One would find it hard to believe that a sports enthusiast and winner of the best sportsman award for four years running at LUMS, would also be a brilliant student, topping the Cambridge International Examinations and setting a record with a score of 339 out of 340 in his GREs. However, like most LUMS students, this is exactly how well rounded Saad Amer is. A LUMS graduate of 2018 who majored in Economics, Amer currently works for the British Council as Exams Operation Officer, primarily dealing with IELTS and CIES for the North Region of Pakistan.
Recalling his GRE preparation process, Amer said it was tedious, as there are so many resources out there. “The challenge was that no one guided sincerely and those who could, asked for hefty amounts of dollars which I could not afford. I would advise those planning to take their GRE to follow one person or resource as every person has a different approach,” said Amer.
Amer wants to share the knowledge he has acquired to help others. “I have recently launched my own YouTube channel, ‘GRE 341/340 with Saad Amer’ and for specific queries, any student can connect with me through my Instagram page, which is ‘@GRE341withsaad’ or through my Facebook page ‘GRE341/340 with Saad Amer’,” he shared.
Recalling how fate worked in his favour during the exam Amer shared that his exam took place at 3:30 am in the morning and due to a severe thunderstorm, his electricity went off during the exam. The socket he was using to charge his laptop was not on a UPS and he could not shift his laptop because ETS does not let candidates shift anything once the exam starts. The online proctor offered to reschedule the exam to some other date but that made Amer even more nervous as he had completed almost half of the test. “I told them that I will go ahead and their response was that if my laptop switches off, I will be responsible. As my laptop battery dropped to 7%, the electricity came back for 10 minutes and my laptop got charged to 21%. My exam ended when there was 3% battery so this just shows that Allah works in mysterious ways. Toofan aaya aur toofani score bhi aaya.”
“When I saw my score, I kept staring at my screen for I think 7 minutes; the online proctor probably thought I am a psycho. I did not even smile once because I couldn't believe it. I was expecting a 330 but a 339 was something supernatural and it's all because of Allah,” said Amer.
“I took the GRE to secure admission in a top business school and I did that Alhamdulillah. I got into Duke's Fuqua Business School on scholarship but I won’t be joining because of the COVID -19 pandemic,” shared Amer.
Sharing how LUMS prepares its students to achieve distinctions, Amer said, “The LUMS environment is very competitive so it subconsciously prepares you to find smarter strategies and makes you learn the art of maintaining a healthy balance. To be honest, many doors have opened for me because of the LUMS tag. LUMS is undoubtedly the best university in Pakistan; even Fuqua's alumni network at Duke knew about LUMS and my interviewer at Fuqua was well versed with LUMS, to which even I was amazed.”
Sharing his future plans, Amer said that he wants to go for an MBA on scholarship and return to serve the country in whatever capacity he can.