2-3 Month GRE Study Guide

The content in this post applies in 2024 to the new, shorter GRE!

This GRE study schedule can be downloaded in a printable pdf version!

Picking the Right Study Schedule:

This GRE guide sets out weekly goals based on about 2 to 3 hours of daily study. That daily study can be arranged and stacked as needed according to your availability, but the design intends about 10-15 hours a week. The approach is holistic and highlights subject areas ranging from reading to mastering data analysis and quantitative technique—all aimed at elevating your GRE performance. It is meant to be flexible, allowing you to map the best path for yourself.

If you’d prefer more of a daily blueprint than weekly guidelines for your scheduling effort, then you may want to check out our 3-month plans:

If English isn’t your native language or you’re seriously grappling with vocabulary and the nuances of academic writing, Magoosh does recommend trying out the six-month plan. Remember, your goal is a strong score, so rethinking the timeframe for your prep strategy may be the best path to a competitive score. If so, you may need to look to the comprehensive six-month plan.”

At Magoosh we recognize that many students set aside about two months for GRE exam preparation. This timeframe is sensible: long enough to stay laser-focused on a single task, but the pace of study isn’t unrelenting so getting distracted doesn’t feel like a disaster.

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What You’ll Need:

Our goal here is to present a schedule of about 2 months. It’s specially designed for those who have the time and availability for a week to week plan of exam prep, but it also fits a study schedule for students where consistent availability can be an issue. It is mapped to a flexible 8-week structure, one where you’re in control. If you need to, look up our post on how to adapt schedules according to your needs to make it just right for you.

  • Essentials:
  • Magoosh GRE Prep: Our test prep platform will be essential to gaining rapid command of the test.
  • ETS’s Official Guide to the GRE: ETS are the makers of the GRE test, and hence the best source for practice questions drawn from past tests.
  • Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards: Download the flashcard app to your mobile device or use the site from your desktop–it’s free.
  • Vocabulary.com (for in-context vocabulary) A very useful site to supplement your work in the app.
  • Flashcard app of your choice. There are so many of them ranging from flashcards maker to brainscape and anki. For a website, there is also quizlet.com.
  • ETS’s PowerPrep Online: There’s an option to take the practice test on paper, but I recommend using PowerPrep Online if you can, since taking the test on a computer is a better simulation of test day conditions.
  • Magoosh’s GRE Complete Guide: This free comprehensive, web-based guide to the GREis a helpful overview you need to understand this test. You’ll see how the GRE is designed and scored, what skills it tests, how to find and use the best GRE prep, and how to study for each test section.
  • A guide to GRE Practice Test Resources: This page includes links to good full-length GRE practice tests, and diagnostic quizzes. It also offers some essential tips on incorporating them into your studies.

A Note on Essentials:


Magoosh provides comprehensive content for GRE preparation, and most students can succeed using only our resources. This plan does, however, supplement our prep with (mostly free) additional resources. Why? Well, our study plans are meticulously crafted and grounded in effective teaching strategies, which means information retention and comprehension is in our DNA as a company. Simply put: a one-time hearing or reading is seldom enough, and the suggested resources are added practice and further explanations.

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GRE study guide weeks 1-2

Weeks 1-2

  • Primary Goals:

    • Progress through Magoosh’s Math and Verbal Video Lessons. Target completing half of the verbal videos and around a third of the math ones, as there are more math videos. After each video, practice related questions. This reinforces the concepts you just learned. Avoid binge-watching lessons without engaging in questions; this risks forgetting the content. For example, after viewing videos on exponents, complete the accompanying quiz for that module.
    • Use the ETS Official Guide or the two ETS practice question guides to reinforce specific concepts. It’s fine to jump around in these books to find pertinent questions.
    • Aim to finish 100 practice questions from both Verbal and Math in Magoosh. This can include the quizzes post-lesson videos.
    • If you are retesting, then attempt the diagnostic test available to you on the ETS site.
  • Secondary Goals:

    • Arts and Letter’s Daily is a great resource for links to advanced reading material. Once per week follow any article links to items that are 5-20 pages long. While reading, try to identify at least fifty unfamiliar words. A quick google search will yield definitions.
    • Afterwards, write a concise summary or review of one of the articles, weaving in the vocabulary terms you’ve learned. The vocabulary can any of the material you’ve studied: lessons, sample questions, reading.
    • Use the Magoosh Flashcard App to learn 10 words daily. At the end of 15 days, you will have encountered 150 words. For a deeper understanding of these words in context, refer to Vocabulary.com.
    • As you pick up new words from articles, make flashcards in your app of choice. Continue this practice with Magoosh GRE Flashcards.

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GRE study guide weeks 3-4

Weeks 3-4:

  • Primary Goals:

    • Complete all video lessons available in Magoosh.
    • Take the PowerPrep Online Test 1 to gauge your current standing.
    • Review your answers to understand mistakes. Seek explanations in the Magoosh forums if necessary.
    • Analyze the test results to pinpoint areas needing more focus.
    • Tackle an additional 75 Verbal and 75 Math questions within Magoosh.
    • Begin with the ETS Official Guide, focusing on the easier and medium-difficulty sections for both math and verbal.
  • Secondary Goals:

    • Continue using the Magoosh GRE Flashcards, learn at least 5 words each day, and dedicate time to test yourself on accumulated vocabulary. The Magoosh Vocabulary Builder app. Will come in handy as well.
    • Increase your reading regimen to two articles per week from Arts & Letters Daily, and continue to identify 50 words each week.
    • Aim to feel comfortable with the fundamental concepts on the GRE using Magoosh and the ETS site.
    • If still grappling with basic math areas like fractions or exponents consider viewing the collaboratively developed video guide from ETS and Khan Academy on Quantitative Reasoning.
    • Delve into practice sets in the ETS Official Verbal and Quantitative question guides.

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GRE study guide weeks 5-6

Weeks 5-6

  • Primary Goals:

    • Tackle an additional 175 Verbal and 175 Math questions in Magoosh.
    • Complete remaining ETS Official Guide questions, excluding the practice tests.
    • Revisit any Magoosh lesson videos where you need a recap.
  • Secondary Goals:

    • Keep practicing vocabulary as in previous week.
    • Work though a majority of the Official GRE question guides, focusing on both quantitative and verbal sections. Aim to tackle at least one practice set for each topic.
    • Depending on your proficiency level, work through math problems in the Official GRE Quantitative Questions Guide, adjusting your focus based on areas you find difficult.
    • If basic math is challenging, continue consulting ETS resources and make sure you grasp answering process for easier questions in Magoosh platform.

Go back to the top of this 2-3 Month GRE Study Guide.


Weeks 7-8 GRE study guide

Weeks 7-8

  • Primary Goals:

    • Tailor practice sessions in Magoosh to address your weak areas. Aim to complete all verbal and math questions.
    • Attempt both practice tests in the Official Guide.
    • Take the PowerPrep Online Test 2.
    • Prioritize timed sections, utilizing various resources. Even if you can’t complete a whole section, keep a stopwatch or timer app handy during practice.
  • Secondary Goals:

    • Continue with your vocabulary journey, aiming for mastery of more challenging terms. By now, you should be familiar with at least 800 words.

Congratulations!

The journey to prepare for the GRE is both demanding and rewarding. Over eight weeks, this study schedule aimed to give a structured, comprehensive approach, balancing primary objectives with supplemental goals for all proficiency levels. By following this guide and committing to the process, you’re equipping yourself with the tools and knowledge needed for success on test day. Remember to consistently evaluate your progress and adjust accordingly. All the best in your preparations, and here’s to achieving your desired GRE score!

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