Following 6 Months GRE Study Plan to score 320 plus is written by Lavanya. Every GRE test takers dream is to score high. Here is a 6 month Revised GRE study plan to score 320 and above.

My Academic Profile

I gave my GRE in the last week of February and overall I am satisfied with my performance. I did expect a different sectional split up, but the current score is pretty fine for me.

Given a chance, and if GRE was much cheaper, I might think of re-taking it. But as it stands, no. Also, I’d rather not post my actual score here, but it suffices to say that I’m pleased with score of 320+. I am planning for a Master’s in BioMedical Sciences related field and I have been looking for courses that would align with my interests right now.

6 Months GRE Study Plan

Month 1 and 2

  • Ask around previous GRE Test takers for what they did for GRE.
  • Did some research on Revised GRE and bought Official GRE Guide. (Best GRE Books)

Month 3

  • Started GRE coaching classes. ( GRE Test Prep Online Courses )
  • Bought books – Kaplan with CD
  • Borrowed from the library – Princeton, Barron’s.
  • Took a mock test and got 299.

Month 4

  • Took a this month off for my semester exams, projects and academics.

Month 5

  • Holidays – started practicing with increased vigor.
  • GRE Math practice from online websites
  • I practiced the HitList/High Frequency Words so that I’d know them properly.

Note – Check this out How to Memorize 1413 Words in 1 Week?

Month 5

  • I realized I was not ready for a test in January. So, I postponed my test to February.
  • Started crunching word lists from Barron’s. (6 Ways to Memorize Barrons GRE Words)
    • Word memorization is not required for Revised GRE.
  • I had to manage words lists, math, and acads and tests without letting my attendance percentage at college slip down.
  • Took online tests in the weekends.

Month 6

  • More word lists.
  • Review of math concepts.
  • I panicked a week before my exam. And I had lovely friends who helped me calm down.
  • The fact that I had to play in a match/tournament 5 days before my GRE actually helped me improve my focus.

On the day of Revised GRE

  • Went ahead with my AWA.
  • Then got Quants-Verbal-Quants-Verbal-Quants.
  • And I was not the least bit nervous or tensed. Yay!

GRE Test Prep Tips:

  • It always helps to look at the AWA list at least for issue essays. It keeps your head prepared for the question and you can proceed unfazed.
  • I read through the list starting 2 days before my exam.
  • Try to practice on different keyboards. It saves a lot of time correcting typos because your digits are accustomed to one particular type of keyboard.
  • Also. Tests online which help grade your essays are very useful. It’s a good way to practice around 5 AWA essays.

GRE Math Prep Tips

  • Unfortunately I got a lot of questions that involved heavy calculations.
  • I didn’t get the usual 10 minutes I generally have after completion. And the lack of time made me a bit panicky.
  • Got a majority of data interpretation with multiple options questions which was time consuming.

GRE Verbal Prep Tips

Honestly, this was my biggest surprise. I got like 6-7 more than what I expected.
And I think you can tackle if you *know* your (not you’re!) English.

If you memorized the word lists, it would have left you with cold feet. Because, contextually, they wouldn’t have fit.

I would say do the hit list/high frequency lists and casually browse through the other lists to familiarize with the words.

Don’t get worked up, as this new format tests ONLY how well you understand and comprehend English not your ability to know a huge bucket load of words.

What’s next:

I did send it to 4 schools, out of which 3 of them have a wonderful course.

The other one, is a good course, but obviously I have to put in more research time to find out similar courses and other universities and other factors.

I will hop off to an internship (research based) abroad. Which I hope will be a wonderful experience.

Bonus Tip:

It is definitely possible for other folks (like myself) to get, as long as you invest time and effort to create a strong case of why they should pick you. Play your strengths. And a good CGPA will always help.

I will plan on TOEFL a good couple of months later. Besides, since most schools don’t give scholarships to Master’s students (in the US), I am taking TOEFL seriously.

And besides that, off to focusing on this semester’s academics now!

At the end of the day: Relax. Take the GRE in your stride. Have fun and good luck!

Next – Revised GRE Test Prep and Experiences


  1. Sumedh on July 3, 2015 at 1:13 AM

    I just passed out my B.E.
    I decided to go for M.S. But i am pretty much confused with all the Process.
    Gre, its preparation, study material needed, selecting universities, LORs, SOPs, Application process, all these things i know but I am very much nervous and confused about all of them.
    Please guide me because i am pretty much amatuer regarding this. Not getting enough confidence about the GRE process. Should I join some coaching for that? will it be helpful? Should one join coaching for GRE? Is it necessary?

  2. Harman on May 30, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Hi everyone….just saw this discussion link on GRE preparation and guiding points and it’s really awesome and helpful….People who have taken GRE can please tell me in details about the exam structure…I’m planning to take it by end of this year….thanks guys, it’ll be gr8 help…:)

  3. jiva on March 11, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    hey i am pretty good at Gre..score around 320+ in practise mock tests!
    my problem is not with Gre/toefel, it is my cgpa! it is 6.95 till my 7th semester..i ve been
    only trying harder than ever in my last 3 semesters but to no vain!! i ve good extra curricular profile….what do i do
    to crack a decent college for masters in computer science stream?? ~ (publishing papers in international conference ? or releasing a android app during the year after college when i work??)

    i plan to gain 1-2 years work experience ..will it help too??

  4. Himanshu Gupta on March 8, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    @Daniel :
    I have a life. most probably far more better than yours.
    If i am a freak you are such a looser who found this blog helpful. Buddy there are lakhs of people out there far better than you. So go screw yourself.
    Well dude I think you are running this blog for the people who are in the bottom half of the bell curve you just mentioned. And most of the people commenting how this blog is helpful to them I assume belong to that category only. You are happy to cater these people since these are the people who reading these stupid experiences and strategies. Please do me a favor, please remove my mail id from your list so that your stupid blog notifications does not fill my mailbox as it is doing right now.

    • HSB on March 8, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      Why are you talking as if your are cream of the society when you just scored 322 or something. Hope you know GRE is for 340. Come back when you get there.
      Schools don’t ask how long you prepared for GRE. If you think this blog is for folks below the curve no one is asking you to stay and no one forced you to come here in first place.
      By the way you haven’t answered my question. Show the data for 90% of test takers score than 320.

      • MAVERICK on March 8, 2012 at 9:34 AM

        Lol !! was thinking to tell the same !!

    • MAVERICK on March 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM

      Hey loser,why are you blabbering here? What’s your problem man.
      i guess you are having a lot free time and not knowing what to do,so trying to poke at people..???See,may be it was a nice gesture from the admin to respond to your comments in the first case.To be frank as a reader no one cares to look at your post which is of no use.So it would be very helpful to people if you stay offHSB,to deactivate the notifications from hsb,check your mail.

  5. siva7891 on March 7, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Thanks for your post Lavanya and my best wishes to your career!!!

  6. Sowmya on March 7, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    Hello folks,
    I’ve been preparing for GRE since a while and my exam is on Mar 20th. I just need some help in planning the schedule for the last 2 weeks… Also I would like to know the decent score in new GRE..
    Thanks a lot in advance..

  7. Neeraja on March 6, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    I have been going through HSB for a while now. It’s been of great help in terms of GRE preparation and TOEFL, etc. I recently took the GRE and i got 317 (157V+160Q+4.5). I am planning to for Germany so I couldn’t find much info on here since it’s mostly about America. I want to study neuroscience. Since GRE scores aren’t really necessary for Germany, I’m wondering if i should send these scores? They aren’t particularly great right, so would this actually diminish my chances? I tried to find out about scores online but there isn’t really any concrete information. I really hope you can help me out. Thank you

    • Critic :) on March 10, 2012 at 9:56 AM

      U do have to send GRE scores if u are applying for a research course and more over sending the scores often improves the chance of getting into top universities in germany.

      Thanks for spending ur time in reviewing 🙂

  8. Pourush on March 6, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Its better keep aside 4-5 months for GRE prep and give it just once. Kudos to this woman. I did the same. I gave my GRE revised test in january and landed up with a 324. Give GRE your everything because you only want to give it once.

  9. Keshob on March 6, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    322 is agreat score…………………
    Ur road map was awesome………………..
    I scored 313 and i messed up my quants……………………..
    I needed 320+ as urs……..
    I am thinking of a retake with a plan adapted to my personalized need and schedule

    Do you recommend a RETAKE????

    • Adnan on March 6, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      Nope don’t bother with a retake.. chances are you could do worse also.. so save yourself the trauma…your score is damn good. Top 20 percentile I’d guess it at.

      • Keshob on March 10, 2012 at 1:31 PM

        Thank you adnan………. for taking pain in reading my comment and answering it……… I messed up my quants. I could score only 159……….. it stands at 82 percentile

    • M. Faisal Riyad on March 8, 2012 at 4:06 AM

      IF your quant score is 160+ then no need to re-take .

      • Keshob on March 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        Thank you dude. But i messed my quants…………… It is just a 159………… I think something above 163 would have been good………….

  10. Himanshu Gupta on March 6, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    What the hell!!! I stidied for 1 and half months and secured 322 and i am not the one bragging here lady!!!!

    • HSB on March 6, 2012 at 8:38 AM

      If you scored 322 in 1 month doesn’t mean she scoring 320 in 5 months is bragging. I think your 1 line comment sounds like bragging than her 800 words article she contributed to help others.

      • Keshob on March 6, 2012 at 8:53 AM

        Y do u seem RUDE NWADAYS IN UR COMMENTS?

        • HSB on March 6, 2012 at 9:02 AM

          Here is my way of dealing with things.
          If I make mistake, I will apologize.
          If someone is Rude, then I would reply back that they are rude.
          No one is bragging here. When someone takes time to write their experience, its not bragging. Its helping tendency. You need to be appreciative of that.

          • MAVERICK on March 6, 2012 at 9:28 AM

            Good artcile infact,she had her focus on her acads also without diverting from them.The perfect time table i was looking for

          • Lavanya on March 7, 2012 at 9:25 AM

            I like giving back to a community that has helped me quite a bit. Simple as that. Take what you may, leave the rest to rot. But, I do know that someone might find this useful, and that’s what it’s for.

        • Himanshu Gupta on March 6, 2012 at 10:04 AM

          Yes may be I am bragging. I dont think it is worth to tell people how you studied and write a stupid article as this girl did on how you scored some score when 90 percent of the people out there can score better than you in less time without breaking a sweat.

          • HSB on March 6, 2012 at 10:32 AM

            Yes, Not everyone is Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Can you show stats 90% of people taking GRE can score above 320. FYI I have the stats and the bell curve of score distribution.

          • Sanjana Agarwal on March 7, 2012 at 12:02 AM


          • Aarti Agarwal on March 8, 2012 at 12:44 PM


          • Daniel on March 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

            @Himanshu: Dude .. go get a life

          • Sri on March 6, 2012 at 6:13 PM

            @Himanshu You are such a freak…

      • adnan on March 7, 2012 at 4:17 AM

        Himanshu wants a cookie

    • Adnan on March 6, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      Not a single word of her essay sounded like bragging. All she said was that she was pleased with her score. Why would that sound like bragging to you? Her schedule could help a lot of clueless kids out there, which is actually the main focus of what she’s saying. But all you saw was ‘bragging’ LOL

  11. AM on March 6, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Thank you!!!

  12. vaibhav on March 6, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    I scored 312 in 2 months prepration . just use kaplan , barron’s guides for prepration and take full length preparation tests to determine your performance . But don’t forget word lists.

  13. Adnan on March 6, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    I had no particular vector of studying for the GRE, no real schedule as such, just rambled on actually. What I DID do was pay immense attention to the Barrons Guide and studied the Barrons wordlist like religious scripture and did every single practice test in it. There really isn’t any better guide than the Barrons guide. I got 315 after 4 months of studying.

  14. Balamurugan Mohan on March 6, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    Congrats on your score.
    What practice tests did you take,I mean the full practice test?
    How tough is the quants these days?

    • Lavanya on March 7, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      I used the Kaplan ones I got from buying the book.
      And other full lengths in the books I used.

      Quants is not tough; just calculation-intensive. I messed up and did not have enough time.

      • Balamurugan Mohan on March 7, 2012 at 12:08 PM

        Thank you so much .

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