing to admit your weakness in the English language. The way to improve your English, just like any other subject, is to learn the language. We know that it is easier said than done; it requires hard work and discipline. You can learn English through self-study guides, coaching classes, tutoring, or online training. You can certainly use the iMahal SAT Guru and Write Guru to improve your English. Doing well on English is not just a matter of vocabulary - learning a certain number of words as you put it - it is also about the grammar, syntax, punctuation, and so on. You would have to do a lot more that just learning a certain number of words.

We can not give you a magic formula for scoring 2,000 or better on the GRE. Your performance on the test depends on your abilities, knowledge, and preparation. You must learn the types of questions contained in the GRE and work hard to do well on such questions. The GRE tests your skills in three equally weighted areas: Quantitative, Analytical, and Verbal. Prospective schools are interested not on the aggregate GRE score but also in its composition via the three individual parts. Given your admitted weakness in English, you would have to focus more on preparing for the Verbal part. We have addressed the question for preparing for the GRE: How should I prepare for the GRE?

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