How Much of a Score Increase is Possible on the GRE?

If you are thinking of retaking the GRE, then don’t hope for a few more points. Aim much higher. If you scored 150 on Verbal, then look for a 160. If you score 137 in Verbal, then aim for 150. If you scored 162 on Math, then aim for 168. A lot of this is very dependent on what percentile you’re at and how much room you have for GRE score improvement.

GRE score increase - image by Magoosh

On Oct. 1st., 1932, the American baseball player Babe Ruth stepped to the plate. It was the sixth inning of the World Series, so a lot was at stake. Most players would walk gingerly to bat, take a deep breath, and hope for the best. Ruth, upon coming to the plate, lifted his finger, and pointed towards centerfield. The gesture was clear: he was going to hit a home run. After a few pitches, he did just that, sending the ball an estimated 450 feet from home plate.

Improve your GRE score with Magoosh.

Now I don’t mean to encourage Ruth’s brash mix of hubris and chutzpah. Yet, given the gravity of the moment, Ruth could have easily been content with a single. He aimed high—literally—and now his homerun has been forever memorialized.

There’s a chance you may fall short of your GRE goal; even then, you may very well amaze yourself with your score differential. I’ve had a few Babe Ruths, so to speak, over the years, students who set what many would deem unrealistically high expectations. Their unrelenting determination and belief in their own capabilities made their score improvements possible (we can boast a Magoosh user who improved by 27 points!).

If you scored very well– ask yourself, is it even worth taking the exam again?

So the answer to the question posed in the title is wherever you want to point. That is, whatever score you believe you are capable of.

At the same time, there are constraints. Babe Ruth had a lifetime of practice to help him drive the ball 400 plus feet. Many of my students studied for months and months. Nonetheless, with even one month of prep you can still increase your score significantly.

All that said, you will need more than just raw willpower to help you hit a GRE homerun, to continue the metaphor. Use this blog as much as possible, digesting the tips and strategies. You will learn to tackle everything from a grueling three-blank Text Completion to stress management during the test. Most importantly, you will learn about the best way to go out about preparing for the test, so that when you sit down to the computer you will be able to make the most of your potential.


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  • Chris Lele

    Chris Lele is the Principal Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh. Chris graduated from UCLA with a BA in Psychology and has 20 years of experience in the test prep industry. He's been quoted as a subject expert in many publications, including US News, GMAC, and Business Because. In his time at Magoosh, Chris has taught countless students how to tackle the GRE, GMAT, SAT, ACT, MCAT (CARS), and LSAT exams with confidence. Some of his students have even gone on to get near-perfect scores. You can find Chris on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook!

128 Responses to How Much of a Score Increase is Possible on the GRE?

  1. Amna August 24, 2019 at 2:22 am #


    I recently gave the GRE exam and got a score of 315, 158 in verbal (80th percentile) and 157 in quant (68th percentile). I need a score of 325 or above for the schools I am applying to for masters. Being generally good at math, I am quite surprised that I am not scoring higher in Quant. With Quant one type of Qs I struggle with are quantitative comparisons, they always take me longer than they should I don’t know why. And one major problem I have with Quant is that sometimes I get stuck on a Q, because of a concept error or silly calculation error, and once I get stuck I spend a large portion of time on it and hence run out of time.

    But my greatest struggle right now is not knowing what to do different this time around. How to improve that is. Could you please give some insight into what I should do to improve my score given that I had learnt about more than 500 words for verbal, practiced my RC and practiced Quant Qs vigorously all from Manhattan. At this point I don’t know how to start again and how to improve. Nowhere to turn at this point I am really looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you.


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 6, 2019 at 6:26 pm #

      Hi Amna! I know you didn’t get the score you wanted, but I want to point out that the upper 150s is quite high, and you should be proud 🙂 I do have advice about how to address your problem with QC questions and with how to approach studying differently for your retake. We have an article that discusses the Error Log method: The goal with the error log is to identify gaps in your knowledge or problem solving habits that need adjustment. It can be hard to get a bird’s eye view without this method. This should help you learn from past mistakes on QC, as well as help with other quant questions and RC. QC on math and RC on verbal tend to be especially dependent on process of elimination. Exactly 100% of students can stand to sharpen their process of elimination skills, and the error log can help you identify issues and then fix them 🙂 Best of luck with your prep!

  2. Akarsh August 6, 2019 at 2:14 pm #

    I scored a 158 on verbal and a 155 on quant. I feel devastated that I couldn’t reach my score goal. I want to enter a master’s program in computer science. My practice tests consistently yielded between 158 and 167 on quant and 155 and 161 on verbal. My final score was the worst of all my practice exams. I am aiming at scoring a 165 on quant at least and a 158 to 163 on verbal. I prepared for around two months and have definitely put in over 60 hours on prep. I have no idea where I went wrong and definitely want to retake it again. Thank you for this post! Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • David Recine
      David Recine August 13, 2019 at 10:04 am #

      Hi Akarsh,

      Sorry to hear that your scores weren’t where they needed to be, particularly for Quant. That sounds frustrating and disappointing! I do have some suggestions for you.

      First and foremost, it’s important to carefully consider your exact strengths and weaknesses. Error logging can help. If you record your missed question the way described in Magoosh’s error logging tutorial, you can figure out exactly what kinds of questions cause you to lose points, and you can make a plan for how to target those weaknesses and improve.

      You may also want to slightly adjust your budgeting of time. In most of Magoosh’s study plans, we recommend over 100 hours of GRE prep per month, for example. (And those study plans also provide other examples of how to plan out and divide your GRE prep sessions.)

  3. Hunter June 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm #

    Hi! I just took my first practice test and got a 152 on verbal and 141 on quant. I haven’t started in-depth studying yet so I thought these scores were semi-decent, but I’m also realizing that I only have until August 25th to prepare, so about nine full weeks. My target scores are 161 for verbal and 156 for quant, but I’d love to shoot higher if I can. I’m looking to apply to PhD programs in clinical psychology and since they’re incredibly competitive I want to boost my GRE scores as much as possible, especially since I don’t have to worry all that much about my GPA (my GPA is a 3.85, and I don’t expect it to fall at all in the next two semesters). With the amount of time I have to study, is it possible to raise my scores as much as I want to? I don’t think I can afford a tutor, since most programs are at least $1,200, but I do have the Kaplan 2018 prep book and I’ve been considering buying a self-paced online tutoring program.
    Thank you!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 15, 2018 at 11:20 am #

      Hi Hunter,

      As you likely realized with the practice test, the GRE is a difficult test that requires strategy and practice. However, it is also a very learnable test; with some strategy, effort and dedication, you can certainly raise your score! It’s difficult to say how much you can raise your score in 9 weeks, because that depends on many internal and external factors, but since you took this test without studying, you definitely have the opportunity to reach your target score! The key is steady work, planning and sustained effort. I suggest that you take a look at our study schedules to get a sense for how you should structure your study time for maximum results 🙂
      I completely agree with your comment about many test prep companies–it’s crazy to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars for access to a test prep class! Here at Magoosh, our philosophy is that test prep should be affordable and fun. I recommend that you check out our GRE Premium Program, which delivers high-quality test prep resources at a fraction of the price of these other programs! You can give us a try with a free trial to see if we are a good fit for your needs 🙂

  4. Jess January 11, 2018 at 8:06 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I took the GRE several weeks ago, and although I scored well on the Verbal (164) I scored far below my expected/desired score on Quant (152). I was very surprised and disappointed, because I studied for several months/over 100 hours-focusing most of my time on quant, and before I took the GRE my practice test quant scores were consistently between 157 and 160.

    I’m taking the GRE again in 5 weeks, and hoping to score at least a 157 on quant. I plan on dedicating another 40+ hours to quant study during the next 5 weeks.

    I want to figure out how to best spend this time to ensure I get the score I need next time around (157+) Do you have any tips?

    One thing that threw me off is the question format on Magoosh – which has been my main study resource- and the question format on the actual GRE are very different from each other (especially the quant comparison questions) so not sure if that threw me off, or if it’s just a nerves and time management issue. I felt like I did much better than a 152 – so wondering where I went wrong and how to best boost my future score.

    Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide!


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 11, 2018 at 1:39 pm #

      Hi Jess,

      If your score in a given section is unusually low on test day, lower than your practice tests, you can usually recover. When a low score is the exception and not the rule, the trick is to figure out exactly why that exception occurred– what went wrong on test day.

      As for additional insight, you situation is a bit complex, and you should probably talk with one of our email tutors. I see that you’re a Magoosh GRE Premium subscriber and are eligible for that kind of email support. I’ll get someone form our student help team in touch with you ASAP. 🙂

      • Hust October 19, 2019 at 6:44 am #

        I am currently working on gre prep. As my past score is not satisfactory level,I want to improve 20 point from less then 290 score. Pls advice me how time to take recover this score from here within 2 month? Which topics more important in gee quant?
        Is magoosh study schedule enough? Is magoosh rate awa now?

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 25, 2019 at 1:03 pm #

          Hi Hust, I passed your question on to our team of test prep experts. You’ll hear from someone shortly 🙂

    • April March 6, 2018 at 8:52 pm #

      I scored 149 on verbal, 146 on quant with little prep, I took a very expensive course but the reality of my schedule and personal life really interfered with my ability to dedicate the hours a day needed outside just sitting in the class… I need to at least get a 155 on each section. It is March 6th and I need to have the test taken by August in order to leave at least a month for me to prep for my subject test in September so I can apply by 12/1/18…How long would it take to get about a 310

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 10, 2018 at 12:24 pm #

        Hi April,

        Thanks for reaching out to Magoosh! I see that you’ve become a Premium Magoosh student since writing this comment–it sometimes takes us time to get through all of the comments on our blogs, so I’m sorry we didn’t get back to you more quickly! I’m going to forward your message on to our team of tutors so that they can help you to reflect in your past performance, strengths and weaknesses and help you design a study timeline to fit your needs 😀 You’ll get a response from someone in a separate email in less than 24 hours 🙂 As a reminder, you can always send questions like this to [email protected] or through the purple Help tab in your Premium account!

  5. Sai manju December 20, 2017 at 7:57 am #

    I got 291. Is it possible to get more than 320? If yes, How long should I prepare?

    • Sai manju December 20, 2017 at 8:05 am #

      I got 141 – V and 151 – 140

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 20, 2017 at 9:26 am #

      Hi Sai,

      It is possible, but you should be expected to work hard for an extended period of time. This is especially important for the verbal section–you will need to work on building ‘big-picture’ verbal skills which takes some time. I recommend that you check out our 6-month plan–you will want to study for at least six months in order to see such a large increase!

      • Yamuna shrestha January 20, 2020 at 7:12 pm #

        I score very low Iam disappointed with it verbal 130 and quant. 143 what should I do

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 9, 2020 at 2:05 pm #

          I’m sorry to hear your GRE scores aren’t quite where they need to be. That sounds frustrating! In cases like this, the trick is to figure out exactly where your strengths and weaknesses lie for each section. What question types, skills, and content are giving you the most trouble? And what aspects of Quant and Verbal are you the most confident in? Once you’ve figured this out, you can use targeted practice to work on specific weakensses and build on your strengths.

          One of the best ways to figure out your strengths and weaknesses is an error log. Magoosh offers a free tutorial on error logging here: . And with a Magoosh GRE subscription, you cna receive additional free support for error logging, both through our Custom Practice software, and through the tutors on our email support team. Hope this helps, and take heart– many students have faced challenges across both sections and overcome them with error logging and careful follow-up study.

  6. T. November 14, 2017 at 7:14 am #

    Hi Chris, thanks for a great article. I have a dilemma: I am in the process of applying to the school of my dreams. The deadline is coming up in December. I am not the greatest standardized test taker; although, I am a great test taker. For instance, (I have two master degrees), I took the GMAT’s twice, took a prep-course at a great university on-campus, and I did sub-par both times, slightly better the second time. Thankfully, I was taking classes in the program for my MBA and was getting all A’s in the coursework, so I was admitted into the program, since it was clear I was excelling in the coursework. I am applying to an ivy league institution for one of their PhD programs, so the competition is immense.

    Question: If you were me, given the scenario above, would you A) study really hard for one month and take the test once and hope for the best score – since I will have one month to study. B) Take the test next Tuesday (study for 7-days) to gain some familiarity with the test and hopefully get a better score than taking the test one time. Also, any good resources you could recommend? I met a PhD student at one of the information sessions for the school and the student mentioned it’s all about the math tricks (which is probably my weakest point for the test). How much time should I study each day?

    Thanks for your time and advice in advance!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 16, 2017 at 9:03 am #

      Hi T.,

      The first thing that struck me, as I read your description of your situation, is that your record of excellent graduate-level academic performance can help make up for a middling-to-low GRE score, if you get a lower score. But then, you’ll want to aim for a good GRE score if possible, I’m sure.

      I’d recommend taking the GRE a month from now, without taking an initial “practice” GRE in the first week of study. I recommend avoiding a practice GRE for a few reasons. First off, it’s a very expensive way to practice. Second, the main benefit of taking an actual exam for practice is to get a feel for what the real test is like. You’ve already sat for the GMAT, an exam similar to the GRE, so you already should have a good idea of what the test center atmosphere of the GRE will feel like. And you can experience the GRE software/computer interface for free at home, simply by taking an online PowerPrep test.

      As for math tricks, you’ve touched on something very important by mentioning that. Although the GRE does allow for calculator use, unlike the the GMAT, most GRE math problems are best solved mentally. You’ll want to use the same kinds of mental math operations, tricks, and shortcuts you’d use on the GMAT. More often than not, calculator use on the GRE turns out to be a trap, because it’s easier to key in mistakes or take unnecessary extra steps/time if you use a calculator.

      Also, to maximize your chances of getting a good score, I really would suggest buying a set of solid prep materials. The three official GRE books from ETS (the OG, Quant problems, Verbal problems), are vary valuable. But you also may want to consider a subscription to Magoosh GRE Premium, especially since our premium videos and questions would allow you to follow one of our GRE study plans. Our one month daily GRE study plan and one month weekly GRE plan may be especially good for you.

  7. Sumit Aggarwal November 10, 2017 at 4:28 am #

    I was appeared for the practise test for GRE without preparing anything.I scored 154 QA & 142 in VA. I have around 8 months for study.if i prepared 3 hours a day there is any possibility for scoring around 325.I am taking 8 months because i need to improve english from scratch.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 10, 2017 at 9:56 am #

      Great question, Summit. I’d say that with 8 months to study at a few hours a day, you definitely have a chance at boosting your score to 325. How good of a chance? That depends on exactly how much you need to improve on your English, especially when it comes to vocabulary and reading skills.

  8. Vatsal Makani October 28, 2017 at 10:12 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I have scored 303 (Q-159 and V-144) and AWA 3.0. I want to increase the score to 320+ in 1 month’s preparation time. I feel that verbal is my weakest area and inspite of following all your videos, I ended up scoring less. Probably could account for English Vocabulary problem or something else(Don’t know exactly). Please suggest me on this, since i will just have 1 month(or less) for the same. Coming to quants, i want to boost the score to 165+. I am good at working with maths, but i feel silly mistakes and HARD section didn’t work out well. Please provide some suggestions and plan i can follow judiciously!! Thanks 🙂

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 29, 2017 at 11:29 am #

      Hi Vatsal! Since you are a Premium student, I forwarded this question on to our team of test prep experts who can provide you with more personalized advice. You should hear from them soon!

  9. Ams August 17, 2017 at 11:55 am #


    I just took my first practice test (no revision) and got 169 in verbal (woo hoo!) and 150 in quant (less woohoo!). I read all the time – I’m definitely a promiscuous and prolific reader and I am extremely confident in my vocab. While I’m aware that this score could be a fluke, I felt very comfortable with the questions and the structure of the test. However the 150 is worrying me in quant, as my dream school doesn’t give target scores but says that below 50th percentile is weak and above 75% is strong, so I probably need at least 157 or 158 to be in a safe zone. Can I basically ignore revising for verbal and focus on quant, or is this too risky? I have created a study plan for 120 hours worth of maths revision and GRE general prep, which according to other guides means that I could see up to a 15 point bump … but I don’t know how accurate this is.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 18, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

      Hi Ams,

      While I would not suggest ignoring verbal completely, you are in a good position to focus primarily on the math part of the exam. I would still work in a few hours a week of (a) verbal strategy learning and (b) quality reading to maintain stamina and acuity. But otherwise, I am behind your plans. Good luck!

  10. Tasvirul June 29, 2017 at 8:57 am #

    Hi, I have a premium account in Magoosh. Started practicing the verbal section and after answering 100 verbal question the the predicted score in verbal is showing 146-151. My target score is 155+ . Is it achievable within two and half month of studying?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 29, 2017 at 11:07 am #

      To make a long story short, yes. With that kind of score projection, you definitely have shot at 155+ in 2+ months. 🙂 Since you’re a premium user, I’ll also have our Student Help Team reach out to you by email to give you extra advice as needed. 🙂

  11. Sirish June 11, 2017 at 6:53 am #

    I took my GRE test and I’ve scored 295 ( Q:152 V:143). I have to improve my scores to get a total of 310 or 310+ i.e ( 160+ Q and 150+V). Is it achievable in a span of 2 months?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 14, 2017 at 11:42 am #

      Hi Sirish,

      I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t reach your target score on the GRE! You are looking for a 15 point score increase in 2 months. We don’t see score increases of this magnitude very often….I won’t saw it’s impossible, but it will take a lot of time and effort to achieve! If possible, I recommend that you try to study for longer than 2 months. In general, the longer you study, the more likely you will improve your score. If you can extend your studies by at least a month, you have a better chance of reaching your target score!

      I recommend that you take a look at the advice we’ve given to other students in the comments on this blog! We have already given a lot of advice on how best to improve your score in a retake.First, take a look at this blog post on how to prepare for a retake. .

      Before you begin your studies, it would be a good idea to look over your previous GRE to see what areas you struggled in. ETS has a great resource for students that will break down their test by question type, pacing time, and question difficulty: ETS Score Diagnostic.

      I would recommend that you utilize a test prep resource if you’re not already. If you want to get a better sense of what we have to offer, I would suggest signing up for our free 1-week GRE trial. This will allow you to see how the site works and try out a selection of lesson videos and practice questions. You should also know that if you buy a full membership, you’re protected by our 7-day money-back guarantee—contact us within a week of your purchase and we’ll give you a full refund for any reason. 🙂

  12. Nasah May 20, 2017 at 6:26 am #

    So my GRE is on the 7th of JUNE. I’m consistently scoring >308 < 318 on my tests. My math is one can say around 164 level but somehow always mess up and score around 156-158. What do you propose I do? I need to get in YALE for my MBA but somehow I don't see that happening..

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 21, 2017 at 1:58 am #

      Boosting your math from 156-158 to 164 should be doable. But exactly how you boost your score depends on a lot of factors. Carefully study your mistakes and weaknesses. Think about exactly why you’re getting certain Quant questions wrong. Then improve in areas where you need to improve. This approach to your studies should raise your Quant score to where it needs to be.

  13. SadGirl May 13, 2017 at 7:59 am #


    I scored a 146 V and 152 Q, 152 is what I need in both sections. Is the 5 point increase guarantee overall for both scores? How possible is it that I can increase my score from a 146 to a 152 in a month? I found that my weakness in Verbal was primarily time, and vocabulary.


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 13, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

      Hi there,

      First of all, I’m sorry to hear that your exam didn’t go as hoped, but don’t be too down, you can still make improvements!

      So, if you get the Premium subscription, we guarantee an increase of 5 points on your overall score. Definitely feel free to check out this page for more details for eligibility.

      There is a lot you can do to improve your score within a month. I would suggest signing up for our free 1-week GRE trial. This will allow you to see how the site works and try out a selection of lesson videos and practice questions. You should also know that if you buy a full membership, you’re protected by our 7-day money-back guarantee—contact us within a week of your purchase and we’ll give you a full refund for any reason. Also, to start, take a look at our study plans, and our free vocabulary resources:

      Magoosh Blog: GRE Vocabulary
      GRE Vocabulary Flashcards
      Vocabulary Builder
      Vocabulary eBook

      These resources should be a good start. As you study, you’ll be able to better identify what is causing your pacing to slow down in Verbal. I hope this helps! 🙂

  14. Noreen April 14, 2017 at 5:43 pm #

    Hi, I scored a 141 in my verbal and a 146 in my quant. I need to score a 150 in both. Any tips on how I can do so? I plan on retesting in 1.5-2 months. Any feedback will help. Thanks.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 16, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

      Hi Noreen,

      I would recommend that you utilize a test prep resource if you’re not already. If you want to get a better sense of what we have to offer, I would suggest signing up for our free 1-week GRE trial. This will allow you to see how the site works and try out a selection of lesson videos and practice questions. You should also know that if you buy a full membership, you’re protected by our 7-day money-back guarantee—contact us within a week of your purchase and we’ll give you a full refund for any reason. 🙂

      In addition, I would work with a study schedule to give structure to my studies. If so, check out our study plans!

      Finally, I would recommend that you consider using an error log to identify your weaknesses and common mistakes. For each question you get wrong, write down the question number, the source, question type, and concept tested. Then write down answers to the following questions:

      Why you missed the question?
      Why your answer is wrong?
      Why the correct answer is correct?
      What will you do to avoid this next time around?

      Return to your error log often. Focus on these areas for more improvement! Good luck! 😀

  15. Magoosh Test Prep Expert
    Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 23, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    Hi Stevani,

    I won’t say that reaching that score is impossible, but it will take a lot of hard work and we can’t guarantee it. You should know that on average, our users increase their scores by about 8 points overall. While many students have increased their score more than that, we don’t see an increase of the magnitude you’re talking about very often.

    Especially for verbal, there’s no magic way to drastically improve your score overnight. The verbal section is testing your overall ability to use and understand the English language. That’s a large task and one that takes a lot of time (I would say at least 3 months) to fully prepare for. I would definitely recommend reading this post:

    How Long Should I Study for the GRE?

    With respect to verbal improvement, you should be reading all the time to prepare for the GRE. Read. Read. Read. This will help you to learn new words, see different passage structures, and become familiar with the forms and styles employed by authors 🙂 As you read, make flashcards of the vocabulary words that you don’t know. Pause every so often, and recap the main message in your own words. Here are some suggested reading materials:

    The New York Times
    The Economist
    Arts & Letters Daily
    The New Yorker

    For some specific articles suggestions, I’d recommend browsing through our “GRE Article of the Month” series. About once a month, Chris selects an GRE-level article and provides both GRE vocabulary for you to focus on as you read, as well as a brief discussion of the piece.

    And if you would rather read books than articles, check out this post for fiction and non-fiction book recommendations!

    For tips on how to use these reading sources to learn really vocabulary in context, check out these blog posts:

    Vocabulary in Context
    Reading Vocabulary in Context: Where Should I Start?

    With respect to the math section, you first need to know all the individual math facts cold. If, for an individual question, you need to know the formula for the area of a triangle or how to factor a quadratic, you should just have those basic skills BAM! at your fingertips. You need to have essentially instant recall on the basics. That’s step one. Once you know all the basics very well, then you have to get good at problem-solving strategy — in any math problem, there are often several things that mathematically we could do, and it’s important to discern what would be the most efficient solution. Focusing on that will help with speed. We talk a great deal about this in the articles on the blog, and the Magoosh lesson videos also cover strategic mathematical thinking. On this topic, here is a blog you may find helpful:

    How To Do GRE Math Faster

    I hope you’ll find this advice useful!

    • Ste February 15, 2017 at 10:41 pm #

      Dear Magoosh,

      Thank you so much for the helpful advice. GBU

  16. Ansh January 18, 2017 at 7:15 am #

    Hi , I’m 43 years old and an immigrant to USA and I’m finding the math VERY difficult – I can’t even pass the quizzes on Magoosh. Moreover, I am applying for a very competitive Masters in Speech Pathology and only a small percentage of students are admitted.

    I am not sure whether to give up and find a less competitive career or whether the GRE test is learnable. I have not tested yet so I have no idea where I will score – all I know is that I did maths over 20 years ago and it was different to the maths now. For example,I had never heard of absolute values and number lines until I started Magoosh.

    My question is: Is the test learnable? If so, it might be worth dedicating a year or so to learning it. If not, I am better of going for another Masters that does not require the GRE at my age. Thanks.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 19, 2017 at 10:34 am #

      Hi Ansh,

      Great question! The math section of the GRE is absolutely learnable, but you are right that you may have to take some extra time to study if some of the concepts are unfamiliar to you. The questions on the GRE are difficult because they require you to apply basic math concepts in complex ways, so it’s really important to have a thorough understanding of these concepts before attempting the complicated GRE questions. This may be why you have struggled with the math quizzes!

      I recommend that you spend some time brushing up on your math basics before you move on to difficult GRE questions. This will allow you to focus on specific concepts and methods, particularly ones that you may have never seen before, so that you can gain a deeper understanding of them. Khan Academy is a great (free!) online resource for math basics. They have engaging and high-quality videos as well as practice problems for all of the concepts on the GRE.. McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New Math is also a great resource for working your way through the most fundamental math concepts on the GRE.

      I think that with time and dedication, you can definitely improve on your math skills! It will require a dedication to learning the math basics, but I think that you will definitely see positive improvement for your test 🙂

    • Ansh January 23, 2017 at 10:19 am #

      Thank you. I just ordered the book you recommended and recently started using Khan academy. Thanks for giving me some hope.

  17. Nermin December 25, 2016 at 1:18 am #

    Hello, I just did a trial exam and I scored 294 and i need to score 300 is it possible to increase my score by 6 points in 10 days? i got 148 in math and 146 in english.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 26, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

      Hi Nermin,

      A 6 point increase in 10 days is difficult, and we don’t see improvement of that magnitude very often. However, you can leverage your current knowledge and try your best for a score increase! If you work hard over the next 10 days, you should see some improvement 🙂 The best advice that I can give you is to focus on three things: question strategy, high-frequency vocab words, and math basics.

      On our blog, you will see hundreds of posts that cover the best strategies for each type of question. I recommend that you familiarize yourself with these strategies and practice them as much as possible. This means that you should know exactly how to answer a reading comprehension question and when to use methods such as plugging in for a quant comparison question. Understanding and being able to apply these strategies is an important first step for success and improvement on the GRE.

      I recommend that you check out the high-frequency vocab words in our Vocabulary eBook. These are the most important words to know, and once you feel comfortable with them you can move on to more vocabulary words 🙂

      One of the essential components of the math section is to understand the math basics. These basics make up the foundation of harder math questions, so understanding these is a great way to boost your math score. We have an entire section of our blog dedicated to mat basics, as well as a Math Formula eBook that you can use to make sure that you have all of the most important facts you need for the exam.

      I hope this helps! While there is no plan that can guarantee a 6 point increase in just 10 days, if you focus on improving your understanding and practicing as much as possible, you can definitely see some strong improvement 🙂

  18. H December 10, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    Hi chris,

    I want to to how long time will take to improve 35 score(20 in Quant,15 verbal) ? On practical aspects.Is it possible with in 1.5 month

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 10, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

      I won’t say that reaching that score is impossible, but it will take a lot of hard work, and it’s hard to say how long it might take. You should know that on average, for example, our users increase their scores by about 8 points overall. While many students have increased their score more than that, we don’t see an increase of the magnitude you’re talking about very often. If you are serious about such a large score increase in such a short amount of time, I would recommend a private tutor:

      Otherwise, I recommend that you give yourself as much time as possible. Many students work for many months (or even over a year) to see such large score increases. You can get an idea of how long you should study with this blog post:

  19. Mohamed November 26, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

    I got frustrated once i’ve seen my score which was 151 quant and 147 verbal. The problem is i did not know what went wrong with quant section as i was answering most of the questions well with comfort.
    My verbal section went quiet bad i found it very hard, indeed i was not comfortable with it during practice, in addition to the test cam up with a lot of obscured words. btw i memorized the 1000 words of magoosh. So do i have to memorize more words !?
    i feel i’ve done well in AWA
    anyway i am considering retaking it, but since i have college busy schedule and deadline’s pressure i want the best way to improve the quant as much as possible and to be comfortable with verbal and score as much as possible.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 27, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

      Hi Mohamed,

      I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t able to reach your target score. With regard to Quant, if you feel that you were answering with comfort, the question you want to ask yourself is “which section?” Please note that the exam is adaptive, so if you didn’t perform as well on the first section, you may have had an easier second section, which resulted in your ease of answering and your end score. In the first section, if you felt that it was also easy, it’s possible that you made some careless errors to result in the lower score. Regardless, I would check out this post.

      With regard to vocabulary, yes, you can study beyond the 1000 words. However, I would make sure to continue revisiting the words you’ve already studied, so that you don’t begin to forget words. The key is learning and not merely memorizing. So, use the words regularly. Another great way to practice and learn new words is through practicing problems. When you do problems, study any words that you don’t know, even if you get the answer correct. This is how you continuously get exposure to new words.

      I would definitely recommend using a test prep to give your studies structure, whether you choose to use Magoosh or another resource. If you haven’t already, try out a free 1-week trial! Good luck!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 27, 2016 at 7:19 pm #

      Hi Mohamed,

      I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t reach your desired score! I know it’s frustrating, but remember that many students study for months and do hundreds of practice questions before they see improvement. So, you have a great chance of seeing improvement 🙂

      For the verbal section, it’s not enough to memorize words! You need to understand how vocabulary works in context and have strong overall reading comprehension ability. This is something that takes time to build, and the best way to do this is through reading. We recommend that our students read for an hour every day. This will help you to build your ‘big picture’ verbal skills, and slowly but surely your verbal score will improve 🙂 We have some great resources for reading:

      The best way to improve your accuracy on quant questions is to first review your math basics. Basic math concepts make up the foundation of harder math questions, so it’s essential to be very familiar with these topics. Additionally, the better you are at the basics, the faster you’ll be at answering questions correctly.

      Your goal is to see a question and immediately know all of the information you need to solve that question efficiently. Our Math Formula eBook can help you do just that!

  20. root October 19, 2016 at 7:14 am #

    I took GRE yesterday and I scored 305 (Q 158 and V 147), I know where I am going wrong in verbal, almost every text completion and sentence equivalence are going wrong. Reading comprehension, it depends on the difficulty level. I also learned all the GRE 1000 words from magoosh and am able to retain around 70% of them. However, I felt that while answering most of the text completions and sentence equivalence, Im seeing words that are not there in the 1000 GRE words from magoosh. As I said where Im going wrong, I have no idea how to improve my verbal score. I also know where Im going wrong in quant (mostly ratio proportions, mixtures and aligations, number systems, standard deviation and probability. And again, I have no idea how to improve it. I already saw the related videos in magoosh, practised many questions but still im making the same mistakes in quant. As far as my AWA is concerned, Im not happy with my performance. I think my score will be around 2.5-3.5. How can I improve on all these issues given a time of only 21 days. I want a score of 320 approximately. Is it possible to improve from 305 to 320 in just 21 days given the above mentioned problems.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 20, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

      Hi there,

      A 15 point increase in 21 days is quite ambitious, and we don’t see it happen very often. It’s great that you have identified some of your weak points. This can help you to target exactly what you need to do in these 21 days for maximum improvement.

      The verbal section is testing your overall ability to process complex texts. This is a skill that takes time and effort to improve, and many people studying for the GRE spend months perfecting this skill! So the best thing that you can do to prepare for the GRE is to read, read, read as MUCH as possible! This will also help you with the vocabulary, since the GRE tests vocabulary in context more than just memorization or words (which is why you may have struggled with the vocabulary). You can see this blog post for some ideas on how to learn vocab in context, and this post with some ideas on what and how you should read.

      The AWA also requires practice! We also have a whole section of out blog dedicated to improving on the AWA, including practice, tips and strategies! Check it out.

      And finally, I see that you had a trial subscription in Magoosh linked to this email, but I wasn’t able to find your Premium account. If you don’t have a Premium account, you may not have seen all of the most relevant videos. In order to improve, you must know the strategies and concepts and get plenty of practice. If you don’t already have a Premium account, you might consider it. If you do, I recommend that you re-watch the videos and re-do the questions. The students who show the most improvement in Magoosh are the ones who watch every video and do every practice question multiple times 🙂

      You can definitely improve in a few weeks, but a 15 point increase is quite ambitious. In order to drastically improve your score, you will have to dedicate a lot of time over the next few weeks learning and practicing. I hope this helps at least a little.

      • Sam November 2, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

        How realistic is a 7 point increase in quant, from 158 to 165, in 1 month? Any advice for achieving this? Thank you.

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 2, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

          Hi Sam,

          I will say it’s not common to see this type of increase within a month; however, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I would definitely say that using a test prep resource will be the best way to structure your studies. If you’re not using Magoosh, check out a free trial! Especially for Quant, I would recommend that you review the explanation of all questions, whether you get it right or wrong. The reason is that the explanation may show an approach different than yours, and it may be more efficient. You can potentially apply the alternative approaches and it may save you some time on the exam. Also, use this blog for tips and strategies to complement your studies.

    • Mohamed November 26, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

      i had the same problem with verbal section, the same score as well. yet i don’t know what went wrong with quant i scored 151 !

  21. Nitish Ponkshe October 12, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

    I recently scored a 319 on the GRE 155 V and 164 quant.But I really need to hit a score near 330.Also 155 was a personal best for me in verbal.Can you suggest how I can be assured of a 160 plus in verbal.From the people who scored well on the verbal section I heard that they were prolific readers.I have never been into reading apart from my curriculum.plzzz help.I have plenty of prep time

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 14, 2016 at 8:46 am #

      Hi Nitish,

      Although there is no guarantee way to score a 160+ in Verbal, it will really depend on the time and hard work you’re willing to invest. If you aren’t using a test prep, I would recommend that you first sign up to strengthen your foundation. Please note that you can try a free trial with Magoosh! In addition, I would recommend identifying your areas of weaknesses, and checking out our blogs to learn more strategies for those areas. We have a lot of great free content! Finally, as you mentioned, one of the best ways to improve would be to definitely read (i.e., Economist, The New York Times, etc.)!

  22. Shruti October 11, 2016 at 3:06 pm #


    I gave my GRE exam today and got a low score of 316 (QA – 165, VA – 151). I think my QA score was more or less reflective of my preparation, however, my VA score was extremely compromised. Not sure if it happened due to fatigue, test day stress or any other reason. But I am willing to retake the test in 21 days and need your guidance. I am targeting a score of ~330 (QA – 170, VA – 160+). I know it is a long shot but is it possible? If yes, could you guide me with the study plan. Just to highlight, I already completed the Magoosh GRE words (1000) and am able to retain 90 – 95%. Thanks for your help!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 14, 2016 at 8:21 am #

      Hi Shruti,

      First of all, I’m sorry to hear that you did not reach your target score, but I’m glad to hear that you’re prepared to put in the extra hard work and time. Typically, we do recommend that students take a bit more time for their retake, and I will be honest that our students see an average increase of 8 points overall, so we cannot guarantee the increase that you’re looking for. Still, it’s definitely not impossible. Given your timeline, I would definitely recommend the 1-Month GRE Study Schedule (Daily). You can adapt the study schedule to better fit your needs and schedule. For example, if there is certain content that you’re very comfortable with, you can briefly review/skip the relevant lessons. With regard to test stress, I would recommend checking out our other blog posts regarding this as many students struggle with it. For example, check out this GMAT post, which is still relevant to the GRE! Good luck and happy studying!

  23. Anushka October 3, 2016 at 4:16 am #

    Hey Chris,
    Your blog helped me a lot in my last minute GRE prep. i gave the exam a week back and scored 303 (V= 148, Quants= 155). I am rethinking of taking the GRE again in 3 weeks time. How do you think i should pace my preparation this time. i really need to score atleast 5 points higher in each section as I am aiming to apply for PhD in Biomedical sciences.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 4, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

      Hi Anushka,

      I’m so glad to hear you find the blog helpful! I recommend that you first read this blog post: . It has some great ideas for how to get started with your retake studying! Your first job is to determine your strengths and weaknesses and make a study plan to cover those topics. You can check out our one month study schedule for a rough idea of how much you should be studying per day. If you are serious about a 5 point score increase in three weeks, you should be prepared to dedicate around 3 hours per day to your studies.

      I’m not sure how you studied before, but I encourage you to check out our comprehensive GRE study program. We will provide you with all of the videos, practice problems and expert support you need for the test. On average, our students increase their scores by eight points! You can check us out with a free trial before committing 🙂

  24. Rohit Badgujar September 26, 2016 at 7:34 am #

    Hello, I scored 297 in PowerPrep and my targeted score is 310. I am about to give my GRE on 29th sept. Bit scared with Powerprep score. is it possible to fill this gap with 2 days preperation?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 26, 2016 at 9:01 am #

      Hi Rohit,

      To be honest, it is very unlikely to improve your score by 13+ points in only a couple of days. Many of our students improve their scores by 8 points or more but after months of preparing for the exam. That said, it may be that you had a bad day when taking the PowerPrep exam and that factors outside of the questions themselves impacted your performance. I recommend reviewing all of the questions you got wrong on the practice test and determining why you got the question wrong.

      Did you not understand the concept being tested? Did you make a calculation error? Did you misread the prompt?

      Really analyzing your mistakes will help you avoid making the same ones on the actual exam and can really have a positive impact on your score 🙂

      I hope this helps, at least a little!

      Good luck on your exam 🙂

      • Rohit Badgujar September 27, 2016 at 11:59 pm #

        Giving quants alone gives me score of 160+. But while giving full length test I end up scoring 150-152 in quants.

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 28, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

          Hi Rohit,

          While it’s hard to say exactly why this happened, since there are many reasons why people get different scores in different practice tests, one issue might be test stamina. Taking just the quants section of the test (70 minutes) is much different than the 3.5 hour ordeal of taking the entire test with essays, two verbal sections and an experimental section. The GRE requires a huge amount of concentration, and it is hard to keep that same level of focus for the entire test. The best way to improve your stamina is to take several full-length practice test and get used to the length and difficulty. I also recommend this awesome GMAT blog (but 100% applicable to the GRE) about reducing stress and improving focus using breathing techniques:

  25. Jeet September 20, 2016 at 2:47 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I got 314 on the gre. With only 155 on the quant (& 159 on verbal which i think is good).
    All i want is an increase in the quant to 160+ since i will be applying or analytics courses and this quant score as i read is a bad quant score though i expected better but once i got the result it was only 155. I simply don’t understand where should i improve. One are is definitely pacing. But which part of my quant a, i terribly going wrong. If you are reading this kindly advise.


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 21, 2016 at 6:04 am #

      Hi Jeet,

      Congratulations on getting a strong starting GRE score even if you aren’t quite satisfied with it yet! As for where to go from here, pacing is a tangible thing you can start working on immediately, but without a more detailed understanding of your math weak areas, I can’t offer much other advice at the moment.

      The best way to start getting an idea of your weaknesses is to build an error log. I recommend using a notebook to keep an error log. For each question you get wrong, write down the question number, the source, question type, and concept tested. Then write down answers to the following questions:

      Why you missed the question?
      Why your answer is wrong?
      Why the correct answer is correct?
      What will you do to avoid this next time around?

      Return to your error log often. Review your mistakes and errors before you take a practice test. You want your common mistakes and errors present in your mind when you sit to take a test so that you can consciously avoid them. If you do this enough, by the time you sit for the actual test, you will be aware of your common errors and “silly” mistakes and you will work to avoid them or notice them when they happen. When you have this type of understanding, you can also target the right spots rather than wondering, “how do I improve?”

      Good luck! 🙂

      • jeet October 3, 2016 at 12:33 am #

        Hi Chris,
        I looked at every detail during my early test. Mongosh is very accurate. It predicted 156-161. I solved some 140+ mongosh questions (and saw the video explanations for all the questions where i went wrong). I want my verbal score to be constant or maybe dip or increase by 1-2 points but increase by quant scores by 7 points. Given that i will take gre again in 40 days maybe. Can you please chalk out a 25 day rigorous plan. (2hr maths and 1 hr verbal). This would really help. Also give a concrete example of how to maintain a proper error log that will actually help. I am not complaining about 314 ( i started of with 292 or so) but i feel quant isn’t enough for engineering courses in decent universities even though i have 3.5 yrs of experience. Chris, kindly help me.


        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 5, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

          Hi Jeet,

          Have you seen our 1 month daily study schedule? This takes 30 days instead of 25, but it is exactly what you are looking for! This schedule takes about 2-3 hours of dedicated studying a day, and you can easily adapt it to spend more time on the math section. This will take you through our comprehensive GRE program, and on average our users inmprove their scores by 8 points, which is exactly what you are looking for! You can sign up for a Premium account here. 🙂

          As for the error log, take a look at this question. Let’s say that I miss it and want to put it in my error log. I would write the following:
          Why you missed the question? I forgot the 1/k rule and couldn’t set up the equation correctly.
          Why your answer is wrong? I did not set up the equation correctly.
          Why the correct answer is correct? We find how much each pump will empty in an hour and add them together. Then, we convert this to hours and multiply by 60 to find how long it will take.
          What will you do to avoid this next time around? I will read some blog posts on work rate and practice using these methods.

          The log forces you to think about the question and really analyze it, and once you have enough entries you can start to see patterns! I hope this helps 🙂

  26. Vishavjit singh September 10, 2016 at 8:28 am #

    I have given 2 official ets practice test with 312 in first(149 V ,163 Q) and 316 in second(152V,164Q)
    I am aiming for( 155V,168 Q) and have exactly 1 month for prepration.
    Can you please guide me how can i reach my aim?

    Also, I have noticed that questions in quant that i get wrong are mostly due to silly mistakes.
    Whereas in verbal i find difficulty to comprehend the Passage and lot of time gets waste in properly understanding it , leading to chaos at end.
    So, please help me How can I overcome these difficulties I faced during practice exam.
    Vishavjit singh.( india)

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 11, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

      Hi Vishavjit,

      Given that it appears that you have been studying, I would recommend using an error log to note which problems you typically get incorrect and why. You can also go through your previous mock exams and problems for some data. You want to determine what are your problem areas, so that you can perform targeted studying. For example, you mentioned that you struggled with passages. This exercise would also help you identify other areas you struggle with. Then, you can spend more time revisiting lessons and doing more problems related to these problem areas. In addition, you can also determine the common careless errors you make, and review the list before your exam. That way you can avoid these silly quant errors on test day.

      If you are struggling with comprehension of passages, I would recommend that you work on active reading. Specifically, check out this blog post regarding strategies for active reading. I would highly recommend that you explore our blog for more strategies and tips.

  27. Ariana August 31, 2016 at 11:51 pm #

    I just took the GRE for the second time and my score was just as bad as the first (1st time: 142 V, 146 Q) (2nd time: 144V, 144 Q). I need a minimum score of at least 150 in each category to apply to a majority of grad programs for physical therapy. I first went through all of Princeton review, I’m enrolled in magoosh and also have the ETS official guide to the GRE, took some time off after the first exam and gave myself a few weeks to study for this past exam. I feel like I have trouble really grasping the material and understanding the questions because each time I would take a practice exam, I would either be stuck on trying to figure out how to answer it or my interpretation of the question would be wrong. I also have trouble pacing myself and would take too long that my time would eventually run out.
    I plan on retaking it 21 days from today in order to still have an opportunity to apply to some of the programs before the deadline. How can I improve my score enough to reach the minimum? Is it even possible for me to improve a 3rd time around? How can I stop myself from feeling defeated? Any insight would help and be very encouraging!


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 5, 2016 at 9:43 am #

      Hi Ariana,

      Since you are a Premium Student, I forwarded your question to our team of tutors so that you get a more efficient and personalized response. You should hear back from them shortly! If you have a similar question in the future, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or through the “Help” tab when you are logged in to your Premium account 🙂

  28. Shageenth Sandrakumar August 21, 2016 at 6:48 am #

    Hi I am a student looking to apply to Schools with an average verbal score of 156 and quant score 162 while my gre score for verbal is 147 and my quant was 162, (My quant has always been relatively high 167 in a lot of practice exams, and my verbal varies from 140-152). I have already tried to do the Magoosh reading prep and have done all the reading questions that you guys provided during the summer and also have watched all ur videos, the only thing I wasn’t able to retain many words due to an insomnia problem I had to deal with over the summer. I honestly really would like to improve my verbal scores and was wondering if it was possible to reach this goal this in the span of two/three weeks?
    If not do you think a little bit of studying for a couple of months might be better. But I will have classes for school, and research to worry about too. and also actual applications and essays to fill out as well.
    I was wondering if there is an ideal way to raise my score, maybe one on one help or something along those lines, I really would like to at least meet my schools average!

    The programs I’m applying to are bioengineering programs which have a higher standard for verbal scores than typical engineering programs.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 21, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

      First off, sorry to hear you lost some memory of GRE vocabulary over the summer– it happens to the best of us, but it can be very frustrating. (And insomnia and other anxiety really can be quite common as you prep for exams and school while dealing with the less structured pace of summer!)

      You seem to have a pretty large variation in your verbal scores— 152-156 is a pretty big spread. To know where your Verbal score really is at, look only at the averages for ETS’s official GRE verbal practice. (See the official GRE prep page for a list of these materials.)

      If your performance on real ETS GRE materials is in the 150+ range, then getting to your target score in a few weeks is very possible. If you’re at the lower end on ETS materials, down near 140, boosting your score all the way to 156+ in only three weeks is a taller order, but still potentially possible.

      Either way, as you move forward, your key to success will likely be strategy and not vocabulary. You’ve already worked very hard to learn a lot of vocabulary words, and that’s good. But word lists will only get you so far. The best, most efficient way to give your Verbal score an extra boost at this point is to work on your GRE Verbal active reading skills, build strategies for the different GRE Verbal Question types, and practice reading GRE vocabulary in context.

  29. Christy July 29, 2016 at 3:25 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I gave my exam a week ago, I got 161 in quants and 146 in verbal. I am taking the test again next month. Please give me some tips to get 155+ in verbal and 165+ in quants. And I suck at reading comprehension…need some advice on that too.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 2, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

      Sorry to hear that your last GRE scores weren’t quite where they needed to be. The best way to boost your Quant and Verbal scores depends partly on your own strengths and weaknesses. As a general rule of thumb, though, I can tell you that skills in mental math, estimation and various shortcuts (statistics shortcuts, squaring shortcuts, etc…) are very helpful in improving your GRE Quants score. I can also tell you that studying vocabulary in context and developing your active reading skills can help a good deal in Verbal.

  30. siddharth July 25, 2016 at 12:14 am #

    How can I increase my verbal score form 156-157 into 160 I have only 1 week for gre

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 28, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

      Hi Siddharth,

      First, unfortunately, there’s no magic way to drastically improve your verbal score overnight. The verbal section is testing your overall ability to use and understand the English language. That’s a large task and one that takes a lot of time to fully prepare for. That being said, you can definitely use this final week and leverage your current knowledge to continue to improve your score!

      I recommend that you do a mixture of mock exams and more focused review. If you haven’t already, complete the ETS Powerprep Test and make sure to practice your Try to learn 10 new vocab words a day using our or vocab eBook, and continue to review the most common GRE words that you have already mastered. Review the practice problems you have done to identify any weaknesses, and review relevant strategies. If you keep working diligently in this last week, you can definitely see an improvement in your verbal score!

  31. Clara July 17, 2016 at 9:18 am #

    Hi Chris, thanks for all your posts, they all have been really helpful for my two months GRE preparation. I took my GRE 2 months ago, scoring 170 Q and 158 V, with AWA 3.5. I am very satisfied with my Q and V, but I worry that my AWA could influence my admission to top engineering PhD program badly. Do you think it is worth retaking? Thanks!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 20, 2016 at 4:47 am #

      Hi Clara,

      Firstly, on behalf of Chris and the rest of the team at Magoosh, you’re very welcome! It’s great to hear the posts helped you over the course of your GRE prep 😀 Secondly, congrats on taking the exam and on your scores! Earning top marks on the Quant Section is quite impressive 🙂

      Now, based on your scores, I’d say that it’s not worth retaking the exam. You have strong scores in the Quant and Verbal sections, while your AWA score reflects the average for Engineering programs. It’s important to remember that programs take more into consideration than just your GRE scores. You’ll want to make sure that all parts of your application, especially your statement of purpose, are in tip-top shape. Instead of studying for a retake, it would probably be better to focus on these other aspects. With that said, I’d recommend researching the programs you’re interested in to see if they provide more specific details about GRE scores and other application requirements. Go through US News and then check the internet for schools that seem like a good fit, and check out forums for more specific advice. There are always people willing to help there 🙂 Finally, if you still have questions, don’t be afraid to reach out to admissions committees, professors, and/or current students.

      I hope these perspectives help! Good luck with your applications 😀

  32. Evan June 29, 2016 at 12:46 am #

    I would just like to say that although I could not afford any of these services, I was able to increase my score by 7 points using free practice test and some magoosh math tips.

  33. sriram May 26, 2016 at 10:34 am #

    Hey Chris. I’m trying to write the GRE in about 2 weeks. I’ve taken around 4 mock tests so far with an average score of 310. Do you think I can improve my score in the final test?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 27, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

      Two weeks is definitely enough time to improve your score at least a little. You may even be able to improve your score significantly, especially if test strategy problems are holding your score back a little. (Test strategy really can be learned quite quickly.) One word to the wise, however– if the mock tests you’ve taken aren’t official GRE practice tests from ETS, they may or may not reflect your real GRE performance. Make sure you’re taking some authentic ETS practice tests so that you can gauge your possible GRE score as accurately as possible. (Some very GRE-like mock tests from sources such as Magoosh or Manhattan are potentially helpful too… but there’s nothing quite like the real deal from the company that actually makes the GRE.)

  34. Prasad Bhagwat May 18, 2016 at 4:31 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I wrote GRE twice. I had got (146 verbal +162 quant) in 2014 and (151 verbal + 159 quant) in 2015. I was wondering what could possibly have gone wrong in quants. There were few unsolvable questions appeared in quants. (Really!!). I got admits only from low ranked universities though I had good profile. Should I consider rewriting GRE again? Can I improve my quant score to 165+ ?. I am really worried about kind of quant questions appeared in my last GRE exam. Those kind of questions are solvable in given time only if you have solved them before.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 25, 2016 at 2:10 am #

      Hi Prasad 🙂

      Whether or not you should retake the exam depends on many factors, including the average test scores for the programs you’re really interested in pursuing. That said, I’d recommend contacting the schools/programs you’d like to attend to determine how you can improve your chances on being accepted, if you decide to go through the application process again. Standardized test scores are only one factor that schools consider, and you should definitely keep that in mind as you pursue studies at the graduate level 🙂

      To help you evaluate your performance on the Quant Section, I recommend that you first look over your previous GRE to see what areas you struggled in. ETS has a great resource for students that will breakdown their test into question types, pacing time, and question difficulty: GRE Scoring Services. Improving your score is definitely possible, although it will require a lot of hard work. You’ll first want to make sure you have a solid grasp of all of the fundamental concepts that are tested on the GRE. Having a strong base is essential to be able to solve more advanced questions quickly and accurately. I recommend checking out this blog post for ideas on how to do GRE math faster.

      I hope this helps as you consider retaking the GRE again. Best of luck in your studies! 🙂

  35. sara January 25, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

    Hi Chris. I recently took the GRE and did terrible, 149 V and 148Q. I have a 3.9 undergrad GPA and a 4.0 grad degree ( didn’t need the gre for that program but am now wanting to enter a different program.) However, I’ve never been great at standarized tests. I have been using Magoosh to study, but I’m not seeing improvement as these are close to the same tests scores I was getting on the magoosh and ETS practice. I am working 40 hours a week and taking an online psychology class so following a schedule is difficult. I tried following the Magoosh 3 month program but couldn’t keep up with it exactly but tried as close as I could. Do you have any suggestions on how I should study this second go around?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 7, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

      Hi Sara,

      Sorry for the late reply! I’m here now. 🙂

      While you’re not proud of that first score, you are evenly strong in each skill and with careful study, you can definitely improve upon that starting point! One huge aspect of the GRE is learning how it will ask you questions and then adapting your strategy to fit these often odd requirements. That’s definitely something you can do, and a lot of our strategy-related blog posts will help you with that.

      As for your study plan, it sounds like trying to complete that volume of work in your busy life was hard. I would recommend trying to take a shorter plan and stretching it to fit your time window instead of frantically trying to do more material than you can effectively work on. You also need to identify exactly what is causing you trouble by carefully going through your mistakes and compiling a list of the types of questions you miss and why. This will help you to shape your studies as you work toward your improved score! 🙂

  36. Aya January 11, 2016 at 4:37 am #

    Hello Chris!

    I just took my GRE exam yesterday. I scored 140 verbal and 154 Quant. I am good at quant but I just need to get used to very tight time on solving quant questions. However, I don’t have any clue regarding my verbal. I need a serious help on tactics for reading comprehensions and solving complete statements with 3 correct blanks because on my practice I used to guess true 2 out of 3 blanks mostly!

    I am planning to retake the exam on 1st of may which is 3 months and more for planning ahead. what do you suggest?!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 12, 2016 at 9:43 am #

      Hi Aya,

      Improving your verbal is definitely possible! That having been said, it’s certainly not something that’s going to happen overnight. Working on your verbal score is really about improving your overall English comprehension abilities, and, like learning any other language, this is something that can take some time. But 3 months is a good time frame!

      Let’s start with the “big picture.” To improve your verbal score, it’s essential to read, read, read as much as possible. This will improve your knowledge of vocabulary in context as well as your processing of complex sentences and overall reading comprehension. Make flashcards of key words you don’t know.

      If you haven’t seen them, here are some suggested reading materials:


      I recommend you read actively at least 1 hour per day — that’s 1 hour in addition to your GRE studies and following the study plan.

      Reading will improve all aspects of your verbal. You need to improve your accuracy before you worry about your speed. This means you need to read to improve your reading comprehension, and you need to thoroughly review your mistakes to improve your accuracy. When your accuracy on verbal has improved, you can begin to time yourself more strictly and improve your speed.

      When you practice reading, you need to be doing active, focused reading. Please see this blog post for tips on this reading strategy.

      For short term improvement, high-frequency word lists are also helpful! You’ll want to master the 1000 words in Magoosh’s flashcards. It’s important to realize that memorizing vocabulary is no replacement for reading, but learning high-frequency GRE words can help as well, especially in the short term. You want to do both!

      Now, verbal strategy. Here are four very relevant articles you should go through carefully. You don’t have to go through all of these now, but, at you cover these topics in the study plan, please read these articles. These are valuable resources.

      Improving Verbal
      Improving Reading Comprehension
      Reading Comprehension Strategy
      Text completion

  37. Sam December 15, 2015 at 4:11 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I had taken the test about a month back and got 301 ( 155 in Quants, 146 in verbal and 3.0 in essay). I took a re-test yesterday, and got 289 (136 verbal and 153 in quants).

    I referred to the following materials :

    – Magoosh online prep ( videos + additional questions )
    – questions from princeton review.
    – and gave about 10 online mock tests, mostly my marks where around 310.

    Can you please let me know if my approach is incorrect or if there’s anything really that i’ve missed out on?

    Also I’m planning to apply for fall 2016, is there any chance that i can get into a reputed University with a GRE score of 301.

    Do you suggest i take another test?


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 8, 2016 at 9:55 am #

      Hi Sam,

      Whether or not you should retake the GRE depends on a few factors. Please see these blog posts that address retaking the test:


      We can help you improve your score if you decide to retake. On average, our students raise their scores by about 8 points, but many have raised them much more than that. 🙂

      It sounds like you’re struggling more with verbal than with quant stuff, so I’m going to focus my response on the verbal section.

      If you haven’t already, I would recommend checking out our study plans. Find one that fits your schedule and area of focus — the study guide will also guide you through your quant prep.

      If you’re looking for additional strategy and practice, several of our study plans recommend that you supplement your work with Magoosh with some books from the Manhattan GRE series. These books are an excellent source of strategies for approaching different types of GRE questions, so purchasing one or more of them could a great supplement to your work with Magoosh. You can read our review here if you haven’t seen it already.

      Purchasing one book from the series also provides you with access to 6 online practice tests, which are great for perfecting your pacing strategy and getting realistic practice.

      Now, I will give you more advice about studying for the verbal section specifically.

      First, let’s start with the “big picture.” To improve your verbal score, it’s essential to read, read, read as much as possible. This will improve your knowledge of vocabulary in context as well as your processing of complex sentences and overall reading comprehension. Make flashcards of key words you don’t know.

      If you haven’t seen them, here are some suggested reading materials:


      I recommend you read actively at least 1 hour per day — that’s 1 hour in addition to your GRE studies and following the study plan.

      Reading will improve all aspects of your verbal. You need to improve your accuracy before you worry about your speed. This means you need to read to improve your reading comprehension, and you need to thoroughly review your mistakes to improve your accuracy. When your accuracy on verbal has improved, you can begin to time yourself more strictly and improve your speed.

      When you practice reading, you need to be doing active, focused reading. Please see this blog post for tips on this reading strategy.

      For short term improvement, high-frequency word lists are also helpful! You’ll want to master the 1000 words in Magoosh’s flashcards. It’s important to realize that memorizing vocabulary is no replacement for reading, but learning high-frequency GRE words can help as well, especially in the short term. You want to do both!

      Now, verbal strategy. Here are four very relevant articles you should go through carefully. You don’t have to go through all of these now, but, at you cover these topics in the study plan, please read these articles. These are valuable resources.

      Improving Verbal
      Improving Reading Comprehension
      Reading Comprehension Strategy
      Text completion

      Now, about whether your score will get you into the schools of your choice — unfortunately, we don’t have nearly as much expertise and experience in graduate school admissions as we do with GRE prep, so I’m afraid we can’t be of much help. Here are a few blog posts to help you evaluate your scores:

      What is a Good GRE Score?
      GRE Scores Infographic
      GRE Scores for Top Universities
      GRE Scores by Program Major

      Additionally, I’d recommend directly contacting the schools/programs you’re interested in to see if they can offer any insight, or check out the programs’ websites to see if they have any info! This website is also a great place to start your research:

      Best Grad Schools

      I hope that helps! Happy studying 🙂

  38. Arpita November 18, 2015 at 12:02 am #

    Dear Chris,
    I took my GRE 2 days ago and my score was a disappointing 290.I have 147 in verbal and 143 in quant.I want to score above 315. It may seem impossible but I am willing to put in hard work.I did not study well for my GRE.
    Could you please help me with my score improvement.

    • Dani Lichliter
      Dani Lichliter November 19, 2015 at 10:22 am #

      Hi Arpita,
      Thanks for writing in! I would definitely recommend following one of our study schedules! It will help you stay on track and diligent about your studies.
      Best of luck!

  39. Ajay November 9, 2015 at 3:46 am #

    I took the GRE for the second time last week and received a score of 149 Q and 156 V. I’m nonetheless disappointed as I was aiming for at least a 154 on Q. I don’t believe that the test is inherently difficult in and of itself but rather the time constraints on the section makes it hard to pace through each question. I actually thought that I was going to do better on quantitative than verbal.

    I’m going to take it again since I won’t be applying for graduate school until the fall of next year. I really want to cross into the 150s even if it’s just by 2-3 points. Do you think that’s feasible?

  40. Srinivas September 26, 2015 at 1:02 am #


    I took the GRE yesterday and scored 154 in Quant and 156 in Verbal. As a non-native speaker of english, i genuinely thought English was my weakness going into GRE but i instead bombed in Quants. In retrospect it makes sense considering that my GRE preparation with Magoosh by and large only involved watching the lessons without doing much practice and it showed in the examination. I also believe that i am a terrible test taker and in the first quant section i didn’t even have the time to read last 4-5 questions (largely data interpretation). Even in Magoosh quizs (One that comes after the lessons), it took me some 1 minute more than the other users to solve the problem. Is there any way that i can manage the time better ?

    The program i am applying to requires,on average, atleast 164+ in the quants.As my Verbal score conforming with the average verbal score required for the program, i just want to improve my quant score. Realistically is it possible to improve my Quant score by 10+ marks in a month, if i worked hard on my test taking ability? Thanks.

  41. elisa September 15, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

    i took my gre last week after prepping with kaplan for 3 months. I bombed my test V-148 and my Quant is 141. I am so discouraged to take the test ever again. I wanted to ask if Magoosh if you guys can help me to re-take the test, though I am very reluctant after the kaplan experience.
    I am open to any suggestions!

    • Jessica Wan
      Jessica Wan September 17, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      Hi Elisa,

      We’re sorry to hear that you’re discouraged after your test. We hope to be able to help!

      One of the best ways to see if you like our product is just to try it out! You can try out Magoosh for free here ( to see if you find the material engaging and helpful.

      I’d also suggest taking a look at our study plans ( and see if they might be a good fit for you.

      We wish you all the best with your re-take!


  42. Aly August 16, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    My verbal score is 152 and quantitative score is 158, going to take the GRE again in less than two months. Aiming for verbal 155-158 and quantitative 165.

  43. Rishika August 3, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    I recently took my GRE. My overall score was 303. 154 in verbal and 149 in quant. The Quant score is really holding me back. I had used Barron’s study material but it wasn’t upto the mark for the Quant section. I got 111 in Toefl and my college gpa is around 3.5. Do you think I should retake the test?.. By how much can my quant score increase in a month’s time?.. I want to apply to San Jose state university for masters in computer science. Would really appreciate your advice 🙂

  44. Meher July 13, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

    Hi Chris ,
    I gave my Gre on July 13th and scored a 322( 162 -quant 160 verbal ) . I am planning to retake it in September . But few of my friends are advising against it . I strongly believe that I can improve my quant score by say around 4-5 points. Do you think it would be worthwhile to retake it ?
    Thank you (:

    • Rehan June 15, 2016 at 1:28 am #

      I certainly do. I hope by this time you would have taken the GRE. So please share your story with us. 🙂

  45. shwetha June 7, 2015 at 8:38 pm #


    I have scored a 153 on verbal and 159 in quant, w:3.5. My TOEFL score is 114 and i am looking forward to doing MS in EECS. I think my GRE score isn’t really up to the mark and i am considering taking it again. I have a strong profile in terms of extra-curricular activities, community serive, gpa, project. So i really wanted to know if my GRE score could hamper my chances at a top-ranked university ( I have UCB in mind!) and if i should really bother about taking it up again.Also which universities are best for EECS?

    • Peter July 2, 2015 at 9:11 am #

      Hey I’ve taken the GRE twice now and my scores on both sections have remained remarkably stable. I’m hoping to improve my math and verbal scores each by 10 points. Do you think that is possible with hard work and dedication?

      • Elayne September 25, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

        How did your scores pan out? Were you able to increase your scores in each section?

  46. A January 3, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    I took the gre cold turkey and got a 137 Q and a 147 V…pretty horrible..I have a 4.0 gpa in college just a horrible test taker and didnt answer more than 20 questions..Can i improve dramatically in one month? or should i take a one on one class elsewhere thanks

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele January 7, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

      Hi A,

      You can definitely improve a lot in one month. Your 4.0 shows that you are a hard worker, which will pay off when you use Magoosh. Everything you need to do well on the GRE is here. Technically, you can use Magoosh AND get some extra help if you have identified some weak areas and need a tutor to focus specifically on those.

      Hope that helps, and let me know if I can answer anything else 🙂

  47. Nissan October 30, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

    I am taking the test tomorrow and haven’t studied at all. My only practice test was V: 147 and Q: 157. I am confident that these scores are no where near what I could get and that I just procrastinated/didn’t take it seriously for too long. With another test date in a month on Nov. 28th, will Magoosh significantly raise my score? I will be happy with a V:155 and Q:165

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele October 31, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

      Hi Nissan,

      Magoosh can definitely raise your score in a month time–esp. if you’ve done very little prep. I say go for it 🙂

  48. Devon October 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    Hi! My name is Devon and I just took a practice GRE test cold online under timed conditions. I scored a 163 on the verbal and a 158 on the quantitative section. These are the exact average scores for the PhD program I want to get into, so I was happy to have gotten them on my first try. My question is, how much do you think someone with my scores might be able to improve? I took the LSAT after months of practicing (and thousands of dollars spent) and only improved 2 points. With that test I once again started with a very solid score, but I was hoping to at least 5 points better on the actual test to have a shot at scholarships at the best law schools.

    I want to set myself up to be as competitive as possible for top fully funded PhD programs, but I don’t want to waste time/money if its not likely to pay off. Let me know what you think.

    Much thanks!


    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele October 27, 2014 at 8:40 am #

      Hi Devon,

      You can definitely improve more that 2 points, esp. if you took that practice test without any prep. The truth is that many people take expensive test prep programs without noticeable improvement. I know this is going to sound kind of “salesy” but check out our testimonial page. Students are going up pretty significantly. And the good news is we are only $99.

      You can do it for even cheaper than that. Our blog is free. As are our apps. You can pick up a manhattan guide for 20 bucks or so and get access to 6 free tests. With all that prep at your fingertips, a mere two points shouldn’t be a problem :).

      Hope that helps, and good luck with the Ph.D program 🙂

  49. Jennifer September 15, 2014 at 11:26 am #

    Hi there,

    First off thank you for such a great site. I am planning on ordering the premium Magoosh study plan package and already have the Manhattan GRE 5 pound book of problems. I took the official GRE yesterday for the first time and scored 153 Q 159 V with zero preparation except for taking two power prep tests and a mgre test both timed, The lawn all of these I scored slightly higher on quant (158). I am trying to apply to graduate programs in economics and need to improve my quantitative score substantially (verbal at least 5 as well). Considering I had no preparation whatsoever is it even possible to raise my quant score over 10 points? I am planning on following the 2 month study plan.



    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 15, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

      Hi Jennifer,

      It sounds like you definitely have a shot of raising your quant score by 10 points, esp. since you barely prepped the first time around. But for competitive econ. degrees you may need even a 165 do be competitive yourself. With 2 months, Magoosh and the 5 lbs. book, you should be in pretty good shape.

      Let me know if you hit any snags/plateaus while prepping 🙂

  50. Preeti Bora April 10, 2014 at 6:42 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I scored 313 in GRE in my first attempt.I have admit from the school which i wanted.But I am also looking for scholarship with School and they need a score of 325 for that.

    I want to re-take GRE,should I?

    I scored 313 after studying for a month last time.And I guess I was glued to tricky questions in Quant last time and wasted some minutes.Also In Vocab I focused too much on Vocab and went to exam even without preparing for RC’s…

    If I work in these areas,does it makes sense to re-take GRE?

    Please let me know..

    How can Magoosh help ?


    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele June 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

      Hi Preeti!

      I’m so sorry but it seems this comment fell through the cracks. I’m only just seeing it

      Again, my sincere apologies. To answer your question: you can definitely improve, esp. because you identified exactly what needs to be done. Focus on RC (which is half of the verbal) and improve pacing on the quant side.

      Magoosh can you help there because we have such a vast trove of questions. Our specific lessons videos on RC can help as well.

      So def. take the GRE again (if you haven’t already). And best of luck 🙂

  51. Steve April 5, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    My name is Steve Dang and I plan on taking the GRE test on the 6th of July. I am very nervous not only because I score a 140 on the Magoosh verbal portion, but also because the programs that I am applying to this summer requires a minimum 150 Verbal for my application to even be considered. I have the Magoosh program, I am currently taking 18 units so it is kind of hard to use that 6 month stud plan at the moment. Do you think 1 month of pure studying will be enough to raise my score by ten? and is it really necessary to memorize all those words provided by Magoosh to attain that 150?



    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele April 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

      Hi Steve,

      Good questions! I think one month is a very aggressive time frame to increase by 10 points. That said, you aren’t trying to go from 155 to 165 but have many points you can make up. Also, it seems that you are a native English speaker, so you should, with some practice, improve. My guess is you’ll need to tweak your approach a little. A good GRE tutor–though not necessarily easy to find–can easily help you change up your strategy. Combine that with some serious vocab study sessions (you should learn all the Magoosh words) can definitely propel you passed 150. In one month? Well, that depends on how hard you work. But it is possible.

      Hope that helps!

  52. Gabe March 10, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    I am writing to you for advice. I took the GRE for the first time last November, and had gotten a cum of 309: Q score of 154 and a V score of 157 with an ASA of 2.5. I retook the GRE in February of this year and a cum of 298: Q score of 144 end of the score of 154 with an ASA score of 3.0. I’m trying to get into nurse anesthesia school. My undergraduate GPA though it is a 2.693. I’ve made up for that with my 13 years of critical care experience, national certification. I’m emailing you to find out what I can do to improve my ASA score. I tried using the various textbooks Kaplan and Barron. Essays have never been my strong suit. What can you recommend? I’ve read lots of them from your examples as well as others. I felt this last time that I really had written 4.0 essays. From what I’d written and what I’ve read I was truly surprised by my score. I had seen Lester more grammatically inappropriate examples receive higher scores than I had. HELP. I want to take it one more time to see if I can’t improve my ASA score.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele March 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      Hi Gabe,

      Those are strong GRE scores, and from your writing in general I can tell that you are clearly capable of getting more than a 3.0.

      I’m curious as to see what you are doing wrong in your essays. I think the biggest mistake students make on the Issue of the AWA is by simply taking one side and then choosing a few half-baked examples (or no real examples at all beyond mere hypotheticals) to back up their points. First off, show that there are two sides two the issue–two extremes, if you will. But that you see the truth as more in the middle but closer to one side. The key is to clearly explain why this is the case (Don’t just say the truth is somewhere in the middle).

      Secondly, and this goes for both the Issue and the Argument, make sure you right a lot and are as specific as possible. If you get think of anything and get stuck, practice at home writing yourself out of vague generalities/examples. Remember, always try to provide as much support as possible. But it is better to develop a point fully, then just the list of a bunch of cases that support your thesis.

      Without really seeing your essay it is hard to say how you can improve. Have you checked out or Both are forums where you can post your essay, and where someone may give you feedback.

      Good luck, and I hope to write some more AWA-specific posts over the next couple of months. Make sure to go through all of the other AWA-related posts on this blog. I’m sure there is still some helpful stuff there that you’ve yet to read :).

  53. Yael January 18, 2014 at 5:55 am #

    Hi Chris!
    First of all I’d like to thank you all for this site. It’s a huge help.
    And second, I just took the GRE powerprep (the test they offer for free in the ETS site) and got 157V 159Q.
    This score is without studying at all yet, just to see if I am close to getting what I need for a Phd in Literature in a very good university.
    According to everything I read on Magoosh I’ll need at least 165V for the schools I want.

    So my question is, do you think I can improve from 157V to 167V? Maybe I should add that my first language is not English (does is matter to them?) and that my Undergard is not from and English speaking country. I think most of my mistakes were do to lack of vocab.

    What so you think?


    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele February 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      Hi Yael,

      If you scored 157 V with absolutely zero prep, then you have a chance of getting 167–even if English isn’t your first language. Spending the next few months working on vocab and honing your test taking skills can get you within striking distance of your goal.

      Good luck!

  54. Carlos Samyan December 16, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    Hi guys,

    I just wanted to thank you for creating Magoosh. I paid $99 for the materials you provide in preparing for the GRE and I am in love. You guys have helped me so much. So far I have almost completed the quant. section and my range is from 161-166. My test is on Jan. 17 and I’m aiming for a 167 on quant! Thank you again!

    Will definitely recommend…

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele December 17, 2013 at 10:40 am #

      Great Carlos!

      Thanks for the kind words :). Happy the prep is going well.

      Good luck test day!

    • Jolene February 23, 2014 at 7:58 am #

      Hey Chris,
      So I took the Gre the first time and got a 141q and a 145v and 4w. One of my schools want 147v and 150q. Do you think it’s possible to improve that much?

  55. Sepehr December 25, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Hi, I took Gre two times.With studying Barron`s+ETS+BigBook i got Quantitative=153 in both of them,but i wanna get 159!! i have two months to my next exam,and i`m studying Nova+magoosh for quantitative section and 1100 words+kaplan for verbal with this schedule can i get higher than 159 in q and 145 in verbal sections?If not, what should i do to get best results?
    thanks alot

    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 28, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      Hi Sepehr.

      That plan sounds good. However, I would warn against using Kaplan for verbal. The questions are nothing like the actual test, and, in general, are poorly written. Manhattan GRE verbal is a little bit better, though they focus too much on obscure words. Only Magoosh’s Verbal questions were written after the new GRE came out, so our questions actually reflect what you’ll see test day.

      Also, for both Quant and Verbal (but esp. Verbal) take advantage of the Magoosh blog. There are many useful tips and strategies. Much of this insight is gleaned and conveniently distilled in our ebook:

      Good luck, and with enough prep (don’t forget to take ETS timed test), you’ll get that 159 :).

  56. som December 19, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    V=150 44%
    Q=156 68%
    AW=3.5 30%

  57. simon December 19, 2012 at 5:24 am #

    Hi Chris

    I took my score this week.
    Q:156 ( I really ruined my Q score.I do not know why?)
    Last year : 290
    I used your package.Thank you and you staffs so much. Right now I am bewildered. there is another paper-base at my country for February.My Math is strong.Do not laugh at me.I do not know whats happen for my Q.So that I am sure in another exam I can boost my Q.But I am not sure because the February exam and the score will come after 50 days.I fear I lose my deadlines.Mostly they are in 15 January. Pulse, after 17 November I did not read vocabulary for GRE until now.I was wondering if you’d mind giving me some piece of advice.What should I do?I mean it mays at another exam I boost my math but my verbal decrease.Please help me.I am in a junction.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

      Hi Simon,

      I think you should definitely try to take the test again. If you are confident you can do better on quant, you will do better. I also think that you should apply now with the scores you currently received. Then, just as a back up, take the test again Feb. The best case scenario, you are able to get into the program of your choice based on your Nov. test. If you do not get in, then you will be able to reapply based on your Feb. score.

      And remember, Magoosh will be with you, helping you reach a verbal score that is even better than the last test.

      Good luck, and let me know what you decide to do :).

  58. J December 16, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    I like this post. The attitude mentioned describes me to a tee.

    It is my personal belief that one should always shoot for the moon. In 6th grade I remember my classroom had a poster and it said “shoot for the moon, if you miss, you’ll be among the stars”.

    Cheesy right? It sure is. But, I never forgot that. As someone who was not a good student early on in life, does poorly on standardized tests, and takes a while to learn things, I have had a rough road with education.

    That being said, I have come to realize that no matter where you start, as long as you are doing things beneficial to help you learn, you really go as far as you want to go.

    The more you’re willing to fight through the areas you do not understand, the better off you’ll be. I’m not sure exactly when I will take this test, but whenever I do, I know for sure I will have no regrets.

    If you give any endeavor all your effort in an intelligent way, I think that should be viewed as success in and of itself.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      J., Thanks for those awesome positive words. It is exactly that attitude that will get you to the stars :).

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