Hindi was my favorite language. I studied at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Barrackpore and was supposed to be proficient in English. I hardly used English though could understand TOEFL level English.
During my fourth year at IIT I got a sample GRE test from late Santosh Keshwani and tested myself in my room. 1% on verbal, 99%ile on Quant.
Borrowed a book on vocabulary building by Funk (still remember the name!). Took me about a month to learn about 250 words in that. I worked really hard.
Got GRE word list. Studied that. Now I could read newspapers.
Heard someone had memorized a dictionary. Bought a small dictionary, of about 50,000 words. Studied a few words each day. After a few days gave up.
Then I was transferred to Chennai. During weekends used to visit British Council. It was cool there – really cool. To keep mysef busy until the council closed doors found “How to read fast” types of books.
Now in general get perfect reading comprehension scores on GRE and GMAT. Didn’t learn how to write and therefore lose lots of points these.
Got 99% in GMAT, 98% in GRE.
After returning from Japan, tested myself again without preparation. Had beer the night before. Got 740 (99%) on GMAT, 99% on Quant, and 96% on Verbal. Good enough for me. I am easily satisfied.