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How To Study for the GRE in One Month



This Magoosh One Month GRE Study Plan is designed for those of you who are wondering how to study for the GRE on your own. How can you effectively prepare for the GRE test at home when you have competing priorities—school, work, family, hobbies—all demanding your time?

The key is to commit yourself to a plan that is both flexible and effective in the short-term. Our 1-Month Study Schedule tells you exactly what you should do every single day to get your best GRE score in the one month you have before your GRE exam date.

We developed this plan to be used by any student prepping for the GRE, but it works best when paired with one of the Magoosh GRE plans—we designed it specifically to help you move through Magoosh’s lessons and practice questions in an efficient and effective manner.

One month is not a lot of time to prepare for the GRE, but we promise that it is doable if you work hard and commit to following this schedule! 🙂

Before you really get started, we’d like to highlight some helpful features of this plan:

gre calendar
Google Calendar Integration: Need study reminders? Easily add this study schedule to your Google Calendar and you’ll never forget a practice session again! Click here to add the calendar.
 
 
gre printable

Printable Schedule: Want to print this plan and carry it with you? No problem! Click here to get your printable copy.
 
 
Online Only: If you want to use this study plan online, remember to bookmark this page to make it easier to come back to. Note that this is the redesigned version—you can find the original here.
 
 
 

Easy Navigation:

  • First time here? Welcome! Read the Getting Started guide for some important info before you begin.
  • Already started this plan? Awesome! Use the purple buttons below to quickly jump to the week you’re working on.
  • Color-Coding: In order to make navigation easier, all of the Getting Started section headers are green and all of the 1-Month GRE Study Schedule headers are purple.


 

Getting Started

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

Extra Study Days Day Before GRE GRE Test Day

 

gre study guide

One Month GRE Study Plan: Week One

Welcome to the first week of the study plan! Before you begin, two quick reminders:

  1. This study schedule was created to accompany Magoosh GRE prep. Find a list of all the essential materials here, and make sure to have them organized and ready before you begin.
  2. Never forget an assignment by adding this study schedule with your Google Calendar:

Add This Study Plan to Your Google Calendar

Ready to get started?

Week One, Day 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”—skim or skip the example essays and the commentary on them, and read everything else

    Read Chapter 3 “GRE Verbal Reasoning”—just the introductory pages, before the Sample Question Set

    Read Chapter 5 “GRE Quantitative Reasoning”—just the introductory pages, before the Sample Questions

    You could also start with our Complete, Hassle-Free Guide to the GRE to get an overview of the test.

    3) Start reading through the GRE Math Review in the Official Guide, up to the Arithmetic Exercises. Take notes in your journal on whatever is unfamiliar. Do the Arithmetic Exercises and correct your answers.

    NOTE: Many GRE test takers struggle with remembering math, so for these readers, we suggest working through of the Official Guide’s Math Review section during this first week. If you are someone for whom math comes easily: skim this section, do the exercises, and spend the rest of the time devoted to this building your vocabulary, using our flashcards and possibly more, such as Princeton Review’s book Word Smart.

    4) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Intro to the GRE: watch all 10 videos

    In Math: watch the first 5 videos

    In Verbal: watch the first 3 videos

    If the content in the video is new to you or relatively unclear, take notes on it in your journal. If the content is very familiar, feel free to click ahead to the summary at the end, just to verify that you understand it all.

Week One, Day Two

    1) Continue reading through the GRE Math Review, up to about halfway through the Algebra section. Take notes in your journal on whatever is unfamiliar.

    2) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    NOTE: If you are close to finishing a module you want to finish, feel free to move a lesson or two up a day or back a day so you can finish the module. As long as you are reading these average numbers, some give-and-take is fine. Also, when you get to end of a module, take the quiz, and keep reviewing until you pass the quiz.

    3) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible.

    4) In Magoosh Practice, in Math, do 10 Multiple Choice (MC) questions, 15 Quantitative Comparison (QC) questions, and 3 Data Interpretation (DI) questions. Filter for “Math” in Section. Uncheck all of the Subjects (Algebra, Coordinate Geometry, Data Interpretation, etc.), set the Difficulty to “Adaptive”, Question Pool to “Unanswered”, Time to “No Limit”, and Mode to “Practice Mode”. You are not entering a practice time beforehand, but keep a pace of 90 sec/question, or 15 minutes for 10 questions.

    Notice you are doing ALL topics from the get-go, whether you have already studied these or not. This means that you will make some mistakes at the beginning: see this post on a productive attitude toward making mistakes. If, after a week or so of practice, you find that there is simply too much new material for you, then narrow your studies to those topics you’re more actively studying plus one or two that you’re unfamiliar with. You should be constantly challenged. If you do narrow the topics of study, expand back to as wide a scope as possible as quickly as possible.

    Also, in Verbal, do 10 Text Completion (TC) questions, 10 Sentence Equivalence (SE) questions, and 10 Reading Comprehension (RC) questions. Similar settings as above.

    NOTE: for each RC, you should do all the questions (usually 3) associated with a passage on one sitting. This may mean you do 9 RC questions some days, and 12 some days. That’s fine, as long as the average pace is around 10 RC questions/day.

    For each Magoosh problem, after you submit your answer, on the next page which tells you whether you were right or wrong, there’s a video solution and below that a text summary. If you got the question right, skim the text summary to verify you got it right for the right reason. If you got the question wrong, watch the video, taking notes in your journal about any concept or any aspect of the question type that was unclear to you.

    NOTE: For all math, you will be doing mixed practice. The temptation is to work on what you are studying at the moment, but that fails to simulate real test conditions. You don’t really understand a concept until you can answer a question about it in mixed practice. At the beginning, we know you will make mistakes on topics that you have studied in depth yet, and that’s OK. See this post on having a productive attitude toward mistakes. If you make mistakes and the beginning and study them well, that will prime your mind for deeper understand when you learn more about those concepts in the lessons.

Week One, Day Three

    1) Continue reading the GRE Math Review, up to the Algebra Exercises. Take notes in your journal on whatever is unfamiliar. Do the Algebra Exercises and correct your answers.

    2) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    3) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    4) In Magoosh Practice, do math problems. Again, check off all of the Subjects (Algebra, Coordinate Geometry, Data Interpretation, etc.), set the Difficulty to “Adaptive”, Question Pool to “Unanswered”, Time to “No Limit”, and Mode to “Practice Mode”. Do

    20 Multiple Choice math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    In verbal, do

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week One, Day Four

    1) Continue reading the GRE Math Review, up to the Geometry Exercises. Take notes in your journal on whatever is unfamiliar. Do the Geometry Exercises and correct your answers.

    2) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    3) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    4) In Magoosh Practice, do

    10 Multiple Choice math questions

    15 Quantitative Comparison math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

    NOTE: If each day’s work is taking a long time, trim the number of questions in each section, rather than cutting one question type completely. If you must, reduce quantities, but always retain the diversity in your practice.

Week One, Day Five

    1) Continue reading through the GRE Math Review, up to about halfway through the Data Analysis section. Take notes in your journal on whatever is unfamiliar.

    2) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    3) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    4) In Magoosh Practice, do

    20 Multiple Choice math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week One, Day Six

    1) Finish reading through the GRE Math Review. Take notes in your journal on whatever is unfamiliar. Do the Data Analysis Exercises and correct your answers.

    2) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 5 videos

    In Writing: watch all 10 videos

    3) Download and start reading the Magoosh GRE eBook. Continue reading whenever you have the time over the course of the next two weeks.

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

    The good news is that any prompt that you could possibly see test day is already on the ETS website: the pool of possible Issue prompts and the pool of the possible Argument prompts.

    For each essay, you can choose the essay prompt at random from the respective pool, or you might want to choose an essay topic that seems challenging to you. Write the essay in a word processing program. If you can turn off the spell check all the better—you won’t have the luxury of spell check test day. For each essay, hold yourself to a strict 30 time limit.

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

gre study plan

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One Month GRE Study Plan: Week Two

Week Two, Day One

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do the following questions:

    20 Multiple Choice math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Two, Day Two

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do

    10 Multiple Choice math questions

    15 Quantitative Comparison math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Two, Day Three

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do the following questions:

    20 Multiple Choice math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Two, Day Four

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do

    10 Multiple Choice math questions

    15 Quantitative Comparison math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Two, Day Five

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do the following questions:

    20 Multiple Choice math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Two, Day Six

    1) Today, 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 topic pools on the ETS website, and pick a topic. Write the essays in Word.

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

    2) In the Official Guide:

    a) do the Verbal Reasoning Practice Sets 1-6

    b) do the Quantitative Reasoning Practice Sets 1-4

    Treat this as a mock GRE. You might even combine it with the two essays, and do consecutive batches 2-3 sets without interruption, to simulate more effectively a real GRE. Set a timer for the time limits. Here are the time limits to observe:

    Verbal Reasoning Set 1 = 9 minutes

    Verbal Reasoning Set 2 = 10 minutes

    Verbal Reasoning Set 3 = 9 minutes

    Verbal Reasoning Set 4 = 10 minutes

    Verbal Reasoning Set 5 = 10 minutes

    Verbal Reasoning Set 6 = 10 minutes

    Quantitative Reasoning Set 1 = 22 minutes

    Quantitative Reasoning Set 2 = 23 minutes

    Quantitative Reasoning Set 3 = 24 minutes

    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.

gre study guide

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One Month GRE Study Plan: Week Three

Week Three, Day One

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do the following questions:

    20 Multiple Choice math questions

    10 Multiple Answer math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Three, Day Two

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do the following questions:

    10 Multiple Choice math questions

    15 Quantitative Comparison math questions

    10 Multiple Answer math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Three, Day Three

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do the following questions:

    20 Multiple Choice math questions

    10 Numeric Entry math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Three, Day Four

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do the following questions:

    10 Multiple Choice math questions

    15 Quantitative Comparison math questions

    10 Numeric Entry math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Three, Day Five

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do the following questions:

    20 Multiple Choice math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Three, Day Six

    1) Today, you are going to take one of the hard-copy practice GRE at the back of the Official Guide.

    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.

    You can take a short break when you are done, but before too long, grade the entire thing while it is still fresh in your mind. Study the solutions for any problems you got wrong, and right observations in your journal.

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One Month GRE Study Plan: Week Four

Week Four, Day One

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do the following questions:

    20 Multiple Choice math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Four, Day Two

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos

    In Verbal: watch the next 4 videos

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do

    10 Multiple Choice math questions

    15 Quantitative Comparison math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Four, Day Three

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos, new lessons

    In Verbal: you should be just about done with verbal lessons. Watch the remaining few videos.

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do the following questions:

    20 Multiple Choice math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Sentence Equivalence verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Four, Day Four

    1) In Magoosh Lessons, watch the following videos:

    In Math: watch the next 10 videos, new lessons

    Also, pick any four lessons, math or verbal, that you feel you need to review, and watch those.

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do

    10 Multiple Choice math questions

    15 Quantitative Comparison math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

    Week Four, Day Five

    In Math: you would be about done with the math lessons; watch any remaining lessons.

    In addition, pick any four lessons, math or verbal, that you feel you need to review, and watch those.

    2) In Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, begin and master a new deck, if possible. Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks, completing any that are started but not yet mastered.

    3) In Magoosh Practice, do the following questions at minimum:

    20 Multiple Choice math questions

    3 Data Interpretation math questions

    10 Text Completion verbal questions

    10 Reading Comprehension verbal questions.

Week Four, Day Six

    1) Today, you are going to take the PowerPrep test on your computer.

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

    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. Give yourself a short break when the test is done, and then check all your work, studying carefully the questions you got wrong.

one month until gre

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Extra Study Days: GRE exam study tips for any remaining days

    Keep working on GRE math and verbal every day. Suggestions:

    1) Keep watching 10-12 Magoosh videos a day. Go back and re-watch any videos in which you think you need to learn the topic more thoroughly.

    2) You should have answered most of the Magoosh questions at this point; you can finish any remaining questions. You can try again Magoosh questions that you have already answered, and see if you do better on the question the second time around.

    3) Keep drilling your stack of vocab cards every day

    4) There’s a second PowerPrep test you can take on the computer. There’s also another paper GRE in the back of the OG: even if you don’t take that under “test like” conditions, it still would be good to work through all the problems.

Day Before GRE Exam: Relax!

    1) Don’t do any GRE preparation all day.

    2) Eat a large, healthy, leisurely dinner—no alcohol!

    3) Go to bed earlier than usual.

GRE Test Day

    1) ABSOLUTELY NO LAST MINUTE GRE PREPARATION!

    2) Eat a large breakfast, full of protein.

    3) Do relaxing, fun activities to pass the time until the test.

What to bring to the GRE 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.

 

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Important Info Before You Begin This Study Plan

If this is your first time visiting this study schedule, then we highly recommend that you start by learning more about how it works. This study schedule requires Magoosh GRE prep, so if you haven’t yet purchased a plan, you can do so here.. Then, review the welcome materials:

Is this the right GRE study schedule for you?

  • If you’d like broader goals for each week (with less focus on math basics), try this 30-day schedule instead.
  • If you have less time or more time, check out our other study schedules, ranging from 1 week to 6 months, including GRE study plans for beginner and advanced students, or math- or verbal-focused study schedules.
  • If you need help with strategizing your study, check out some tips for making the most of your study plan.
  • Finally, if you need to adapt this GRE study plan to meet your needs, check out this blog post for adjustment tips!

Are you convinced that this is the right plan for you? Awesome! Let’s figure out what materials you’re going to need.

How to Study for the GRE in One Month: Your Game Plan

Here’s an outline of what the next month of your life is going to look like:

    Step 1: Daily Quantitative and Verbal concept review, GRE vocabulary study, and lessons on GRE-specific strategy
    Step 2: Daily practice questions on the concepts and strategies you’ve just learned
    Step 3: Weekend essay writing practice and mock GRE practice tests, simulating real test conditions
    Step 4: Sleep, confidence-boosting exercises, and healthy eating the days before the test

It’s a simple formula with proven success!

Let’s keep going!

GRE Study Plan Essential Materials:

These materials make up the daily assignments in this study schedule. They aren’t all free, but they are all incredibly effective!

    1) Magoosh GRE Prep

    Get your Magoosh GRE plan here

    2) ETS’s Official Guide to the GRE book

    If you already own a 2nd edition of the Official Guide, don’t feel that you must buy the 3rd edition. They are very similar.

    3) ETS’s Free PowerPrep Tests: When you’re done, we offer video explanations here. We highly recommend using PowerPrep Online if you can, since taking the test on a computer is a good simulation of exam day conditions.

    4) A journal or notebook (yes, a physical hard copy item)

    5) Magoosh’s online GRE Flashcards. They’re free and you can use them on the web, on your iPhone/iPad or Android.

    6) Notecards (or Quizlet.com)

GRE Preparation Supplemental Materials:

At the beginning of this post, we listed the essential materials that you’ll need for this study schedule. The following materials are not required to complete this study schedule, but may prove valuable if you’re looking for additional resources.

A Few Important Notes Before You Get Started

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

A note about your prep books

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

This one-month plan is a furiously intense pace, designed to have a person improve as much as possible in a month’s time. We have designed four weeks, assuming 2-4 hours for each of the five weekdays, and one 5-6 stint on the weekend (“Day Six”). If you would prefer to work on both weekend days, and free up some weeknight time, feel free to make those changes. Note: Many folks find that each day’s assignments take 2-4 hours, although times to complete them will vary for different students. It is possible that a day’s assignments will take significantly longer, and you may have to devote longer weekend sessions to finishing the week’s work.

Also, as much as possible, get enough sleep during this month. 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.

We realize it will be hard both to follow this plan diligently and get 8+ hr/night of sleep if you are working full-time. If you are working full-time, it will be very hard to improve as much as you could in only one month’s time, and we would recommend pushing the test date a little further back, if possible. If that’s not possible, then just do as much of this plan as you can, as much as time will allow.

A note about additional materials

Magoosh contains all the information you need for wild success on the exam and many students have achieved spectacular results using nothing but Magoosh. Nevertheless, this plan recommends that you buy additional materials and use them, in addition to the Magoosh materials. Here’s why: These plans were structured with far-reaching pedagogical principles in mind, and a deep consideration for how the human brain learns. Most people cannot hear or read something just once and, from that single hearing, remember it completely and understand it fully.

At Magoosh, we are very ambitious for our students; we want them to learn as thoroughly and as masterfully as possible. We recommend using these additional resources to provide additional practice, alternative explanations, and extra review. Not every student will need or want additional materials, but for those who do, the books we recommend are the best for the overall goal of doing very well on the exam.
 
 

If you’re still not sure if this is the right study plan for you, please leave us a comment below. Otherwise, jump back to the top of the post and start studying. Good luck!

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