You are probably one of the many students who have just about a month for GRE preparation. Having more time on your hands is likely your preferred option but things didn't turn out that way. So instead of been agitated, there is actually something you can do to prepare for your GRE.
So the big question : What should be my GRE study plan if I just have one month to prepare?
This blog post aims to assist you in preparing for your GRE test in one month. It is possible that you might have a different study schedule planned for yourself, but it is advised that you study for at least 30 days so as to cover basically all the topics.
Although the schedule that would be provided in this blog post is for 30 days, you can always tweak it to meet your taste especially if you have more than 30 days to prepare. This 30-day study plan would help you get a very good result if it is followed well.
Without much further ado let us get right into it.
To begin you would need some materials to make the study plan easier to follow. These materials can be in hardcopy or softcopy (Physical books or books in the digital form). Because of the abundance of materials, you might be a little bit confused, so we would be recommending you a list that is sure to fire you to success in your GRE.
The list of materials is:
1. ETS Official Guide
2. ETS Math and Verbal Guides
3. ETS PowerPrep Software
4. The Ultimate Guide to Destroy GRE Reading Comprehension
5. The Advanced Guide to Analytical Writing on the GRE
Important tips to Remember before you start the study plan
Be committed to following the schedule
Having the right strategies without proper execution is like having no strategy at all because the plan would fail. So be determined to stick to the study plan as much as possible. There is a reason why each task is set for each day so you would need to follow it closely.
Do not expect to skip two or three days and hope to study it all on the fourth day. The plan would be ineffective if you do so.
Don't lose your sleep!
You might be tempted to pull an all-nighter in an attempt to cover more subject topics, but this would only backfire. Sleep for the required 8 hours every day if it is possible. When you sleep well, you have better concentration during the day, and you need that concentration when studying.
Your mind is also relaxed and sharp when you sleep well.
Let others know.
As soon as you complete your registration for the GRE, make sure to tell as many people as you can, especially those that would be in your immediate surrounding. When your family and friends know that you are writing the GRE, you have extra motivation not to fail.
These ones can also help you to stay focused on following your study plan.
Work smart instead of work hard!
This is in no way intended to downplay the importance of working hard, but you actually get better results when you work smart. Try to find the balance between working hard and working smart and you would surely notice a boost in your reading habits.
THE ULTIMATE GRE 30 DAY STUDY PLAN OUTLINE
Day 1 – Day 4:
Get to know the GRE test. For the first four days learning all you can about the GRE format, the types of questions that are usually set, the way the scores are calculated and so on. The first few pages of the ETS official guide would help you to do just that.
Choose a subject and topic that you want to study. Spend at least 5 hours studying and practicing the material. You could set your study time to any time of the day that suits you best and make sure not to allow anything to distract you. In the case where you are distracted and could not complete the five hours for the day, pick on another day to compensate. You, however, don't want to make this a habit.
Start with a subject that you are not all so familiar with. Say for example you start with Mathematics and trigonometry is the topic that you are least familiar with, you would need to devote at least three days to studying the topic alone.
Alongside whatever topic you choose, try to squeeze in time to learn about 45 new words each day. You do not necessarily have to find the deep meaning of these words. You only need to know how they are used in sentences and their contextual meanings too.
Day 5 – Day 8:
After treating mathematics questions in the first few days, you can then move on to another section, preferably the verbal section. Tackle the topics you feel like you are weak in. Many students find Reading comprehension to be the hardest.
Your own case might be different, but whatever the case, you need to tackle your weakest spots first. Pick up the ETS official guide and answer all the questions that you can find. You also need to admit your weaknesses and avail yourself to all the help you can get from the official guide and other online resource materials.
Day 9 – Day 12:
Take process you have followed in day 1-4 and repeat it except this time, you choose another topic that you are not so familiar with. If you started the study plan with trigonometry, then you should switch to another section like algebra.
When you practice and get several questions wrong, you should go back and review these questions and check why you got them wrong. There is something called the error log that allows you to easily review the mistakes you make.
Get to work on the reason why you made those mistakes as soon as possible. Practice more and more so that those kinds of mistakes can be avoided in the future. Consistently reviewing the error log would help you to quickly learn how to fix those mistakes.
By the end of day 12, you should have topics surrounding your two weakest areas covered. As impressive as this might seem, this is no time to rest on your laurels. You need to continue reading and studying. Remember that your GRE test is just 18 days away. Tackling your two weakest points may leave you desiring some rest which you so direly need. You should rest, but instead of binge-watching, your favorite TV shows you can rest by learning some of the vocabulary used in GRE tests.
Day 13 – Day 15:
Still on the subject of Mathematics, now you have advanced from a topic you are weak at to a topic that you understand just the basics. Pick up the official guide and keep solving all the questions that you can find. The simple ones, tough ones and the hard ones should all be considered. Don't forget your error log too. Keep up with it and review the questions that you might have gotten wrong.
Pick any topic that you feel like you need to study for the next few days and study as much as possible.
Day 16 – Day 17
Pick another Mathematics topic that is of interest to you and make sure to do the work and study it entirely. Remember to spend at least 5 hours studying and practicing the material.
Day 18 – Day 21
If you have been following the study plan consistently for the past few days then you have been doing a really great job. We understand that it may not be easy. Now is not the time to relax as your tests are getting nearer than before.
Pick another topic that you understand fairly and can quickly get your hand wrapped around. You could decide to study verbal reasoning for a change. Since you have tackled Reading Comprehension earlier, you could pick text completion or sentence equivalence this time around. You should understand the contextual usage of words or connotation.
If you followed the plan to learn 45 new words each day then you would have learned roughly around 900 words by day 20 which is a very good thing.
Start working on your AWA. You can experiment by reading news articles and then dissecting and summarizing them to sharpen your writing and analytic skills.
For these four days, write an argument and issue essay each per day. You can get help from the RTS website as they provide you with practice questions that are similar to what you would see on test day.
Day 22 – Day 23
The next topic you choose should be something that you are completely familiar with. This is put closest to the test date so that you do not have to stress yourself since you are already familiar with the topic.
Study, rinse and repeat the processes that you have employed on the former days to this topic too. Pick up the official guide and keep practicing until you have completed the entire practice.
Day 24 – Day 26
You have been practicing and practicing for the last 23 days which is highly commendable. You have definitely built your intellect to a higher level but the thing about GRE test is that you also need to know how to manage your time wisely.
Understanding the questions and knowing the answers to them are useless unless you actually answer those questions. For the next 4 days master how you can run the test under real test situations or the environment.
Set a timer and make sure to stop when the timer goes off. Now would be the best time to take the powerprep test as it is the closest you would get to the actual tests on day 30. Compare your test results from day 1 to the test results now. See how well you have done, pat yourself on the back if you notice a considerable change.
When testing yourself under the environment of what the real test would look like, do all you can to make it look the same as possible. No side talks, no eating, no unnecessary distractions and you definitely need to answer all the parts in the practice question.
If things have not improved as you would have expected, there is no need to press the panic button just yet. Focus all your energy for the next two or three days working on areas where you have failed.
Day 27 – Day 28:
Take a look at the review log for one last time and take the practice test again. Chances are that you would be more confident in your abilities and this goes a long way in making you have a higher score.
If you find yourself still repeating the same mistake again and again, just keep working on methods or ways to get rid of making those mistakes. You might need to go back to the basics of certain topics if that is what is needed to get the mastery over the mistakes.
Your test is one day away and this might raise some anxiety in you. Relax; if possible do not read or study on this day. Take a break and do not think too much about the test. Don't take alcohol on this day as you would want your brain to be fresh on test day.
Sleep well and get 8 hours of sleep. Eat well also.
The D-day is finally here.
Test Day. Go to your center and give the exam all that you got. Employ all the strategies that you have learned over the course of the last 29 days and get the best GRE to score that your efforts deserve.
There you have it. This one month study plan would help you get a good score on the GRE tests provided you follow it. If you have more than 30 days before your test, then you could arrange the plan in such a way that fits your schedule.
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