GRE Study Plan 3 Months – Week-Wise Break Up

Here’s a great study plan you can follow in a 12-week period, with detailed instructions to avoid confusion. Follow the plan details as best you can, and you’ll be prepared for the GRE.

Have you reserved 3 months for your GRE review? That’s a nice block of time you’ve set aside for your review—it’s long enough that you don’t rush things, but it’s not too long that you’re sick of it at the end.

But exactly what should you do along the way? Figuring this out can be quite problematic, and it’s likely that you’ll get things wrong. You may end up doing too little, or you may pile on the tasks per week and per day, and eventually, you may feel overwhelmed.

The good news is that if you’ve set aside 12 weeks for your GRE study review, we have just the study plan you can use to make sure you space out the needed tasks appropriately. The plan has been created by experts with at least a decade of GRE tutoring, and it doesn’t even involve enlisting in an expensive GRE online prep course. If you have only 2 months left, use this guide.

Required Study Materials

Before you start, you need the right books and resources. Think of it as buying the right set of tools and spare parts before you start fixing your car.

The recommended study materials all come from ETS. There is no better alternative here since the ETS is also the same organization that runs the actual GRE in the first place. You’re getting your study materials from the truest source.

Here’s a list of what you need.

ETS Website

Bookmark this website, because it contains crucial information regarding all areas of the GRE. It contains sections and materials you can add to your review resources.

ETS Big Book

While it’s technically possible for you to get the actual paperback copy of the ETS Big Book, don’t even try. That’s because it’s extremely rare as it’s out of print. Even if you do find an actual copy on sites like eBay, it’s rare enough that it’ll cost you a lot of money.

Besides, why go for a bulky book when it’s readily available in PDF form? With an electronic copy, you can check out the book using a laptop, a tablet, or even a smartphone. It’s more convenient this way, plus it’s a heck of a lot more affordable.

This book gives you a look at 27 old GRE tests, which means these give you absolutely real questions. These aren’t approximations of potential GRE questions, but actual questions that have already appeared before. These tests will give you an accurate idea of what you’re in for when you take the real test.

ETS PowerPrep GRE Tests

These are practice tests instead of historical tests, but they’re basically as real as the real thing. That’s because the creators of these practice tests are the same people who create the actual GRE test.

You can visit the ETS website and download 2 GRE practice tests for free. You’ll have to pay extra for 3 additional tests (which will cost you about $40 each), but these practice tests are worth the money.

ETS Super Power Pack

This is a set of 3 books. Check out the 2017 edition, which takes into account the changes in the GRE made in 2016. The books include the Official Guide to the GRE (3rdedition), the Official GRE Quantitative Practice Questions (2ndedition), and the Official GRE Verbal Practice Questions (2ndedition).

The main value of these books is that it adds almost 600 practice questions to your review resources. Since all these books cover the entire breadth of the GRE coverage, you get more practice questions available in case you need to put special emphasis on particular subject areas.

Manhattan Prep 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems

You’re getting this for the math problems, which will supplement your cache of math questions from the ETS books.

Supplementary Resources

Now aside from the must-have study materials, it’s always nice to have more. You just have to be careful that you’re getting high-quality materials that won’t waste your time and money.

Consider adding these books and apps to your collection of GRE study materials:

The 3-Month (12-Week) Study Plan

Set aside 3 months for your GRE review, set to end about 3 days away from your actual GRE test. Once you’ve blocked 12 weeks of your schedule for your GRE review, here’s a study plan you can follow that should maximize your time.

The plan assumes that you’re busy during the weekdays, as most people have work. That’s why the study plan reserves about 2 hours of review for each weekday but recommends 3 to 4 hours of study during the weekend.

It’s best that you develop some discipline so that you can stick to the plan. If you do falter and fail to do some tasks for the weekend, don’t despair. Just do the uncompleted tasks over the next few weeks. If you were unable to do 2 tasks for one week, you can add one task for your next week’s schedule and add the other task for the week after that.

Additional Notes

Here are some tips that should help explain certain instructions:

  • When the instructions say “Answer 60 math questions”, that means you should aim for 60 solved Start first with the official ETS materials. Don’t get stuck on a particular question. Just skip the question if you’re unable to figure it out after a couple of minutes. Later on, you’ll get instructions about reading up on the detailed explanations if a particular math topic is fuzzy for you.
  • Some instructions may say “answer sentence equivalence” or “answer text completion on reading comprehension”. You should start with the questions in the ETS Super Power Pack books first. Whether you get the answer right or not, check out the explanations for getting the right answer.
  • When it’s time to “answer critical reasoning questions”, use the ETS Big Book questions in the “analytical” sections. When you’re done with these questions, transition to the critical reasoning questions found in the ETS Power Pack.

Daily Tasks

These tasks, combined, take about an hour or so.

  1. Study at least 15 vocabulary words.
  2. Warm-up with 5 minutes of the math game apps.
  3. Check out the verbal sections in the ETS Big Book, and read a long reading passage.
  4. Brainstorm and think about one of the Issue Topics from the ETS website.
  5. Brainstorm and think about one of the Argument Topics from the ETS website.
  6. Check out the ETS Math Review, and learn about the math concepts you need to know about.
  7. Watch at least 1 or 2 videos from the Vince YouTube channel.
  8. At the end of the day, note down your completed and uncompleted tasks.

Now we start with the breakdown of the tasks assigned for each week. It will be up to you to schedule these tasks throughout each week.

Week 1

  1. Answer 60 math questions, starting with the ones in the ETS Big Book. You can spread out these questions over the whole week, meaning you can do maybe 10 or 12 questions each day.
  2. Get the ETS verbal book, and read the essay chapter.
  3. Answer 6 sentence equivalence questions from the ETS books.
  4. Answer 6 text completion questions from the ETS books.

Week 2

  1. Use any ETS prompt to write an issue essay. This has a 45-minute time limit, so use your smartphone to time yourself.
  2. Answer 6 sentence equivalence questions from the ETS books.
  3. Answer 6 text completion questions from the ETS books.
  4. Answer 12 reading comprehension questions from the ETS books.
  5. Try to solve45 ETS math problems, and check out the detailed explanations especially if you get the answer wrong.
  6. Answer at least 10 questions from these particular Manhattan Prep 5-lb book chapters: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 14, and Chapter 20. That’s a total of at least 50 questions. You’re aiming to complete at least ¾ of each chapter, so you can spread out the questions over the course of the 12-week plan.
  7. At the end of the week (ideally on Saturday), take the ETS PowerPrep Online Test 1. If you’re unable to do the whole test, just take note of what you were able to finish. You’ll cover the rest of the test later on in the plan.
  8. On Sunday, correct your test and note which questions you got wrong. These questions will indicate which areas will require more work, and you should try to do more than the minimum for these areas.

Week 3

  1. Answer 6 sentence equivalence questions from the ETS books.
  2. Answer 6 text completion questions from the ETS books.
  3. Answer 12 reading comprehension questions from the ETS books.
  4. Answer 8 ETS critical reasoning questions from the ETS Big Book. Use the passages which come with only a single associated question for each passage.
  5. Use any ETS prompt to write an argument essay. This comes with a 45-minute time limit.
  6. Try to answer 45 ETS math problems.
  7. Answer at least 10 questions from these particular Manhattan Prep 5-lb book chapters: Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 17, and Chapter 28. Again, you’re aiming to finish at least ¾ of the questions for each chapter.

Week 4

  1. Answer 6 sentence equivalence questions from the ETS books.
  2. Answer 6 text completion questions from the ETS books.
  3. Answer 12 reading comprehension questions from the ETS books.
  4. Answer 8 ETS critical reasoning questions from the ETS Big Book. Use the passages which come with only a single associated question for each passage.
  5. Try to answer 45 ETS math problems.
  6. Answer at least 10 questions from these particular Manhattan Prep 5-lb book chapters: Chapter 21, Chapter 22, Chapter 23, and Chapter 24. Again, you’re aiming to finish at least ¾ of the questions for each chapter.

Week 5

  1. Answer 6 sentence equivalence questions from the ETS books.
  2. Answer 6 text completion questions from the ETS books.
  3. Answer 12 reading comprehension questions from the ETS books.
  4. Answer 8 ETS critical reasoning questions from the ETS Big Book. Use the passages which come with only a single associated question for each passage.
  5. Try to answer 45 ETS math problems.
  6. Answer at least 10 questions from these particular Manhattan Prep 5-lb book chapters: Chapter 25, Chapter 26, Chapter 27, and Chapter 29. Again, you’re aiming to finish at least ¾ of the questions for each chapter.

Week 6

  1. Answer 6 sentence equivalence questions from the ETS books.
  2. Answer 6 text completion questions from the ETS books.
  3. Answer 12 reading comprehension questions from the ETS books.
  4. Answer 8 ETS critical reasoning questions from the ETS Big Book. Use the passages which come with only a single associated question for each passage.
  5. Try to answer 45 ETS math problems.
  6. Answer at least 10 questions from these particular Manhattan Prep 5-lb book chapters: Chapter 16, Chapter 18. Again, you’re aiming to finish at least ¾ of the questions for each chapter.

Week 7

  1. Answer 6 sentence equivalence questions from the ETS books.
  2. Answer 6 text completion questions from the ETS books.
  3. Answer 12 reading comprehension questions from the ETS books.
  4. Answer 8 ETS critical reasoning questions from the ETS Big Book. Use the passages which come with only a single associated question for each passage.
  5. Try to answer 45 ETS math problems.
  6. Answer at least 10 questions from Chapter 19 of the Manhattan Prep 5-lb Book.
  7. On Saturday, tackle the PowerPrep Online Test 2. Again, if you’re unable to finish the test due to scheduling conflicts, just take note of which sections you answered and which sections you were unable to get to.
  8. On Sunday, check your test, and note what you got wrong.

Week 8

  1. Answer 6 sentence equivalence questions from the ETS books.
  2. Answer 6 text completion questions from the ETS books.
  3. Answer 12 reading comprehension questions from the ETS books.
  4. Answer 8 ETS critical reasoning questions from the ETS Big Book. Use the passages which come with only a single associated question for each passage.
  5. Try to answer 45 ETS math problems.
  6. On Saturday, tackle the remaining portions of the PowerPrep Online Test 1 you were unable to complete earlier.
  7. On Sunday, correct these portions of the test, and again check out which sections remain your weak spots.

Week 9

  1. Answer 6 sentence equivalence questions from the ETS books.
  2. Answer 6 text completion questions from the ETS books.
  3. Answer 12 reading comprehension questions from the ETS books.
  4. Answer 8 ETS critical reasoning questions from the ETS Big Book. Use the passages which come with only a single associated question for each passage.
  5. Try to answer 45 ETS math problems.
  6. On Saturday, take the PowerPrep Plus Test 1.
  7. On Sunday, correct the test you’ve taken.

Week 10

  1. Answer 6 sentence equivalence questions from the ETS books.
  2. Answer 6 text completion questions from the ETS books.
  3. Answer 12 reading comprehension questions from the ETS books.
  4. Answer 8 ETS critical reasoning questions from the ETS Big Book. Use the passages which come with only a single associated question for each passage.
  5. Try to answer 45 ETS math problems.
  6. On Saturday, tackle the remaining portions of the PowerPrep Online Test 2 you were unable to complete earlier.
  7. On Sunday, correct these portions of the test, and again check out which sections remain your weak spots.

Week 11

  1. Answer 6 sentence equivalence questions from the ETS books.
  2. Answer 6 text completion questions from the ETS books.
  3. Answer 12 reading comprehension questions from the ETS books.
  4. Answer 8 ETS critical reasoning questions from the ETS Big Book. Use the passages which come with only a single associated question for each passage.
  5. Try to answer 45 ETS math problems.
  6. On Saturday, take the PowerPrep Plus Test 2.
  7. On Sunday, correct the test you’ve taken.

Week 12

  1. Answer 6 sentence equivalence questions from the ETS books.
  2. Answer 6 text completion questions from the ETS books.
  3. Answer 12 reading comprehension questions from the ETS books.
  4. Answer 8 ETS critical reasoning questions from the ETS Big Book. Use the passages which come with only a single associated question for each passage.
  5. Try to answer 45 ETS math problems.
  6. On Saturday, take the PowerPrep Plus Test 3.
  7. On Sunday, correct the test you’ve taken.

Conclusion

After the last practice test (PowerPrep Plus Test 3), you should have a reasonable estimate of how you will do in the real GRE. Take some time off for a few days, get a good night’s rest right before the GRE test day, and do your best!

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