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Simplified One Month GRE Study Plan

one month gre study plan

GRE students are taking the test soon, since, for many graduate programs, application deadlines are coming up fast! With that in mind, I’ve put together my best recommendations for One month GRE study plan. This one month GRE study plan is for someone who is just starting out to study for GRE test.

One Month GRE Study Plan

This study plan is divided into following sections

  • GRE Verbal Section
    • Vocabulary
    • Reading Comprehension
  • GRE Quantitative Section
    • Math and Problem-Solving
  • Analytical Writing
    • Essays
  • Study Plan – Week by Week

GRE Vocabulary

When you have just one month left for your GRE Test date, vocabulary is the least of your worries, but that doesn’t mean you should completely stop working on learning new words.

I’d study about 10 words a day from my book, GRE Vocab Capacity, which has mnemonics to help you remember words, and which has an appendix with common word roots. I also like the Manhattan GRE Prep Flashcards – both and the advanced sets.

Reading Comprehension

Though many of my students need to improve their reading comprehension, one month doesn’t allow much time to do so.

Instead of spending lots of time reading, focus on understanding the structure of passages and the function of their components.

I’m talking about things like

  • How a passage is organized
  • What a writer uses each paragraph to do

Try this practice drill:

Take a short GRE passage and label each of its sentences in terms of what they do. I.e., is the sentence a fact? A claim? A theory? Support for a claim? A conclusion?


If you’re just getting started with math, strike a balance between learning new concepts and mastering the ones you already know.

I’ve seen students cover every concept on the GRE, but never get good enough at them to get average GRE questions testing those ideas right.

[x_pullquote type=”right”]In other words, covering a topic isn’t very useful if you don’t have time to become proficient at it.[/x_pullquote]

I recommend CliffsNotes Math Review to explain concepts at a basic level – the book is fairly short, so you can easily get through it in one month.

Once you learn a concept, use the official ETS GRE books to apply your knowledge to realistic GRE questions.


When you’re working on the essays, I have three basic tips:

  1. Get familiar with what the GRE is looking for by reading their website.
  2. Brainstorm lots of different essay prompts from the GRE pools on their website.
  3. Write essays untimed to build your skills, and then timed once you’re writing good essays.

Also, have a good writer critique your essays so you can get some feedback.

Some of the biggest mistakes I see students make for essays are

  • Not responding to the prompt directions
  • Not getting into the complexity of the Issue prompts

One Month GRE Study Plan and Technique

Using efficient technique to answer GRE questions is extremely important. When you learn new techniques, you can solve problems is less time and your score will increase. 

Here’s couple of videos from my GRE Video series

Math – Probability

GRE Verbal: sentence equivalence

I have put together a GRE video series on my website to give you the same techniques I teach my private clients – you can find it here.

If you’re looking for a book with good technique, I’d probably recommend Princeton Review’s Cracking the GRE. Keep in mind you may have to experiment with techniques to find ones that work best for you.


Aside from practicing with ETS questions, make sure you take some computer tests to get used to the software and the timing. ETS’s PowerPrep 2 has two real GRE tests, which are the best practice. To supplement, I suggest Manhattan Prep’s computer tests, which are available with the purchase of any one of their set of eight GRE guidebooks.


The last, and most important, step is to analyze the questions you’ve done and the tests you’ve taken. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Can I explain this issue to a friend?
  • Did I do this problem in the most efficient way?
  • What made me get this problem wrong, and what concrete thing can I do differently next time?
  • Did I waste time on questions that were hard to me?

Sample One Month GRE Prep Schedule

First Week:

  • Read all material on, practice writing essays.
  • Take a Practice Test and establish a baseline score. Use ETS Paper-based test.
  • Set a Target GRE Score. Write it Down.
  • Learn verbal technique and begin reviewing math concepts.
  • Create a Study Schedule and Track your daily progress.

Second Week:

  • Keep practicing essays, practice and review verbal and math questions.
  • Determine the easiest way to do the question and the easiest way to prove your answer. (#strategy)

Third Week:

  • Take first ETS computer test and analyze it thoroughly.
  • Use the results to guide your practice.

Fourth Week:

  • Take 2nd ETS practice test and analyze it.
  • Practice and review any remaining question types that are difficult for you.

Your ability to reach your Target GRE score with this one month GRE study plan depends on

  • Baseline GRE tests score from week one
  • Realistic target GRE Score
  • Ability to practice and learn new skills to reach target score ( #yourskills, #yourpotential)

Here’s an example:

  • Your baseline GRE score is 300
  • Your target GRE score in 30 days in 330

Reaching the target score in 30 days, depends on your ability to acquire the necessary GRE test taking skills. It purely depends on your effort and speed at which you can learn the new strategies and implement them during the actual test.


If you have about a month left for GRE test, it’s time to get serious.

  • Schedule your GRE studying on a calendar, so it doesn’t get interrupted by less important things.
  • Study hard now, and your hard work will pay off when you take the test!

Please feel free to contact me with any GRE prep questions.

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  1. Jenny Luke on August 1, 2019 at 9:55 AM

    This is a very comprehesive blog post that covers almost all aspects of GRE preparation in a month. The way of GRE preparation in a short amount of time largely depends on the knowledge you have. The most efficient way is to get familiar with the questions of the test and do more practices, especially those ones from ETS.

  2. Shruti N Patel on November 15, 2018 at 7:53 AM

    I am planning to get admission for MS in USA in fall season . I started my GRE preparation just before a week and I found it quite tough compare to all other tests thus I feel to spend atlist two months of preparation.So please suggest me the best time for appear in GRE exam.

  3. Akhila on October 13, 2015 at 11:33 PM

    Hi l started preparing to take tge gre test.. And iam on H4 visa and thinking to join ms by jan 2016..Also, my husband just submitted his GC application.. You know i was little confused whether to study or wait until my husband’s I-140 processess to get EAD.. But somehow i was thinking why not give it a sgot and thinking to join ms by Jan… Iam just wondering can i take the gre test by november and can i start seeking the admissions for the jan 2016.. Does this workout? Or shoukd i wait take time to attend the test and join by next june/August..

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