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6 Month GRE Study Plan (Advanced Math)

Important Note: Hey Magooshers! We recently updated this study plan to include the most up to date resources and videos from Magoosh GRE Prep. If you began using this study schedule before June 2015, we’d recommend that you continue to prep with the same version of the study schedule that you started with. You can find that version here.

Questions or concerns? If you’re a Magoosh Premium student, you can email us at help@magoosh.com. Not a Magoosh student yet? Leave a comment on this post and we’ll get back to you there. Happy studying! :)
 

OK, you are starting more or less from scratch, and you want to prepare for the GRE in six months.  You need a strategic plan to organize yourself.  I designed two different versions of the Six Month Plan, and I need you to start with a little self-diagnosis.  Which sounds most like you?

  • 6 Month Study Plan for Math Beginners: I hate math!  I desperately need help with it if I going to survive the GRE at all!
  • 6 Month Study Plan (Advanced Math): I’m pretty good at math, and I really would like to nail Quantitative section of the GRE. (You are here.)

You certainly should choose this plan if you are the type of person who has been doing math essentially in every grade of school since early childhood, or if math simply comes naturally to you and you always do very well on standardized test math.  In this plan, you will watch very few of the math lessons, because I will assume that you know most of this already.  In place of all those lessons, you will do a lot more math practice.

NOTE: you should make it your goal to do every single problem in this plan without touching a calculator.  Use this as an opportunity to build your mental math skills (the Magoosh lessons videos on this may help).  Look for ways to simplify calculations using strategic thinking and mental math: after all, that is true mathematical thinking!!
 

Essential Materials:

NOTE: Don’t write in any of the test prep books, because for any of them, after a period of time you may want to go back and do a problem again that you haven’t seen for a while.  You can only start it fresh if the page is free of your marks.

Supplemental/Optional Materials:

Any of the steps listed in the schedule for the materials below are purely for extra practice, so they are to be done as optional tasks if you have extra time.

  • Download the Magoosh Android or iPhone app, for mobile practice
  • com — gives you online access to flashcards, making it easier, say, to quiz yourself on your mobile device
  • com: provides conversational example sentences and a flood of example sentences
  • Word Dynamo — give you little quizzes & games to add some variety to vocab learning

A NOTE ON LEARNING GRE VOCABULARY:  first of all, it’s important not only to learn the literal dictionary definition (the denotation), but also to understand the metaphorical use of the word in context (the connotation).  For example, the word “opaque” literally means “not transparent”, but metaphorically it can mean “hard to understand” or, describing a person, it can mean “thick-headed, stupid.”  Ultimately, you should strive to learn both the denotation and the connotation of each word.

Daily review of vocab is vital. I wrote this schedule recommending the Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, but DO NOT limit yourself to just these words. AS YOU READ and find more words you don’t know, look them up, make flashcards (including context), and make your own flashcard decks. You could have one pile for words whose denotation you are trying to master, another containing words for which you know the denotation but not the connotation, and a “done” stack that gets reviewed only rarely.

This six-month plan enjoins a relaxed pace that should be followed diligently, lest things get out of hand through procrastination.  It’s designed to have you improve as much as you can improve in a six months.  I have designed 25 weeks, assuming 1-2 hours for each of the five weekdays, and one 4-5 stint on weekends, mostly in the second half (“Day Six”).  If you would prefer to work on both weekend days, and free up some weeknight time, feel free to make those changes.  Notice that a six-month period is actually 26 weeks, so I have left one week free, knowing that inevitably something (a camping trip, a wedding, etc.) will arise and interrupt studying for about a week.   If you can work straight through, that gives you more time for concentrated review at the end. NOTE: Many folks find that each day’s assignments take 1-2 hours, although times to complete them will vary for different students.

NOTE: As much as possible, get enough sleep during this period, especially in the last couple months.  REM sleep plays an important role in encoding long term memory, and in an eight hour period of sleep, the last hour has the most REM.  If you are getting 7 hours/night instead of 8 hours/night, you are depriving your brain of one of its most powerful systems for learning and remembering.  Caffeine and energy drinks will keep you feeling awake if you don’t get enough sleep, but they don’t do bupkis to replace the lost opportunity to encode more information into long term memory.

As you move through this plan, I will recommend that you also put into practice stress-reduction techniques.  If you can practice these regularly, then you will be excellent shape by test day.  These are four GMAT blogs, but everything here is just as relevant for the GRE:

 

Week One

1) Go to ETS.org/gre, and read about the content of the GRE.  Click on and read each sub-heading link.

2) In the GRE Official Guide,

  • Read Chapter 1, “Introducing the GRE revised General Test”
  • Read Chapter 2, “GRE Analytic Writing” (just the descriptions of the question, not all the sample material)
  • Read the introductory few pages of Chapter 3, “GRE Verbal Reasoning” (everything up to the sample questions)
  • Read the introductory few pages of Chapter 5, “GRE Quantitative Reasoning” (everything up to the sample questions)

3) Skim the GRE Math Review in the Official Guide, do the four Exercises sets as you come to the end of each section, and correct your answers right after you do each Exercise set.  If you are good at math, these should not take very long and should not pose much of a challenge.  If more than a little of this is unfamiliar to you or difficult for you, you may want to re-consider your choice of six-month plans.

4) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • Intro to the GRE module
  • General Math Strategies module

5) Read half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from The Economist, and multiple chapters from your books.

6) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, I suggest mastering 10 words each day.  For each word, make sure the denotation and connotation is understood. Each day, review your stack of flashcards.

7) In Magoosh, set up a practice session by clicking on the “Practice” link in the header. For Math, uncheck all of the subjects, set the difficulty to “adaptive,” the question pool to “unanswered”, the number of questions, the time to “no limit,” and the mode to “practice mode.”  Do the following practice sets:

  • 25 Multiple Choice math questions

NOTE: For all Magoosh questions — If you get the question wrong, watch the video explanation, and take notes in your journal on whatever you need to learn from the question.  If you got the question right, simply skim the text solution (below the video), to verify you got the question right for the right reason.

NOTE: Notice in the Magoosh math questions, you are doing all topics from the get-go, whether you have already studied these or not.  This means that you will make mistakes at the beginning: that’s fine!  See this post on a productive attitude toward making mistakes. If, after a week or so of practice, you find that there is way too much new material for you, then narrow your studies to those topics you’re more actively studying plus one or two that you’re unfamiliar with. You should be constantly challenged. If you do narrow the topics of study, expand back to as wide a scope as possible as quickly as possible.  If you can only do problems on a particular topic when you are “in the mode” for that particular topic, then you do not yet have a GRE-ready level of understanding.  You are only GRE-ready if you can solve problems as they arise in mixed-topic practice: cold and with no particular preparation on that topic.  That’s what the test will demand.  See this GMAT post for more on levels of understanding, and this one on the value of mixed-topic practice. 

8) In Magoosh, set up a practice session by clicking on the “Practice” link in the header. For Verbal, again select “Adaptive.” Do the following practice sets:

  • 10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

9) In the GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions

  • Answer the first ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the first RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the first five CR questions

NOTE: GMAT “Problem Solving” is standard five-answer multiple choice, identical in format to the GRE Multiple Choice math questions.  GMAT math, at least the hardest questions, tends to be a notch harder than GRE math.  Notice, also, that all GMAT math is intended to be done strictly without a calculator.

NOTE: the GMAT Critical Reasoning provide excellent practice for the GRE Reading Comprehension Paragraph Argument questions.  Some folks think that the LSAT Logical Reasoning questions are a little bit closer to the GRE RC PA questions.  I am recommending the GMAT CR questions only because you have the book anyway for the GMAT Reading Comprehension.  If you would prefer to practice LSAT problems instead, get any book of LSAT practice tests and practice the LSAT Logical Reasoning questions instead of the GMAT Critical Reasoning questions.  Either one will prepare you very well for the GRE Reading Comprehension Paragraph Argument questions.
 

Week One, Day Six:

1) Download and start reading the Magoosh eBook: A Complete Guide to the Revised GRE

  • This will give you an excellent overview of the entire test.

2) Download and skim the Magoosh Math Formula eBook

  • Probably almost everything in this book will be familiar, but if there is anything new, that’s certainly worth some attention.  It might make sense, at some point, to watch the Magoosh lesson videos on those topics.

3) Download and skim the Magoosh GRE Vocabulary eBook

  • Read the strategy section (“Making Words Stick”).  Use this book’s word lists and its way of clustering together either related words or words important to distinguish as a complement to your other vocabulary learning.  When you learn a new word, say, from the Magoosh GRE Flashcards and you remember it was one listed here, go back to review the connections here.

4) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do the Math Diagnostic test (pp. 27-32)
  • Keep a 35 minute time limit, and use no calculator at all.  Theoretically, you will do very well on this.  If this test indicates a lack of clarity in a few areas, then those areas might be worth further review as you move through this plan.

 

Week Two:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • The GRE Data Interpretation module
  • The Advanced Quantitative Comparison Strategies module

NOTE: These are the only math videos I will assign, just to make sure you are familiar with the ins and outs of the GRE question types.  I am assigning no video lessons on math content as part of this plan.   If there are a few area that you want to review or which look interesting, you are welcome to investigate them.  If you get a problem wrong, and you feel you could understand the concepts involved more deeply, it may help to watch the related lessons for that question.

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the sections Substitution and Defined Functions.

NOTE: For exercises in the NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course: You can skim the introductory material in each section if you like, but much of that probably will be review for you.  As soon as you work through an exercise set, correct your work.  If you discover concepts on which you are unclear, look at the introductory material more carefully, and watch the Magoosh Lesson Videos on those topics.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 7 Arithmetic

NOTE: the problems sets in this book start very easy, and increase in difficulty.  You should skip or skim the first problems in each chapter, and start working at #20.  When you are done, check your work.  If you are unclear on any concepts, review these further, using the Magoosh lessons.

NOTE: We recommend the math problems in this book, because they are of very high quality.  We do not recommend the verbal material in this book.

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 20 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

NOTE: some of Magoosh’s GRE RC questions are stand-alone questions, the Paragraph Argument questions, but questions that come with a passage are batched with that passage.  Always do all the questions associated with a passage in one sitting.  This may mean some weeks, you do a little more or a little less than 15 RC questions: that’s fine, as long as you keep up about an average of 15.

8) In Magoosh’s GRE Math Flashcards

  • Review the first two decks, Algebra and Fractions, Ratios, and Percents.  Probably you will know very well almost everything on these cards.  If any card  contains unfamiliar information, review that card on successive days.

9) In the Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions book

  • Skim the first two chapters: most of that should be familiar.
  • In Ch. 3, do the Reading Comprehension practice sets, starting on p. 18.  Correct your work when you are done.

NOTE ABOUT DAY SIX: Instead of an official “Day Six” assignment, some of these early weeks you will be working through some of the Magoosh Math Flashcards and the GRE Verbal Reasoning book.  You do NOT have to do all the other practice on weekdays and do the flashcards and the Verbal Reasoning book only on the weekend!  Instead, you get to decide how you want to distribute the work of this week so that it most makes sense for you.  Because of the extra work, you are not assigned a formal Day Six.  Use Day Six simply to finish the week’s work.
 

Week Two, Day Six

See note above.

 

Week Three:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • The Writing (AWA) module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Number Theory.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 8 Algebra

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 20 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

8) In Magoosh’s GRE Math Flashcards

  • Review the next two decks, Geometry and Number Properties I.  Probably you will know very well almost everything on these cards.  Review any card from these or previous decks that you don’t remember with complete clarity.

9) In the Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions book

  • In Ch. 4, do the Text Completion practice sets, starting on p. 58.  Correct your work when you are done.

 

Week Three, Day Six

See note for Week 2 about Day Six

 

Week Four:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • The Text Completion – Overview module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Quantitative Comparisons.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 9 Inequalities and Absolute Values

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 20 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Four, Day Six

1) In Magoosh

  • Take a practice GRE.  You launch the practice test from the Dashboard, following the link: “Take a practice test.”

As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

NOTE: as you do practice questions from Magoosh over the coming months, you will see some repeat questions at various points.  That’s actually a great opportunity for you: if you get the question wrong the first time, can you learn from it sufficiently so that, when it reappears out of the blue months later, you can nail it?  The mark of an excellent student is never to make the same mistake twice.  How deeply do you have to understand the mistake you make here, so that you can nail these questions when you see them again at some point down the line?

NOTE: This is the first time in this plan that you wrote two GRE-style essays, the Issue task and the Argument task.  Once you are done with the test, copy what you have written in to a Word doc.

Now that you have these essays, what do you do with them?  If you have a friend or mentor who is a gifted writer, ask them to read the essays for you and critique them. If they are willing, you can show them the assessment criteria in the GRE Official Guide, and ask them to follow it. If you can afford it, hire a writing coach or writing tutor: show that tutor the assessment criteria in the OG, and have them give you feedback.  If you can’t afford a writing tutor and can’t convince anyone else to read it, you may try posting them on TheGradCafe, and see whether an expert there will critique your essay.  Failing any of these options, at least you can set the essays aside, and in a couple days re-read them with the Official Guide’s rubric beside you. (Notice whatever route worked for you with these essays; you can repeat that will all the essays you write in the practice tests you take as part of this plan.)

 

Week Five:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • The Text Completion – No Shifts module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Hard Quantitative Comparisons.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 10 Functions, Formulas, and Sequences

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Numerical Entry math problems
  • 20 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

8) In Magoosh’s GRE Math Flashcards

  • Review the next two decks, Number Properties II and Statistics and Probability.  Probably you will know very well almost everything on these cards.  Review any card from these or previous decks that you don’t remember with complete clarity.

9) In the Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions book

    In Ch. 5, do the Sentence Completion practice sets, starting on p. 80.  Correct your work when you are done.

 

Week Five, Day Six

See note for Week 2 about Day Six.

 

Week Six:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • The Text Completion – Sentence Shifts module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • In the Geometry section, Problem Set I, do practice problems #1-27

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 11 Fractions and Decimals

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Multiple Answer math problems
  • 20 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Six, Day Six

In the GRE Official Guide:

a) in Official Guide, do the Verbal Reasoning Practice Sets 1-6

b) in Official Guide, do the Quantitative Reasoning Practice Sets 1-4

Treat this as a quasi-mock GRE.  Do consecutive batches of 2-3 set without interruption, to simulate more effectively a real GRE.  Set a timer for the time limits.  Here are the time limits to observe:

  • Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 1 = 12 minutes
  • Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 2 = 15 minutes
  • Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 3 = 12 minutes
  • Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 4 = 15 minutes
  • Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 5 = 14 minutes
  • Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 6 = 16 minutes
  • Official Guide Quantitative Reasoning Set 1 = 22 minutes
  • Official Guide Quantitative Reasoning Set 2 = 23 minutes
  • Official Guide Quantitative Reasoning Set 3 = 24 minutes
  • Official Guide Quantitative Reasoning Set 4 = 11 minutes

After you are done, check all your answers.  For any question you got right, skim the explanation to verify that you got it right for the right reason.  For any question you got wrong, read the explanation thorough, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that psyched you out.   You can also watch the Magoosh Video Explanations of the OG practice questions.

 

Week Seven:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • The Text Completion – Double Blanks module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • In the Geometry section, Problem Set I, do practice problems #28-54

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 12 Percents

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Numeric Entry math problems
  • 20 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

8) In Magoosh’s GRE Math Flashcards

  • Review the next two decks, Mixed Practice I and II.  Probably you will know very well almost everything on these cards.  Review any card from these or previous decks that you don’t remember with complete clarity.

9) In the Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions book

  • In Ch. 6, do the Mixed Practice Set I, starting on p. 102.  Correct your work when you are done.

 

Week Seven, Day Six

See note for Week 2 about Day Six.

 

Week Eight:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • The Text Completion – Triple Blanks module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • In the Geometry section, Problem Set I, do practice problems #55-80

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 13 Divisibility and Primes

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Multiple Answer math problems
  • 20 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Eight, Day Six

1) In Barron’s New GRE book

  • Take Model Test #1.  Write the essays on your computer, in Word.  As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.
  • Take the whole test, and as soon as you are done, grade yourself.  For whatever you got wrong, first try to figure it out yourself, and then read & study the explanations, taking notes on whatever you got wrong — whatever about the concepts or the questions format was unclear.

 

Week Nine:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • The Sentence Equivalence module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • In the Geometry section, Problem Set I, do practice problems #81-106

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 14 Exponents and Roots

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 20 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

8) In Magoosh’s GRE Math Flashcards

  • Review the next two decks, Mixed Practice III and IV.  Probably you will know very well almost everything on these cards.  Review any card from these or previous decks that you don’t remember with complete clarity.

9) In the Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions book

  • In Ch. 6, do the Mixed Practice Set II, starting on p. 126.  Correct your work when you are done.

 

Week Nine, Day Six

See note for Week 2 about Day Six.

 

Week Ten:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • The Vocabulary module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the sections Coordinate Geometry and Elimination Strategies.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 15 Number Properties

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions

  • Answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 20 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Ten, Day Six

1) In Barron’s New GRE book

  • Take Model Test #2.  Write the essays on your computer, in Word.  As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.
  • Take the whole test, and as soon as you are done, grade yourself.  For whatever you got wrong, first try to figure it out yourself, and then read & study the explanations, taking notes on whatever you got wrong — whatever about the concepts or the questions format was unclear.

 

Week Eleven:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • The Reading Comprehension module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Inequalities.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 16 Word Properties

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 20 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

8) In Magoosh’s GRE Math Flashcards

  • Review the last two decks, Mixed Practice V and VI.  Probably you will know very well almost everything on these cards.  Review any card from these or previous decks that you don’t remember with complete clarity.

9) In the Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions book

  • In Ch. 6, do the Mixed Practice Set III, starting on p. 152.  Correct your work when you are done.

I will not assign anything else from this book, since we worked all the way through it, but feel free to come back to it for review.
 

Week Eleven, Day Six

See note for Week 2 about Day Six.

 

Week Twelve:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • The Paragraph Argument module
  • At this point, you should have seen each Magoosh video lesson once.

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Fractions & Decimals.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 17 Two-Variable Word Properties

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions.

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • If you took a full Magoosh practice test way back on Week 4, Day 6 (about eight weeks ago), then at this point, you should be close to running out of Magoosh questions.  If the remaining questions are enough for you to do in a week, then do all the unanswered questions, so that you have done each Magoosh question once.  At that point, you will reset all the stats in your Magoosh account, and re-do all the Magoosh questions over the next half of the plan.  Many of the Magoosh students who see the biggest score increase do all the Magoosh questions more than once.
  • If, at the beginning of this week, you have considerably more questions than you could finish in one week, then do a load of Magoosh questions comparable to that of Week 11, #8, and keep doing that until you have a week in which you finish the questions.  At that point, reset the stats.

 

Week Twelve, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take one of the paper-based GREs in the back of the Official Guide, Practice Test #1, beginning on p. 303.  For each of the essays, write the essay in a word-processing program on the computer, and keep a strict time limit.  For the other sections, you can write the answers either in a word-processing program on the computer, or on paper: just don’t write in the book.  Observe strict time-limits for each section.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

After you are done, check all your answers.  For any question you got right, skim the explanation to verify that you got it right for the right reason.  For any question you got wrong, read the explanation thorough, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that psyched you out.   You should also watch the Magoosh video explanations for the first practice test, at the bottom of that page.

 

Week Thirteen:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

  • At this point, you will begin re-watching the Magoosh Verbal lessons.  If you have been performing well in Verbal, you could skip or skim these  lessons.
  • The Intro to the GRE module (if needed)
  • The General Math Strategies module (if needed)

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Equations.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 18 Rates and Work

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • See the note at Week 12, #8.  Starting at this week, I will assume that you finished all the Magoosh questions.  If you have, start re-doing the questions with the ones below, and the ones for following weeks.  If you still have unanswered Magoosh questions, finish them first, and after you reset, jump into the questions for whatever week you are on.
  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

8) In the Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions book

  • Skim Ch. 1-2: these should be entirely review at this point.
  • Do all the practice problem sets in
  • Chapter 3 Arithmetic
  • Chapter 4 Algebra
  • Chapter 5 Geometry
  • Do the problems, then correct your work.

NOTE ABOUT DAY SIX: For this week, there is no formal Day Six assignment.  Because you have the extra work from this book, there is no additional Day Six work.  You do NOT have to do everything else before the weekend, and do the Quantitative Reasoning book only on the weekend!  You get to choose how to distribute the work of the week so that it best works for you.
 

Week Thirteen, Day Six

See note above.

 

Week Fourteen:

1) In Magoosh, re-watch the following videos

  • The Writing (AWA) module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Averages.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 19 Variables-in-the-Choices Problems

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Fourteen, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take the other of the paper-based GREs in the back of the Official Guide, Practice Test #2, beginning on p. 431.  For each of the essays, write the essay in a word-processing program on the computer, and keep a strict time limit.  For the other sections, you can write the answers either in a word-processing program on the computer, or on paper: just don’t write in the book.  Observe strict time-limits for each section.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

After you are done, check all your answers.  For any question you got right, skim the explanation to verify that you got it right for the right reason.  For any question you got wrong, read the explanation thorough, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that psyched you out.   You should also watch the Magoosh video explanations for the second practice test.

 

Week Fifteen:

1) In Magoosh, re-watch the following videos

  • The Text Completion – Overview module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Ratio & Proportions.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 20 Ratios Problems

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

8) In the Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions book

  • Do all the practice problem sets in
  • Chapter 6 Data Analysis
  • Chapter 7 Mixed Practice Sets = do all three sets
  • Do the problems, then correct your work

NOTE ABOUT DAY SIX: As in Week 13, there is no formal Day Six assignment for this week.  Because you have the extra work from this book, there is no additional Day Six work.  You do NOT have to do everything else before the weekend, and do the Quantitative Reasoning book only on the weekend!  You get to choose how to distribute the work of the week so that it best works for you.
 

Week Fifteen, Day Six

See the note above
 

Week Sixteen:

1) In Magoosh, re-watch the following videos

  • The Text Completion – No Shift module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the sections Exponents & Roots, Factoring, and Algebraic Expressions.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 21 Averages, Weighted Averages, Mean, and Mode Problems

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Sixteen, Day Six

1)  Today, you are going to take a full-length practice test, using the first of the six Manhattan GRE practice tests online (any MGRE volume you bought should give you the code to access these).

As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

After you are done, check all your answers.  For any question you got right, skim the explanation to verify that you got it right for the right reason.  For any question you got wrong, read the explanation thorough, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that psyched you out.

 

Week Seventeen:

1) In Magoosh, re-watch the following videos

  • The Text Completion – Sentence Shift module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Percents.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 22 Standard Deviation and Normal Distribution Problems

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Numerical Entry math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Seventeen, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to write two essays, half an hour each.  You will write an Issue essay and an Argument essay.  You will be writing on the official GRE topics.

For topics, go to the ETS GRE Issue Pool and the ETS GRE Argument Pool. Figure out a way to pick topics at random (maybe you print the lists, cut it into slips of paper, and choose some at random).  Write the essays in a word processing program.  Observe a strict 30 minute time limit for each.

Now that you have these essays, what do you do with them?  If you have a friend or mentor who is a gifted writer, ask them to read the essays for you and critique them. If they are willing, you can show them the assessment criteria in the Official Guide, and ask them to follow it. If you can afford it, hire a writing coach or writing tutor: show that tutor the assessment criteria in the OG, and have them give you feedback.  If you can’t afford a writing tutor and can’t convince anyone else to read it, you may try posting them on TheGradCafe, and see whether an expert there will critique your essay.  Failing any of these options, at least you can set the essays aside, and in a couple days re-read them with the Official Guide’s rubric beside you. (Notice whatever route worked for you with these essays; you can repeat that will all the essays you write in the practice tests you take as part of this plan.)

2) This first time visiting these sites, it may be worthwhile to take some time to peruse all the topics, just to get a sense of the variety.

3) Writing the essays will not take much time.  This day might be a good time to do a thorough review of all the flashcards you have covered so far, or to review anything in any of the Manhattan GRE books that you would like to understand better.

 

Week Eighteen:

1) In Magoosh, re-watch the following videos

  • The Text Completion – Double Blanks module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Graphs.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 23 Probability, Combinatorics, and Overlapping Sets Problems

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Multiple Answer math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Eighteen, Day Six

1)  Today, you are going to take a full-length practice test, using another of the six Manhattan GRE practice tests online.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

After you are done, check all your answers.  For any question you got right, skim the explanation to verify that you got it right for the right reason.  For any question you got wrong, read the explanation thorough, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that psyched you out.

 

Week Nineteen:

1) In Magoosh, re-watch the following videos

  • The Text Completion – Triple Blanks module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Word Problems.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 24 Data Interpretation Problems

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Numeric Entry math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Nineteen, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to write two more essays, half an hour each.  You will write an Issue essay and an Argument essay.  Again, you will be writing on the official GRE topics.

For topics, go to the ETS GRE Issue Pool and the ETS GRE Argument Pool. Figure out a way to pick topics at random (maybe you print the lists, cut it into slips of paper, and choose some at random).  Write the essays in a word processing program.  Observe a strict 30 minute time limit for each.

Once you are done, use the whatever review process worked for the other essays.

2) Writing the essays will not take much time.  This day might be a good time to do a thorough review of all the flashcards you have covered so far, or to review anything in any of the Manhattan GRE books that you would like to understand better.

 

Week Twenty:

1) In Magoosh, re-watch the following videos

  • The Sentence Explanation module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the sections Sequences & Series and Counting.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 25 Polygon and Rectangular Solids Problems

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know..

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Multiple Answer math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Twenty, Day Six

1)  Today, you are going to take a full-length practice test, using another of the six Manhattan GRE practice tests online. From this point forward, through the end of the plan, every Day Six will be a practice GRE on the computer.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

After you are done, check all your answers.  For any question you got right, skim the explanation to verify that you got it right for the right reason.  For any question you got wrong, read the explanation thorough, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that psyched you out.

 

Week Twenty One:

1) In Magoosh, re-watch the following videos

  • The Vocabulary module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Probability & Statistics.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 26 Circles and Cylinders Solids Problems

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Twenty One, Day Six

1)  Today, you are going to take a full-length practice test, using another of the six Manhattan GRE practice tests online.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

After you are done, check all your answers.  For any question you got right, skim the explanation to verify that you got it right for the right reason.  For any question you got wrong, read the explanation thorough, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that psyched you out.

 

Week Twenty Two:

1) In Magoosh, re-watch the following videos

  • The Reading Comprehension module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Permutations & Combinations.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 27 Triangles Problems

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the next ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Twenty Two, Day Six

1)  Today, you are going to take a full-length practice test, using another of the six Manhattan GRE practice tests online.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

After you are done, check all your answers.  For any question you got right, skim the explanation to verify that you got it right for the right reason.  For any question you got wrong, read the explanation thorough, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that psyched you out.

 

Week Twenty Three:

1) In Magoosh, re-watch the following videos

  • The Paragraph Analysis module

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Functions.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 28 Coordinate Geometry Problems

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 5.3, Problem Solving Practice Questions, answer the last ten PS questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Twenty Three, Day Six

1)  Today, you are going to take a full-length practice test, using the last of the six Manhattan GRE practice tests online.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

After you are done, check all your answers.  For any question you got right, skim the explanation to verify that you got it right for the right reason.  For any question you got wrong, read the explanation thorough, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that psyched you out.

 

Week Twenty Four:

1) In Magoosh, re-watch the any video lessons that you think you need to review or understand in greater depth.

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • Do the practice problems in the section Miscellaneous Problems.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 29 Mixed Geometry Problems

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 3.1, the GMAT Diagnostic Test, Quantitative Questions, answer the first twelve Problem Solving questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the next five CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 10 Data Interpretation math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

 

Week Twenty Four, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take another full length practice test, the first practice GRE available through the GRE PowerPrep software.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

After you are done, check all your answers.  For any question you got right, skim the explanation to verify that you got it right for the right reason.  For any question you got wrong, read the explanation thorough, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that psyched you out.

 

Week Twenty Five:

1) In Magoosh, re-watch the any video lessons that you think you need to review or understand in greater depth.

2) In NOVA’s GRE Math Prep Course

  • In Part Three of the Book, take the Diagnostic Test.  Time yourself to 52 minutes, and keep a strict time limit.  Do this without a calculator.

3) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

  • Do Ch. 30 Advanced Quant Problems: in the other sections of this book, I recommended skipping the first 20 questions, the easier ones, and doing on the hard ones.  In this section, ALL of the questions are quite challenging, so start at #1.

4) Read at least half-an-hour each day. In a week, you should read 4-6 full articles from periodicals of your choice, and multiple chapters from your books. As you read, note grammatical structures, and look up and write down any words you don’t know.

5) In Magoosh’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, look over the next 50 words.  I suggest doing 10 words each day. Each day, review at least some of your flashcard decks.

6) GMAT Official Guide (any edition)

  • In Section 3.1, the GMAT Diagnostic Test, Quantitative Questions, answer the remaining twelve Problem Solving questions
  • In Section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the last RC passage and answer the associated questions
  • In Section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, answer the remaining CR questions

7) In Magoosh, do the following problems

  • 25 Multiple Choice math problems
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison math problems
  • 15 Text Completion verbal questions
  • 10 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 15 Reading Comprehension questions

NOTE: if you reset at week 12, and have been working continually since then, you may be about out of unanswered questions again.
 

Week Twenty Five, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take your last full length practice test, the second practice GRE available through the GRE PowerPrep software.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GRE conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

After you are done, check all your answers.  For any question you got right, skim the explanation to verify that you got it right for the right reason.  For any question you got wrong, read the explanation thorough, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that psyched you out.

 

After Week 25: Concentrated Review

At this point, if you have been following the schedule, you should have done every question in just about every book at least once.  For whatever days remain before the test, keep up work on GRE math and verbal.  Some suggestions for what to do:

    1) Through selecting question type & difficulty on the “Dashboard”, do Magoosh problems over again, and see how you do this time.
    2) Keep watching for an additional time any Magoosh lesson videos each week, on whatever topics you feel you need to review
    3) Keep reading your challenging material, to build vocabulary and acclimate your ear to eloquent style.
    4) Keep drilling your vocab flashcards.
    5) In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems, if you have time, do Ch. 33, the Practice Sessions.  You can skip the first one, “Easy Difficulty,” but do the latter two.  Do these with strict time limits and without a calculator.

 

Day before the test:

    1) No GRE preparation all day
    2) Eat a large, healthy, leisurely dinner – no alcohol!
    3) Go to bed earlier than usual.

 

Day of test

    1) ABSOLUTELY NO LAST MINUTE GRE PREPARATION!
    2) Eat a large breakfast, full of protein
    3) Do relaxing, fun activities to pass time until the test

 

Bring to the test

    1) A liter of water
    2) Healthy energy-packed snacks (nuts, protein bar, etc.)
    3) On breaks, make sure to get up, move & stretch – moving & stretching the large muscles of the body (legs & torso) will get oxygen flowing throughout, which will help keep you awake and keep you thinking clearly.

 

Any questions on this plan?  Just leave us a comment!

 

By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

36 Responses to 6 Month GRE Study Plan (Advanced Math)

  1. James May 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    I am on week 6 of this program and am taking the test in October. I plan on taking the GMAT within a month after the GRE. I am more concerned with the GRE than the GMAT. What/how do you recommend to study in this month to transition from the GRE to GMAT preparation?

    • Mike McGarry
      Mike May 6, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      James,
      This is certainly an unusual situation. We have a one-month schedule for the GMAT:
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/1-month-gmat-study-schedule/
      That would certainly be a starting point for what to do in that final month.
      I assume you know the basic format of the GMAT:
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/what-is-the-format-of-the-gmat/
      Much of the studying can be done at the same time — GMAT RC & CR are good preparation for GRE RC. GMAT PS is good preparation for GRE MC, and GMAT IR is good practice for GRE Data Analysis questions. The GRE AWA will prepare you for the GMAT AWA.
      I would say, integrate those aspects, using both GRE & GMAT sources, as much as possible.
      I would say devote some minimal time, say 1/2 per week, to the question types that are unique to the GMAT — on math, the DS questions, and SC questions on the Verbal, just so that when the GRE is done and you go into full GMAT mode, these aren’t brand new at that point.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike :-)

  2. Seth April 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    So, I am just staring my GRE studies and I am in week one of this 6 month plan. I have a question on this schedule. Is this plan for someone that is so good at math that they don’t need to study math as much? Or is this for someone that wants to hit the highest percentiles of math, so there is harder-core math study here? I’m looking for the latter.

    I just want to clarify. I’m applying for a competitive joint degree program. I’ve already taken the GMAT. I got a 760 there. My verbal was 99th percentile, but my quant percentile was only like 83rd. If my verbal score drops a little on the GRE, that is OK, but I NEED to get my quant score on the GRE into the high 90s if possible. Which 6 month plan gives me the most advanced quant practice? That is really where I need to focus.

    • Mike McGarry
      Mike April 26, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      Dear Seth,
      This plan is a plan that skips basic math review and focuses on more challenging math problems for practice. From what you say, I believe this is the plan that will best serve your needs. If you subscribe to Magoosh, you will also find several challenging questions within our product.
      Mike :-)

      • Seth April 26, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

        Thanks for the quick response! I’ve already signed up…. looking forward to getting into it more. I just wanted to make sure that I’m in the right spot.

        Confirmed.

        Thanks Mike.

        • Mike McGarry
          Mike April 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

          Seth,
          You are more than welcome. Best of luck to you!
          Mike :-)

  3. Eric April 23, 2013 at 4:48 am #

    Mike,

    I am taking the GRE, but you suggest the GMAT OG for practice. If I recall correctly, the GMAT does not allow use of a calculator. Do you suggest not using a GRE calculator when practicing using the GMAT OG?

    -Eric

    • Mike McGarry
      Mike April 23, 2013 at 10:49 am #

      Eric,
      Not only would I suggest not using the calculator for any of the GMAT math problems, which are designed to be done without a calculator — but also I would strongly suggest: even on GRE problems, think of the calculator as a last resort. Imagine each time you use your calculator on the GRE Quant, it will cost you $20 — yes, you may have to use it once or twice, but you will be in much better shape if you are not reflexively reaching for it on every problem. Most GRE Quant problems are written so that the benighted will waste time with a calculator approach but so that there’s a quick shortcut that doesn’t involve a calculator.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike :-)

      • Eric April 24, 2013 at 3:40 am #

        Mike,

        What you say does make sense although I find the amount of computation on the GMAT problems requires an astonishing amount of computation for a test that denies test-takers a calculator. I have not recorded how often I use the calculator in my journal; maybe I should start doing so. My rough guess, based on my last 20 practice problems, is that I use it about every fourth problem and mostly to check my mental math. I seem to trust the calculator for even simple computation more than I trust myself, which is probably a consequence of being out of academia for 8+ years now.

        I’m scoring OK (75% of Magoosh math problems correctly and about the same % in Nova and other books), but I need to bring my estimated range up in math more 3-4 points. Thanks for the advice, and I’d love any more you may have. Perhaps, I just need to work on truly simple math drills on my iPhone during idle moments at work…. Maybe I’d learn to ignore the presence of a calculator on the screen.

        -Eric

  4. Kyle April 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    Hi Mike,

    I’m in week 4 of the prep and I’m concerned that I’m not getting enough math practice. I’m not really worried about the verbal that much. I scored in the 95th percentile on my first GRE. Unfortunately, I scored in the 50th percentile for math. I understand the concepts, but I am just slow. Hence, I need alot of math practice. Am I following the right plan? It seems like the focus of this has been on verbal, but maybe the math comes later. Thanks!

  5. Joachim April 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    You specifically use The Economist throughout the plan. Is there a particular reason for this? Are the articles in The Economist more relatable to the GRE test, or could we use another decent newspaper such as NY Times? (I’ve got a subscription to the International Herald Tribune).

    Joachim

    • Mike McGarry
      Mike April 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

      Dear Joachim,
      In my opinion, the Economist is one of the most high-brow weekly publications in print, but yes, the NYT and IHT and the Atlantic Monthly and New Yorker are also excellent — you could easily sub any of these in — probably best to mix it up a bit, for the variety. Also, here are some books recommendations, for further practice reading:
      http://magoosh.com/gre/2011/gre-vocabulary-books-recommended-fiction-and-non-fiction/
      If the material is high-brow, feel free to plug it in in place of the Economist.
      Mike :-)

      • Joachim April 3, 2013 at 2:25 am #

        Many thanks, Mike! Thinking about it, I think I should have online access to archives from all these publications through my university library…

        Thanks for this great guide!

        Joachim

        • Mike McGarry
          Mike April 3, 2013 at 9:32 am #

          You are quite welcome, my friend,
          Mike :-)

  6. James Yothers March 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    I see that there are a few updated versions of these books, notably: Manhattan’s GRE, ETS, and the OG to the GMAT. Is there any benefit or downside to utilizing the new versions of these publications? Are there many changes to these books in the updated versions?

    As a financial consideration the 3rd edition of the MGRE books are $80 versus $200 for the 2nd edition books on Amazon.

    • Mike McGarry
      Mike March 26, 2013 at 11:28 am #

      Dear James,
      For the ETS’s GRE OG, it’s imperative to get the most up-to-date version, reflecting their latest released material on the GRE. For the GMAT OG, it really doesn’t matter — you’re not preparing for that test, but simply using it for additional practice; get the cheapest version. For the MGRE books, the 2nd & 3rd editions are virtually indistinguishable, so I would say — get the cheaper one.
      Does this make sense?
      Mike :-)

      • Jose March 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

        Hi Mike

        I noticed that the link to “The Official Guide to the GRE revised General Test”
        links me an outdated version of the book.

        Do your video explanations refer to the edition under the link or the newer edition?

        Thanks for your help!

        • Mike McGarry
          Mike March 27, 2013 at 11:57 am #

          If you follow the link at the top of this page, it takes you to this page:
          http://gre.magoosh.com/forum/books/6-official-guide-revised-gre-1st-ed
          The link for the hard copy of the book on that page links you to the old OG, because that page contains videos from the old OG. At the bottom of that page, you will see links to “Other Official GRE Material”, including the current OG.
          Mike

  7. James March 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    In the resurces you give the Nova GRE math book but in the abbreviations you give “MH” as the McGraw Hill math GRE book. The rest of the plan uses Nova. However, I am going away for a couple of months and am only able to bring e-books. The MH is avaialbe on e-book and the Nova book is not. Is the MH a suitable substitute for at least the first couple of months? Will the sections be somewhat transferrable/equivelent? Thank you.

    • Mike McGarry
      Mike March 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      Hmm. They are not really equivalent. The MH is for folks who really need their hand held for math, as they re-learn each basic. The NOVA, by contrast, has a ton of advanced & challenging problems, problems you just won’t find in the MH. I guess I would say — read about the GMAT forums —-http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-forums/ —- GMAT math is about the same as GRE math, if anything, just a tad harder. You can find plenty of hard math problems posted on those two GMAT forums — while it would be a bit more scattered as to topic, for a few months that should provide sufficient practice against which you can sharpen your teeth. After that, use the NOVA book to focus on areas you feel you haven’t practiced enough. Does this make sense?
      Mike :-)

      • James Yothers March 25, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

        Mike,
        Thanks for the quick reply. Yes, this makes sense. Fortunately I was able to get my hands on a Nova book before I left.
        James

        • Mike McGarry
          Mike March 26, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

          Excellent! Best of luck to you, and have a great trip.
          Mike :-)

  8. Sanjana July 26, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    Hi Mike :)
    Do you think a 6 month plan is a better option over a 3 month plan? It’s definitely more relaxed than a 3 month plan but my question is, how effective is it? Does more preparation time equal a better score?

    Sanjana

    • Mike McGarry
      Mike July 26, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Sanjana: We designed the 3 mo. & 6 mo. plans because different people have different amounts of time between when they start preparing and when they have to take the test. From your question, it sounds as if you have a good deal of flexibility about when you take your GMAT. I would say: if you have the time and opportunity, and can maintain the focus and determination, then by all means, put in a solid six months of preparation. Don’t do it *because* its more relaxing, but rather because you can bring that much more intensity to your preparation.
      Mike :-)

  9. Arun April 2, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    Hi,

    Last year I attended GRE and got 145 in verbal and got 153 in quantitative.Could you please tell me how to improve my gre score.I don’t have enough money to enrol for magoosh and buy manhattan gre.Please help me regarding this.

    • Mike McGarry
      Mike April 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

      Arun: I’m sorry — I don’t know what to tell you. To improve from those scores, you will need some high quality GRE help, and you simply are not going to find high quality GRE help for any cheaper than Magoosh. If there’s any way you can come up with the money for it, it would pay big dividends in your future. Short of that, take as much advantage as you can of the free blogs, and look into free online forums like urch. You can also look at the free GMAT forums like GMATclub and BeatTheGMAT for math, because the math concepts are the same, and if anything, GMAT math is a little harder. I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you!
      Mike :)

  10. Dev March 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    You are really helping us students succeed!

    • Mike McGarry
      Mike April 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

      Thank you!
      Mike :)

  11. Dev March 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Hi Mike,
    thanks a lot for your fast reply!
    The program I am applying to requires a minimum quant score of 160 and doesn’t care about the verbal. That and the fact that I only have one shot to get this score (can’t retake because of their stupid deadline change..) explains why I solely focus on the math.
    My goal is the build up my skills and confidence, so that I can take the exam and be as sure as possible that I achieve 162-165:)

    Do you think it’s possible with 3 weeks of focused practice with my profile and this study plan as base?:

    I was pretty good in high school maths a year ago, but struggled with the old Powerprep I tests a few weeks ago (scored in the low 600s)

    I worked through barrons and ~200 magoosh questions (with are excellent btw! kudos)
    retook them ~3 weeks later and so far got the following scores during the last few days:

    Powerprep I #1 retake 720
    Powerprep II retake 750-800

    Kaplan CAT #1 164
    Kaplan CAT #2 163
    (but I am leery of their scoring, according to them 163~86 percentile, which is lower than the offical ETS percentiles..)

    MGRE CAT #1 155
    MGRE CAT #2 163
    (according to the question list many of the question I got wrong had a difficulty level of “0-0″, but I emailed Manhattan and their curriculum verified the score and said that it’s only a display bug – I still have some doubts though..)

    Magoosh estimated score: 156 – 161

    I have the feeling that some concepts are still a little bit shaky, f.e. overlapping sets, independent events, ND, even though I have gone over the magoosh and ETS materials.
    Number properties often seem to give me a hard time too.
    Picking up the corresponding Manhattan GRE guides and doing the specific exercises there is the way to go, right?

    2nd my problem solving speed (figuring out the right approach) seems to be too slow and I think that I often fall for traps especially in the QC questions, do not work accurate enough and don’t have practice with employing time saving/guessing strategies or shortcuts.

    Does dedicating a good amount of time to practicing strategies and shortcuts makes sense for my score target or is the time better spent figuring out how to solve hard questions?

    Do the Manhattan GRE questions also contain questions with traps or questions where you can apply shortcuts/time saving strategies?
    While skimming through Nova, I couldn’t find any :-/

    Doing the hard questions under timed conditions will help me improve my problem solving speed, right?
    Are there any guidelines for the time limits I shoud employ when practicing the GRE problems? I know for GMAT one should try to solve them in <2 minutes.
    For the GRE the avg. time is <1.4 minutes, should my final goal be, to be able to solve most questions in <1 minute?

    And finally, I see that almost all questions in this guide are hard questions.
    Do you recommend that I also regularly do easier questions f.e. from a Kaplan Math Workoutbook, just to maintain the drill for thinking simple and solving easy questions?

    Uuuh I wrote a lot :-/

    But thank you soo much for your advice Mike!

    I can't stress enough the exceptional job that you guys are doing here and on the urch boards.
    Wherever possible I recommend you guys as the best prep solution I know for the GRE

    thanks & best regards

    Dev

    • Mike McGarry
      Mike March 29, 2012 at 11:22 am #

      Dev: Wow, that’s a lot of questions. First of all, I would say — you are close, so with a good solid three months of practicing GRE math, I would say you have a very good shot at getting above 160. Know, though, that this will really take a *solid* three months of hard work.
      One thing you said struck me. You said: “Number properties often seem to give me a hard time.” I know number properties constitute the single most frequently tested concept on the GMAT, and I believe they are just as frequent on the GRE. It’s a topic that lends itself almost endlessly to the standardized testing format. I would say one thing that would help you immensely is to get absolutely 100% clear with odd/even, primes, positive/negative, integers vs. fractions, etc. etc. Being solid on number properties will fill a lot of holes.
      BTW, on the topics of overlapping sets, independent and disjoint, “and” vs. “or” in probability, all that — make sure you watch all the lesson videos for statistics, counting, and probability.
      As far as timing, read the blog I wrote for the GMAT: http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/pacing-and-timing-strategies-for-the-gmat/. It’s very important at this point that almost 100% of your practicing be against the clock.
      I would also say: be strategic about analysis. Keep a journal about what problems you could solve on your first approach, and where the first approach didn’t work; what strategies worked and what didn’t, etc. If you force yourself to articulate this by writing it down, it will make you remember & understand it with more parts of your brain.
      I would say — weigh strategies and shortcuts a little more heavily than solving hard problems. The reason I say that is: many effective strategies and shortcuts will be helpful in a wide variety or problems, whereas many hard problems are sui generis, and learning to solve them will not necessarily be as helpful in other questions.
      My sense of the NOVA book is that there are dozens of problems — maybe not with tricks or traps, but problems where strategy in problem-solving is crucial and can make a big difference in time. MGRE problems are also very good in this respect.
      Don’t just do hard problems under speed — do *everything* under speed. Again, virtually all of your practice from this point forward should be timed. Remember that part of overall time management is figuring out how to dispatch the easy questions in not much time at all, so that you have more time to focus on the hard questions.
      So, yes, make sure you do have a small but steady diet of easy questions, always looking to increase the efficiency there, so that you buy yourself more time for the hard questions.
      OK, I think I answered all your questions. Let me know if you have any further questions.
      Mike :-)

  12. Dev March 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Hi guys,
    thanks for this study plan!

    I have 2 questions though.
    How much time a day do you have to spend to complete only the quant part only for this in plan in 3 weeks time?

    In the materials you write “buy Volumes #1-6 of the Manhattan GRE book.”
    But am I right that you actually don’t use it in this plan?

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    • Mike McGarry
      Mike March 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

      Dev —
      I would say, to some extent, how long it would take depends on how fast you do math. I am going to guesstimate that a rate of 2 hr/ day would be sufficient for most mathy folks to get through all the math material here in 3 weeks.
      Second, Volumes #1-6 of the MGRE books are the math books of that sequence. I didn’t include detailed exercises from them them in this plan because I assumed folks who were strong with math didn’t need the extensive review that those MGRE volumes provided — they could more use them as reference, and dip in as needed. You say you want to focus on math to the exclusion of verbal, so I guess I am trying to figure out what that says about how comfortable you feel with math and how comfortable you feel with verbal.
      Mike :-)


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