Declarations and disclaimers :

1. This is not advice. I haven’t put in any,so if you opened this looking for advice, you are going to be disappointed.

2. You and you alone are responsible for whatever you may find or learn or lose on reading this. I claim no responsibility or liability for anything. I do not even guarantee the accuracy of what I have written here.

3. I am done with my GRE, so I can write this with a little more detachment than those of you readers who are yet to give it.

4. Lastly, this is more of a debriefing than a narrative. Just saying.

A few things I have to say :

1. A big thank you to all my friends. For constantly wishing me luck. For not betting in front of me. For not pressurizing me. All of it made me work harder than I might otherwise have.

2. Thank you Bhumil Haria for giving the exam a week before me and providing a frame of reference.

3. Thank you everyone for the betting round on twitter. I have never ever opened Twitter to see 28 mentions in a span of 4 hours. Thank you for believing in me.

4. Thank you Tanvi Nabar for the chat outside Marwah house 🙂
Tanooj, not you. You don’t ask someone what they are thinking right outside the exam center WHEN they are outside the exam center. You have to save it for later 😛

A few things I saw at Marwah house :

1. Marwah house is a desolate place. Don’t reach too early.

2. They make you check your pockets twice yourself before letting you in. Maybe they are afraid more of bio terrorism and anthrax powder more than people copying.

3. They have people to keep on staring at you via CCTV throughout the exam. “Uncle Sam is watching” is totally right. I don’t know how much of perverts they are, but there’s lots of scope there. Also, if we were to stare at a CCTV feed, we would be called jobless. They call it their job.

4. They provide ear muffs of the kind you find in shooting ranges. Pretty slick

5. They ask you to keep your food out in the open in the waiting area if you mean to have it in the break. I don’t know if they have a bite from it,but its very possible. There should be an physical kind of MD5 checksum to check for tampering.

A few thoughts :

I did not prepare much. 3 weeks, and not even a dedicated three weeks. I don’t know if classes helped, and I don’t mean to find out. The one thing I am sure of is, I wouldn’t have been able to perform better at any other time. Because it takes calm nerves to succeed where I think I screwed up.

I won’t be so presumptuous as to generalise, but I find that the GRE confirmed one belief :
You can only be prepared upto a certain extent. After that, you’ve got to be ready.

Disclosure :
 My score is 1440. V 640. Q 800.
I had decent vocabulary and composition skills even without the GRE, so that might have helped. They just might have. Now you cannot blame me for incomplete disclosure.