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1 Week GRE Study Guide

Update: This study schedule is now available in a redesigned, printable version!

Before you begin, check out some strategies for making the most of your study schedule.

1

So, you’ve procrastinated, or have maybe just learned that you have to take the test, because the program you are looking to get into happens to require the GRE.

Obviously, this isn’t an enviable position to be in, but, if you have to take the GRE within a week or so, do not throw up your hands in despair, exclaiming that there is nothing to be done.

Despite the belief that the GRE isn’t teachable (trust me, this attitude is quite common), you CAN study and cram for the GRE, even if you have very little time. Below is a 1 week GRE study guide to help you improve your score!

 

Essential Materials:

  • Magoosh GRE Prep
  • Magoosh’s online GRE Flashcards. They’re free and you can use them on the web, on your iPhone/iPad or Android!
  • Vocabulary.com (In-context vocabulary), Quizlet.com (on-line flashcards)
  • ETS’s Powerprep 2.0 Software (Test 1 and Test 2)
    (If you would prefer to take the practice test on paper, you can print out ETS’s practice test PDF (with video explanations here). Take note that the Poweprep software and the paper-based test have overlapping material, so it won’t be of much help to do both! I recommend using the Powerprep software if you can, since taking the test on a computer is a better simulation of test day conditions.)

 
Optional Materials:

 

Day 1 – 3Identify your strengths and weaknesses

If you are struggling in Math, then begin with Magoosh Math Lessons. You should spend at least two days reviewing basic concepts. An effective learning strategy is to follow up a video by practicing questions that relate to the concept discussed in the video. For instance, if you watch a few lesson videos on exponents, make sure you complete the Quiz that accompanies each module.

For more practice questions, you can also go to the “Customize your practice” feature on your dashboard. You can then choose to only see questions that fall under “Powers and Roots,” for example. It’s also a good idea to select the “easy” option so that you can be sure to answer the question correctly. Conversely, if you sit back and only watch the lesson videos, you will not be able to apply the many concepts you learn (remember: use it or lose it!).

Often, students are more casual towards the verbal section then they are the math section. They reason that if they know how to read, then they should be able to score well. The Revised GRE has many obstacles that can stymie even careful readers. You must learn the lay of the land, so to speak. Spend time going through Magoosh’s lesson videos to learn essential tips and strategies.

If vocabulary is daunting for you, use Magoosh’s GRE flashcards, which not only define words for you but provide example sentences gleaned written by the GRE content team at Magoosh. To memorize words as you go through practice questions, you can also use quizlet.com, which allows users to create online flashcards. Then, go through Magoosh’s verbal practice questions to hone your newfound strategies, and strengthen your vocabulary.

If you are having difficulty with both sections, then make sure not to neglect one. Try as much as possible to balance your prep. This goes for those topics that you find difficult. So let’s say you struggle with bar graphs and pie charts. Head over to Magoosh’s excellent Data Interpretation lessons.

 

Day 4Mock Test

Take a Practice Test – PowerPrep Software/The Official Guide to the GRE

There is no better way to prepare for the big day than by taking a practice test. Both the Official Revised Guide and the Powerprep offer you tests—the former paper-based, the latter online. After a few days reviewing concepts and doing practice problems on Magoosh (you will have already become used to the stressful countdown timer), the test shouldn’t be as daunting as it may have been only four short days ago. While you many not get your target score, you shouldn’t despair. You still have time.

 

Day 5Continue to do questions and lessons.

Continue doing practice questions from Magoosh and, if you have it, the Official Guide. Just as importantly, revisit questions you missed in the past. Can you get them right the second time? If not, why? Are there certain techniques and strategies that you are struggling to apply? You may also want to consider going back over videos and lessons.

If you haven’t already, be sure to make your way through all of the lesson modules. By this time, you should have reviewed the basics.

 

Day 6 – Almost There

You are getting very close. It is key not to become too stressed out. I know this is hard, but even if you are still missing many questions at this point, know that each error is an opportunity for improvement.

If you are not ready to take another PowerPrep test, don’t feel you have to (if you have time, make sure to review your mistakes). Review questions, and do more questions from Magoosh.

If you are struggling with vocabulary, don’t worry too much (after all, memorizing a thousand words in a week is difficult – and won’t necessarily help you identify words in context). Do your best to eliminate. And don’t be afraid to guess on test day. Still, it doesn’t hurt to try to learn the words you encounter in Magoosh’s lessons. Many of these are high-frequency words.

 

Day 7

You should have gotten a good night’s rest. Make sure you are calm and as collected as possible. If you still need to go through formulas or strategies, do so, but make sure the experience isn’t making you feel stressed. If it is, stop. Remember, going in with a clear head is far better than shaking in trepidation as you walk into the test center. And remember, if you’ve followed the above GRE study guide, you have much to be proud of. You’ve come a long way in so little time.

 

About the Author

Chris Lele has been helping students excel on the GRE, GMAT, and SAT for the last 10 years. He is the Lead Content Developer and Tutor for Magoosh. His favorite food is wasabi-flavored almonds. Follow him on Google+!

92 Responses to 1 Week GRE Study Guide

  1. Susana Luis October 12, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    I am taking the exam on 10/31/14 about 3 weeks away! DO you think you can help me figure out how to study using Magoosh..I took a prep course but I am not at all ready! Please help. I don’t know what I would score & I am weak in both subjects..especially math. The verbal I thought I had it down in the GMAT but now taking the GRE and it seems more difficult. I would love to use the STUDY SCHEDULE but need help.

    thanks!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele October 13, 2014 at 11:36 am #

      Hi Susana,

      Magoosh can definitely help you out. While it may seem overwhelming at first, I would try a study schedule (the one month should be fine). You don’t have to follow to the exact ‘T’. It is more like a map that will help you get to the right place–though there may be a few routes. I say this because you don’t have quite as much time as the 1-month schedule. Yet by following much of it, you will see improvements over the next 3 weeks.

      You’ll also want to tailor it to any weak areas you might have. If vocab is your bane, then spend more time there. If you do better on, say, algebra-related questions, then you might want to skip/gloss over some of the tutorials in favor of vocab or other weak areas.

      Let me know how that sounds, and let me know if you need more guidance along the way :)

  2. Rachael August 25, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Hi,

    I got a 137 on the verbal part of this exam and a 139 on the math part. How long would you suggest that I need to study for the exam? I was going to try and take it in two weeks but I haven’t had a chance to look at anything until now so I’m not so sure that’s a great idea.

    Thank you
    Rachael

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele August 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

      Hi Rachael,

      Not sure what deadline you are trying to meet, but if you could hold off taking the test for the next couple of months, at least, you could have a good chance at significantly improving your scores. With only a couple of weeks, while you might improve a little, it is hard to really see any monumental gains. By following the 90-day study plan, you could hit 150 in both sections.

      Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions along the way :)

  3. Ronak August 18, 2014 at 6:08 am #

    Hey,
    I am going to write GRE for the second time in about 10 days and still haven’t started with the preparations. I got 302 ( 159 quant , 143 verbal ) when i wrote the gre about a year ago. How do i go about the preparations now ?? I’m mainly concerned with the verbal part , should i try and read as many new words as possible and or follow another procedure to improve my verbal score ?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele August 18, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

      Hi Ronak,

      Yes, learning new words is important, but you’ll want to be sure not just to cram words from a list, or even flashcards. Doing a lot of reading from websites like aldaily.com would be helpful. I go into a lot more depth in the vocabulary ebook:

      http://magoosh.com/gre/2012/gre-vocabulary-ebook/

      Hope that helps!

  4. Mira March 11, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I have taken the GRE – scored 152Q/152V with a week of studying. I need to raise my total score by at least 20 points to get into the grad school I am looking into. I will be taking the GRE again on April 8th and will begin with magoosh today. I wanted to follow one of our suggested study plans, but none of them meet my time frame – any suggestions for best method of utilizing magoosh / prepping to meet my goal?

    Thanks

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele March 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      Hi Mira,

      I would follow the “spirit” of the study plans–making sure to balance your prep, focusing on the weak areas. All too often students get lost in the forest, trying to conquer one or two trees.

      For the actual product, make sure that you alternate between lessons and questions (the quiz format makes this easier). But I would definitely start with the lessons, but feel free to skip around based on your strengths (no need to focus on Text Completions if you struggle on Reading Comp.).

      Always, make sure you are taking a mock test once a week. Try to understand your mistakes after the test and figure out ways to avoid them in the future.
      That way you can make sure you are homing in your 160+ goal on each section. If not, drop us a line at support and we can do our best to guide you there.

      Good luck!

  5. Betsy February 18, 2014 at 12:01 am #

    What are the chances of getting high points in the GRE with only 2 weeks of study (day and night crash study)

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele February 18, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

      Hi Betsy,

      Well, it depends on where you are starting from. Sub-150’s on both math and verbal will need more than 2 weeks time, even if you are studying around the clock. You’ll maybe go up by about 10 points–and that’s on the optimistic side. Of course you know yourself best and what you are capable of. Perhaps in 2 weeks you could even go up 15 points (a rare feat!), but will that get you into the coveted “high score” land?

      Take a practice test to see where you are at score-wise, and then see how far that is away from 320 total points. If it within 15 points, go for it — just make sure to get some sleep in there :).

  6. anchal February 11, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Hi chris!
    I have 12 days left.. I am really worried about my verbal and argument section
    I have tried several practice tests… but the last test that I gave- ets 1… I scored a 315… in which my quants was 166 and verbal was 149… I really need to improve my score in verbal.. I am not able to figure a way out.
    Pls help.. I dont really have a problem with vocab .. but somehow I am making mistakes in rc’s.
    Pls help pls….!!!
    I have a target of 330+

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele February 12, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Anchal,

      I’d be glad to help! But first let me know more about where you struggle in Critical Reading. Certain types of passages, certain question types, etc. Also, let me know how you are currently approaching the passages. Do you spend a lot of time reading the passage, or do you find yourself spending much of the time going back and forth between a couple of answer choices.

      Additionally, do you understand the answer to a question once you see it, or are you still confused as to why the right answer is right. Finally, what prep materials have you used this far?

      Let me know :)

      • anchal February 12, 2014 at 11:07 am #

        Hi chris,
        Mostly I am struggling with passages related to “history” or inference type questions…
        Approach.. I read the entire passage first and try to jot down major points per para
        Then I try to solve questions using my notes or at times I have to go back to the passage as well..
        And yes.. rc’s for me are pretty time consuming… may be bescause I take time formulating the answers..normally I go for the elimination process…like in one of your vedios…but mostly I am stuck between two choices .. which eats my time….
        I am using magoosh… ets.. 5lb and some online prep sites…
        And Thanks alot for replying
        I am pretty worried. . Also I would like to know where can I give full mock tests except for ets n 5lb…

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele February 13, 2014 at 11:37 am #

          Hi Anchal,

          It looks like there are a few things you should change up in your approach. First off, spend more time understanding why the best answer is exactly that, and why the answer you were tempted by is wrong. There is always a clear reason that an wrong answer is wrong. Spotting this and being able to anticipate it in the future are key. Also get a sense of what makes the right answer right–try to figure out the test writers logic.

          Next, I’d get away from the note approach. At first it may seem difficult, and you’ll even be less effective. But with practice, you will become just as efficient with notes, but will be a lot faster. Here is a blog post where I write about this:

          http://magoosh.com/gre/2012/should-i-take-notes-on-gre-reading-passages/

          Let me know how it goes, and good luck!

  7. Kashish November 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    really happy to have found a wonderful page like this. I gave GRE and i scored way below my mock test and powerprep scores.. ur book review made me realise that i wasnt on the right track.. hopefull i’ll be appearing for the GRE again.. i know the deadlines are coming up but applying with a better score will be advantageous anytime.. thanks for the wonderful tips! :)

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele November 12, 2013 at 10:40 am #

      Hi Kashish,

      You are welcome :)!

  8. shraddha November 10, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I have a week to go for my GRE. I have been preparing for the test using magoosh videos and practice questions. If you could please tell me what all I should do during this week so that I am all good for the test it will be great!
    Thanks a lot in advance!

    Regards,
    Shraddha.

  9. Bharat.S October 16, 2013 at 6:52 am #

    Hello Chris,
    I have my exam on Oct 31. 2 weeks from now. I am comfortable with math and pretty unsure about verbal. I have heard from my friends that, verbal consists mostly of RCs than SCs and TCs. If this is true, does preparing more for RCs will be an advantage?

    Thanks in Advance!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele October 17, 2013 at 11:48 am #

      Hi Bharat,

      The verbal is an even split between TC/SE and RC. That is, there will be ten TC/SE questions and 10 RC questions per verbal section. You must prep for both. If you notice that you are better than one than the other, than you should focus on the section that you struggle with more.

      Hope that helps!

      • Bharat.S October 20, 2013 at 6:59 am #

        Hi Chris,
        Thank you for the information.

        Regards.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele October 21, 2013 at 11:29 am #

          You’re welcome!

  10. Ugo March 26, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Good day, 
    Can I purchase an offline version with video tutorials and practice questions?  Internet connection isn’t great in my country.

    Regards,
    Ugo

    • Margarette
      Margarette March 26, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      Hi, Ugo

      Unfortunately, all of our material requires an internet connection! As an alternative, I’d recommend downloading our free eBook PDFs, which you can read even if you’re offline (there’s a link at the top of the blog).

      I hope that helps! :)

      Best,
      Margarette

  11. srikanth March 13, 2013 at 5:58 am #

    hi chris.

    I’m going to write my gre on march 22nd.Its exactly one week from now but i have started my preparation just now..I’m not good enough in verbal as well as in Quant only from this 1 week preparation can i improve my skills…?suggest me the best way for securing 300 marks in gre ..is it a big deal to get 300 from this one week..

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele March 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

      Hi Srikanth,

      One week isn’t much time to study :). But if you are already getting close to 300, then you may well be able to get this score in one week. To find out where you are scoring, take the online test:

      http://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/practice_book_GRE_pb_revised_general_test.pdf

      If you are scoring well below 300, one week may not be enough time to get to 300. I’ve heard of a few Magoosh users who were able to raise their score by over 10 points in two weeks. It’s rare–and very difficult to do. But don’t despair–the 1 week plan will definitely help :).

      Good luck and let me know if you have any questions along the way :).

  12. srikanth July 19, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    dear chris,
    i recently took gre and scored 276 and surprised to see my score very low even now i couldnt make up wat are the mistakes done by me? i got maximum of answers while doing but failed to score so planning to take my gre again in august .so plz suggest me wat are fundamental things i have to keep in mind while preparing for gre……
    THANKS IN ADVANCE

  13. Shoo July 16, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    Dear Chris,

    Thank you. I took a GRE exam last year and got 280 in verbal and 750 in Quan and 2 in AW. I have just two weeks to improve my Verbal number near 450. Is that possible for me?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      Hi Shoo,

      If you are still scoring around 280, it is going to be very difficult to improve by 170 points (old scale). Try out Magoosh – we offer complete prep: concept lessons followed by hundreds of practice questions. Together with our ebook, and a lot of hard work, you could make an improvement.

      http://magoosh.com/gre/2012/gre-vocabulary-ebook/

      Good luck!

  14. aimer July 15, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    do you have video explanation of 2 test papers on ets cdrom of powerprep 2

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      Hi Aimer,

      We are working on that; those videos should be up soon!

  15. sanjana July 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    im getting around 313 in ets mock test.i want a score around 330+.
    waiting for your suggestion.
    i have gone through maximum of the maghoosh ebooks too.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      Have you been taking any practice tests? Have you used Magoosh product itself and gone through the practice questions? It is key to do practice questions in addition to reading up on strategies or tips. To boost your score to such a level, you will want to do as many high-quality practice questions as possible.

      Hope that helps!

  16. sanjana July 3, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    hi chris,
    i have my exam in a week.can you suggest me how many hours per day minimum will be required?
    i have done most of my prep but not 100%.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

      Hi Sanjana,

      There is no magic number – it really depends on how you are studying and the material you are using. A 313 is a strong score. To go about by 17+ points in a week is very, very difficult. That is not to say it is impossible, but even if you studied 12 hours a day, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to make such a jump. The GRE tests a lifetime of accumulated knowledge – one week is simply not enough for such a jump.

      That said spending at least a few hours a day focusing on your weak areas should help. Are you currently using Magoosh? If not, which materials are you using? I’ll devise a plan for you based on your response :).

      • sanjana July 5, 2012 at 6:21 am #

        i have gone through the words and math topics.i am using barrons and ets presently. i have completed maximum of both.

        • sanjana July 5, 2012 at 6:25 am #

          words and math topics of maghoosh.

  17. jibin jose July 2, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    Thank you Chris. :)

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

      You are welcome :)

  18. jibin jose July 2, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I have joined your course 2 months back. It really helped to improve the verbal section.
    It really rocks.
    As I am planning to give the test next week, i want to know what needs to be done to get a good score in AWA. And also want to know do you have any facility to review my essays at least in couple o topics.I would appreciate If you can help me with some useful resource or cites which rates my essays.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      Hi Jibin Jose,

      Unfortunately, we do not grade essays and I have yet to learn of anybody who provides this service :(. That said, have a look at the sample essays on the gre.org site. They will give you a good idea of where you are scoring. Speaking of which the issue and argument question banks are the single best source of practice. Not only the prompts written by ETS but the prompt you see test day will be one of the prompts from the bank.

      Sorry, I couldn’t be more helpful. Good luck :).

      http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/issue/pool
      http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/argument/pool

      • TJ October 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

        Hello! It’s a bit late… but actually Princeton Review the new online tests that come with the book come with complimentary grading of the AW. (this costs money)

        I still love and use magoosh online prep too! I am just letting people know if it helps!!

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele October 21, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

          Thanks TJ!

          I actually mentioned the PR service awhile back in a post. At that time, I was wondering if anyone had actually used the service–but I didn’t get any replies. I think this could be a great service to students. esp. because the PR website says that it will provide personalized feedback. I just want to make sure I’ve heard user feedback before I wholeheartedly endorse it :).

  19. mithra June 28, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    Hi chris.I have one week left for my gre exam.And my practise is not good because of health problems.i took the barrons diagnostic test and scored 14/20 in verbal and 16/20 in quants.I hope to get around 330+ in the exam,so how many hours per day should i put in?
    Pls hel i’m really confused and upset as i did not get what i expected in the diagnostic test.pls help me as soon as you can..
    will be waiting for your reply

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

      Hi Mithra,

      The Barron’s Diagnostic test is only one test, and is not necessarily that accurate. Have you taken a diagnostic test from ETS, the one that comes with the official guide? In the last week, you should consider strengthening your vocabulary. I think you will find the Magoosh ebooks very helpful in terms of providing you with tips and strategies:

      http://magoosh.com/gre/2012/gre-vocabulary-ebook/
      http://magoosh.com/gre/gre-ebook/

      Good luck on your test :), and don’t hesitate to ask any more questions.

      • mithra June 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

        thank you chris.i would definitely follow the ebooks and also try to improve my vocab.
        no i dint take ets dignostic test yet.i will do it soon.
        thanks for the prompt reply

        • Chris Lele
          Chris July 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

          You are welcome!

  20. Richard Valdivieso June 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I have my test June 30. Now I feel the pressure in my neck. I had cover almost all the videos, but I have remember all the algebra, but I am lacking on geometry and statistics. My first language is not English, so I am no going to lose time with the verbal. I would be happy with a good quantitative score.

    Richard

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

      Hi Richard,

      Both the GRE Magoosh blog and the GMAT Magoosh blog are excellent resources for Geometry and Statistics questions. So if you want more practice with these concepts both blogs are always at your disposal :).

  21. Venkat June 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I ve 8 yrs of work experience and am planning to take GRE on 25th June. My scores are fluctuating. Sometimes my quanti pushes me up and verbal / RC part pushes me down.
    I am targetting 310 + . The score conversion is also confusing a bit. Out of 50 verbal & 50 quanti how much should i get correct.
    I started preparing 3 months back and honestly i couldnt dedicate daily brushing of the materials because of my work. I am preparing with ETS material.
    I was just surfing the internet and came across your website.
    I would appreciate if I can talk to you in person over phone / skype.
    Leave your thougths chris.

    Awaiting for your reply.

    thanks
    Venkat

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      Hi Venkat,

      The score conversion is definitely confusing :). I’m not sure if anybody–besides ETS–is sure of how many you can miss to get a certain score. For Q, you can answer all the questions correctly and still not receive a perfect score :(. For V, I’m guessing missing more than two will preclude a perfect score.

      There is of course a plethora of information on this website. If at any point you have a question, let me know and I’d love to answer it on the blog. As for Skype sessions, I do charge by the hour. So if you want to pursue that avenue let me know.

      -Chris

  22. Laila May 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    So, I finally took the GRE… It wasn’t as daunting or difficult as I imagined it to be, but even still, I wasn’t able to pace myself at all, leaving half the questions to “wild guessing.” I canceled my scores for this reason. I had taken the Powerprep exam two days before the GRE, and both my Verbal and Math scores were below average (around 143), so those were my expectations unless I could significantly improve in 2 days. Not to mention I felt extremely burned out from studying 12 hours a day.

    I have a lot of time on my hands, meaning, I have no responsibilities other than studying, so I think it would be wise to retake the GRE in 2 months. By then, I could get through a lot more Magoosh material, some additional materials, and maybe even complete a book to enhance my vocabulary. I want to improve my speed by learning shortcuts and memorizing basic concepts I should know instead of relying so heavily on the calculator (ex: powers, square roots, times tables, and some formulas). And I want to get familiar with certain types of questions so I won’t feel lost every time I see a new one (like combinations…ugh!).

    The essays were smooth sailing though! In fact, the issue task was the exact same as one of your prompts in the lessons. You had already given me the answers to it, haha. Maybe I won’t get as lucky next time, but I’m capable of writing level 5 and level 6 essays (had a couple graded before).

    So yeah…I will use these 2 months well.

    • Laila May 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      By the way, how can I increase my speed in the verbal sections? I skipped over long and difficult passages that had like…4 questions each, so I just wildly guessed on those. And even then, I wasn’t completely finished with sentence completion, as I kept going back to look at them to assure myself that they were correct. I just don’t know when to quit a problem, math or verbal. *sigh* How much is each question worth anyway?

      • Chris Lele
        Chris May 25, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

        Hi Laila,

        When to move on is definitely difficult to determine. Adding to that is the fact that often by going back we change an answer that was correct. To really get a feel of this I would recommend going through your log of questions on Magoosh and seeing which ones are taking a long time. Then, determine if you answered them correctly, or if you switched the answer only to get the question wrong.

        By completing all of the questions in Magoosh, you should see a pattern emerge. Also, you should try flagging questions and coming back to them. Oftentimes staring at a question is a case of diminishing returns: more time is spent yet you feel no closer to the answer.

        After going through all the Magoosh questions you may want to practice with some Manhattan GRE mock tests. Buying just one of its books gives you access to 6-online tests. The experience of taking that many GREs should help you hone your pacing strategies.

        Finally, each question is worth the same. I think you will find this following post very helpful:

        http://magoosh.com/gre/2011/5-general-strategies-for-scoring-well-on-the-revised-gre/

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      Great to hear that the essay prompt was very familiar :).

      For short cuts to math, have you checked out my youtube videos on the Revised GRE Official Guide? I go through every question, and whenever possible, show the fastest way to get to the answer, highlighting short cuts such as plugging in and estimating.

      Here is just one of many (but once you link to this it’ll take you to those questions in general. If you want a specific questions just add it into the youtube search field. Hope that helps!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEG1Mi5jbEg

  23. Laila May 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Hey Chris,

    I’d like your thoughts on my situation (questions at the end). I’m scheduled to take the GRE on the 24th (in 9 days). I spent six months reviewing over a thousand vocabulary words from Kaplan flashcards and online.

    But in regards to math, I am only just beginning. So far, I’ve completed most of the practice questions from the GRE math review online (ETS), which seem easy. I’m only stuck on four or five problems. I’m quick to grasp basic concepts that I had forgotten, like the rules for exponents, simplifying complex equations, unit conversions, and so forth. My background in math is decent: the highest level math course I took was Calculus II about five years ago, and my last math course was Statistics in Psychology last year. I was a B student.

    And now…I’m starting to feel intimidated by the math section. Freaking out in my head here. In particular, I’ve always struggled with translating verbal descriptions into algebraic expressions. Present me with a paragraph-long problem about two cars driving at different speeds, interest rates, or gallons of water, and I just freeze up. I have in possession The Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test, in which I attempted to answer some questions last year and failed. So I let fear take over and avoided math altogether. Very smart. *sigh*

    Anyway…my questions are:

    1. Despite starting this late in the game, do I still have a chance to at least reach an average math score on the GRE? I have 12+ hours of freedom each of the nine days to study. I just feel discouraged knowing that people prepare 2+ months for this…and sometimes that’s not enough.

    2. I just signed up for the free 1-week trial on Magoosh. Would the material I have access to provide good practice for me?

    3. Can you please direct me to your materials that concern the kind of word problems I mentioned? I want to conquer this fear once and for all.

    4. Does PowerPrep provide explanations for missed problems?

    5. Am I, in reality, on a suicide mission? Any last words for this poor soul?

    Thanks so much for your time.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

      Hi Laila,

      Do not despair :).

      With the amount of time you have to study each day, you will be able to brush up on math, especially those pesky word problems.

      The good news is Magoosh offers plenty of practice problems that require algebraic translation from word problems. That is the product itself, though. The one-week trial version will have a few such questions, but it just doesn’t beat having hundreds of such problems (which is what the product offers).

      Your other options are Manhattan GRE, which is a book-based learning approach. One of their 8 volumes focuses on algebraic expressions/word problems/translations. That may be very helpful.

      As a last opportunity, I am always available for 1:1 Skype tutoring sessions and can help you on all things math-related.

      Anyhow, don’t hesitate to pepper me with any more questions. Let’s help you overcome your word problem phobia!

      -Chris

      P.S. PowerPrep does not provide explanations to missed problems.)

      • Laila May 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

        Chris—

        Thank you for getting back with me so quickly! I wish I had discovered Magoosh months ago, as I’m hesitant to spend a lot of money on new material just one week before the exam. I’m hoping it will be sufficient to plow through The Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test using your video explanations for problems I get stuck on. Then I’ll test myself a couple times using PowerPrep, though I’m disappointed that they don’t provide any explanations. Once I finish those, I was thinking of visiting my local book store to practice word problems in other GRE guides, hoping that the Manhattan GRE material is in stock. Does this seem reasonable, or does it look like I’m going to crash on my own crash plan?

        I would definitely appreciate having your Skype contact information on hand for when I need help. When would be the best time to contact you there? I’d imagine that you’re super busy helping many others besides me, so I’ll try not to waste your time! Thanks again~

        • Laila May 17, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

          Oh yeah, I also have the GRE General Test 10th Edition, which I bought maybe 2 years ago when I was planning to take the old GRE. Maybe that will be somewhat helpful…

          • Chris Lele
            Chris May 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

            That should be fine from a vocab/RC standpoint. The math though is a little on the easy side though :).

        • Chris Lele
          Chris May 19, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

          Hi Laila,

          I think that is a pretty logical plan :) The Official Guide has much more difficult questions than some of the books at the bookstore. As long as you can get your hands on some of MGRE material that should be fine (though the bookstore may be the tough part as they are quite the dying breed these days :)).

          For Skype my contact is username: christopherlele

          Evening time is usually best (I’m on the west coast). Though for Skype, I do charge by the hour :). (You can always email me directly at chris@magoosh.com for the particulars).

          Hope that helps :).

          • Laila May 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

            Ah what the heck. I paid for the full Magoosh product so I can go crazy with the practice questions for the next 70 hours I’ll be awake. I’ve finished most of the Revised GRE book problems thanks to your explanations which are so much better than the book’s. And I definitely learn best by video/audio format. I’m sure this would beat browsing through random study guides at a crowded, noisy bookstore. We’ll, I’ll see how this goes and I’ll write back after my test.Thanks again. :D

            • Chris Lele
              Chris May 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

              You’re welcome :).

  24. Vanan May 10, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I’m struggling with RC inference questions. Please give your suggestions to proceed with correctly answering inference questions. I don’t take notes while reading RCs.
    Plz give suggestions accordingly..

  25. Javed April 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    Hi

    I’m really impressed with your product but just have one concern which is whether your video and practice question work on iPad 2 or not because I use lots of time in travelling and have got my iPad with me all the time. Please reply ASAP. I haven’t got much time left.

    Regards
    Javed

    • Margarette
      Margarette April 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

      Hi, Javed

      Yes, all of our material will work on iPad through the browser. Let us know if you have any other questions and we’d be happy to help!

      Best,
      Margarette

      • Javed May 3, 2012 at 7:03 am #

        Thanks. I have purchased your product. My strategy is to first finish the Math lessons. My exam is on 10 may. Can you give any advice?

        • Chris Lele
          Chris May 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

          Hi Javed,

          Wow, not much time :).

          That said, I wouldn’t break up your study time into only math and only verbal. You will want to give yourself time to become better at both sections. You also want to focus on the section you are weaker at (unless, you are applying to a program that stresses math above verbal, or vice versa).

          I’d recommend you spend an 30 – 45 min watching lesson videos followed by an hour practice. When you miss a question, you will be able to follow a link to lesson videos pertaining to that question. That way you can mix in both practice and lesson videos.

          Do this for both math and verbal, every day if possible. And don’t always feel you have to do new questions. Revisit questions you missed the first time around, to make sure you understand the concept.

          Don’t hesitate to ask any more questions :).

  26. suhail April 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    First of all thanks for an early reply and yes i have improved incrementally, i mean last time i scored 350 and this time it was 440 in verbal section. So, can you tell me what all material i should refer now and how much time should i take to give my gre exam.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      Hi Suhail.

      That’s great that you are improving so much. Definitely use official material. ETS Official Guide is an excellent resource for questions. If you still need more questions, I recommend MGRE, esp. there six computer-based tests. That said, remember to keep revisiting Magoosh material, making sure you are familiar with most of the vocab.

      Good luck, and let me know if you have any more questions :).

  27. suhail April 18, 2012 at 5:11 am #

    Hey Chris,
    I am a member of magoosh from past two months and have finished all the exercises related to verbal and maths twice. Frankly speaking, i am good at maths and always struggle with verbal section. Yesterday i gave my 2nd attempt in gre powerprep as suggested by you and got a perfect score in maths and 440 in verbal. Now that my gre exam is after 1 week, i am having second thoughts whether to postpone it or not. Can you please suggest what’s best for me in this regard.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

      Hi Suhail,

      Well, first off congrats on the math score :).

      For the verbal, I’m curious to where you were starting. See, if you started at 400 and only went up 40 points, there is a problem in your approach (don’t worry if that’s the case, I can help you identify that problem). On the other if you went from 300 to 440 that is an excellent improvement. In that case, postpone your test and continue working on practice problems. Branch out to MGRE, read more in context, and strengthen your vocabulary.

      Regardless, you should postpone your test. But first let me know whether you are improving incrementally or whether you have more or less stagnated.

      Hope that helps :).

  28. Ramya March 29, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    Hi chris,
    I’ve been preparing for gre from past 2 months.I didnt know abt ur site until recently.I did practise questions from kaplan,princeton.but when i took a mock test ,i only got 305,i couldnt manage time and the level of questions are quite different from what i practised in the kaplan,princeton.i m really confused what to do.please help me out giving a suggestion. my exam is on april 9.and my target score is 320.
    thank you

    • Chris Lele
      Chris March 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

      Hi Ramya,

      I wrote some book reviews for Magoosh awhile back that faulted Kaplan and PR for just that –their questions are not at all accurate of those found on the actual exam.

      My best advice to you is to try out Magoosh and/or Manhattan GRE. Though you only have about ten days left, using either can make a significant difference. Sure I am a bit biased in the case of Magoosh, but our questions are actually more difficult than those found on the exam. And you also get many excellent lesson videos that will help you with general and specific strategies for each question type.

      You can check out Magoosh at: gre.magoosh.com

      With Manhattan GRE, you get access to 6 free online tests, if you buy just one of their books. Taking full length tests and improving your strategies would be a great way for you to make use of your last 10 days (and will help you hit your 320).

      Let me know if you have other questions :).

  29. Chetna February 18, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I have been preparing for the gre for 2 months and took the gre previously in Nov 2011, but scored quite low (Verbal- 140, Math- 156). 2 months back, i bought the magoosh material and had finished off the verbal section. I am also done with Official Guide to GRE(ETS Book). I have gained some confidence in Text Completions and Sentence equivalence. But RC’s are still haunting me so much. I am going to take the GRE on 5th March, 2012. With approx 10 days left for the test, I am confused as to how to improve my RC skill. I am confused whether I should do just practice tests in these 10 days(full length, I have manhattan’s 6 online practice tests and 800score.com 5 practice tests) or try to improve my RC skills for 4-5 days more and then start off with full length tests. I want to score above 315 this time in GRE. I am confident in maths, and have practiced more in this section, but really worried about the verbal section. Please guide me through this.

    Regards,
    Chetna

    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

      Hi Chetna,

      I’d love to help – but a few questions first.

      1. Why do you think you are currently struggling on RC?

      2. Did the RC lesson on Magoosh help? If so, how? If not, what did you think we were missing?

      3. Are there any particular type of passage you struggle on?

      4. Is there any particular type of question you struggle on?

      5. And finally, how you reading the passage? Slow vs. fast, note-taking vs. mentally processing vs. simply reading.

      Answer those questions and i think I will be able to devise a plan to help you crack 315 :).

  30. Niyati February 17, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    Hey Chris,

    There have been many websites which have a lot of suggestions for GRE but nobody answers questions and queries so promptly as this one does.
    Well my GRE is on the 27th feb and till now I have been praticing a lot, NOVA for Math and Princeton for Verbal section. I tried taking one test and got only 150 in Verbal and around 140 in Quant. Will it be too difficult to score a 320 on the main GRE? I am sure I am going to take a lot of tests in this week. It would be great if you could give some suggestions that could help me reach my goal.

    Thank you,
    Niyati

    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      Hi Niyati,

      While I appreciate your grit, wIth only 10 days left, increasing your score by 30 total points is going to be very difficult. I’d hate to say it’s impossible but to see such a score improvement you would need at least a month. And a great tutor/awesome materials.

      Right now, your materials are def. not the best out there.

      Nova is pretty good – and def. comprehensive – but there questions do not capture the flavor of the actual GRE questions. Some of the logical twists found in GRE quant. simply aren’t in Nova. Anyhow, Nova espouses a very, very laborious way of getting the answer. Some of the explanations in the back of the book read like hieroglyphics.

      For verbal, PR is mediocre and basically dumbs down the test. You can do much better.

      I would recommend:

      Manhattan GRE, if you like book format.

      and/or

      Magoosh.com, if you are amenable to the video format. We offer a free one-week trial upfront, so you can see if it is for you. And, as you mentioned, we always answer questions from customers promptly.

      Let me know if you have any other questions :).

  31. yash January 28, 2012 at 4:29 am #

    Chris, I have been preparing for the last 6 months and am almost there in quants, but not as good as I’d like to be. I have test a on 1st of Feb and have taken a practice test using powerprep software; I got a range of 750-800 in quants and 590-690 in verbal. Do I have any chance of scoring more than 320 in the new pattern score?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 30, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      Hi Yash,

      Your Quant score may definitely put you up close to 320. So yes, you have a good chance!

      Let us know how you do. Best of luck!

      (of course let me know if you have any other questions!)

  32. greprep December 5, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Hi,

    I took the PowerPrep Practice Test last week. You mention in the 1-week guide to take 2 PowerPrep Tests, one in the beginning and one towards the end. My question is, are there 2 Practice Tests available or do you mean to do the same test again as a refresher?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 5, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

      Yeah, unfortunately there is only one Powerprep test. So take the same test twice but space it out enough that there won’t be too much recall.

  33. Chris Lele
    Chris November 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    Two things:

    1. Lots of timed practice

    2. Making sure not to waste time on really difficult questions. Each question is worth the same number of points. If you end up not attempting a few of the difficult questions that is fine. But it essential that you have enough time to answer the questions you are capable of getting right.

    Still, a 600 will be very difficult with such little time left. Study words – both their meanings and context – and read as much as you can.

    Let me know how that goes,

    Chris

    • devandiran November 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

      Thanks Chris.. wil let you know

  34. devandiran November 14, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    Hi Chris, I took the power prep exam today. For verbal, I got 410 to 510 and in math 750 to 800. The problem I was faced with was running out of time in both verbal sections and being able to answer only 15 out of the 20 questions and hurried with RCs in the last two minutes. My actual exam is on the 23rd. How should I proceed from here to raise my verbal score to the 600 plus range?

  35. Mike September 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    Great write-up. Magoosh definitely helped me. I only had approximately two weeks to study for the GRE. The first week I ended up using Kaplan guides which are completely useless. Luckily, I signed up with Magoosh early last week and got set on the right track. I ended up doing quite well on the math section and I credit it all to the new lessons. Now I just have to master the verbal. Any plans for an 8 week study guide?

    • Margarette
      Margarette September 20, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

      I’m glad you like the new lessons :) As for the 8 week study guide, check back on the blog tomorrow morning and we’ll have it up!

  36. Vasuki September 15, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Chris, you are the best!!!!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris September 16, 2011 at 11:34 am #

      Thanks! Good luck!

      • Jeff June 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

        Hello Chris,

        I will have exactly 2 full weeks to study for GRE. I am in professional health science school, and almost graduating. I havent practiced had math and english is not my strongest subject since it is my second language. I want to try to do minimum of 150 on each section and minimum of 4 in the writing part. I would appreciate your advice. I have the Princeton book, your Magoosh software and the kaplan 500 vocab flash cards.

        Thanks alot

        • Chris Lele
          Chris July 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

          Hi Jeff,

          I think you have the right combo of materials. It is a question of how you use them these next couple weeks. For Math, watch Magoosh videos and follow up every 5 or 6 video lessons with relevant material. Meaning if you watch some videos on geometry, customize your practice session for geometry questions. You can also use the Princeton Review book (though it doesn’t have too many questions).

          For English, reading both the vocab ebook and general ebook, will provide excellent tips and strategies for attacking Text Completions, RC and vocab.

          http://magoosh.com/gre/2012/gre-vocabulary-ebook/
          http://magoosh.com/gre/gre-ebook/

          A ‘4’ is definitely quite attainable. Watch the lesson videos, check about the blog samples, and practice some prompts from the gre.org website:

          http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/

          Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions!


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