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Study Plan for GRE: Tips to get 320+ in GRE on Your First Attempt

Crafting a Winning Study Plan for GRE: Strategies for Achieving a 320+ GRE Score on Your First Try

GRE STUDY PLAN

Study Plan for GRE : Tips to get 320+ in GRE on Your First Attempt. Every year, more than 500,000 people take the GRE. You may not be aware that the global average GRE score for the previous year was 304 (Q 153, V 151). Anything beyond that is considered an excellent score, and you can think of yourself as above average. However, what constitutes "a decent score" on the GRE is more complicated.

The Educational Testing Agency or ETS conducts GRE. It relies on elements such as the desired graduate major, the target institutions, the amount of preparation time, etc. But one should constantly seek higher. 320 is frequently regarded as the benchmark score for accessing the GRE for various reasons. 

This blog will provide you with a quick overview of the exam's format, the study tools you'll need, and—most importantly—how to make a study schedule.

GRE Exam Pattern

GRE Exam

There are six sections in the GRE exam pattern. The part on analytical writing is the first. You will have alternating Quant and Verbal parts from the second segment forward till the final section. You will thus have the option of [2 Quant + 3 Verbal] OR [3 Quant + 2 Verbal]. 

The most important aspect of the GRE is timing. For each of the two writing assignments, you are given 30 minutes. You have 35 minutes to complete 20 questions in Quant. You have 30 minutes for 20 questions in the verbal portion. The third segment will be followed by a ten-minute intermission.

Sections Number of Questions Allotted Time
Analytical Writing (One section) One "Analyze an Issue" task 30 minutes
Verbal Reasoning (Two sections)

Section 1: 12 questions

Section 2: 15 questions

Section 1: 18 minutes

Section 2: 23 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning (Two sections)

Section 1: 12 questions

Section 2: 15 questions

Section 1: 21 minutes

Section 2: 26 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative reasoning

Quantitative Reasoning is a crucial section of the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) that assesses your ability to interpret and analyze quantitative information, solve problems using mathematical models, and apply basic mathematical skills and concepts.

This section consists of two questions: Quantitative Comparison and Problem Solving. To excel in this section, it's essential to understand the format, types of questions, and strategies to manage your time effectively.

Format

The Quantitative Reasoning section comprises 40 questions, divided into two parts:

Quantitative Comparison: This part consists of 10 questions, where you need to compare two quantities and determine which one is greater, whether the quantities are equal, or the relationship cannot be determined based on the information given.
Problem Solving: This part comprises 30 questions, which require you to solve mathematical problems and select the correct answer from multiple-choice options.
Timing: You have 21- 26 minutes to complete each section of the Quantitative Reasoning part. You must manage your time wisely.

Problem-Solving

For Problem Solving questions, follow a systematic approach:

Understand the problem: Read the question carefully, identify the key information, and determine what needs to be solved.
Plan your approach: Decide on the appropriate method or formula to solve the problem. Consider whether estimation or approximation can simplify the calculation.
Solve the problem: Execute your plan step by step, making sure to perform calculations accurately.
Check your answer: Once you've found a solution, double-check it to ensure accuracy and relevance to the question.
Strategies to Ace Quantitative Reasoning:

The minimal Quant score required by many institutions is 160 or 165. Isn't the average lower than that? I advise you to aim for a 170. Your overall score improves as your Quant score rises. If your Quant score is 165 or above, you may get away with a lower Verbal score and still get your total to 320.

The four subjects of algebra, geometry, data analysis, and arithmetic are mostly covered in the quantitative reasoning part.  The reference materials I suggest are the Official Guide to the GRE from ETS, the Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy guides, and the Manhattan 5 pound book of Practice problems.

Section Number of Questions Timing
Quantitative Comparison 10 21 minutes
Problem Solving 30 26 minutes
Total 40 47  minutes

Verbal Reasoning

verbal reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section comprises three question types: Text Completion (TC), Sentence Equivalence (SE), and Reading Comprehension (RC). Let's break them down:

Text Completion (TC):

Text Completion questions on the GRE assess your ability to fill in the blanks with appropriate words or phrases, which may appear in a single sentence or span multiple sentences within a passage. These questions come in varying difficulty levels, from straightforward vocabulary-based blanks to those requiring more complex inference or logical reasoning.

To excel in TC, it's crucial to grasp the context of the sentence and the relationships between words. Look for clues within the sentence and surrounding text to determine the most fitting word or phrase. Practice with various TC questions from GRE prep books, online resources, or official ETS materials to familiarize yourself with different question formats and hone your skills.

Sentence Equivalence (SE):

Sentence Equivalence tasks present you with sentences containing blanks, challenging you to select pairs of words that create sentences with similar meanings. Unlike other question types, SE questions require you to identify two correct answer choices that result in logically and semantically equivalent sentences.

When approaching SE questions, look for pairs of words that not only fit the blank individually but also maintain coherence and convey similar meanings when used together in the sentence. Practice identifying synonymous word pairs and recognizing subtle nuances in meaning to become proficient in tackling SE questions effectively.

Reading Comprehension (RC):

Reading Comprehension evaluates your comprehension of passages, covering topics from various disciplines. RC passages encompass a wide range of subjects, including literature, social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. Passages vary in length and complexity, ranging from short excerpts to lengthy essays. RC questions may focus on main idea identification, inference, author's tone, supporting evidence, and logical reasoning.

To excel in RC, develop active reading strategies to extract key information from passages efficiently. Practice summarizing passages, identifying main ideas, and analyzing the author's argument or perspective. Allocate time wisely, balancing thorough reading of passages with efficient answering of questions. Prioritize questions based on difficulty and maximize comprehension within the allotted time.

Question Type Number of Questions
Text Completion (TC) 10
Sentence Equivalence (SE) 10
Reading Comprehension (RC) 20

The abilities required for the GRE verbal part cannot be learned in a day or a week. This is false on so many levels if you believe you would study for the first 15 days on Quant and then begin with Verbal. You must work simultaneously, so your daily study should incorporate both verbal and quantitative topics. For instance, if you choose to read one Manhattan strategy guide every day for the first week, add some verbal material, such as vocabulary terms or RC practice. GRE is one of the opted study abroad exams.

Analytical Writing

analytical writing

Certainly, let's provide more specific details about the Analytical Writing section of the GRE:

The GRE's Analytical Writing section consists of two essay tasks: "Analyze an Issue" and "Analyze an Argument". Here's a breakdown of each task:

Task Time Allotted Scoring
Analyze an Issue 30 minutes Essays are scored on a scale of 0 to 6 in half-point increments, with 6 being the highest score.
Analyze an Argument 30 minutes Essays are scored on a scale of 0 to 6 in half-point increments, with 6 being the highest score.

Crunchprep Analytical Writing Guide

This guide is a valuable resource for mastering the writing portion of the GRE. It outlines the criteria used by essay evaluators and provides insights into common mistakes to avoid. It offers strategies for crafting well-structured and persuasive essays. It's recommended to review this guide and practice writing essays following its recommendations.

Official GRE Handbook

The chapter on analytical writing in the Official GRE handbook is another essential resource for preparation. It provides sample essays along with the scores they received, giving you a clear understanding of how essays are evaluated.
Analyzing sample essays and understanding the criteria used for scoring can help you refine your writing skills and develop a strong essay-writing strategy.

Importance of Analytical Writing Score

A high score in the Analytical Writing section is crucial for your overall GRE score and can significantly impact your application to prestigious colleges. While the Verbal and Quantitative sections may receive more attention, neglecting the writing portion can result in a lower overall score and potentially affect your application competitiveness.

This detailed overview provides specific information about the Analytical Writing section of the GRE, including task descriptions, scoring, preparation resources, and the importance of the writing score.

Mock Tests

The final and most crucial step in your preparation is this. The GRE is an endurance exam. It is crucial to keep your cool throughout the four hours of the exam. You may accomplish this by taking practice exams. You may also assess how far you've come since the diagnostic. Additionally, you learn about the places that still require development. 

Study plan for GRE

One of the tests I enjoyed studying for was the GRE. Returning to "studies" after a two-year break was challenging as a working professional. In contrast to other online guides, this one concentrates on "what to do" and "how to do," rather than providing you with a day-by-day timetable. and to study the GRE preparation .

Please keep in mind that all of the study materials and resources included in this manual are simple to access, and if you use the right search terms, you may find them all on the first page of Google results. 

Assessment

Before diving into your GRE preparation journey, it's essential to understand where you currently stand. Start by taking a diagnostic test to gauge your strengths and weaknesses across different sections of the exam. This will serve as a baseline for your study plan and help you tailor your efforts accordingly.

Time Management

Time is a precious commodity when preparing for the GRE. Allocate specific time slots each day for study sessions, ensuring consistency and avoiding burnout. Aim for a balanced schedule that allows for dedicated study time while also accommodating other commitments.

Resource Selection

Choose reliable study materials such as textbooks, online resources, and practice tests. However, I shall outline my study strategy for your benefit. One needs good GRE preparation to ace the exam, one needs to refer to the Best GRE Books

  • Textbooks: Utilize reputable GRE prep books such as "The Official Guide to the GRE General Test" published by ETS (Educational Testing Service). This comprehensive guide covers all sections of the exam and includes practice questions to reinforce concepts.
  • Online Resources: Take advantage of online platforms like Khan Academy, Magoosh, and GRE Prep Club for additional study materials, practice questions, and interactive tools. These resources offer flexibility and convenience, allowing you to study anytime, anywhere.
  • Practice Tests: Regularly assess your progress with full-length practice tests under simulated exam conditions. ETS offers official GRE practice tests that closely mirror the actual exam format, providing valuable insights into your performance and areas needing improvement.
Resource Description
Official GRE Guide Comprehensive guidebook with practice questions and tips
Manhattan Prep Books Series of books covering each section of the GRE in depth
Magoosh GRE Prep Online platform offering video lessons, practice questions, and study schedules
Khan Academy Free online resource for math review and practice
GRE Prep Courses Various online and in-person courses designed to help you prepare effectively

Practice Tests

Regularly taking full-length practice tests is essential for familiarizing yourself with the GRE format and pacing yourself for the exam day. Aim to take at least one practice test per week leading up to your exam date. Analyze your performance on these tests to pinpoint areas for improvement.

Content Review

Dive deep into the content of each GRE section – Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Utilize GRE prep books like "The Official Guide to the GRE General Test" by ETS and "GRE Prep by Magoosh" to review fundamental concepts and strategies for each section. Focus on mastering essential vocabulary, math concepts, and essay-writing skills.

Review and Adapt

After each practice test, take the time to analyze your performance. Identify any patterns or recurring mistakes and adjust your study plan accordingly. Spend extra time reviewing challenging topics and practicing strategies to improve your weaknesses. Keep track of your progress to stay motivated and focused on your goal of achieving your target GRE score..

Conclusion

Achieving a competitive score on the GRE requires diligent preparation and strategic planning. You can enhance your chances of success by understanding the exam format, utilizing effective study resources, and implementing a structured study plan.

Remember, consistency and perseverance are key as you navigate through the quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and analytical writing sections. Additionally, don't underestimate the importance of mock tests in simulating exam conditions and evaluating your progress.

With dedication and the right approach, you can aim for a score of 320 or higher on your first attempt, opening doors to various graduate programs and advancing your academic and professional goals. So, confidently embark on your GRE preparation journey, knowing you have the tools and guidance to excel in this challenging yet rewarding endeavor.

How simple is it to get 320 on the GRE?

You should devote at least 30 days to preparation if you want to get a GRE score of 320 or above. Everyone who has received a score of 320 or above has essentially prepared in the same way. The plan can be modified based on the amount of time you have available for studying each day and the materials you choose to utilise for planning.

Can I get a 320 on the GRE without getting tutoring?

Yes, that is definitely feasible. Without tutoring, preparing for the GRE test can be difficult since it requires a detailed study strategy, pertinent study resources, access to practise tests, and much more.

Is 30 days adequate for the GRE?

A GRE One Month Plan will be very effective for you if you are committed and confident in your preparation and are ready to put in the necessary effort. You will need to put in at least three hours every day on average, and only if you are confident in your understanding of the fundamentals of math.

How many hours should one devote to preparation for the GRE?

The practical response to this often asked question is that, depending on how well you prepared for the GRE and how many points you need to increase your Quantitative and Verbal scores, it will take you between 50 and 200 hours to get your goal score.

Do GRE questions repeat themselves?

Yes! They do rephrase questions from their extensive question bank. This implies that if any of your friends took the GRE a few days before you did, it's probable that some of their questions may appear again on your test. This is so because ETS creates test-day questions from the same question bank.

Know Your Author
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Rohit Rajaram
Study Abroad Expert
Rohit is a results-driven individual with a strong background in Education Mentorship, Program Management and Business Development. Holding a Master's degree in Management from ESCP Business School in Paris, Rohit combines academic excellence with extensive industry experience. Throughout his career, Rohit has consistently delivered exceptional results, driving sales, increasing turnover, and achieving targets. Known for his strategic acumen, Rohit formulates and executes successful business strategies, enhancing operational quality, customer satisfaction and key bottonline drivers. As the Co-Founder of MiM-Essay, a leading Early Career Degrees application consulting company, Rohit has successfully mentored over 10,000+ students, enabling them to secure admissions in top-ranked schools worldwide with significant scholarships. Under his leadership, the company has maintained high-quality service and exceptional client satisfaction rates. With expertise in analytics, product development and business excellence, Rohit has successfully driven the success of various initiatives. Committed to constant innovation, he is expanding the company's offerings by introducing digital and technology-powered products for comprehensive education solutions.
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