Update: This study schedule is available in a redesigned, printable version!
For those who are focused and ambitious, the 30-day GRE study schedule is great, as long as you have the time to put in. If you feel that life will intrude in one form or another, or if you need to improve your score by hundreds of points, then this guide for the Revised GRE may not be for you. (Not sure how much you need to improve your score? Review our post, What Is a Good GRE Score?)
Remember, this is an aggressive plan, and you will need to be able to dedicate, on average, 2-3 hours a day. Also, if you are a geometry whiz or a reading comprehension guru, feel free to skip the sections you know you don’t need to review; the guide can be customized to your strengths and weaknesses.
This is a general, weekly version of the 30 day study guide—if you’d like a more detailed, step-by-step daily breakdown with more of a focus on math basics, you should use the daily version of the 30 day schedule. Do you have longer than a month to study? Check out our other GRE study plans!
30-Day GRE Study Guide Table of Contents
- Making the most of your 30-day study schedule
- Study materials:
- The study plan:
Making the Most of Your GRE Study Guide
Before you begin, check out some strategies for making the most of your study schedule.
Do you need to adapt this study schedule to meet your needs? Check out this blog post for adjustment tips!
- Magoosh GRE Prep
- ETS’s PowerPrep Online (Test 1 and Test 2)
- If you prefer to take the practice test on paper, you can print out ETS’s practice test PDF. Take note that the PowerPrep software and the paper-based test have overlapping material, so it won’t be of much help to do both, unless you space them out far enough so that you won’t recognize the questions and answers! I recommend using PowerPrep Online if you can, since taking the test on a computer is a better simulation of test-day conditions. Also, PowerPrep comes with two tests. The PDF is only one test, which overlaps with Test 2 from PowerPrep Online.
- Magoosh’s online GRE Vocabulary Flashcards and GRE Math Flashcards. They’re free and you can use them on the web, on your iPhone/iPad or Android!
- Index Cards (Quizlet.com)
- ETS Official Guide 2nd. edition
- 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.
- One of the Manhattan GRE Guides (gives access to one free online practice test, with additional practice tests available for purchase)
A note about additional materials:
Magoosh contains all the information you need for wild success on the exam and many students have achieved spectacular results using nothing but Magoosh. Nevertheless, this plan recommends that you buy additional materials and use them, in addition to the Magoosh materials. Here’s why: These plans were structured with far-reaching pedagogical principles in mind, and a deep consideration for how the human brain learns. Most people cannot hear or read something just once and, from that single hearing, remember it completely and understand it fully.
At Magoosh, we are very ambitious for our students; we want them to learn as thoroughly and as masterfully as possible. We recommend using these additional resources to provide additional practice, alternative explanations, and extra review. Not every student will need or want additional materials, but for those who do, the books we recommend are the best for the overall goal of doing very well on the exam.
- Brush up on math fundamentals
- Learn basics for approaching verbal questions
- Read two articles from recommended resources
- Learn 150 new words (Remember the importance of context)
- Begin watching Magoosh lesson videos, especially the Intro to the GRE
- Watch all of the General Math Strategies lessons, the Arithmetic and Fraction lessons, the Percents and Ratio lessons, and the Integer Properties
- Practice concepts seen in lesson videos by using the Magoosh “Quiz” feature.
- Go through every easy and medium question relating to Arithmetic, Percents, Ratios and Powers and Roots. Watch videos whenever necessary. Be able to answer each missed question accurately
- Additional questions relating to the different concepts can be found in the GRE guide.
- Watch Text Completions Overview Lesson Videos all the way up to Text Completion Sentence Shifts (Practice with easy questions in the product)
- Practice 30 Text Completion Questions at Easy to Medium Difficulty
- Watch about half of the Magoosh Reading Comprehension lesson videos.
- Practice approximately 30+ questions from Reading Comp practice questions, watching video when necessary
- Make flashcards out of words you did not know, and reference vocabulary.com
- Read two articles from the New Yorker/Atlantic Monthly/Economist. Find fifty words you do not know. Reference in vocabulary.com and make flashcards on Quizlet.com (articles should be 4 – 15 pages).
- Write a quick summary or review of one of the two articles you read, threading GRE words you learned that week (can come from any of the sources, e.g. lesson, questions, etc) and apply them where appropriate. (Exercising your writing muscle will also hope with AWA).
- Practice the first four decks in the GRE Math Flashcards. Review a little each day.
- Learn 150 new vocabulary words while reviewing words from previous week.
- Make sure you are confident in the lessons covered from week 1. Revisit whenever you feel you’ll need a refresher. Many concepts from this week will build off of last week.
- Work your way through the Magoosh lesson videos, making sure you do the follow-up quizzes after each lesson group
- Work through Algebra, Equations, and Inequalities lessons, the Word Problem lessons, and the Powers and Roots
- Try 100+ practice questions dealing with these concepts (yep, that’s at least 100. I told you this study plan is not for the meek!).
- Finish watching all Verbal lessons in Magoosh.
- Complete 75+ questions from Text Completions, Sentence Equivalence, and Reading Comprehension.
- Take PowerPrep Online Test 1 (grade and watch video explanations for these questions for those questions you missed or that you were not 100% confident on.)
Read two articles. This time, make sure the content is different. If you read something from science last week, focus on business. Or history or social commentary. Write two reviews this week. Remember to thread in any GRE vocabulary words you have learned since beginning of this study guide.
- Take Practice Test 1 from the GRE Official Guide 2nd. edition. Review your mistakes by watching my videos. For those who are very ambitious, or looking to score above 80%, also take a Manhattan GRE online practice test (these tend to be sightly more difficult than the actual GRE test).
- Practice the next four decks in the GRE Math Flashcards. Review a little each day.
- Complete all math modules except Probability
- Customize sessions to focus on areas where you need the most work
- Learn 200 hundred new words for this week
- Revisit lessons in which you struggled or in which you continue to miss questions, e.g. if you struggle with Data Interpretation and Paragraph Argument, make sure to re-watch lessons and then do follow-up questions
We would only recommend that you spend time on probability lessons if you are already advanced at math. The test will have very few probability questions (1 or 2), yet students tend to obsess over this question type, spending a great proportion of their precious one month trying to understand the concept. Because probability questions are so rare on the GRE, it’s better to focus on other “low-hanging fruit.” That said, a basic overview of probability couldn’t hurt, especially if you feel strong at other areas in math. Otherwise, you might want to skip studying it. If you had more time than 30 days, then you could definitely spend more time focusing on probability questions. 🙂
- Quiz yourself on vocabulary from the first two weeks. Total 300 words. Try 50 words at random. A passing rate is 80%.
- Complete 150 math problems based on those areas in which you need the most practice
- Complete another 75+ Verbal questions
- Read three articles – the more challenging the better. Make sure you are getting your vocabulary from here, as well as from practice questions. Attempt to use 25 GRE vocabulary words in a 3-page review and summary of all three articles.
- Take a full-length PowerPrep Test (Test 2). For high scorers, take another Manhattan GRE practice test (two if you are very motivated).
- Use Manhattan GRE/ETS Official Guide 2nd. edition for extra practice
- Finish going through the decks in the GRE Math Flashcards. Review a little each day.
You are in the home stretch…you have done a good job getting this far, but now you need to really push full-steam ahead.
- Feel confident in your approach to the different types of questions
- Prepare yourself, as much as possible, for the high-pressure environment of the actual test
- Start doing the hard questions (and very hard, if you’ve answered more than 70% of Magoosh questions correctly)
- Create mock tests from Magoosh, doing 20 questions at a time for a mock verbal section. Get your timer and give yourself 30 minutes. Even if you’ve seen questions before it doesn’t matter. Do them again.
- Take a total of 4 mock verbal sections. Try to do at least two of them back to back with alternating math sections.
- For math you will want to do 20 questions, giving yourself a total of 35 minutes per section. You will want to do at least four timed sections. If possible see if you can do six
- At the end of each section tabulate your score to see how you are doing
- Learn 150 new words. Also make sure you review every Magoosh vocabulary blog post, and make sure you know all the words
- Take a final vocabulary quiz, testing yourself on 600 words you’ve learned
- Keep reviewing the GRE Math Flashcards, a little each day.
- Take PowerPrep Online Test 2
- For the high achievers, take another Manhattan GRE practice test
Get a good night’s sleep before the test.
Do your best to follow this list, and you will improve dramatically in a very short time. Again, if you can’t commit the hours to this study plan, you may want to consider postponing your test.
Good luck… and remember, I’m always just a click away. Let me know whenever you have a question!