90 Day GRE Study Plan for Beginners

GRE 90 Day GRE Study Plan for Beginners - image by Magoosh

If you’re starting more or less from scratch, you may be wondering if 90 day (~3 month) GRE prep is even possible. It is! But there’s a key component to preparing for the GRE: you need a strategic GRE study guide to organize yourself before your exam day. Luckily, Magoosh has an expert-written plan than can help you figure out how to start preparing to meet and exceed your GRE goals in the next three months!

Table of Contents


 

Choosing Your 90 Day GRE Study Schedule

We designed four different versions of the Magoosh 90 Day Study Plan. Start with a little self-diagnosis or this quiz to find the best GRE study plan. Which sounds most like you?

  • 📍 90 Day GRE Study Plan for Beginners: I’m in the right place. Math and verbal both scare the living bejeebers out of me! I need all the help and support I can get!
  • 90 Day GRE 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 GRE 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 GRE 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 12 weeks.

 

FAQ: How do I know whether this is right plan for me?

If you follow choice A, this “beginner” plan, all the information you need for complete GRE exam mastery will pass before your eyes! It’s simply a question of whether you can learn, assimilate, and retain it all over the course of your GRE studying. You are not limiting yourself at all by following this plan: the only reason to follow any other plan is if all the review of verbal or math material would be tedious for you, because you know it inside-out already.

If you really can’t decide, buy any cheap GRE prep book (earlier editions are cheaper and are fine), and just take a practice GRE cold. Let your performance on that, with essentially no preparation, determine which plan you should follow.

FAQ: How can I make sure I’m getting the most out of this 90 day GRE study schedule?

Before you begin, check out some strategies for making the most of your study schedule. This guide will ensure you use Magoosh GRE plans in a way that works best for you.

You can also watch this video for tips on using a Magoosh study schedule!
 


FAQ: I’m a working professional/English isn’t my first language/I need to adapt this schedule in some way!

Check out this blog post for adjustment tips!

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How to Use This GRE Study Schedule

This 90-day plan is designed to have you improve as much as you can in a three-month period. I have designed twelve weeks, assuming 2-3 hours for each of the five weekdays, and one 4-5 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


Magoosh GRE Prep ETS’s Official Guide to the GRE book ETS’s PowerPrep Online GRE Vocabulary Flashcards GRE Math Flashcards Magoosh’s GRE Complete Guide

 

  • Daily review of vocab is vital. I wrote this schedule recommending the Magoosh’s GRE Flashcards, but DO NOT limit yourself to just these words. As you read and find more words you don’t know, look them up, make 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.
  • As you study 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 mean “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.

 

  • 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.

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Supplemental/Optional Materials

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

  • Any of the volumes of the Manhattan GRE books. It’s an eight-volume set, so buy as much as you think will help you and as you can afford. This is not absolutely necessary, but it is recommended. You will have to find places in this schedule to “fit in” the extra reading, but it will help you. Nevertheless, we do not recommend the Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence book, because these rely on too much obscure vocabulary.
  • McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE Math: This book is for those struggling with the very basics of math—folks who are in sheer panic over almost anything mathematical.
  • Manhattan’s 6 GRE online practice tests. One test is offered for free, with six additional tests available for purchase.
  • 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.
  • Quizlet.com: Gives you online access to flashcards, making it easier, say, to quiz yourself on your mobile device
  • Vocabulary.com: Provides conversational example sentences and a flood of example sentences
  • Word Dynamo (Dictionary.com): Gives you little quizzes and games to add some variety to vocab learning
  • Magoosh iPhone/Android app, for mobile practice

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90 Day GRE Study Plan: 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!

  • 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.
Week One, Day One
  • Go to ETS.org/gre, and read about the content of the GRE. Click on and read each sub-heading link.
  • In the Official Guide,
    • Read Chapter 1, “Introducing the GRE revised General Test”
    • Read Chapter 2, “GRE Analytic Writing” (just the descriptions of the question, not all the sample material)
    • Read the introductory few pages of Chapter 3, “GRE Verbal Reasoning” (everything up to the sample questions)
    • Read the introductory few pages of Chapter 5, “GRE Quantitative Reasoning” (everything up to the sample questions)
  • Start reading through the GRE Math Review in the Official Guide, the entire Arithmetic section. Take notes in your journal on whatever is unfamiliar. Do the Arithmetic Exercises and correct your answers.
  • Watch the Magoosh lesson videos:
  • In the GRE Math Flashcards
    • Take 15 minutes to start studying the cards in the first deck, Algebra.

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Week One, Day Two

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Week One, Day Three
  • Continue reading through the GRE Math Review: read the Geometry section. Take notes in your journal on whatever is unfamiliar. Do the Geometry Exercises and correct your answers.
  • Watch the Magoosh lesson videos:
  • In the Magoosh product, do:
    • Math – 20 Multiple Choice 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.

      After you submit your answer for each Magoosh problem, 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 GRE Math Formula eBook.
    • Read carefully the first section, “GRE Math Formulas: How to (Not) Use Them.” Right now, just skim the rest of the book, just to get a sense of what topics are covered. As you move through this plan, you will cover all of these. Use this for reinforcement and review: as you cover a particular math topic in the Magoosh lessons, read the corresponding part of this book to verify your understanding. By the end of this plan, you should know every section of this book.
  • In the GRE Math Flashcards
    • Take 15 minutes to continue studying the cards in the first deck, Algebra. Review any cards you missed earlier.

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Week One, Day Four

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Week One, Day Five

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Week One, Day Six
  • Watch the Magoosh lesson videos:

  • In the Magoosh product, do:
  • Today, you are going to write an Issue essay.

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

    Now that you have this essay, what do you do with it? If you have a friend or mentor who is a gifted writer, ask them to read the essay for you and critique it. 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 it on TheGradCafe, and see whether an expert there will critique your essay. Failing any of these options, you can at least set the essay aside, and re-read it a couple of days later with the Official Guide’s rubric beside you. (Notice whatever route worked for you with this essay; you can repeat that with all the essays you write in the practice tests you take as part of this plan.)

  • In the GRE Official Guide & McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE Math:

    a) in GRE Official Guide, do the Ch. 4, Verbal Reasoning Practice Sets 1-4

    b) in GRE Official Guide, do the Ch. 6, Quantitative Reasoning Practice Sets 1, 2, & 4

    c) in McGraw-Hill, do GRE Math Practice Section 1 (optional)

    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 = 18 minutes
    • Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 3 = 12 minutes
    • Official Guide Verbal Reasoning Set 4 = 18 minutes
    • Official Guide Quantitative Reasoning Set 1 = 22 minutes
    • Official Guide Quantitative Reasoning Set 2 = 23 minutes
    • Official Guide Quantitative Reasoning Set 4 = 13 minutes
    • McGraw-Hill, GRE Math section = 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 thorough, taking notes in your journal on any concepts you didn’t understand and anything about the question format that psyched you out. You can also watch the Magoosh Video Explanations of the OG practice questions.

    Improve your GRE score with Magoosh.

    If you are doing MUCH better than expected on either Math or Verbal, 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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90 Day GRE Study Plan: Week Two

 

  • Remember to breathe! Practicing stress-reduction techniques regularly, will get you into excellent shape by test day. Check out Overcome Exam Anxiety: Breathe for tips!
Week Two, Day One

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Week Two, Day Two

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Week Two, Day Three

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Week Two, Day Four

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Week Two, Day Five

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Week Two, Day Six
  • In the Magoosh product, do:

    Today, you are going to write an Argument essay.

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

    Now that you have this essay, what do you do with it? If you have a friend or mentor who is a gifted writer, ask them to read the essay for you and critique it. 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 it on TheGradCafe, and see whether an expert there will critique your essay. Failing any of these options, you can at least set the essay aside, and re-read it a couple of days later with the Official Guide’s rubric beside you. (Notice whatever route worked for you with this essay; you can repeat that with all the essays you write in the practice tests you take as part of this plan.)

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90 Day GRE Study Plan: Week Three

 

  • Don’t forget to take short breaks during your study sessions to take care of your body. Hydration and stretching are key to avoiding burn-out.
Week Three, Day One

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Week Three, Day Two

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Week Three, Day Three
  • Watch the Magoosh lesson videos:

  • In the Magoosh product, do:
    • Math: 10 Multiple Choice Questions*
    • Math: 10 Data Interpretation Questions*
    • (As with some of the Reading Comprehension questions, the Data Interpretation questions come in batches, typically 2 or 3 questions, pertaining to the same graph or chart. Do all the questions in a set at once. This mean you may do a few more than 10 DI questions one time, and then during the next session in which you are doing DI questions, you will do a couple fewer.)
  • In McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE Math (optional)
    • In Ch. 7, read the Ch. 7 section on “Even & Odd Numbers”; take the “Number Properties Test 1″, grade yourself, and read the solutions; take notes in your journal on anything new or unfamiliar.
  • 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
    • Take 15 minutes to review the cards. Continue working with the third deck, Geometry. Review any cards you missed from this or previous decks.
  • Read your chosen reading material (one chapter, or a few articles). Look up and write down any words you don’t know.

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Week Three, Day Four

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Week Three, Day Five

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Week Three, Day Six
  • In the Magoosh product, do:

    Today, you are going to write an Issue essay.

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

    Now that you have this essay, what do you do with it? If you have a friend or mentor who is a gifted writer, ask them to read the essay for you and critique it. 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 it on TheGradCafe, and see whether an expert there will critique your essay. Failing any of these options, you can at least set the essay aside, and re-read it a couple of days later with the Official Guide’s rubric beside you. (Notice whatever route worked for you with this essay; you can repeat that with all the essays you write in the practice tests you take as part of this plan.)

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90 Day GRE Study Plan: Week Four

 

  • Mental preparation is a key component of your GRE prep. Take a look at some of our top tips for reducing stress: Stress and Your Thoughts
Week Four, Day One

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Week Four, Day Two

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Week Four, Day Three

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Week Four, Day Four

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Week Four, Day Five

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Week Four, Day Six
  • In the Magoosh product, do:

    Today, you are going to write an Argument essay.

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

    Now that you have this essay, what do you do with it? If you have a friend or mentor who is a gifted writer, ask them to read the essay for you and critique it. 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 it on TheGradCafe, and see whether an expert there will critique your essay. Failing any of these options, you can at least set the essay aside, and re-read it a couple of days later with the Official Guide’s rubric beside you. (Notice whatever route worked for you with this essay; you can repeat that with all the essays you write in the practice tests you take as part of this plan.)

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90 Day GRE Study Plan: Week Five

 

  • Drops in motivation are totally normal—but to keep your spirits up, write down your grad school goals on a notecard or in the front of your notebook to help yourself stay focused when you’re flagging.
Week Five, Day One

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Week Five, Day Two

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Week Five, Day Three

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Week Five, Day Four

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Week Five, Day Five

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Week Five, Day Six
  • Today, you will take a mock GRE on Magoosh. At the heading at the top inside the Magoosh practice, select “Practice Test,” which will lead you to this page.

    Make sure you have four hours of uninterrupted time set aside, and make sure you have writing implements and plenty of scratch paper.

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90 Day GRE Study Plan: Week Six

 

  • 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 Six, Day One

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Week Six, Day Two

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Week Six, Day Three

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Week Six, Day Four

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Week Six, Day Five

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

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90 Day GRE Study Plan: Week Seven

 

  • If you’re struggling with test stress, you’re not alone. But thinking about Stress and Your Stories can help you see the bigger picture and feel better about all the great work you’re doing!
Week Seven, Day One
  • Watch the Magoosh lesson videos:

  • In the Magoosh product, do:
  • In McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE Math (Optional)
    • In Ch. 8, read the short sections “Percentage” and “Percentage Word Problems,” do both “Practice Problems” sets (one at the end of each section), grade yourself, and read the solutions; take notes in your journal on anything new or unfamiliar.
  • 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
    • Take 15 minutes to review the cards. Start working with the seventh deck, Mixed Practice I. Review any cards you missed from this or previous decks.
  • Read your chosen reading material (one chapter, or a few articles). Look up and write down any words you don’t know.

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Week Seven, Day Two

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Week Seven, Day Three

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Week Seven, Day Four

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Week Seven, Day Five

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Week Seven, Day Six
  • Today, you will take a mock GRE on Magoosh. At the heading at the top inside the Magoosh practice, select “Practice Test,” which will lead you to this page.

    Make sure you have four hours of uninterrupted time set aside, and make sure you have writing implements and plenty of scratch paper.

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90 Day GRE Study Plan: Week Eight

 

Week Eight, Day One

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Week Eight, Day Two

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Week Eight, Day Three

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Week Eight, Day Four

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Week Eight, Day Five

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

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90 Day GRE Study Plan: Week Nine

 

Week Nine, Day One

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Week Nine, Day Two

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Week Nine, Day Three

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Week Nine, Day Four

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Week Nine, Day Five

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Week Nine, Day Six
  • Today, you are going to take the GRE Official PowerPrep Test 1.

    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.

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90 Day GRE Study Plan: Week Ten

 

  • Worried about missing a day or two (or more) of studying? No need for anxiety—time to get back on the horse!
Week Ten, Day One
  • Watch the Magoosh lesson videos:

  • In the Magoosh product, do:
    • Quiz: Coordinate Geometry*
    • Math: 20 Questions*
      At this point, you should be finished with most of the Magoosh questions. Over the subsequent days, do 20 questions a day for practice. First of all, finish any remaining unanswered questions, Math or Verbal. Once you are done with unanswered questions, then select “incorrect” as your pool, and do the questions you got wrong again, to see how well you learned from your mistakes. Once your pool of incorrect questions gets relatively small, reset your question stats, and continue to do 20 questions a day. Vary Math and Verbal as needed.
  • In McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE Math (optional)
    • In Ch. 9, read the section “Quadratic Equations and Inequalities,” do the “Practice Problems,” grade yourself, and read the solutions; take notes in your journal on anything new or unfamiliar.
  • 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
    • Take 15 minutes to review the cards. Start working with the tenth deck, Mixed Practice IV. Review any cards you missed from this or previous decks.
  • Read your chosen reading material (one chapter, or a few articles). Look up and write down any words you don’t know.

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Week Ten, Day Two

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Week Ten, Day Three

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Week Ten, Day Four
  • In the Magoosh product, do:

  • In McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE Math (optional)
    • In Ch. 9, do the “Algebra Test 3,” grade yourself, and read the solutions; take notes in your journal on anything new or unfamiliar.
  • 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
    • Take 15 minutes to review the cards. Continue working with the tenth deck, Mixed Practice IV. Review any cards you missed from this or previous decks.
  • Read your chosen reading material (one chapter, or a few articles). Look up and write down any words you don’t know.

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Week Ten, Day Five

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

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90 Day GRE Study Plan: Week Eleven

 

  • Anxious about test day? Time to start practicing some test-day mantras so you have them under your belt when you need them most!
Week Eleven, Day One

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Week Eleven, Day Two

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Week Eleven, Day Three

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Week Eleven, Day Five

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Week Eleven, Day Six
  • Today, you are going to take the GRE Official PowerPrep Test 2.

    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.

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90 Day GRE Study Plan: Week Twelve

 

  • The last week of prep can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out Last Minute GRE Tips for advice on getting through this week most productively!
Week Twelve, Day One

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Week Twelve, Day Two

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Week Twelve, Day Three

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Week Twelve, Day Four
  • In Magoosh, watch any 5 videos for a second time.

    Then, complete 20 Verbal questions.

  • In McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE Math (optional)
    • In a 35 minute sitting, take GRE Math Practice Section 3; grade it right after, but you don’t have to check all the solutions tonight.
  • In the GRE Vocabulary Flashcards
    • Spend 30 minutes reviewing mastered decks.
  • In the GRE Math Flashcards
    • Take 15 minutes to review the cards. Continue working with the twelfth deck, Mixed Practice VI. Review any cards you missed from this or previous decks.
  • Read your chosen reading material (one chapter, or a few articles). Look up and write down any words you don’t know.

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Week Twelve, Day Five
  • In Magoosh, watch any 5 videos for a second time.

    Then, complete 20 Math questions.

  • In McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE Math (optional)
    • Go over the solutions to GRE Math Practice Section 3. For questions you got right, skim the explanation, simply to verify that you got it right for the right reason, and that there’s nothing further about that topic you need to know. For questions you got wrong, read the explanation carefully, writing in your journal anything new you learn or anything you need to remember.
  • In the GRE Vocabulary Flashcards
    • Spend 30 minutes reviewing mastered decks.
  • In the GRE Math Flashcards
    • Take 15 minutes to review the cards. Continue working with the twelfth deck, Mixed Practice VI. Review any cards you missed from this or previous decks.
  • Read your chosen reading material (one chapter, or a few articles). Look up and write down any words you don’t know.

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

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After Week 12: Concentrated Review

At this point, 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:

  • By selecting question type and difficulty on the “Dashboard,” do Magoosh problems over again, and see how you do a second time.
  • Keep watching 5 Magoosh lesson videos a day, 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 your math flashcards.
  • Re-read any topics in the McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE Math—any topics where you feel you would benefit from further review.
  • If you have time for more practice tests, you can use the optional Manhattan GRE practice tests.

Day before the test

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

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

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 this Magoosh GRE study plan 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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104 Responses to 90 Day GRE Study Plan for Beginners

  1. Emme May 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Hello! =)

    I’m started the 90 day plan for beginngers and I’m already feeling overwhelmed. My exam is scheduled for August 21st and although I am a little behind now I feel like I can get back on track. However, my major conern is math. I see you’ve suggested the McGraw Hill book which I don’t have. I do however have all of the Manhattan GRE guides, could I use those instead as an alternative? And do you have a suggestion of how I could go through them?

    Thank you so much!

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike May 29, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      Dear Emme,
      We recommend the McGraw Hill book because it really lays out all the math you need in the most basic accessible form, in a step by step way that is manageable even for folks who struggle with math. The MGRE books, of course, are very good, but if you are very tentative with math, you may find them a difficult place to start. I would strongly urge you to get the McGraw Hill book, follow that all the way through, and use the MGRE books as back-up reference. Does this make sense?
      Mike 🙂

      • Emme May 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

        Yes this makes perfect sense–I will defintiely pick it up and follow along. Also Mike, as I previously stated, my exam is set for August 21st. I’m currently completing “Week One, Day Four” of the 90-day beginnger’s guide–am I already too far behind to keep up to be fully prepared by the time of my exam? I’m contemplated doing a few marathon study sessions to catch up but I don’t want to rush through tasks for the sake of keeping up–what do you think?

        • Mike MᶜGarry
          Mike May 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

          Emme,
          You have told me you are on “Week One, Day Four”, but I have no idea when you started — if you started this Monday, you are ahead of schedule! If you started last October, you are way behind! 🙂
          You don’t need to communicate everything about your own situation. I will just say — do everything you can to keep up the “one study day” in a day routine. Many of the early weekend days have essay writing sessions — perhaps you can reduce the number of essays you write, and use the weekends for catch up.
          Does this make sense?
          Mike 🙂

  2. MnM May 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Hello. I would like to start off as a beginner (math AND verbal), which plan should I select? Is it feasible to do both math and verbal focused plans at the same time? Also, I don’t have money to purchase ETS’s new Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test and magoosh, but I’d like to give magoosh a try. Will magoosh alone be sufficient?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike May 29, 2013 at 10:44 am #

      Dear MnM,
      First of all, there’s absolutely no need to do two plans at the same time. Focus on this plan, and do it as thoroughly as you can — that will give you all you need in both Math & Verbal. —– You will go a long way with just Magoosh. Keep in mind (a) you can often find used versions of the OG, especially the earlier edition, relatively inexpensively; (b) if you search urch.com and other online forums, you may will find a good portion of the material in the OG online for free; (c) there are parts of the OG you can download for free from ETS (e.g. the Math Review). If you use the Magoosh product thoroughly, that will give you an excellent preparation for the GRE itself.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike 🙂

  3. Mimi May 27, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    For week one day 4 and 5 you have the same videos listed!

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike May 28, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      Mimi,
      I’m sorry for the mistake. I corrected that.
      Mike 🙂

  4. Mimi May 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    Hi I noticed that you did not include reading the Geometry section from the ETS official guide. Did you do this for a reason? I like your study guide above but am not using the McGraw-Hill book. Also, I have to say that the plan is designed for 1-2 hours of studying a day but I started on day 2 yesterday and it took me 11 hours. I feel like such an idiot. Now I am noticing as I look further through the study guide that you are adding vocabulary to the mounds of math. This is gonna take me 24 hours. 🙁 I have absolutely no knowledge on any of this stuff. So far I’m doing all the math practice questions and getting them WRONG!

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike May 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

      Mimi
      First of all, the omission of the Geometry section was a typo (another section was repeated twice). Thank you for pointing that out: I corrected it.
      Yes, when you start studying for the GRE, it can be daunting. That’s one of the reasons we recommended the McGraw-Hill book, a book that breaks down GRE math into step by step bits that are easy to understand. I imagine as you work through that book and watch the Magoosh lesson videos, everything will start to become easier. Be patient with yourself: there’s a lot to learn. As far as vocab, if it’s all unfamiliar, do what you can. I would also recommend watching all of Chris’ Vocab Wednesday videos on this blog. If you’re a member of Magoosh, then send in support tickets asking for help.
      Mike 🙂

  5. Amanda May 24, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Hi! Thanks so much for putting up such a detailed study guide! I’m interested in the 90 day plan, but I’m concerned because I will be out of the country for about 2 weeks and will likely not study, and if I do have the time, it will probably only be light review of vocab and such. Can this plan be adopted for to a 9 week schedule? Also, I have never taken the exam before, but scored a 158V and 154Q on the first ETS prep practice exam. Should I use the Advanced plan or one of the focused plans? I’m worried that since I haven’t taken it, the Advanced plan might be overwhelming. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks!! 🙂

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike May 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      Dear Amanda,
      Those are pretty good scores you got in the first practice exam. I’m going to recommend the Advanced plan for you. As far as adapting it to your schedule, I would say — incrementally increase the number of problems & number of videos each day during the days you work, approximately in a 3:4 ratio — that way, during the nine weeks you work, you can cover all the content. Say, instead of 100 MGRE Vocab cards to sort per day, you will sort 133 each day. During the time you are travelling, I would highly recommend: take a long a small stack of flashcards — the most difficult vocab words, the most hard-to-remember math facts — and simply drill those during your travels, to keep your head kinda in the game.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike 🙂

      • Amanda May 24, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

        Great! Thanks for the advice! My plan was to take flashcards and stuff, so it sounds like we are on the same page. I will follow your advice, and hopefully my scores will reflect it! Thanks again 🙂

        • Mike MᶜGarry
          Mike May 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

          You are quite welcome. Enjoy your travels, and good luck with GRE studying!
          Mike 🙂

          • Amanda May 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

            So I’m getting ready to start using the 90 day advanced study plan, but I’m wondering about the GMAT Math book you have listed. Is that a misprint or should I buy it? And is it important that I get that particular edition, or is it just to provide another resource with difficult math questions?

            Thanks!

            • Mike MᶜGarry
              Mike May 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

              Amanda,
              Believe it or not, that’s not a misprint. GMAT math is a notch harder than GRE math, so if you can handle GMAT math, you are really ready for the GRE quant. And, no, the edition of any GMAT book you buy is irrelevant. You want up-to-date material for the GRE, but for other tests, whatever changes they have undergone in the past decade is are absolute irrelevant to you.
              Does all this make sense?
              Mike 🙂

              • Amanda May 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

                Great! Thanks!

                • Mike MᶜGarry
                  Mike May 28, 2013 at 9:21 am #

                  Amanda,
                  You are quite welcome. Best of luck to you!
                  Mike 🙂

  6. Nahid May 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    Hello Mike!
    Thank you very much for this study guide! You have done a wonderful job! I really appreciate it! I have just registered for the GRE General Test and the test will be on August 12! I just wish to let you know that I found your study guide so helpful and I will definitely use it!
    Thanks again!
    Nahid

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike May 19, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      Dear Nahid,
      Thank you very much for your kind words. I hope you find this plan very helpful.
      Mike 🙂

  7. Judy S May 16, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    Reading Week 1 Day 4 and Day 5 gives me that Deja Vu feeling.

  8. Saritha May 13, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    Hi,

    I have finished medical school and I wanted to get into masters program in microbiology or cancer biology. Its been a long time since I’ve done math and write essays. Could you please advice me how I should go about preparing for GRE?! What books are recommended? When is the ideal time to give GRE exam? Which are the best sites to get free GRE content from?
    Many programs are asking for subject tests as well in cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology! How do I prepare for these? what books and materials are recommended?
    Please help!!!!

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike May 14, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Dear Saritha,
      First of all, it’s not clear to me whether you finished “medical school” (and thus are an M.D. already) or whether you have finished your undergrad pre-med degree. If you already have an MD, I would think it would be relatively easy to get into a bio masters program.
      For the general GRE, I would recommend — follow the study plan in this page, and purchase Magoosh. Also, here are some book reviews for the general test:
      https://magoosh.com/gre/2011/new-gre-book-reviews/
      Also, consider the free GMAT forums —
      https://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-forums/
      The “problem solving” math problems are quite similar to GRE math, and the Reading Comp & Critical Reasoning on the GMAT are similar to what the GRE asks on Reading Comp. You can learn a lot from all the free material in those forums.
      Also, scour this entire blog for resources. In particular, I would recommend watching every single one of Chris’ “Vocab Wednesday” videos. These are all free.
      The best time to take the test would depend largely on your application deadlines, which you can find out from the schools. If you have enough time, you might consider the six-month study plan instead of this one.
      As for the subject GRE tests —- that’s outside of our expertise, so I can’t say a whole lot about those. I would just say — avoid REA & Petersen books. Probably your own textbooks would provide some of the best study material, and just use the books for practice questions.
      I hope all this helps.
      Mike 🙂

      • Saritha May 16, 2013 at 1:26 am #

        Hi,

        Sorry I wasn’t clear before, I have finished medical school which in India means four years of medical school plus one year of Internship after which one earns the degree of MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery). Its like an undergraduate degree. I can now pursue post-graduation (which is MD) but i am interested in doing Masters in the US.
        Thank you for the advice and recommendations. I will go through this blog for resources. And as you have suggested I will look into purchasing magoosh online study plan it looks the best compared to others!!

        • Mike MᶜGarry
          Mike May 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

          Saritha,
          Thank you for your kind words. I will you the best of luck in all your future studies.
          Mike 🙂

  9. Swapnil May 7, 2013 at 1:01 am #

    Hi,
    I am planning to go for MS next year, so I wanted to know that which study plan is suitable for me. My major concern is English(vocab) and i am good at maths. I have recently completed my Bachelor’s degree and m willing to do a job for a year…please suggest me a plan that will help me scoring a good score in GRE despite of my job schedule…I have never given GRE examination before and i am planning to give the examination this august-september so that i’ll have enough time for application purpose…

    Thanks…!

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike May 7, 2013 at 9:55 am #

      Dear Swapnil,
      Here’s my recommendation. Get this Barron’s book:
      https://magoosh.com/gre/2013/barrons-6-gre-practice-tests-book-review/
      and take a practice test with essentially no preparation. If you do very well in math, follow the “Verbal Focus” 3-month plan; if you struggle on both math & verbal on that practice test, follow this plan.
      Does that make sense?
      Mike 🙂

      • Swapnil May 7, 2013 at 11:54 am #

        Ya sure sir, i’ll follow your instructions accordingly and will let you know about the same.
        Thank you

        • Mike MᶜGarry
          Mike May 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

          My friend, you are quite welcome.
          Mike 🙂

  10. Kapil April 21, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    Hi there,

    I have started following up your 90 day plan But i am facing problem with Barrons 1100 words book. I wanted to ask how i can start with the book. For example i had gone through the first task i.e day1 week 1 task. there were 5 words on that page . So how can i use the words in the fill in the blanks sentences without knowing the exact meaning of the word. Do we have to find out the meanings from the usage. ?? I am very much confused.

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike April 22, 2013 at 9:37 am #

      Dear Kapil,
      The Barron’s book is designed on the premise that the user, a native English speaker, has heard the words before. If a word is truly new to you, use the other links at the top (Dictionary.com, Wordnik, WordSmart) to find the definition first. I would highly suggest making flashcards of any words you don’t know, and drill those flashcards regularly, daily if possible. You might experiment — each day, look ahead to the words for the *next* day — read and study the definitions, and then, the next day, cold and with no refresher, try to answer that day’s questions relying solely on your memory from the previous day. You could even up the ante, and look ahead instead to the words two or three days ahead, then on that day, try to answer the questions from definition you read two or three days ago. Memory is a muscle: you have to train it to develop it.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike 🙂

  11. rana April 13, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    hi mike

    I have already taken my test and scored 290(Q156+V134). Now am recommended the 90 day plan by rachel in a reply to my mail, as am aiming score like 320+..My question to yo is
    1)what are the supplement materials you recommend me ?
    2)I am working professional, so i could get hardly 3hrs a day planning to write test in July first week ..will this time suffice to achieve my score.

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike April 15, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      Dear Rana,
      I would recommend the 90-day Verbal Focus plan for you. See the supplement materials for that plan — between that plan & the Magoosh material, you will have enough. As for your time question, 3 hr/day should be enough for most days in the study plan. You may have to set aside a few long weekend days to make up what you can’t finish on weekdays. Also, see my advice to Saisrikar in the next comment about learning from your mistakes — that’s crucial, if you want to get up into the elite region of GRE scores.
      Mike 🙂

  12. saisrikar April 13, 2013 at 1:00 am #

    First of all, I really appreciate your work on GRE. I have decided to take magoosh gre premium plan to improve my scores.My condition here is that, i have already taken the test and scored 290(Q156+v134),this time i wanna improve my scores to 320+. Magoosh team suggested me 90 day advanced plan …which was good will that help me in achieving my scores or should I practice any more(material..and extra stuff). Kindly suggest me the best way so i could possibly reach my target.

    Thank You

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike April 15, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      Dear Saisrikar,
      I would suggest — follow this plan faithfully, and glance over the 6-month daily plan to see if there’s any more material you can fit in. Magoosh will help you quite a bit. The most important thing at this point in your studying is to identify what *kinds* of mistakes you are making. Do you have gaps in your vocab? Does any particular question type challenge you? The mark of an exceptional student is: never make the same mistake twice. If you want to score at the 320+ level, you need to hold yourself to that standard. Make a science out of studying your mistakes and figuring out how to avoid each mistake again in the future. For all the Magoosh questions, this means: *always* watch the explanation video after getting a question incorrect. Does all this make sense?
      Mike 🙂

  13. Vanessa April 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    “Start reading through the GRE Math Review”
    What is the GRE math review? Is this on the Magoosh site or in one of the recommended books?

    Thanks!

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette April 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      Hi, Vanessa

      The GRE Math Review is Section 7 in the Official Guide book, it starts on page 207. Hope that helps! 🙂

      Best,
      Margarette

  14. Kapil April 6, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Hi,

    I am planning to go for MS in next year. So wanted to know which plan would be suitable for the preparation.I am good at math but will have to revise everything as all the concepts are need to be clear.English is my main concern. Also I am currently working in an organization. So wanted to know about a good plan which can help me in getting a score at one shot.
    I am thinking of giving GRE exam in July-Aug so that i will have plenty of time for applications.

    Thanks.

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike April 6, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Kapil,
      I would strongly recommend this plan, the 90-day plan for beginners. Start with this plan, and if you are finding the math too easy, not challenging enough, then you might consider switching to the Verbal Focus plan. Does this make sense?
      Mike 🙂

      • Kapil April 6, 2013 at 11:31 am #

        Hey,

        Hey i need both of them.Does your verbal focus plan covers more topics than the combined plan? Also What do you say about about word power made easy book?

        • Mike MᶜGarry
          Mike April 7, 2013 at 11:25 am #

          Dear Kapil,
          The four 90 days plans cover about the same amount of material, but the distributions and the difficulty levels are different. The big difference between this plan and the Verbal Focus plan is the difficulty of the math — the math is much more challenging in the latter plan. Also, the latter plan doesn’t cover math lessons and doubles up on the verbal lessons: that would not give you the math review you seem to need.
          As far as the “Word Power Made Easy” book, see this blog:
          https://magoosh.com/gre/2011/books-and-online-gre-vocabulary-resources/
          Mike 🙂

  15. Carlyn March 9, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Wnen you see read the “GRE Math Review,” whose math review book are you refering to?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike March 10, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      Carlyn —
      The “GRE Math Review” is a section of the GRE OG. It begins on p. 207 in the most recent 2nd edition of the OG.
      Does this make sense?
      Mike 🙂

  16. ShingShing September 1, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    I’m so glad I found Magoosh right after I registered the test on December 15. Every part’s well-organized and clear to follow at first glance.

    After finishing a diagnostic test, I found my V n Q are both weak in different ways at the moment. One issue is I’m a slow reader and thinker and have to go back and forth on the reading in order to finish all the questions, which would really hurt my V score. For the Q part, a decent amount of multiple choices felt easy since I kept some of the essentials in mind from SAT and college, but I had no clue where to start on some questions.

    I don’t wanna take the test more than twice. I’m only working part-time for the next four months, so with the right plan and enough hours, I believe aiming high on both V n Q ain’t impractical. Right now, I’m thinking about two approaches that I could see myself get the most out of the process:

    1. Combine the 30 Day Plan and 90 Day Plan for Beginner OR 2. Combine the 1 Month Plan and 90 Day (verbal focused) in the first month to walk through all the nuts and bolts; then find my weaknesses and continue working on the rest for next two months.

    I’d like to hear your advice on which plan will help me the most. Thx

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike September 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

      ShingShing — I would say: stick with one plan at the beginning. I would recommend: just move through this plan, Version A, as thoroughly as possible. If you finish it early, or if you find you everything is too easy and you want more challenging material, then borrow resources from the other 90 day plans.
      Does that make sense?
      Mike 🙂

      • ShingShing September 3, 2012 at 9:26 am #

        Thanks, Mike; it does make sense. I just finished the first week’s plan in just three days – two plans per day, so far so good. Also I have a few more questions regarding the schedule:

        1. I’m terrible on hard words and unfortunately most vocabulary books don’t usually work for me. Instead I just take notes and absorb new words from various articles and essays I read everyday. I was wondering if there’s any substitute for the Barron’s book; or can I continue reading NYT articles and the Best American series and create my own words list from those resources?

        2. Since I could finish a week plan in just three days (which probably won’t always be the case), how and when do I know I could or need to borrow resources from other 90 day plans? and which one(s).

        3. I’m thinking about apply a program for interdisciplinary research in psychology and education, so am i supposed to put more weight on Verbal? Or are Verbal and Quant equally important.

        • Mike MᶜGarry
          Mike September 3, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

          Dear ShingShing:
          1) I would say: from the Barron’s book make flash cards, and drill those cards every single day. Also, read NYT & Time & Newsweek and make vocab card from those sources also. Drill your whole stack of cards every day. If you can find a tutor who can have live conversations with you using large vocabulary words, that would be excellent as well. Also, follow Chris’ series, “Vocab Wednesday” — go back through the blog and watch every single one of those, taking notes.
          2) & 3) For psychology & education, Quant & Verbal are equally important, but it sounds as if the Verbal is more of a challenge for you. I would say: look at plan (B), verbal focus, get the MGRE verbal books recommended there, and start working through them along with this plan.
          Does all that make sense?
          Mike 🙂

          • ShingShing September 4, 2012 at 12:23 am #

            Yes, this is super helpful, Mike! My memory is heavily relying on visual/sound materials so talking with someone might be a great option.

            The only thing I’m confused right now is, did you mean to look at the Verbal Focused plan which is “Plan C” from the plan list above? Instead of the plan (B). So i could double the practice on Verbal section by combining the Plan A for beginners and only the Verbal part in the Plan C(verbal focused). 🙂

            • Mike MᶜGarry
              Mike September 4, 2012 at 11:15 am #

              Yes, I’m sorry, I meant Plan (C) Verbal Focus — that’s the plan to focus on helping folks build their verbal skills.
              Mike 🙂

              • ShingShing September 4, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

                No problem. Thank you, Mike! 😀

                • Mike MᶜGarry
                  Mike September 5, 2012 at 10:11 am #

                  You are quite welcome.
                  Mike 🙂

  17. Jen August 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    I love using Magoosh. I actually look forward to coming home from work to prep. I need to buy the ETS Guide, though, and I’m not sure which one. I followed the link above to Amazon and it displays the red covered book. But, I did some searching around and there is also a second edition with a purple covered book. Which one should I buy? I do have a mac, but my tech savvy friend said he can make the PowerPrep II program function using yet another program.

  18. Nick July 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Mike,

    I am signing up for the Magoosh premium account but I had one question about your study guide before making the purchase. What are the MGRE practice tests that you reference throughout your study guide? Are these GRE practice tests that are available through Magoosh if you have an account?

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette July 31, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      Hi, Nick

      The MGRE practice tests are Manhattan GRE’s online practice tests, which you can get access to if you buy any one of their books. We explain a bit more about them here: https://magoosh.com/gre/2012/manhattan-gre-book-review/.

      I hope that helps! Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions :).

      Best,
      Margarette

  19. Misha July 18, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Hi, Mike!

    Today I registered in Magoosh-GRE and I have some question about your schedule:

    1) can you explain how should I start reading journals? I read somewhere that you say: “Read some Articles And Take Your Notes”. what do you mean? what kind of note should I take? what should I do with that notes then? how would it help me? how much time is it better to spend on journals? Please, make it clear for me.

    2) when you say for example do 10 MC problems in Week1/Day2, how should I adjust another Settings in Practice Session? should I select all subjects for that day or just select subjects which I’ve studied? Is it better to use it in practice mode or quiz mode or both?

    3) I think my writing is terrible. How can I improve it in these 90 days?

    I’m sorry for these massive and chaotic questions, but in fact they are my problems.
    thanks for you excellent product, I’ll try to utilize it’s all advantages.

  20. Vandana July 13, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Hello,

    I have recently joined the group. I must say the videos are excellent!! I have booked my GRE on the sept 18th, Therefore going through the listed study plans. I was quite confused with the following steps. Kindly help

    2) In the OG, ( I went through this, what do u mean by pp. 1-9 ???

    Read pp. 1-9

    Read pp. 11-17, 25-31

    Read pp. 43-46

    Read pp. 107-109

    3) Start reading through the GRE Math Review, pp. 207-221. Take notes in your journal on whatever is unfamiliar. Do the Arithmetic Exercises (pp. 219-220) and correct your answers.

    and also in the third step GRE Math Review.. Are u referring to the PDF provided on the ETS site??? I do not understand the Arithmetic Exercises part.. which one are u referring to?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike July 14, 2012 at 5:54 am #

      Vandana: Those beginning sections (pp. 1-9, 11-17, 25-31, 43-46, 107-109) are just designed to introduce you to the structure of the GMAT — some of that information might be unnecessary if you are already familiar with the structure of the test. Just to be clear, all of these page numbers refer to the OG12 (this plan was created before the OG13 was published). The Arithmetic Exercises are in the OG, at the end of the first section of the Math Review —- again, the page numbers might be slightly different in the OG13. Does this make sense?
      Mike 🙂

  21. Sarah July 9, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Hi Mike, I’m a Mac user. How can I download and print out the practice test, or otherwise best deal with the fact that I can’t use the typical ETS PowerPrep software? Thanks!

  22. Niraj July 5, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    Hi! I’m having a bit trouble deciding which study schedule to use. I took the GRE last July 2011 and used the Kaplan book to study (which was terrible since my scores weren’t that great) I achieved 550 on Q, 390 on V (I have a difficult time on understanding some of the hard vocabulary and am not that great at reading comprehension), and 4.5 on the Writing.

    Today I bought the Magoosh product and ETS book in hopes that I improve my scores! Right now I have July completely off and I was thinking of doing the 30 day schedule and taking the test sometime in August but I’m not sure if that will make me feel overwhelmed or not.. So I was thinking about doing the 90 day schedule and wasn’t exactly sure which of the (3) 90 day plans I should go for. My school begins August 9th but I should still have some time to put in studying for this test.

    I will be applying for Graduate Math Programs. Do all of the them including the 30 day cover all the same material just at a different pace? Which study schedule would you recommend that I do? Let me know if you can, thanks! 🙂

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike July 5, 2012 at 9:07 am #

      NIraj: great questions! The 30 day plan is an “express” plan that includes bare essentials, everything that could be reasonably crammed into a month, but the four 90 plans include more resources and more material. I would suggest looking at the Verbal Focus plan — you probably will not need to spend a lot of time with the Math content lesson videos, although some of the strategy videos will be helpful. It seems that you will benefit most from materials that support the Verbal side. I would say draw as many resources as you can from the Verbal Focus plan, as many as you can include in your month of studying. Best of luck to you!
      Mike 🙂

      • Niraj July 5, 2012 at 11:41 am #

        Hi Mike. Thanks for the quick reply.

        So would you ultimately suggest that I do the 90 day (verbal focused) study plan? Most math graduate schools want their applicants to get 700+, preferably around 750 at average for their schools and want a combined minimum score of 1100. I was thinking of shooting for at or above 500 on the V (since most math schools don’t seem to care how you do on this section as long as you perform at average) and at or above 700 on the Q. When I was looking at the Verbal Focused plan it looked like it assumes that the student knows most of the Q stuff and I know when I took the test I felt like I was very unprepared for the Data Interpretation and Geometry sections while I felt good with the other concepts.. though my score of 550, at least to me, doesn’t feel like a good score since it’s basically 27th percentile on the new scale. I don’t necessarily have to cram and do the 30 day schedule but I am not sure if the Verbal Focused plan is right for me either.. should I just do this plan, the 90 day for beginners, or would you recommend a different one? Sorry for all the confusion, thanks again! 🙂

        • Mike MᶜGarry
          Mike July 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

          Actually, I would still recommend the Verbal Focused plan overall, although you may have to supplement a bit at the beginning with material from, say, the Beginner plan. I strongly suspect that, if you are majoring in math, the geometry and data interpretation material will come to very quickly, and you will want to spend the majority of your Quant. prep time on more advanced questions, such as we have in the Verbal focus plan. Focusing primarily on the more advanced math questions will maximize your chances of a 700+ score in math. Does that make sense?
          Mike 🙂

          • Niraj July 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

            Hi Mike,

            Yes your suggestion does make sense. Although I think what I am going to do is try the 30 day plan and see how much my scores improve/change. If I am satisfied with my Q from that or at least improve 100-150 points and if my V stays the same as last time or improves by little or even worsens (hopefully not) then I will take the GRE for the third time using the Verbal Focused Plan. Thanks for your help, hopefully I can improve my scores using this company. 🙂

            • Mike MᶜGarry
              Mike July 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

              Niraj: I’m sure Magoosh will help you substantially. Best of luck to you, and let us know if you have any further questions.
              Mike 🙂

  23. Praveena June 25, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    Hello There!
    I am following the 90 Day Beginners study schedule. I see that you mention 10 questions of either MC/QC etc have to be done on most of the days.. For example Week 1, Day Two says ’10 MC’. My question is where do I find the exact 10 MC questions? Is it from the Practice section? If yes, on Week 1 Day 2, I have reviewed these sections ‘Divisibility’,
    ‘Divisibility Rules’, ‘Prime Numbers’, ‘Prime Factorization’, ‘Counting Divisors of Large Numbers’ and ‘Squares of Integers’. How do I select questions that belong to only these sections? Its confusing.. Please guide me. I am missing something 🙁

    Thanks
    Praveena

  24. Sonia June 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    Can I read long articles from the New York Times websites? Or will the quality be different?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike June 25, 2012 at 9:03 am #

      Sonia: In my understanding, the online NYT articles are identical to the article in the print edition, just sometimes a day or two delayed. To the best of my knowledge, they don’t actually change the articles at all, so the quality of the writing should be the same as what you find in the print edition.
      Mike 🙂

  25. lawal June 17, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    Hi, i started preparing for the GRE a couple of weeks before
    I found the Magoosh GRE prep material and i was really impressed
    I recently bought the Magoosh GrE premium. Well, i won’t say my Quants
    Is excellent but its just okay am sure if i practice well i should really see some
    great improvements. My verbal is really embarassing and it scares the living day light
    Out of me. Just before i bought magoosh i started using Barron’s and i have gotten to the chapter on percents in the mathematics review and haven’t read the verbal section at all yet. I have also been learning words in context from New york times and the New yorker.
    Really am a bit confused the study plan to use. I am thinkin of using the 90days for beginners. I dont have Mc Graw conquering the maths. Can i substitute that with Barrons? And also i do not have the Barrons 1100 word list am also thinking of substituting that with the list of ‘Word of the day’ from the New york times. Thanks and ​ hope to get the best advise and suggestions to crack the New GRE revised.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

      Hi Lawal,

      Glad to have you onboard :). As for Barron’s, it’s focus is not brushing up on the basics. So it really can’t supplant the McGraw Hill book in terms of sheer number of practice questions for percents, etc.

      For vocab, the 1100 words book is one of many that I recommend. If NYtimes word-of-the-day works for you, that should be fine.

      Hopefully that helps, and please don’t hesitate to ask any more questions :).

  26. Swami June 13, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    For Week 1 day 5 it says “In Math: under “Arithmetic, Percents, Ratios”, the first video in that section”

    Is that suppose to be under the “Arithmetic and Fractions” section? On my lessons page I don’t have a “Arithmetic, Percents, Ratios” section.

    Thanks!

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike June 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

      Dear Swami: Sorry about that! We’re in the process of reorganizing our lesson groups to make for easier tagging (to link practice questions and lessons), and we haven’t updated our study schedules with these changes just yet.
      The old “Arithmetic, Percents, and Ratios” is equivalent to the current “Arithmetic and Fractions” and “Percents and Ratios” sections combined, so you should watch:
      Properties of Real Numbers
      Positive and Negative Numbers – I
      Positive and Negative Numbers – II
      Intro to Decimals
      Multiples of 10

      I hope that helps! Feel free to use the study plan as more of a set of general guidelines as opposed to ironclad instructions– you can adjust them to fit your needs and schedule! Let me know if you need any other clarification on the study plans along the way– we hope to get them updated soon.
      Mike 🙂

  27. Praveena June 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    I recently purchased the Premium subscription of Magoosh. It has been a great purchase and worth the money I spent. I had a question when I was looking at the basic and advanced 90 day study plan. I would like know couple of things
    1. What is the difference between Basic and Advanced study plan? Is the expected score higher in advanced than the basic.
    2. Is the expectation to complete Basic and then take up Advanced study plan?. Please advise.

    Thanks
    Praveena

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike June 12, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      Dear Preveena:
      Please see my response on your same comment in the Advanced Plan post.
      Mike 🙂

  28. Swami June 1, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    Quick Question: Is there by any chance a PDF version of this? The 90-Day plan for beginners compiled in one document…

    Thank You.

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette June 1, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      Hi, Swami

      Unfortunately, we don’t have PDFs of the study plans just yet, but if you copy and paste it from your browser to a Word document, you should be able to print it out. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

      Best,
      Margarette

  29. julia May 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    Hi Actually , I am preparing to Toefl test. The score was ibt 68 one month ago.
    However, I am wondering that I need to prepare to GRE test. As you guess, I am Asian, but I have been America for 4years.
    Do you think that can I study with your 90 beginner program?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      Hi Julia,

      Yes, I think 90-day program should be fine :), even for beginners. In fact, many Magoosh users are TOEFL takers, as English is not their first language. If you find the 90-day pace a little too hectic, you can always slow it down slightly without losing much effectiveness.

      Hope that helps!

  30. varun April 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Hey mike ! I do not have the McGrawHill material and also barrons is there any substitute to it ?

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette April 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

      Hi, Varun

      We saw your comment come in as a support ticket as well, but we’ll respond to you here, since other students may have the same question!

      The steps in the plan for McGraw-Hill and Manhattan are purely supplemental, so if you’d like extra practice, there’s no need to go out and buy those two, since you have Barron’s, Gruber’s and Nova on hand. For specific tips on how to best use those books, I would check out our book reviews (https://magoosh.com/gre/2011/new-gre-book-reviews/)– Chris is very good about pointing out which parts of the books are actually worth using.

      I hope that helps! Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions 🙂

      Best,
      Margarette

  31. Mayu April 4, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Thanx a lot Mike for the information. 🙂

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike April 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

      You are quite welcome. Best of luck!
      Mike 🙂

  32. Mayu April 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    I am currently working as a Design engineer…I want to pursue MS in US …so when should I write the exam and how to prepare for it…if i write my exams in August 2012 when can i take admission in the University.and if i want to take admissions in 2013 jan/ feb batch when should i take the test?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike April 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      Mayu: I can tell you a lot about preparing for the GRE, but unfortunately, I am not a graduate school admission consultant, and I can tell you precious little about programs. I would say you first need to determine: to which programs will you apply? You need to find out admission deadlines from those schools — the schools will sometimes even tell you: such and such a date is the last date on which you can take a GRE and submit it for this round of admission. —– Again, I know very little about graduate programs, but in the US, most programs begin in autumn, and starting in Jan/Feb would be highly unusual. Perhaps some programs allow for winter admission, I don’t know, but you would have to check with the programs individually as to whether that is even a possibility. I believe most deadlines for the autumn 2012 terms have already past, so it may be that the next available term to which to apply, in many or all programs, is autumn 2013. —- If you don’t know the schools to which you will apply, talk to your current professors, and get their recommendations. I hope that helps.
      Mike 🙂

  33. Blue March 31, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Hi mike. I am starting my GRE preperation based on ur guideline of 90 days.Hope God will help me to win GRE by following this path. One great problem is that i am in lack of Magoosh GRE materials as i don’t have that financial support to get it for my GRE preperation. Do you think it will create any lack in my GRE preperation based on ur 90 days guideline whe i don’t have magoosh tutorial? Is there any alternative way to overcome it? or any seperate guideline for me?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike April 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

      I’m very sorry, but not using Magoosh will mean you will have to find another source to learn the content. I know that you will not find material of the quality of Magoosh any cheaper, so if there’s any way you can afford it, it would really help you. Short of that, maybe do Google searches for sources of grammar and math content — you will have to be resourceful in finding ways to learn content. Remember, of course, our free blog will always be valuable as well. Best of luck to you!
      Mike 🙂

  34. varun March 25, 2012 at 6:05 am #

    Hello mike ! The plan is really interesting and well made .I was wondering if this is enough to get a score of 320+ if i follow it perfectly.Another thing is i have McGraw hill and Manhattan not in paper but in my computer will it have the same effect ?

    Varun

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette March 26, 2012 at 11:20 am #

      Hi, Varun

      I’ll let Mike answer the score question, but as for the digital vs. paper copies of Manhattan and McGraw Hill, assuming the main content is identical and the names of the sections are the same, you should have no problem using the digital versions, since you’ll still be studying the same material.

      The only tricky part is that Mike specifies page numbers in his study schedules, and we’ve been told by other students that for McGraw Hill, at least, that the pages in the e-book don’t match up to the pages in the actual book (not too sure about Manhattan just yet).

      Here’s how to “translate” the pages we specify from book to ebook for McGraw-Hill:

      If you click “Search inside this book” under the picture of the book on the Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/McGraw-Hills-Conquering-New-GRE-Math/dp/0071495959/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332537914&sr=8-1

      you’ll be able to look at the table of contents, which will tell you which section we’re assigning based on the page numbers. For example, for Week Two, Day One: “2) In McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE Math read pp. 3-7” is Part I: Introduction, which I’m hoping is still labeled as such in your e-book. For Week Two, Day Two “pp. 9-14” is Chapter 3: GRE Quantiative Comparison Questions under Part II: Types of GRE Math Questions.

      Does that make sense? I’m sorry that it’s going to take some back-and-forth referencing on your part, but hopefully it’s a pretty straightforward match once you figure out the sections for the page numbers.

      Let me know if you need any help with this or have any other questions!

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike March 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      Varun: The question you ask about score is hard to answer. It depends on so many things. What is the approximate range of your current score? How fast do you learn? How strong is your memory? etc etc. As you may know, Magoosh has a 5 point score increase guarantee, and many of our clients experience much more than that. Of course, if you buy Magoosh, you will automatically have custom support that will answer any GMAT question from any prep source — it’s like buying online help for your McGraw Hill & MGRE books. I would say: if you purchase Magoosh, and if you can follow this plan religiously, and if you can learn & remember as you go, then I would think a score in the 320 range would be eminently doable. That’s my best guess, without knowing more about you individually.
      Mike 🙂

    • pat.vat July 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

      Hi,
      whether you have the soft copy (pdf/ebook) of manhattan gre set?
      pl let me knw

      • Mike MᶜGarry
        Mike July 15, 2012 at 9:51 am #

        Dear Pat Vat,
        In the Magoosh office, we have our own hard copies of the MGRE set. No, we do not even have the soft copies ourselves, and we certainly do not have the soft copies to make available to customers. You would have to get MGRE materials from MGRE or from amazon.com or something like that.
        Mike 🙂

  35. Vikram March 22, 2012 at 1:40 am #

    So if I take the GRE in August or September, can I make the admission deadlines of most US universities?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike March 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

      Once again, let me remind you, I know nothing about admission deadlines: you need to look at the websites or literature of the actual programs to which you are going to apply. To the best of my knowledge, if you are seeking admission to programs for September 2013, then I would have to imagine that getting the GREs out of the way by this August or September, 2012 would be plenty of time. I have never heard of any program of any kind that had a deadline for admission over a year before the entry date. If I had to guess, for grad programs beginning in September 2013, I would think admission deadlines would be in the late fall 2012 or winter 2012-2013. Again, that’s purely a guess. I urge you in the strongest possible terms to get factual information from the actual programs. Does that make sense?
      Mike 🙂

  36. Vikram March 21, 2012 at 4:11 am #

    Thanks for your reply.I am no way related to biology; I am pursuing my B.tech 3rd year in Electronics and Communication engineering…It will be over by 2013. I want to pursue MS in CSE or ECE department,so i want to take the GRE for this purpose. Hope you have a clear picture now…I want you to suggest the best colleges offering the above mentioned courses through GRE and their deadlines…Is it that can i take GRE in any month after May and get admission in 2013?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike March 21, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      Vikram: I’m sorry for the confusion — I interpreted B.tech as “biotechnology”, a typical abbreviation. By B.tech, you seem to be referring to the degree, which I would call a B.S, a Bachelor’s of Science. So, you are currently pursuing a BS in EE & Communications. Once again, I know zilch about graduate programs in these fields. All I can tell you is how to be successful in the GRE. You may look at that website I quoted to look for other degrees — for example, here are search results for programs in EE: http://www.gradschools.com/search-programs/term-electrical-engineering, and here are the search results for CS http://www.gradschools.com/search-programs/computer-science. Again, talking to your professors or possibly finding a guidebook for your suggested disciplines would help you in your search for programs. I typed the search phrase “guide to graduate schools” at amazon.com, and several books came up: I would definitely suggest getting one of those. Once you have some particular programs in mind, those individual places would tell you both the deadlines and the GRE requirements. You definitely definitely will need the general GRE, and whether you also need a subject GRE depends on the degree you will pursue and where you pursue it. Ideally, you would take both your general GRE and your subject GRE before the end of the summer, so that one the autumn semester begins, you will be able to focus on coursework and applications. I wish I could tell you more, but these questions are really outside of my ken. I hope what I’ve shared here is helpful. Mike 🙂

  37. Vikram March 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Thanx for ur valuable reply…I will have summer vacation for 45days starting from 5/1…Is this time period enough to crack GRE…If so for how much time should I study and what books to follow?Can you please give me details of admission deadlines for various schools and what is the differnce between general and subject gre?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike March 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

      Vikram: First of all, I would say, 45 days would be enough if preparing for the GRE is going to be your *sole focus* during that time. You could adjust any of these 90-day plans just by doing two days of work on the plan for each real day of time. That way, you could do, for example, the entire plan on this page. That would probably be as much as anyone could do in 45 days — that would be 5-7 hours per day.

      Second, as far as deadline for schools — I know zilch. I know a lot about the GRE. I know very little about graduate programs in biotechnology. I did find this link: http://www.gradschools.com/search-programs/biotechnology —- I don’t know whether that’s helpful. You probably should get recommendations from your current professors, or perhaps you can find a guidebook comparing programs. Here are other links that may be helpful: http://pdx.edu/sites/www.pdx.edu.biology/files/THINKING%20OF%20APPLYING.pdf, and http://biology.brown.edu/bug/download/Grad_School_Guide_update_%202008.pdf. Ultimately, you probably will have to contact each program directly, and look at their calendar to see the admission deadlines.

      Finally, everything on this blog and everything that Magoosh offers concerns the general GRE — the general GRE has a math section and verbal section, with all the question types we discuss here. By contrast, the subject test — which for you probably would be Biology — that’s a very different thing. That’s a 3-hour test on absolutely nothing but biology,including all branches of biology. You can find some information about that here: http://www.ets.org/gre/subject/about/content/biology. If you want to get a master’s degree in biology or biotechnology, I would imagine most programs would require the Biology GRE, but again, you would have to check with each program individually.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Mike 🙂

  38. Vikram March 17, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    I am presently studying btech 3rd year…I want to pursue MS in US after my btech…so when should I write the exam and how to prepare for it…I want to start my prep from May1st

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike March 19, 2012 at 11:26 am #

      Vikram: I would say, the first order of business is to find out when your admission deadlines are and when you would have to take the GRE for those schools Check, also, whether in addition to the general GRE, you will also have to take a subject GRE for those schools. That will let you know the framework in which you are working. Within that framework, it’s really up to you. I assume you are starting your studying on 5/1 because your semester will be over then, and you will have the free time of summer to study for the GRE. If summer will allow you to study a great deal for the GRE, and once the fall semester begins you won’t have much time, it might make sense to take your GRE at the end of the summer — prep like crazy for the GRE over the summer, and then take it when you are in top form at the end of the summer. I suggest that only because I can imagine that once you begin the coursework of senior year in the autumn semester, you won’t have much extra time for GRE studying. Does that make sense? Mike 🙂

  39. Praveen March 6, 2012 at 6:57 am #

    God, this must have required a lot of research and planning! I wish you had come up with this few months back as I would be taking my GRE in a month 🙁

    But still, great work! Cheers 🙂

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike McGarry March 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

      Thank you for your kind words. Good luck on the exam!
      Mike 🙂


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