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Adapting the GRE Study Schedules to Your Needs

Magoosh publishes study schedules to help folks in various situations study for the GRE. We have plans for 1-month, 3-months, and 6-months. Three months is a good solid chunk of time to study for the GRE, an interval that many students use, so we have four different three-month plans to focus on the needs of different students. One month is not much time to integrate everything on the GRE, so that study schedule has a very intense pace.

These published study plans satisfy a large number of students. What if your time-frame and/or your needs are different from those of the major study plans? I will demonstrate a few ways to adapt these plans to other situations. While we can’t address every specific situation, I hope that the following will give you some ideas about how to adapt the published plans to your specific needs.

Two months or six weeks

Where adapting a schedule is concerned, it’s easier to add than to subtract. If you need a plan for something between one and three months, think about adding to the one-month plan, rather than subtracting from one of the three-month plans.

The one-month plan keeps a very brisk pace. If one were to take it at one-half rate, one day of the schedule equals two of your days, then you would have a quite manageable two-month plan. You can take official PowerPrep tests more than once, to get extra weekend practice sessions.

Six weeks, a month and a half, is a little trickier. Option one would be to take every three-days of real time to complete two days: that would fill six weeks. Alternately, you could just buy one or two of the volumes from the 8-volume MGRE set, go through the first two weeks of the Magoosh schedule, take off two weeks to read through the MGRE books and work all those problems, and then finish off the Magoosh schedule. You could even get more creative about interspersing book-work days with Magoosh days: you might want to map all that out on a physical calendar, so you can keep track. In general, switching gears is good in studying: this is why the Magoosh schedule has you doing both math & verbal every day, and mix of all topics from the beginning. The more you can adapt to switching gears to any topic and any source in any moment, the more ready you will be on test day.

Four months

Suppose you have four months between now and test day. What are your options? Well, of course, you could reschedule your exam a month earlier, to three months away, and follow a three-month plan to the letter: you could do that, but suppose you don’t want to do that. There are other options.

Basically, we will start with the most relevant three-month plan, and we have to fill out with another month of material. Again, the MGRE 8-Volume set makes for excellent filler, because those are some of the best works in print. Alternately, if you struggle with math or verbal, you could use the extra time to watch the videos again. You can also use the extra time to increase how much you are reading.

One simple plan would be to do the entire three-month plan, at least the Day 1-5 part, in the first three months, and devote the last month to reading the MGRE volumes, watching any lessons videos you need to see another time, and focusing very specifically on learning from the questions you got wrong. Push the entire weekend testing schedule to the end, so that you are doing the last official PowerPrep tests right before the real GRE.

Again, if you want to get fancy, you could intersperse weeks, or days, of the MGRE volumes with the Magoosh plan. As above, if you want to do something fancy like this, map it all out ahead of time on a physical calendar so you can keep track of it. Once again, the more “switching” gears, the better.

One month, subject specific

Suppose you have one-month, or a little more, and you know you are strong in math, but you need to focus on verbal (or, vice versa). Let’s say your math is strong, but you need verbal help.

In that case, just take the quizzes at the ends of the math lessons modules. If you ace every quiz, then you probably are in good shape in math. That will also give Magoosh the message that your math skills are strong. Make sure you watch every Verbal lesson twice: watch the whole series from top-to-bottom, and don’t repeat any a second time until you have seen them all. Do all the verbal questions. For the math questions, maybe use the Practice tab to select only the hard questions, and worry about doing all of the hard questions. Don’t worry about completing the easy questions.
All that, vice-versa, if verbal is your strong suit and you want to focus intensively on math.

If you are diligent about following this strategy, then Magoosh would still consider you eligible for the score guarantee, even though you didn’t follow that to the letter.

Summary

Think of the study plans as incredible resources that you can use as best benefits you. If you need to stretch the time out a bit, add a few more resources, that’s fine, as long as you are consistently focused on the GRE every day of your studying. This is about your life: grab it by the horns and get the most out of it for you!
 

P.S.
Did you know that you can access Magoosh GRE lesson videos and resources through our GRE Prep App? Available on iPhone and Android, the app allows you to keep up with your chosen study schedule even when you’re away from your computer.

Click here to learn more.

GRE Prep App

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31 Responses to Adapting the GRE Study Schedules to Your Needs

  1. Elisa K. August 28, 2017 at 8:07 am #

    Hi Mike!

    I’m trying to decide what is the best study guideline for me and I think I will follow this one:
    https://magoosh.com/gre/2011/2-3-month-gre-study-guide/

    But this was written quite a few years ago. Would you say it’s outdated at this point or is it okay to follow?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 28, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

      Hi Elisa,

      The last full revamp was in 2015, but we do still check in on the plans frequently. We still believe the plan will prepare you well! 🙂

  2. Pooria April 21, 2017 at 6:44 am #

    Hi there!

    I’m new to Magoosh website and when I want to pick up a 3-month GRE study plan, I am totally get confused that which should I pick up? Advanced schedule or Verbal Focused? As you mentioned before Advanced schedule is for those students who are around 310 to 320 and want to get higher score!

    As I toled above I am confused, because my goal in GRE is 320 and I am not sure which one of this planes is better for me in 3 months, Advanced or Verbal Focused?
    My last TOEFL score is 95 and I’m trying hard to increase my score around 10 points!

    I know this is an arduous work but I am resolute about it and ready to work in an laborious way to success!

    -Regards

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 21, 2017 at 7:02 am #

      Hi Pooria,

      To use all of the materials in the study plan, you really should get a subscription to Magoosh GRE. Our premium videos and practice quesitons are a key part of each of our study plans.

      As for the best plan, that doesn’t just depend on the score you want. It also depends on your current GRE abilities. Now, 95 is a pretty good score for the TOEFL, but it also shows that you may be at a more “beginner” level by the standards of the GRE, which has very challenging English-related questions and tasks. So based on your TOEFL score, Ir recommend doing the Verbal focused plan. That plan can help you continue to build your English skills, and of course the plan will still give you plenty of math practice.

  3. Aakriti Parajuli March 26, 2017 at 6:38 pm #

    Hello I am confused which plan should I take for GRE. I have taken GRE before scores are 286 and my target is 340. what should I do? I nee help for both verbal and quantitative?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 26, 2017 at 9:47 pm #

      Hi Aakriti,

      You’re looking for quite a large score increase, which will take a lot of work and, most importantly, a lot of time. You’ll need to give yourself enough time to get through and master all of the content. The GRE is a difficult test, and requires skills and knowledge that can take a while to develop. I would recommend that you use the 6 month beginner’s plan, keeping in mind that you may have to take more time if you are truly serious about getting an elite score 🙂

  4. Prachi Luthra March 23, 2017 at 8:39 am #

    Hi,

    I am new to Magoosh website. I just started preparing for my GRE exam and am planning to write my exam in June (First week) this year.I have a total of 9 weeks from now. Having said that, being a beginner, I am not sure if 9 weeks will be enough for me or not. In that case I will have to write my exam in August if during these 9 weeks, I am not able to catch the pace. This is because I have to go out for work from June-Mid July. Bu I do need my score before October 2017.

    I want a study plan for myself. If I go on with a 1 month plan. Can I use it in July-August as well? Or I will have to pay again?

    Also, all plans have same resources ? Just at different pace?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 23, 2017 at 9:17 am #

      Hi Prachi,

      Please note that the study schedules are actually different from our paid subscriptions. The study schedules are meant as a free resource to help you structure your time while you use a Magoosh GRE subscription to prepare for your exam. If you’re unsure which study schedule is right for you, I’d encourage you to take this short quiz.

      Our GRE subscriptions are actually what you’d be purchasing. They offer online access to hundreds of video lessons and practice questions (with video explanations) along with email help for whatever questions you might have. Our premium subscriptions includes all our content for both math and verbal, plus full-length practice tests and our score predictor. Given the small price difference and your timeline, I’d recommend that you get the 6-month plan. The plans give you access to the Magoosh content for the defined time periods. Both the 1-month and 6-month plans give you access to the same content. And if you’d like to give us a shot before you buy, you can always sign up for our free one week trial. 🙂

  5. Joel February 5, 2017 at 7:27 am #

    Is there a way to transfer this to google calendar?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 5, 2017 at 10:36 am #

      Hi Joel,

      At this time, we don’t have a way to sync the study schedule with Google calendar, but I think that’s a great idea! I will suggest it to our content managers and see what they can do. We are a small team with a lot of projects, so I can’t guarantee that this will happen anytime soon, but it is on our radar! 😀

  6. Luis September 23, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

    Hi

    How many hours a day do you estimate that I need to dedicate if I want to follow the 1 month study plan?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 24, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

      Hi Luis,

      The number of hours varies for each student. On average, students typically dedicate 2-4 hours on each of the five weekdays (Days 1-5), and 5-6 hours on one weekend (Day 6). I hope this helps!

  7. Taylor August 31, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

    Forgive me if this question has already been addressed but I’m having difficulty deciding which study plan to follow. I plan on taking the GRE early to mid November which would give me about 9-10 weeks of studying. The post suggests that I follow the one-month plan and following it at a 1/2 rate. However, I was hoping to follow the math focused study guide but it is set for 12 weeks. Do you have a suggestion on which plan I should follow?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 2, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

      Hi Taylor,

      I see that you are a Premium student and also sent this question to our tutor team! It looks like you got a good answer, but you can always let us know if you have any more questions at help@magoosh.com 🙂

  8. Rituraj D.Dhadke August 30, 2016 at 2:17 am #

    I gave GRE last year in november 2015, I scored 282 which is not good. Now I am again preparing for GRE and planning to give the exam on november 1st week so which schedule plan should I go with so as to score above 300or better than that?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 31, 2016 at 8:51 am #

      Hi Rituraj,

      All of our schedules will take you through all of the information and practice you need for a great score on the GRE! How well you do depends on your commitment and ability to make connections and learn from the material. In general, students who use the longer schedules (3-month) improve more than those who study for less time. On average our students improve by 8 points (and many improve much more than that), so if you follow these plans diligently you have a good chance of reaching the 300 mark 🙂

      Since you are a Premium student, you can direct any specific questions about how to study or how to adapt a study plan for maximum improvement to our tutor team at help@magoosh.com 🙂

  9. Anshika August 17, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

    Hi,

    This is Anshika, and I plan to give the GRe test for the first time in the second week of October 2016, kindly suggest me a plan on a daily basis to get started since I have pretty much no idea about the GRE test or where do I start with.
    I am looking for is a 2 two month drained and rugged practice, that would help me bring a gre score of greater than or equal to 320. And, for further details I am good in numbers, the calculative part, lack concepts in maths and not much sound in vocab. All in one I am okay- ish in both quant and vocab.
    Thanks for the help in advance.
    Regards,
    Anshika

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 21, 2016 at 9:37 am #

      Hi Anshika,

      Since you have a trial account, I have forwarded your question on to our team of tutors to provide you with some more specific help. You should hear back from them soon, and remember that once you become a Premium Student you can forward any questions to help@magoosh.com 🙂

  10. Eliandreina August 4, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

    Hi Magoosh team, I need some recomendations from you, I register with you 3 weeks ago and I am not sure about what schedule should I follow yet. My intention is to do the GRE test on December 2016 or January 2017. Although I need to refresh all the math I am more worry about the verbal section, so I was wondering if it was a good idea to first study the verbal section only and later the math section?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 7, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

      Hi Eliandreina,

      Since you are a Premium student, I have forwarded your message on to our team of tutors so that they can give you some more personalized support! You should hear back from them soon 🙂

  11. Shruti July 22, 2016 at 3:58 am #

    Hi,
    I have already given my GRE test and scored 296(Verbal – 145 & Quant – 151) , so I would be re-writing GRE again.
    The problem I faced in my GRE was I couldn’t manage time(I couldn’t attempt 6 questions in Quant) and had issues with my vocab, so I planned to work on more practice sessions and plan to rewrite the test on 12th Aug. My target score is 325 or above.

    Is that advicable to take up test so early?? I have a idea of all the concepts, I just need a lot of practice and learn strategies to manage my time on the GRE. Is it okay if I stick on to 1 week plan or do I give myself more time?? Please help!!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 22, 2016 at 7:50 am #

      Hi Shruti!

      Thanks for your message 🙂 I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t reach your target score, and I’m happy to give you some advice 🙂

      Firstly, while I won’t say it’s impossible, a score increase of about 30 points in a couple of weeks is not very common or likely. You should know that our user, on average, increase their scores by about 8 points overall and after a couple of months of studying. With that in mind, if you can, I would give yourself more time to prepare for your retake, which will allow you to prepare more thoroughly 🙂

      With that said, let’s talk a little bit about pacing. The most important strategy to refine pacing is skipping questions that are hard. We sometimes refer to this strategy as answering the “low hanging fruit” first. We can also think of this as taking the “easy” test first. The whole idea here is to go through each section twice. The first time through, answer all the questions that you find easy. So mark and skip any question that you know right away will take you a long time to answer. If you begin to work on a problem and realize that it is too hard, mark and skip it. Once you have completed the whole section once, go to the “Review” screen and return to each question you marked. Now you have more time to work on the harder problems since you already answered all of the easier ones.

      Also, definitely read through the following blog posts if you haven’t already on pacing in the verbal and math sections:

      * Pacing on the GRE Verbal Sections
      * Pacing on the GRE Math Sections

      I hope these perspectives and resources help as you plan for your retake! Happy studying 🙂

  12. Marjan Davoodi June 15, 2016 at 5:19 am #

    Hi,

    I’m an international master student in Sociology and I want to apply for PhD this year. I plan to take GRE in a period of 5-6 months. Because of my major, I need to have very high scores in all the three sections. I’m not that bad in math and I think I need to review the materials very fast to remember the parts that I’ve forgotten and then, I need to practice more math questions. But I’m so afraid of Verbal section; since I’m not familiar with most of the vocabularies and although I’m studying, I feel no progress! Which program do you suggest me to follow to achieve my goals?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 16, 2016 at 10:38 am #

      Hi Marjan,

      Since you’re a premium member, I’m sending this over to our team of experts. You should hear from them soon. 🙂

  13. Ayush Sharma June 9, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

    Hi there Mike/Chris.
    I am thinking of giving the exam in a period of exactly 2-3 months. My target score is 330 or above, provided I have never given the exam previously. I am currently pursuing Computer Science so I hope Math shouldn’t be a problem, It’s verbal I am worried about. What plan would you recommend for achieving the above score?
    Cheers.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 11, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

      Hi Ayush 🙂

      Happy to help! Based on what you’ve mentioned, I’d actually recommend combining two of our plans: our Verbal-Focused plan and our Plan for Advanced Students. You’ll want to follow the Verbal-Focused plan for all of your Verbal-section prep. Since you’re less confident with the material tested in the Verbal Section, the Verbal-Focused plan is definitely a good choice. At the same time, you’ll need top Quant Scores to be a competitive applicant. With that in mind, if you’re very comfortable with the math section and would rather focus on practice problems instead of watching lesson videos on basic concepts, I’d recommend following the Advanced Plan to guide your Quant practice. In order to keep the plans organized, I recommend rewriting your own plan based on the tasks outlined in the two individual plans: the verbal review from the Verbal-Focused plan and the quant review from the Advanced Plan.

      I hope that helps 🙂 Happy studying!

  14. Naj January 30, 2016 at 8:06 pm #

    Hi Mike! How much should we space the end of a GRE study plan and the test date? Is one week or sufficient or do you recommend allotting more time?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 7, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

      Hi Naj,

      Happy to help! 🙂

      That’s really up to you. I think a 2-week period is ideal if you want to work in some revision and last minute study before the test day. (Your actual day before the exam should be spent relaxing, eating well, and not thinking about your studies.) But if you are just able to complete a study plan right before taking the test, there’s no problem with that, either! It works out differently for everyone. If you walk into the test feeling confident, that’s the best preparation you can have. 🙂

  15. Sam November 30, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    What is a typical amount of time to dedicate daily to the 1 month plan?

  16. Anish Ray November 10, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

    Hey Mike thanks for the great suggestions. Could you please tell me how to adjust to the 3 month routine if we miss the scheduled working for not one or two but maybe a number of days in certain cases like say when we have semester end exams?

    • Ashton December 6, 2015 at 11:58 am #

      Hi Mike,

      I have a question regarding this question “If the price, price of an item increases from $200 to $800, what was the percent increase?”

      Since the question indicate that the price has increase, shouldn’t we add 4, which is the multiplier to 1 to get 5, which is 500%


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