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6 Month GRE Study Plan (Advanced Math)

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.

  

6 Month Study Plan (Advanced Math)

 

Essential Materials:

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
  • Quizlet.com — gives you online access to flashcards, making it easier, say, to quiz yourself on your mobile device
  • WordSmart – very basic “level 1″ definition of words with simpl Numeric entry math questionse sentences
  • Dictionary.com —- very good example sentences with definition
  • Worknik.com —- provides 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 means “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 flash cards (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.

Also, 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.

Week One

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

2) In the 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) Work through the GRE Math Review in the Official Guide.  Take notes in your journal on whatever is unfamiliar.  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.  Theoretically, this is something you should be able to breeze through in one sitting.  If this is anything more than even mildly challenging, you may wish to reconsider which six-month study plan you are following.

4) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In Verbal: under “Text Completion – Overview”, all six videos in that section

In Verbal: under “Text Completion – No Shifts”, all four videos in that section

In Verbal: under “Paragraph Argument”, first four videos

NOTE: as you watch Magoosh videos —- If the content is new and/or unfamiliar, take notes on it in your journal.  If the content is too easy, click ahead to the end and read the summary, just to verify that there’s nothing new you missed.

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 Flashcards, I suggest doing 10 words each day.  For each word, make sure the denotation and connotation is understood. Each day, review your stack of flashcards.

6) In Magoosh, set up a practice session by clicking on the “Practice” link in the header. For Math, check off all of the subjects that you’re comfortable practicing, 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”.

Narrow your practice to just that subjects you’ve studied so far. You’ll widen the scope of your practice over the course of your studies.

Do the following practice sets:

10 Multiple choice math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

3 Paragraph argument 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.

 

Week One, Day Six:

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

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

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

2) Download and skim the Magoosh Math Formula eBook

http://magoosh.com/gre/2012/gre-math-formula-ebook/

If you are following the advanced plan, probably many of these will be familiar.  Note anything about which you feel a bit rusty.

3) Download and skim the Magoosh GRE Vocabulary eBook

http://magoosh.com/gre/2012/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 Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards and you remember it was one listed here, go back to review the connections here.

Week Two:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In AWA: all ten videos in that section

In “Paragraph Argument”, remaining videos

In “Data Interpretation”, all four videos

In Verbal: the first five videos under “Vocabulary”

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set A & B & C “Substitution,” and Problem Set D “Defined Functions.”

NOTE: Nova’s book is a good collection of challenging math problems.  The explanations are poor, and sometimes the answers in the answer key aren’t even correct, so beware.  But if you can get these problems consistently correct, you will be fine on GRE Quantitative.

The problem sets throughout the book, denoted by capital letters, are in alphabetical order and are found mostly at the ends of sections.

Also, do all the Nova questions timed.  Count the number of problems in a problem set, multiply that number by 1.75, and round to the nearest whole number: that’s the number of minutes you should give yourself for the problem set.

3) 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.

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

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

6 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

NOTE: For questions in the GMAT Official Guide book: As soon as you work through an exercise set, correct your work.  See if you can figure out your mistake on your own first, and then read the solutions thorough, taking notes in your journal on whatever was new, unfamiliar, or confusing.  Also note: for each Problem Solving question in this book, you will find a video explanation on Magoosh’s YouTube channel.

Do all the Official Guide questions timed.  Do 10 problem solving problems in 17 minutes.  Do 6 CR questions in 11 minutes.  For Reading comprehension questions, multiply the number of questions times 1.75, add 2, and round to the nearest integer: that’s the number of minutes you should allot yourself for the passage & questions.

6) In Magoosh, set up a practice session by clicking on the “Practice” link in the header. For Math, check off all of the subjects that you’re comfortable practicing, 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”.

Narrow your practice to just that subjects you’ve studied so far. You’ll widen the scope of your practice over the course of your studies.

Do the following practice sets:

10 Multiple choice math questions

3 Data Interpretation questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

3 Paragraph argument questions

 

Week Two, Day Six

1) On 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.

Week Three:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In Verbal: under “Reading Comprehension”, all eleven videos in that section

In Verbal: the remaining videos under “Vocabulary”

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set E, “Number Theory.”

3) 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.

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

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

6 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh do the following practice sets:

20 Multiple choice math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

3 Paragraph argument questions

(Do all the questions associated with a single Reading comprehension passage at once; that may mean you have to a couple more or a couple fewer questions this time; simply adjust the next time you do Magoosh Reading comprehension questions.)

 

 

Week Three, Day Six

1) Review your entire stack of vocabulary flash cards

2) Today, you are going to write two essays, half an hour each.  You will write two Issue essays.

For topics, go to the ETS GRE Issue Pool (http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/issue/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.

Now that you have these essays, what do you do with them?  If you have a friend or mentor who is a gifted writer, see if they would 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’t convince anyone else to read it, you may try posting them on one of the free GMAT club forums, and see whether an expert there will critique your essay.   Failing either 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.

 

Week Four:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In Verbal: under “Text Completion – Sentence Shifts”, all nine videos in that section

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set F, “Quantitative Comparisons.”

3) 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.

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

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

6 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

3 Data Interpretation questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

 

Week Four, Day Six

1) Review your entire stack of vocabulary flash cards

2) Today, you are going to write two essays, half an hour each.  You will write two Argument essays.

For topics, go to the ETS GRE Argument Pool (http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/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.

When done, share the essays with a trusted friend/mentor, or post in the GMAT forum, or set aside and critique it yourself with the Official Guide rubric in a few days.

 

 

Week Five:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In Verbal: under “Sentence Equivalence”, all six videos in that section

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set G & H,  Hard Quantitative Comparisons.”

3) 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.

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

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

6 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

20 Multiple choice math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

3 Paragraph argument questions

Week Five, Day Six

1) Review your entire stack of vocabulary flash cards

2) Today, you are going to write four essays, half an hour each.  You will write two Issue essays and two Argument essays.

For topics, go back to the topics from the ETS Issue Pool & Argument Pool.  Again, choose topics at random.  Write the essays in Word.

When done, share the essays with a trusted friend/mentor, or post in the GMAT forum, or set aside and critique it yourself with the Official Guide rubric in a few days.

 

 

 

Week Six:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In Verbal: under “Text Completion – Double Blanks”, all five videos in that section

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set I, “Geometry,” #1-35.

3) 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.

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

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

 

Week Six, Day Six

1) Review your entire stack of vocabulary flash cards

2) Today, you are going to write four essays, half an hour each.  You will write two Issue essays and two Argument essays.

For topics, go back to the topics from the ETS Issue Pool & Argument Pool.  Again, choose topics at random.  Write the essays in Word.

When done, share the essays with a trusted friend/mentor, or post in the GMAT forum, or set aside and critique it yourself with the Official Guide rubric in a few days.

 

Week Seven:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In Verbal: under “Text Completion – Triple Blanks”, all seven videos in that section

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set I, “Geometry,” #36-70.

3) 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.

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

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

14 Multiple choice math questions

3 Data Interpretation questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

4 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

 

Week Seven, Day Six

1) Review your entire stack of vocabulary flash cards

2) In the 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 mock GRE.  You might even combine it with two essays, and 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 = 9 minutes

Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 2 = 10 minutes

Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 3 = 9 minutes

Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 4 = 10 minutes

Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 5 = 10 minutes

Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 6 = 10 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.   If you still can’t make sense of the question after reading the explanation, email us at Magoosh.

 

Week Eight:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

This week, I am going to recommend a smattering of Magoosh math videos, mostly videos that summarize entire modules.  You may find these ridiculously easy, in which case, simply click ahead to the end and scam the summary to verify you didn’t miss anything.  If watching these triggers questions, you may choose to dip into the math videos further.

In Math: under “Algebra, Equations, Inequalities”, the video “The Something Method”

In Math: under “Word Problems”, the videos “Tips for Algebraic Approach” and “Tips for Input-Output Approach.”

In Math: under “Geometry”, the videos “Geometry Strategies – Part I” and “Geometry Strategies – Part II”

In Math: under “Integer Properties”, the videos “Integer Properties Strategies.”

In Math: under “Counting”, the videos “Counting Strategies – I” and “Counting Strategies – II”

In Math: under “Probability”, the videos “General Probability Strategies.”

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set I, “Geometry,” #71-106.

3) 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.

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

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

20 Multiple choice math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

10 Text completion verbal questions

5 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

3 Paragraph argument questions

Week Eight, Day Six

1) Review your entire stack of vocabulary flash cards

2) Today, you are going to write four essays, half an hour each.  You will write two Issue essays and two Argument essays.

For topics, go back to the topics from the ETS Issue Pool & Argument Pool.  Again, choose topics at random.  Write the essays in Word.

When done, share the essays with a trusted friend/mentor, or post in the GMAT forum, or set aside and critique it yourself with the Official Guide rubric in a few days.

 

Week Nine:

1) In Manhattan GRE

Read Volume #7, Chapters 1-2, do the Problem Set at the end of Ch. 2.  Do Chapter 8 Problem Set Passages A & B.

NOTE: For drills in the Manhattan GRE book: As soon as you work do one of the drills, correct your work.  See if you can figure out your mistake on your own first, and then read the solutions thorough, taking notes in your journal on whatever was new, unfamiliar, or confusing.

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set J, “Geometry,” Problem Set K “Coordinate Geometry,” and Problem Set L “Elimination Strategies.”

3) 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.

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

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

3 Paragraph argument questions

 

Week Nine, Day Six

1) In Barron’s New GRE

Take Model Test #1.  Write the essays on your computer, in Word.  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.

When done, share the two essays with a trusted friend/mentor, or post in the GMAT forum, or set aside and critique it yourself with the Official Guide rubric in a few days.

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.

 

Week Ten:

1) In Manhattan GRE

Read Volume #7, Chapters 3-5, and all do the Problem Sets associated with those chapters.

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set M, “Inequalities.”

3) 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.

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

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

20 Multiple choice math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

 

Week Ten, Day Six

1) Review your entire stack of vocabulary flash cards

2) Today, you are going to write four essays, half an hour each.  You will write two Issue essays and two Argument essays.

For topics, go back to the topics from the ETS Issue Pool & Argument Pool.  Again, choose topics at random.  Write the essays in Word.

When done, share the essays with a trusted friend/mentor, or post in the GMAT forum, or set aside and critique it yourself with the Official Guide rubric in a few days.

 

Week Eleven:

1) In Manhattan GRE

Read Volume #7, Chapter 6-7, and do Chapter 8 Problem Set Passages C & D.

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set N, “Fractions and Decimals.”

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

6 Numeric entry math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

3 Data Interpretation questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

 

 

Week Eleven, Day Six

1) In Barron’s New GRE

Take Model Test #2.  Write the essays on your computer, in Word.  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.

When done, share the two essays with a trusted friend/mentor, or post in the GMAT forum, or set aside and critique it yourself with the Official Guide rubric in a few days.

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.

 

Week Twelve:

1) In Manhattan GRE

Read Volume #7, do Chapter 8 Problem Set Passages E & F.

Read Volume #8, read Chapter 2, and do all the included drills sets.

NOTE: The Text completion verbal questions & Sentence Equivalence verbal questions problems in Manhattan GRE Volume 8 can be over-the-top difficult.  The strategies are worthwhile, and some of the questions are fine questions indeed, but I am going to have you steer clear of the harder questions in this volume.  If any question seems wildly difficult, don’t be discouraged.

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set O, “Equations.”

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

20 Multiple choice math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

3 Paragraph argument questions

 

 

Week Twelve, Day Six

1) Review your entire stack of vocabulary flash cards

2) Today, you are going to write four essays, half an hour each.  You will write two Issue essays and two Argument essays.

For topics, go back to the topics from the ETS Issue Pool & Argument Pool.  Again, choose topics at random.  Write the essays in Word.

When done, share the essays with a trusted friend/mentor, or post in the GMAT forum, or set aside and critique it yourself with the Official Guide rubric in a few days.

 

Week Thirteen:

1) In Manhattan GRE

Read Volume #7, do Chapter 8 Problem Set Passages G.

Read Volume #8, read Chapter 3 and do all the included drill sets.  Read Chapter 4.

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set P, “Averages.”

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

3 Data Interpretation questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

 

Week Thirteen, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take your first of the Manhattan GRE practice GREs.  Take the whole test, and then read & study the explanations, taking notes on whatever you got wrong — whatever about the concepts or the questions format was unclear.

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.

 

 

Week Fourteen:

1) In Manhattan GRE

Read Volume #8, read Chapter 5 and do the included drill set.  Read Appendix A: If you have been making good progress with your vocab words, you might consider adding flash cards for the roots listed here.

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set Q, “Ratio & Proportions.”

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

3 Data Interpretation questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

 

Week Fourteen, Day Six

1) Review your entire stack of vocabulary flash cards

2) Today, you are going to write four essays, half an hour each.  You will write two Issue essays and two Argument essays.

For topics, go back to the topics from the ETS Issue Pool & Argument Pool.  Again, choose topics at random.  Write the essays in Word.

When done, share the essays with a trusted friend/mentor, or post in the GMAT forum, or set aside and critique it yourself with the Official Guide rubric in a few days.

 

Week Fifteen:

1) In Manhattan GRE

Read Volume #7, start working on Appendix B.  All these words are listed on the two sets of Manhattan GRE Flash Cards: if you didn’t purchase those, start making flashcards for the words on these lists.  (You may want to spread that process out over a few weeks.)

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set R “Exponents & Roots,” Problem Set S, “Factoring,” and Problem Set T, “Algebraic Expressions.”

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

5 Multiple answer math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

Week Fifteen, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take another of the Manhattan GRE practice GREs.  Take the whole test, and then read & study the explanations, taking notes on whatever you got wrong — whatever about the concepts or the questions format was unclear.

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.

 

Week Sixteen:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In Verbal: under “Text Completion – Overview”, all six videos in that section

In Verbal: under “Text Completion – No Shift”, all four videos in that section

NOTE: Starting this week, I am having you watch ever Magoosh verbal video for a second time.  It’s been a few months since you’ve seen them.  If it’s too easy or too repetitive, then simply click ahead to the end and read the summary, to verify that nothing you don’t know is covered.

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set U, “Percents.”

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

3 Data Interpretation questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

3 Paragraph argument questions

 

Week Sixteen, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take the first hard copy GRE in the Official Guide, GRE Practice Test #1.

For the two essay questions, write the essays in a word processing program. These essays you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback, or critique later with the Official Guide rubric.

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.

Week Seventeen:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In Verbal: under “Text Completion – Sentence Shifts”, all nine videos in that section

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set V, “Graphs.”

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

20 Multiple choice math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

 

 

Week Seventeen, Day Six

1) Review your entire stack of vocabulary flash cards

2) Today is the last time you are going to write two essays, half an hour each.  You will write one Issue essay and one Argument essay.

For topics, go back to the topics from the ETS Issue Pool & Argument Pool.  Again, choose topics at random.  Write the essays in Word.

When done, share the essays with a trusted friend/mentor, or post in the GMAT forum, or set aside and critique it yourself with the Official Guide rubric in a few days.

 

Week Eighteen:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In Verbal: under “Text Completion – Double Blanks”, all five videos in that section

In Verbal: under “Text Completion – Triple Blanks”, all seven videos in that section

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set W, “Word Problems.”

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

3 Data Interpretation questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

3 Paragraph argument questions

 

Week Eighteen, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take another of the Manhattan GRE practice GREs.  Take the whole test, and then read & study the explanations, taking notes on whatever you got wrong — whatever about the concepts or the questions format was unclear.

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.

 

Week Nineteen:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In Verbal: under “Reading Comprehension”, all eleven videos in that section

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set X, “Sequences & Series,” Problem Set Y, “Counting,” and Problem Set Z, “Probability & Statistics.”

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

10 Numeric entry math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

 

Week Nineteen, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take the second hard copy GRE in the Official Guide, GRE Practice Test #2.

For the two essay questions, write the essays in a word processing program. These essays you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback, or critique later with the Official Guide rubric.

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.

 

Week Twenty:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In Verbal: under “Sentence Equivalence”, all six videos in that section

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set AA, “Permutations & Combination.”

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

3 Data Interpretation questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

 

Week Twenty, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take another of the Manhattan GRE practice GREs.  Take the whole test, and then read & study the explanations, taking notes on whatever you got wrong — whatever about the concepts or the questions format was unclear.

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.

 

Week Twenty One:

1) In Magoosh, watch the following videos

In AWA: all ten videos in that section

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set BB, “Functions.”

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

20 Multiple choice math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

3 Paragraph argument questions

 

Week Twenty One, Day Six

1) The Paper-Based GRE

Go to http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare, scroll down to the link under the section “Practice Book for the Paper-Based GRE revised General Test, 2nd edition.   Download that pdf: it contains a soft copy of a full length GRE, starting on p. 35.

Take this GRE: you can either print the whole schmiel from p. 35 onward (a ton of paper!) and write the answers on the test, or just follow the pdf on your computer and write the answers a piece of scrap paper.

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: there is some overlap in the questions between the Paper-Based Test and the Power-Prep tests you will take in a few weeks.  Theoretically, if you learn well from your mistake, you will get those questions all correct the next time around.  Remember: the mark of an excellent student is never to make the same mistake twice.

 

Week Twenty Two:

1) Review any Magoosh video or section of Manhattan GRE books as needed

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Problem Set CC, “Miscellaneous Problems.”

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

3 Data Interpretation questions

5 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

 

Week Twenty Two, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take another of the Manhattan GRE practice GREs.  Take the whole test, and then read & study the explanations, taking notes on whatever you got wrong — whatever about the concepts or the questions format was unclear.

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.

 

Week Twenty Three:

1) Review any Magoosh video or section of Manhattan GRE books as needed

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

Do Diagnostic/Review Math Test at the end.

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

10 Numeric entry math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

3 Paragraph argument questions

 

Week Twenty Three, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take the last of the Manhattan GRE practice GREs.  Take the whole test, and then read & study the explanations, taking notes on whatever you got wrong — whatever about the concepts or the questions format was unclear.

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.

 

Week Twenty Four:

1) Review any Magoosh video or section of Manhattan GRE books as needed

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

review any section as needed

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

10 Problem Solving questions

5 Critical Reasoning questions

1 Reading comprehension passage, with its associated questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

5 Multiple choice math questions

10 Multiple answer math questions

3 Data Interpretation questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Text completion verbal questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

Week Twenty Four, Day Six

1) Go to http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare and download the POWERPREP II Software.

2) Today, you are going to take the first practice GRE available through the GRE POWERPREP software.  Pay attention to any differences you notice between the Manhattan GRE tests and this one: this one is presumably much more representative of the real GMAT.

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.

At the end, copy the essays you wrote into a Word doc, and as before, these you will share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback, or critique later with the Official Guide rubric.

Week Twenty Five:

1) Review any Magoosh video or section of Manhattan GRE books as needed

2) In Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course

review any section as needed

3) 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.

4) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, look over the next 40 words.  For four of the five days, go over 10 additional words.  For the fifth day (which may occur any day in the week), review a substantial portion of your flashcards, all if possible.

5) GMAT Official Guide

5 Critical Reasoning questions

6) In Magoosh, do the following questions

10 Multiple choice math questions

5 Quantitative Comparison math questions

5 Reading comprehension questions

3 Paragraph argument questions

 

Week Twenty Five, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to take the second practice GRE available through the GRE POWERPREP software.  Pay attention to any differences you notice between the Manhattan GRE tests and this one: this one is presumably much more representative of the real GRE.

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.

At the end, copy the essays you wrote into a Word doc, and as before, these you will share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback, or critique later with the Official Guide rubric.

 

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 a second time.

2) Keep watching for an additional time 5-10 Magoosh lesson videos a 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 cards.

5) Re-read and/or re-practice any topics in the Manhattan GRE books or in the NOVA’S book — any topics where you feel you would benefit from further review.

 

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!

 

About the Author

Mike McGarry is a Content Developer for Magoosh with over 20 years of teaching experience and a BS in Physics and an MA in Religion, both from Harvard. He enjoys hitting foosballs into orbit, and despite having no obvious cranial deficiency, he insists on rooting for the NY Mets. Follow him on Google+!

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
      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
      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
          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
      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
      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
          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
      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
          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
      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
          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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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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