Mumbai boy Mihir S Joshi has cracked the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the doorway to most graduate schools in the United States, with a perfect 340 score in his first attempt.
“I want to do a PhD after finishing my MS in the United States. After gaining knowledge and research experience, I’d like to return to India as my roots lie here,” says Joshi, 21.
He plans to study at a university which is at the forefront of research in the field of computer science, though he hasn’t finalised the institute. “I started preparing from early June and appeared for the GRE on July 22. On an average, I spent about four hours a day solving problems, and one hour reviewing them,” says Joshi, currently a BE final year student of computer engineering at KJ Somaiya College of Engineering, Mumbai.
Cracking the GRE is not easy. It requires strong motivation, consistent efforts and composure during the test. So, what did Joshi do? “I started my preparation by solving practice questions. This allowed me to determine which areas needed strengthening. Once I was comfortable with all types of questions, I started taking mock tests on alternate days. I would mark every mistake I made and make certain that I understood the flaws in my reasoning,” he says.
And the biggest challenge? For him it was “to stay focused for the entirety of my preparation and indeed, on the test day itself; in this regard, the eight full length mock tests I took were an immense help in ensuring that I was able to concentrate for the full duration of the actual test.”
On being asked if choosing to study in the US was a risk considering the upcoming US elections and uncertainty over visa and work permit norms once a new government was in place, Joshi says, “The United States of America has always welcomed international students for higher studies and research, and regardless of the election results, I don’t see that policy changing anytime soon.”