90 Day GRE Study Plan for Advanced Students

Student with calendars for their 90 day GRE study plan - image by Magoosh

If you’re aiming for a top score on the GRE, or you’re starting out with a strong background in the areas the GRE tests, then this 90 day study plan can help get you where you want to be! Here, you’ll find the guidance and materials you need from a GRE study plan (3 months) to master the material.


 

Choosing Your GRE Study Plan: 3 Months

OK, you are starting more or less from scratch, and you want to prepare for the GRE in 90 days. You need a strategic plan to organize yourself. I designed four different versions of the 90 Day Study Plan, and I need you to start with a little self-diagnosis. Which sounds most like you?

  • 90 Day Study Plan for Beginners: Help! Math and verbal both scare the living bejeebers out of me! I need all the help and support I can get! Help!
  • 90 Day Study Plan (Math Focused): I have a natural affinity with the verbal, but the math is far less intuitive for me. I would like to focus more there.
  • 90 Day Study Plan (Verbal Focused): Me a math nerd. Me think all math easy. Me have big verbal problems. One day, me will talk good.
  • 📍 90 Day Study Plan for Advanced Students: I actually feel reasonably comfortable with math and verbal; if I took the test today, I’d get around 310-320 combined score. I’m interested in refining my understanding and getting into the 320s region in the next twelve weeks.
FAQ: I’m a working professional/English isn’t my first language/I need to adapt this 90 day study plan in some way!

Check out this blog post for adjustment tips for Magoosh study plans!

FAQ: I’m not sure if an “Advanced” plan is right for me!

This advanced GRE 90 day study plan would be the best GRE study plan for you if you already know just about all the basic material and you mainly want to sharpen your test-taking skills. This plan involves watching very few lesson videos, because I am assuming you know almost all the basics already. Instead, this 90 day study plan revolves around doing a TON of practice material—some at the GRE level and some harder—so that you will be ready for absolutely anything the GRE test throws at you.

FAQ: How can I make sure I’m using this 90 day study plan most effectively?

Before you begin this study schedule, check out some strategies for making the most of your study schedule.

 
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How to Use This 90 Day Study Plan from Magoosh

This 90 day study plan demands a manageable pace that must be followed diligently so things don’t get out of hand. It’s designed to have you improve as much as you can improve in a three month period.

I have designed twelve weeks, assuming 2-3 hours for each of the five weekdays, and one 4-5 hour 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.

Many folks find that each day’s assignments take 2-3 hours, although times to complete them will vary for different students.

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Essential Materials for the 90 Day Study Plan


Magoosh GRE Prep ETS’s Official Guide to the GRE book ETS’s PowerPrep Online The GMAT Official Guide Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions GRE Flashcards Manhattan GRE 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems Manhattan GRE books Manhattan’s 6 GRE online practice tests
  • I am not assigning any math out of this book, but if you want more math practice, feel free to do the GMAT Problem Solving practice questions, which are identical to GRE Multiple Choice math questions. GMAT math tends to be a shade more difficult than GRE math.
  • The MGRE series has eight volumes in total, but we do not recommend volumes 7 and 8.
  • Manhattan’s 6 GRE online practice tests. One test is offered for free, with five additional tests available for purchase.
  • a journal or notebook (yes, a physical hard copy item)

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Supplemental/Optional Materials for the 90 Day Study Plan

Any of the steps listed in the 90 day study plan for the materials below are purely for extra practice, so they are to be done as optional tasks if you have extra time.

  • Reading material: This may be any non-fiction scholarly book, history and social science preferable. You may also choose one of the recommended magazines: Scientific American, Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, National Geographic, The Economist, or The New York Times (a Sunday subscription is a great idea!). Throughout the 90 day study plan, you are reading (a) to build your reading comprehension skills, (b) to refine your understanding of grammar and usage, and (c) to expand your vocabulary.
  • Download the Magoosh Android or iPhone app, for mobile practice
  • Quizlet.com: Gives you online access to flashcards, making it easier to quiz yourself on your mobile device
  • Vocabulary.com: Provides conversational example sentences and a flood of example sentences
  • Word Dynamo: Gives you little quizzes and games to add some variety to vocab learning during the 90 day study plan
  • Magoosh’s GRE Complete Guide
    This comprehensive, web-based guide to the GRE gives you the quick but very 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 instructions on where to find good full-length GRE practice tests, and how to take practice tests and incorporate them into your studies. This page also has links to Magoosh’s free GRE diagnostic quizzes.

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Week One

* Tasks marked with an asterisk indicate that this 90 day GRE study plan resource is only available to Magoosh students—sign up here for a free trial!

  • Don’t write in any of the test prep books during the 90 day study plan, 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.
Week One, Day One

 

Week One, Day Two

 

Week One, Day Three
  • In Magoosh Video Lessons:
  • In the Magoosh product, do:
    20 Multiple Choice Questions

    In Magoosh, set up a practice session by clicking on the “Practice” tab → “Custom Practice.” Under “Section,” select the sub-category “Multiple Choice” under “Math.” Leave all of the subjects checked, set the difficulty to “adaptive,” the question pool to “unanswered,” the number of questions to 20, the time to “no limit,” and the mode to “practice mode.” You are not entering a practice time beforehand, but keep a pace of 90 seconds per question, or 30 minutes for 20 questions.

    Notice that in this 90 day study plan, 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.

    After you submit your answer for each Magoosh problem in this 3 month GRE study plan, the next page will tell you whether you were right or wrong, with a video solution and 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.

  • Download the Magoosh Complete Guide to GRE Vocabulary

    Carefully read the section “Making Words Stick” about learning vocabulary, and the section “Vocabulary in Context: Articles from Magazines and Newspapers.” Skim the rest of the book to get a sense of the layout and style. As you build vocab through this 90 day study plan, periodically go back to this book to verify your understanding and to make connections to other wods. The more ways you have of remembering a word, the more likely you are to remember it!

  • In the GRE Math Flashcards, spend up to 10 minutes. Finish learning the first deck, Algebra. Review any cards you haven’t mastered.

 

Week One, Day Four

 

Week One, Day Five

 

Week One, Day Six
  • Watch the Magoosh lesson videos:
  • In the Magoosh product, do:
    1 Issue Task Essay

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

    Now that you have these essays, what do you do with them? If you have a friend or mentor who is a gifted writer, ask them to read the essays for you and critique them. If they are willing, you can show them the assessment criteria in the Official Guide, and ask them to follow it. If you can afford it, hire a writing coach or writing tutor—show that tutor the assessment criteria in the OG, and have them give you feedback. If you can’t afford a writing tutor and can’t convince anyone else to read it, you may try posting them on TheGradCafe, and see whether an expert there will critique your essay. Failing any of these options, at least you can set the essays aside, and in a couple days re-read them with the Official Guide’s rubric beside you. (Notice whatever route worked for you with these essays; you can repeat that will all the essays you write in the practice tests you take as part of this 90 day study plan.)

  • In the Official Guide and the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:
    • a) in Official Guide, do the Verbal Reasoning Practice Sets 1-6
    • b) in Official Guide, do the Quantitative Reasoning Practice Sets 1-4
    • c) in the MGRE 5-lb book, do the Math Diagnostic test (pp. 27-3)

    Follow strict time limits, to give you sense of the pace you need to keep on the GRE. Set a timer for the time limits. Here are the time limits to observe:

    Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 1 = 12 minutes

    Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 2 = 15 minutes

    Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 3 = 12 minutes

    Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 4 = 15 minutes

    Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 5 = 14 minutes

    Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 6 = 16 minutes

    Official Guide Quantitative Reasoning Set 1 = 22 minutes

    Official Guide Quantitative Reasoning Set 2 = 23 minutes

    Official Guide Quantitative Reasoning Set 3 = 24 minutes

    Official Guide Quantitative Reasoning Set 4 = 11 minutes

    MGRE Math Diagnostic test = 35 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 thoroughly, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that was unfamiliar. You can also watch the Magoosh Video Explanations of the OG practice questions.

    If you are not performing at a high level in math, or if your verbal is much stronger than you expected, this might be a good time to consider whether you should switch to another version of the 3-month plan (see explanations of them at the top).

 

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Week Two

  • As much as possible, get enough sleep during the 90 day study plan. 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 seven hours a night instead of eight, you are depriving your brain of one of its most powerful systems for learning and remembering.
Week Two, Day One
  • Watch the Magoosh lesson videos:
  • In the Magoosh product, do:
    15 Reading Comprehension Questions

    Some RC questions are stand-alone single questions with a short paragraph, and sometimes a group of two or three come with a longer passage. Make sure you finish all the questions associated with a passage in one sitting. This may mean that you do a couple more than 20 questions one time, and then a couple fewer the next time.

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

    In Chapter 7, “Arithmetic,” do the practice problems starting at #15.

    • in the practice sections of this MGRE book, the practice problems start at a very basic level. In each chapter, my default recommendation will be to start at problem #20, so that you skip the very easy ones at the beginning of the section. In each section, you may skim the first 20, to see if anything looks challenging or interesting, but the more challenging problems come in the second half of the problem set. If the subject matter is one in which you don’t feel you have mastery, you can start earlier in the problem set, even at the beginning, to make sure you have all the basics of that topic.
    • Do all the work from the Manhattan GRE book without touching a calculator.
    • Do just the math from this book. The math in this book is of very high quality. We do not recommend the verbal material in this book.
    • In the practice problems from the MGRE book and in the other math practice problems in other books, always check your answers. Presumably, you will get the majority of the math practice questions correct. When you do get a problem wrong, engage serious effort in understanding your mistake and guaranteeing that you will not repeat it. If you are diligent in learning from your mistake, each problem you get wrong is a potential gold mine of possible improvements you could make to your understanding.
  • In the GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, master at least 20 words from the first deck.
  • In the GRE Math Flashcards, spend up to 10 minutes. Start learning the second deck, Fractions, Ratios, and Percents. Review any cards from this or the previous deck that you haven’t mastered.
  • Read 1-3 articles from your reading source of choice, noting grammatical structures. Look up and write down any words you don’t know.

 

Week Two, Day Two

 

 

Week Two, Day Three

 

Week Two, Day Four

 

 

Week Two, Day Five

 

Week Two, Day Six
  • In the Magoosh product, do:
    1 Argument Task Essay

 
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Week Three

  • 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 Three, Day One

 

 

Week Three, Day Two

 

Week Three, Day Three

 

Week Three, Day Four

 

 

Week Three, Day Five

 

 

Week Three, Day Six

 

 
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Week Four

Week Four, Day One

 

 

Week Four, Day Two

 

 

Week Four, Day Three

 

 

Week Four, Day Four

 

 

Week Four, Day Five

 

 

Week Four, Day Six

 
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Week Five

Week Five, Day One

 

 

Week Five, Day Two

 

 

Week Five, Day Three

 

 

Week Five, Day Four

 

 

Week Five, Day Five

 

Week Five, Day Six

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

As much as possible when you take practice tests during the 90 day study plan, try to mimic the GRE conditions. Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections. Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE. Note how your sleep the night before affects your work. Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration. Write any observations in your journal.

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

 
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Week Six

Week Six, Day One

 

 

Week Six, Day Two

 

Week Six, Day Three

 

 

Week Six, Day Four

 

 

Week Six, Day Five

 

 

Week Six, Day Six
  • Review the wrong answers from last week’s practice test.

 

 
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Week Seven

Week Seven, Day One
  • In the GMAT Official Guide (any edition),

    In section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage, and do the associated questions

  • Watch the following Magoosh videos:
  • In the Magoosh product, do:
    20 Multiple Choice Questions
  • In the Manhattan GRE 5-lb Book of Practice Problems:

    In Chapter 30, “Advanced Quant,” do any remaining practice problems.

  • In the GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, master 20 more words (a bit less than half a deck). Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks.
  • In the GRE Math Flashcards, spend up to 10 minutes. Start learning the seventh deck, Mixed Practice I. Review any cards from this or the previous decks that you haven’t mastered.
  • Read your chosen reading material (one chapter, or a few articles). Look up and write down any words you don’t know.

 

 

Week Seven, Day Two

 

 

Week Seven, Day Three

 

 

Week Seven, Day Four

 

 

Week Seven, Day Five

 

 

Week Seven, Day Six

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

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

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

 
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Week Eight

  • When learning GRE vocabulary, 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.
Week Eight, Day One

 

 

Week Eight, Day Two

 

 

Week Eight, Day Three

 

 

Week Eight, Day Four

 

 

Week Eight, Day Five

 

 

Week Eight, Day Six
  • Review the wrong answers from last week’s practice test.

 
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Week Nine

  • Daily review of vocab is vital. I wrote this 90 day study plan recommending 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 (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.
Week Nine, Day One

 

 

Week Nine, Day Two

 

 

Week Nine, Day Three

 

 

Week Nine, Day Four

 

 

Week Nine, Day Five

 

 

Week Nine, Day Six

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

As much as possible when you take practice tests during the 90 day study plan, try to mimic the GRE conditions. Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections. Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE. Note how your sleep the night before affects your work. Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration. Write any observations in your journal.

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

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Week Ten

  • This 90 day study plan is fairly intensive, and if you follow it exactly, you will run out of practice questions or certain question types from the bank of 1000+ Magoosh questions around the end of Week 9. That’s okay. See the instructions on Week 10, Day 1.
Week Ten, Day One

 

 

Week Ten, Day Two

 

 

Week Ten, Day Three

 

 

Week Ten, Day Four
  • In the GMAT Official Guide, do Verbal Practice Sets 1-6.
  • In the Magoosh product, do 20 Verbal Questions.
  • In the GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, master 20 more words (a bit less than half a deck). Spend 10-30 minutes reviewing previous decks.
  • In the GRE Math Flashcards, spend up to 10 minutes. Finish learning the tenth deck, Mixed Practice IV. Review any cards from this or the previous decks that you haven’t mastered.
  • Read your chosen reading material (one chapter, or a few articles). Look up and write down any words you don’t know.

 

 

Week Ten, Day Five

 

 

Week Ten, Day Six
  • Review the wrong answers from last week’s practice test.

 
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Week Eleven

  • Review is vital if you want to really learn the information. Our students who make the largest score improvements often have answered every Magoosh question more than once.
Week Eleven, Day One

 

 

Week Eleven, Day Two

 

 

Week Eleven, Day Three

 

 

Week Eleven, Day Four

 

 

Week Eleven, Day Five

 

 

Week Eleven, Day Six

Today, you are going to take the first practice GRE available through PowerPrep Online.

As much as possible when you take practice tests during the 90 day study plan, try to mimic the GRE conditions. Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections. Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE. Note how your sleep the night before affects your work. Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration. Write any observations in your journal.

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

 
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Week Twelve

  • As test day approaches, make a plan! This will help you manage stress, as well as set you up for an even higher score. What will you wear? What will you eat? The more you can plan, the more confident you’ll feel about the test day experience!
Week Twelve, Day One

 

 

Week Twelve, Day Two

 

 

Week Twelve, Day Three

 

 

Week Twelve, Day Four
  • In the GMAT Official Guide (any edition),

    In section 7.4, Reading Comprehension Practice Questions, read the next RC passage, and do the associated questions

  • In the Magoosh product:

    Review five lessons of your choice

    Do 20 Verbal Questions

  • Math practice on Magoosh GMAT Blog: GMAT Practice Problems with Fractions and Decimals
  • In the GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, spend 30 minutes reviewing mastered decks.
  • In the GRE Math Flashcards, spend up to 10 minutes. Finish learning the twelfth deck, Mixed Practice VI. Review any cards from this or the previous decks that you haven’t mastered.
  • Read your chosen reading material (one chapter, or a few articles). Look up and write down any words you don’t know.

 

 

Week Twelve, Day Five
  • In the GMAT Official Guide (any edition),

    In section 8.4, Critical Reasoning Practice Questions, do the next five Critical Reasoning questions

  • In the Magoosh product:

    Review five lessons of your choice

    Do 20 Verbal Questions

  • Math practice on Magoosh GMAT Blog: practice problems on Sets and Geometry
  • In the GRE Vocabulary Flashcards, spend 30 minutes reviewing mastered decks.
  • In the GRE Math Flashcards, spend up to 10 minutes. Finish learning the twelfth deck, Mixed Practice VI. Review any cards from this or the previous decks that you haven’t mastered.
  • Read your chosen reading material (one chapter, or a few articles). Look up and write down any words you don’t know.

 

 

Week Twelve, Day Six

Today, you are going to take the second practice GRE available through PowerPrep Online.

As much as possible when you take practice tests during the 90 day study plan, try to mimic the GRE conditions. Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections. Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GRE. Note how your sleep the night before affects your work. Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration. Write any observations in your journal.

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

 
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After Week 12: Concentrated Review

At this point in the 90 day study plan, if you have been following the schedule, you should have done every question in Magoosh at least once. For whatever days remain before the test, keep up work on GRE math and verbal. Some suggestions for what to do:

  • Select question type and difficulty on the “Dashboard,” and do Magoosh problems over again. See how you do a second time.
  • Watch or re-watch any Magoosh lesson videos, on whatever topics you feel you need to review.
  • Keep reading your challenging material, to build vocabulary and acclimate your ear to eloquent style.
  • Keep drilling your vocab flashcards and any math flashcards you haven’t mastered.
  • Finish the remaining Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions in the GMAT Official Guide. In section 3.2 (the Diagnostic Test), do the RC and CR questions. These are the among the hardest in the Guide.
  • Review or redo any math problems you got wrong in earlier practice. Notice how well you have learned from your mistakes.

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Day before the test:

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

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Day of test

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

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Bring to the Test

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

Questions about the 90 day study plan? If you’re a Magoosh Premium GRE student, send us an email at help@magoosh.com. Not a Magoosh student yet? Leave a comment on this post, and we’ll get back to you.

P.S. Ready to improve your GRE score? Get started today.

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