How to Study for a GRE Retake

If this question applies to you, then it is a very important question. If you’re wondering how best to study for a retake, then, most likely, something you did the first time around was not optimal. Your next job is to figure out what that something is. And finally, you’ll need the right GRE study schedule to make sure your retake preparation is staying on track.

GRE retake - image by Magoosh

Of course “something” is a terribly vague word. So first, here’s a guide to whether and how you should study for a retake. After reading that, read below, where you’ll find more information on how to tackle the beast again!


Your nerves totally sabotaged you

Notice I was a bit hyperbolic here. What I’m trying to get across is that your focus should be on managing test stress only if you were overwhelmed with anxiety the first time around. For the most part — and I think this goes for at least 98% of us — taking the GRE is a stressful experience, even when you’re not sure whether it’s important for your application. A moderate amount of stress, however, can help you excel.

What to do this time

Improve your GRE score with Magoosh.

So let’s say you were so nervous that you scored 10–15 points lower than your Powerprep score. If this is the case, you may want to try to make future mock tests as stressful as possible. For instance, do not stand up except for at the appointed breaks of the exam. Maybe even turn on the television in the background, say to the Home Shopping Channel, just so you can learn to cope with distractions (the last time I took the test, someone with a chest-rattling cough was sitting next to me).

Another important way of coping with stress is to notice your breathing. When we become stressed, our breaths become shallower, and we tense up. Nipping this in the bud is not simply a matter of noticing the tension in your upper abdomen. You should also work to diffuse stress by taking longer, deeper breaths. Just a few deep breaths should calm your nerves and help restore your breathing and, most important, your focus.


You did not take enough practice tests

Nothing prepares you for test day better than a mock exam. But don’t take just any mock exam. Manhattan GRE and Magoosh tend to be as difficult, if not more difficult, than the actual exam. Of course, nothing beats taking an official test. There are two ETS GRE tests at the end of the GRE Official Guide, and Powerprep Tests 1 and 2 are on the CD that comes with the Official Guide.

What to do this time

Space out practice tests every five days. The assumption is that you have already prepped sufficiently and thus do not need to learn all the fundamentals a second time. Much of your time in between tests should be focused on dissecting your performance. What did you do wrong? What could you have done better? Any insights gleaned should be used for the following test — i.e. anticipate that you will make similar mistakes and have your guard up for them.


Mediocre prep resources

Not all prep resources are created equal. If you felt that the GRE was very different, in terms of the feel of the questions, from your practice material, then you should practicing with something else. Click here to read our reviews of GRE prep books.

What to do this time

Do your research and use the material that will best help your score. And, if possible, don’t settle on just one resource. For instance, I recommend a prep cocktail of Magoosh, Manhattan GRE, and, of course, ETS.


You did not identify your weaknesses

Over the years, I’ve encountered many a student who operates under the following assumption: the more questions I do, the more my score will improve.

While doing more questions is an integral part of an improved score, whipping through questions without taking a moment to understand where you went wrong will not help you. Most likely, you’ll only get burned out on questions and will continue to make the same mistakes.

What to do this time

Keep an error log. This log can be highly systematized or it can be very basic. For instance, I file the question in my mental Rolodex. I remember how the question tricked me and what I should do the next time in order to avoid the same mistake. That said, I recommend that you be more methodical about your error log than I am. First, jot down the question number and source of the question in a notebook. Then answer the following questions:

  • Why did you miss the question?
  • Why is your answer wrong?
  • Why is the correct answer correct?
  • What will you avoid doing the next time around?

Come back to this log often, especially before you take a practice test. Review your errors so that, on the practice test, you will be careful not to make a similar mistake. By the time your test rolls around you, will be on guard against any careless errors, and, hopefully, you will never have to ask yourself how to study for retaking the GRE ever again! 🙂

P.S. If you need help deciding when to take the GRE, we can help!

Update, October 16th, 2014: Hi everyone! We’ve decided to turn the comments off on this post for now. If you have a Premium Magoosh account and would like a more personalized response, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard to contact us. 🙂 Thanks!

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

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45 Responses to How to Study for a GRE Retake

  1. Joanne September 18, 2014 at 5:50 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I took the GRE today and didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked (Q:152, V:154). The verbal score was especially disappointing. I’ve been reflecting on what went wrong and I can think of a lot of things. I didn’t get enough sleep last night and had a difficult time pacing myself throughout the exam. I studied for over two months, but I wandered through a variety of sources (Manhattan, Magoosh, some private tutoring). Didn’t touch ETS material at all. And didn’t take any practice tests either. BIG mistake. In the end I dedicated my last two weeks before the exam to just using Magoosh. I spent the first week just watching all the videos (mostly the quant) and taking relevant notes, and then tried to do as many questions as I could in the following week. I got to doing around 270 questions in both verbal and quant, but I don’t think I spent as much time understanding why I was getting questions wrong and learning from my mistakes because I was just trying to do as many questions as I could before the test.

    I am now planning on retaking the test, maybe in a month, or a little over (seeing how I go). Ideally I’d like to use Magoosh’s 1 month study schedule, but I’m finding it a little tricky to adapt the schedule to my needs since I’m done watching all the videos and have a fairly solid understanding of the test, the vocabulary and the rest. How would you suggest I go about planning my study? Should I just do double the number of questions recommended for each day, and schedule full length practice tests every 5 days like you suggested above? Ideally I’d like to score above a 160 in both Verbal and Quant, possibly even more if I could. Do you think 1 month is enough time for such a large score improvement? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks! 🙂

  2. Magesh Kumaar September 4, 2014 at 12:41 am #

    This might be a strange question but should I wait for 21 days to register for a re-exam or I just have to select a date that’s 21 days far from my first test date! please do reply immediately

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 4, 2014 at 10:53 am #

      I’d register as soon as possible since the appt. times become limited, esp. this time of year. If you wait till after the 21 days you might not get the window you want.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Amit Shenoy August 31, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    I scored a dismal 313 in my GRE (160Q,153V). I expected to score in the range of 320-325 as i was consistently scoring in that range all along my mock tests. I wasn’t really nervous during my GRE. In fact, I was more calm than any of the tests I had given. I was shattered when I saw my score at the end of the test because everything seemed to be going well.I don’t really know what went wrong. I think I can do better with another attempt, but I’ve exhausted most of the material. Magoosh, Manhattan and The Official Guide. I have to score well this time around. Please guide me on a strategy to pick up the pieces and start over again.

  4. Divs August 24, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    I took GRE last week, I’m devastated with a 306.
    I used barrons course, where my score improved from 317 to 339 (in 4 tests)
    Further, I used Manhattan SE/TC strategy guide + 6 tests, I was scoring between 325-330 ( avg. Quant -166 and avg. Verbal – 161)
    In case of Powerprep I got 317 (160-Q,157-V) and 339(170 – Q & 169-V)

    In the actual test I scored a meager 306(152-V, 154-Q). I had to drop my applications for Fall’14, this particular thought was going on in my mind. After this disaster, I’m unsure about 2015 session as well. I understand I’ve got some serious issues regarding taking standardized tests, but unfortunately I’m clueless at this juncture, as to what is going wrong.

    Chris, I would really appreciate if you can share your thoughts on this.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele August 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      Hi Divs,

      While that is a huge disparity in scores, I want to reassure you that test day is stressful for many. Often something, whether it be frayed nerves and general discomfort with the testing environment, can undermine our best efforts.

      Do your best to figure out what happened test day. In fact, even get back to me and what might have happened. Coming up with a game plan for retake is the next step. And I encourage you to move fast on signing up. You do not want to let this experience linger, especially when you are totally capable–as those great practice test scores show–of doing very well. In fact, you will do well.

      Again, don’t hesitate so we can get you back on track for grad school 🙂

  5. Cassie May 31, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    I have a subscription to the premium Magoosh, and I used a variety of Princeton review books to study before subscribing so only went through about half of the practice questions but most to all of the math videos. I took a couple of Magoosh practice exams and pretty consistently scored around 157Q and 158V. I took the GRE today and wasn’t very nervous, but I ended up getting a 161V but a 154Q 🙁 I am happy with the verbal score, but math is my weakness and I am feeling a little discouraged and unsure how to proceed. I am planning on retaking the exam in a little over 21 days because the schools I am applying to recommend a minimum of a 157Q. Do you have any suggestions of how to best prepare in the following weeks? I am going to focus primarily on math but was thinking of re-watching the math videos and completing all of the practice questions/continuing to do practice exams. I was even considering hiring a tutor because I am unsure how to go about getting a better Q score second time around. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele June 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

      Hi Cassie,

      Sorry to hear that the quant score wasn’t quite up to snuff :(. But that’s the thing–you weren’t too far off. A few points less test day is common, with the stress and the weird environment. Since the GRE is great at laying traps, and you are less likely to see them when stressed, those few points could have resulted from falling for an easily avoidable trap. Just as likely, a few botched calculations or misreading or a chart could account for those few points.

      What I’m driving at is you might want to keep doing what you were doing. At the same time, you might actually want to tweak your strategy, since you seemed to have plateau-ed at 157 on your practice tests. If that’s the case, hiring a tutor for a few sessions would be helpful just so you can get a sense of where you need to focus before your retake.

      One thing you want to do is perhaps not watch so many videos. At least not sequentially. Instead, do constant practice problems, and only when you run into an error should you go to the relevant video. Otherwise, you are just watching and not applying what you’ve learned. For extra practice problems, you might also want to pick up a MGRE guide, any one of which will give you access to 6 practice tests. More practice with fresh problems is always good :).

      Let me know if that helps, and if I can help you trouble shoot some more!

  6. Jane May 13, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Hi, Chris!

    I practiced a lot on Magoosh and I took my second try for GRE on 10th, May this year. I scored 170 on math and 147 on verbal, which was far below my expectation.

    The strange thing is that I felt I had answered most of the Verbal questions correctly. Also, the same thing happened to me when I took Practice Tests on Magoosh. Even stranger, I scored lower and lower on Verbal Practice Test each day though I felt I was getting better and better.

    I actually understand all the passages and always think my choice makes perfect sense, and even after watching the explanation video, I cannot be convinced sometimes.

    What should I do? I am really worried.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele May 14, 2014 at 11:49 am #

      Hi Jane,

      It seems that one good strategy is to start thinking like the GRE. It’s sometimes tough to let go off our answer choice. Indeed, we mount an argument for it, making it seem more right than before. Instead, accept that it is wrong, and look for something that makes it wrong. That ability, not to find an answer that is somewhat good, but to find an answer that can withstand scrutiny, should help you. Over time you should get a feel for what the GRE considers correct, and a corresponding feel to what the GRE considers incorrect.

      Hope that makes sense 🙂

  7. Sadhitra April 19, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    I took the GRE last October and scored 312, 152V 160Q and 3.5 AW, which was below my expectations, as I consistently scored 155v and 165Q on ETS prep tests. Anyway I went through the admission process and applied to four universities, got acceptance letter from two. One of the universities, RIT, offered me 45% merit scholarship. Still, I feel because of my low-ish GRE score i didn’t get an assistantship opportunity, and have to spend $70000 out of my pocket to complete the degree. Now I’m in dilemma, should I take a loan and accept the offer, or should I take the GRE again and see if I can do better, and get an assistantship next fall? You deal with thousands of students, and know how the system works far better than me, and I need your help.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele April 21, 2014 at 11:28 am #

      Hi Sadhitra,

      It’s hard to say how much of the scholarship was dependent on GRE scores. You could retake the test and score 160v and 167q and only get a 50% scholarship. Sure, that’s better, but is it necessarily worth the time? The same goes for the assistantship–how much does GRE play a role? Perhaps you did not receive the scholarship because of some other variable. Basically, it is tough for me to say without knowing these programs better.

      All that said, you should take the GRE again, if you feel you had a bad test day–given your performance on ETS practice tests–you shouldn’t let that one day get in the way of a better academic career, be that more scholarship money or an assistantship. So if you have the time to dedicate to the test, take it again.

      Good luck!

  8. olwakemi April 2, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I really need an advice as I need to make an urgent decision. I started preparation for Gre in January, signed up for magoosh premium, took the ets powerprep tests, scored Quant 166 Verb152 and in the other I scored Quant158 Verbal 151. on the actual test I scored Quant157 Verbal151 AW 4.5. Now I want to decide whether or not to retake the test because my score is not competitive enough to get me an assistantship. Also because I would be applying for Spring 2015, the earliest deadline is in July, so I don’t know if I should focus on other aspects or I should retake the exam. please advise

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele April 2, 2014 at 11:47 am #

      Hi Olwakemi,

      Since you are capable of scoring better, and you have only taken the test once, it does make sense for you to do a retake, with the aim of getting 160 or higher on Quant. The experience of actually taking the test should help you: what type of questions were challenging; how did you pace yourself; did you get three quants or three verbals (meaning one is an experimental section).

      I’m not sure what the answers are but I would focus on pacing, working on weak areas, and watching out for the tendency to make careless, which is always heightened come test day.

      Hope that helps, and let me know if I can answer any other questions that will affect your decision.

      Good luck!

  9. Dannialle January 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I am a magoosh premium student. I have been studying for this test since nov. 2013 since I have been looking to take a retake on feb 2014. Now I am 2 weeks from test day and I have not really improved much. I am actually doing worse then how I was doing before. I don’t understand how to go from here since going over problems, taking practice exams and looking at the video explanations for the questions that I am getting wrong isn’t working. I don’t know if I should push my test day back another month or just keep moving forward and possibly get the same thing I got the first time around (150 in verbal and 154 in quat.) I wanted to get a score closer to 320 since the schools I have been browsing are very competitive programs.

    What should I do???



    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele January 23, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

      Hi Dannialles,

      Sorry for the late response–been sick for the last week :(.

      So it sounds like you’ve definitely hit a plateau on the quant prep. And you’re right–doing more problems and watching more videos isn’t going to improve your score. You really have to figure out how your approach to problems and where exactly you are going wrong: 1) in the initial understanding/decoding of the problem 2) in setting up the right equations/informations 3) avoiding careless mistakes

      You might also want to use some fresh material, if you’ve only been going through the Magoosh problems. The ETS Official Guide for the GRE, the Manhattan GRE practice tests, all provide plenty of problems for test day. When going through problems try to identify where you went wrong and how to improve the second time around. Don’t just try to memorize the entire solution path, hoping to recreate the solution on a similar-looking problem (no two problems, regardless of how similar they look, will have the same solution paths).

      Let me know if that makes sense — I want to make sure you use your remaining time effectively :).

  10. Ranjitha December 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    Hi chris,
    I took Gre on November 16th and got a score of verbal 142 and math 152 , I learnt math from PR and verbal from Manhattan. I couldn’t apply the rc strategies I learnt from Manhattan, in turn I managed time poorly and ended up going blank! I scored 303 and 294 in ets practice test. I’m a premium member of magoosh now and expecting a 10 point increment! I’ve got just 2 weeks more for my exam! How do you think I should work out problems? Should I take up practice test on alternate days? I can study up to 7 to 10hours a day. Thanks in advance for your reply!

  11. Pranav December 9, 2013 at 1:41 am #

    Hi Chris, I had purchased the Magoosh for GRE and had taken the GRE few days back. The scores were really shocking for me, as I had scored a mere 302 (153-Q, 149-V), what is more surprising is that I had taken the test an year back with alomost no preparation of any kind and had scored a 300 (152-Q, 148-V). Even after putting a lot of effort the second time I took the test, there was only a 1 point increase on each of the sections. I am really surprised that I had thoroughly gone through all the math videos, and almost 200 questions (70% accuracy, though most attempted prior to preparation), along with other material of around 300-400 questions I had, but still the improvement was NIL. As far as verbal is concerned I do understand it is my second language and there is a lot of scope for improvement but seems there is nothing more I can do for math now. Going through the same concepts over and over again that I have revised around 5-6 times, with practice questions, seems of little use.

    I am planning to take the test again in around a month from now. If you could please advice me on how I can improve my overall score (most importantly the math score). ***It would be easy and much more helpful if you could provide precisely what material\questions, should I stick to and be through with for the math section so that I can score a minimum of 160 on math.(with 6-7 hours daily for math for a month).***

  12. palash November 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    hi Chris,

    I recently took the gre exam, i scored 142 in verbal and 148 in quantitative though i got a score 305 and 306 in powerprep 1 and 2, that time i got 148 in verbal and 158 in quantitative. i read Big book , Nova, princetone and barron’s word lists, and took Barron’s two mock test, kaplan’s 10 mock test and powerprep 1 and 2. Now i am sitting for gre on next 26th december again, and at the same time i became the premium member of Magoosh gre study. I am determined to make a score in verbal more than 160 and in quant more than 165 whatever it takes me to do. So please suggest me a study plan with the prep materials so that i can achieve my goal.

  13. venus September 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Hi Chris

    I took my GRE in November last year. I spent 1 hour a day over a month on Magoosh, a little bit of Princeton and did one Powerprep test. Scored 145 on math and 155 on verbal. I mismanaged my time on the Math section and didn’t answer the last 5-6 questions. I am planning to retake the test in the first week of October this year.

    In the past two months, I have worked on probability (the topic which confuses and scares me the most. I seriously don’t remember what I learnt) and have managed to learn a few words but I am just sitting down to spend dedicated time on GRE as my full-time work and part-time classes keep me busy.

    I am aiming for 160 on math and verbal. Do you think it’s possible? Should I invest in Manhattan Math books to help me up my score? How best to use my next 16-20 days? I would definitely take more practice tests this time and focus on my timing more.

    Any advice or suggestions are appreciated and thanks for your time!

  14. HAP September 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I have a question regarding retaking the GRE. I took the GRE on Aug31 and was wondering what day I am able to take it again.
    I know that 21 days means Sept 21, but can I take it on the actual 21st day–or do I have to wait to take it Sept 22nd to be safe?

    I just don’t want my scores to get cancelled.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 4, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      Hi HAP,

      That’s an interesting question. I’m under the impression that the website won’t let you sign up if the appt. is within less than 21 days of your first sitting. So test it out. Try to make a booking for next week. If it lets you make that booking, then clearly the website has no control over whether you can make a booking in less than 21 days. In that case, just to be safe, book Sept. 22 or later.

      If the website does not let you book sometime next week, then you know it stops people from making an appt. if they’ve just sat the test. That way, you can make an appt. for the 21st of Sept.

      Hope that makes sense :)!

  15. Jennifer August 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    Hey, I’m retaking the GRE again on October 18.

    I took it about two weeks ago after studying diligently for three months using almost exclusively Princeton Review. I have a MAC so ETS was not an option. I found in my practice test for PR I scored a 160 but I scored a 150 on the actual GRE. I’m unsure if it was because PR was not enough or maybe it was because I psyched myself out. I’m very anxious about getting a good store (To the point where I’m actually making myself physically sick) and I constantly catch myself thinking “If I don’t do well…” ETC

    I’m trying to find ways to manage my anxiety but I’m focusing on other materials this time around as well. Including Magoosh and Manhattan prep.

    How long each day should I study if I have almost exactly 2 months before the exam? Do you know of any ways to manage my anxiety? Thank you.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele August 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi Jennifer,

      Don’t worry you are not alone — many, many students have complained about receiving much lower on the actual test than on the PR test. The questions–as you may have noticed–are much easier in PR than on the actual test.

      I would study at least 90 minutes each day, splitting the sessions in two. I also wouldn’t study more than 4 hours in one day. As for testing anxiety, here is a good post:

      If you have any questions after the post, let me know, and I can help answer them:).

      • Jennifer August 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

        So would you recommend starting some meditation to try and manage my stress and practice breathing?

        Is it recommended to study every single day or should I take a day off every so often?

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele August 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

          Hi Jennifer,

          I would actually — a little yoga/meditation can go along way to learning to control your breathing and get yourself in the moment. And I don’t just say that from hearsay. I tend to get anxious relatively easily so learning to control my breathing has helped me in a lot of situations.

          As for studying every day it is up to you. I’m a big proponent of a couple of days off here an there, just so some of the information can incubate a little in your brain. But try to at least study five day a week, even if it is for as little as an hour at a time.

          Hope that helps!

  16. Sankalp August 14, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    Hi Chris!
    I am a magoosh premium member. I took my GRE recently and scored 160 quantitative and 144 verbal. I used magoosh in the beginning for around 20 days of my preparation and then shifted to manhattan prep material ( which i guess was not a wise thing to do). In the 5 manhattan practice tests, i was scoring 164 in quants and around 147 in verbal, however my actual score was very different. Now, iam planning to retake the test. What materials do you suggest for boosting my score to around 165 quants and 150 verbal? How much time should i give myself to improve in verbal, especially reading comprehension before i schedule my next appointment?
    P.S- I already have Magoosh ( till 3rd december), Manhattan 5lb book of practice questions, Manhattan strategy guides.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele August 15, 2013 at 10:38 am #

      Hi Sankalp,

      To hit those scores, you should need about six weeks of intense verbal prep. Using Magoosh, the MGRE 5lb. book, and MGRE practice tests should be helpful. Really understand why you are missing questions, so you can identify errors in your reasoning and fix them. So don’t just focus on burning through questions, but understanding the logic behind each question.

      Good luck, and let me know how your prepping goes :)!

  17. enemeth May 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    HI Chris,

    How much studying do you recommend for retaking the gre? I took the test in the end of May and have a second test date set tentatively for early July. My first test I scored a 148 on Verbal and 152 on Math. I would like score about 155 on math and closer to a 155 on verbal. How much time ( days) and hours per day do you recommend for studying? Before magoosh I was just studying from barrons and kaplan. I took 3 practice test before hand. Do you think a month is enough time?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele May 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

      Hi Enemeth,

      I think improving by 10 points total is possible in the next six weeks. A few questions though:

      1) How long were you studying for, and did you notice consistent improvements throughout your studying?

      2) Were you only studying using Kaplan’s and Barron’s for your May test?

      Depending on how you answer those questions, I can arrive at an effective study plan to help you nail your goal for the July test :).

  18. Sara Williams April 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    I took the GRE in March and I scored a 138 verbal and a 146 quanitative. I am not a great standardized test taker and this is most of my problem 🙁 I am trying to get into the MSC program in the Air Force, already have my masters and never had to take the GRE for grad school, and I need a combined of these two sections of atleast a 286…I am very stressed that I missed it by two points and have to take it again bc they do not count the analytical section!! Do you have any advice on how to ensure I score better and get atleast my two points that I need?

  19. sk December 19, 2012 at 8:54 am #


    I took gre last week and scored really low. I have some hope in case of Quant section, but i really cant figure out how to improve my verbal score.I prepared using PR, Kaplan and official guide. I studied 50 wordlists in Barrons. For TC, Sentence Equivalence and RCs, I applied strategies from PR. I prepared for more than two months. I took over 6 practice tests and kept working on my mistakes but still there is no improvement.

    In RCs irrespective of the size of passage i tend to read the passage several times for answering the questions. Also i get most of the answers wrong. I find critical reasoning questions very hard. I tend to make mistakes even in TC and Sentence Equivalence.

    Can you suggest me how magoosh will help me to improve verbal score . I have less time to retake gre. Do you offer full length practice tests?


    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

      Hi Sk,

      Magoosh can definitely help :). Not only do we offer 4 full-length practice tests – we offer questions that will make the test day questions seem less intimidating. The problem with PR and Kaplan is the questions are much easier than the questions you will see test day. Practicing only with those questions will not help you become better.

      While I like PR’s overall strategies, they are very high level. At Magoosh, you will not only learn about strategies, but you will learn how to approach a question. For RC, our lesson videos give you a detailed approach of how to crack the RC section. And since every one of our questions has video response, you’ll really understand the reasoning behind the question, and, by extension, be less likely to make a similar mistake in the future. Of course, we’re always standing by to answer any of your questions (we respond in less than 24 hours!).

      Let me know if you have any questions. I’m pretty confident Magoosh will be able to help you on your GRE retake :).

  20. sumanth December 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    my gre score is 288
    quant -151
    i want to increase my score to 300+ on retake test in please give ur suggestions for taking a premium plan which is best for me and it is use full for me or not.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

      Hi Sumanth,

      Here is our plan page:

      I recommend the 2-3 month plan (verbal focus). You still get a little math in there too. That should help you break the 300 barrier :).

  21. srikanth December 9, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    hey chris,i have my exam 0n dec 24 2012 . i have taken gre once i got q-150,v-145.please suggest me.wil it useful it take magoosh video lesons because i have short span of time

    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

      Hi Srikanth,

      Magoosh can be very useful, even with 2 weeks. This is even more likely since you already have taken the test and so are not learning from scratch. Magoosh’s lesson videos can help you fine tune your approach and our hundreds of practice questions can help prepared you for the actual day.

      Let me know if you have any more questions. I’d be happy to help :).

  22. Lennon December 5, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Hello chris,

    My problem is not as serious, 😉
    I need to score 147 in the verbal section for getting into the school I want, since my major is geophysics, my weaknesses are in verbal, besides english is not my first language.

    I took the real test 2 month ago and got 145. I used the princetone review book as preparation, I have increased my vocab a lot, nevertheless, I have notice in your videos, there a lot of words you say are very high frequency, and still. I dont know them.

    Any advices?

    I love your videos 😉

    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      Hi Lennon,

      The PR book offers just a little taste of the GRE. It is sort of like a riding a bike with training wheels vs. an 18-speed racing bike. To really get the practice you need, you will have to use sources that have questions more similar to those you will see test day.

      As for the vocab words that is much the same. PR offers only a handful of words, and not all of those are necessarily high-frequency. You will have to learn more words from a variety of sources. I recommend the Magoosh ebook (link below)
      and the Manhattan GRE flashcards (easy deck, not the tough deck).

      You only have to get 149. Nonetheless, by prepping the way I outlined above you could get closer to 155. A few points extra never hurt :).

      Good luck!

  23. Shubham December 5, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Hi Chris,

    These are the questions I am struggling with nowadays and here you are with the solutions…I am very happy and relaxed now…thanks a lot.
    Excellent blog and very very helping tips. Kudos!!!
    🙂 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm #


      Great! I’m happy the posts have been helpful :).

  24. GG December 5, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    How about stress DURING the exam? I kinda freaked out and messed up a whole math session….deep breathing there too?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

      Hi GG,

      Yes, the deep-breathing is definitely useful for the exam. In fact, it is critical. Keep your cool, and thus your edge :).

  25. Monica December 2, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I just recently took the GREs but got a much lower score in both sections than I did from studying from the eight Manhattan Prep books and also the ETS one. I decided to self study on my first time, but now I’m thinking about taking a prep course and trying out new prep materials. What other books would you recommend for me, so I can retake the test in a few months?

    P.S. For some reason, I felt the Manhattan Prep books were much easier than the real test.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 3, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      Hi Monica,

      Sorry you didn’t do as well as planned. While I think the Manhattan GRE prep books are a great resource, esp. for those just starting out, it is the 6 online practice tests that Manhattan GRE provides that will really help you do well test. Were you able to do any of these?

      As far as other prep materials go, I am going to sound terribly biased in saying this, but Magoosh will prepare you for the most difficult questions you’ll see test. Our math problems can be quite a doozy, and we are the only ones out there that have RC passages that are as long and dense as the ones you saw test day. Since we walk you through all the steps in our lesson videos, it is very much like taking a course (and a lot cheaper :)).

      Hope that helps, and let me know if you have any questions!

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