GRE Prep - Timeline

by : Courtney Flynn, Content Contributor for

gre prep

If you have made the decision to take the GRE then your next step should be to come up with a plan to start studying for it.

Start by clearing up all of your distractions and set aside time to start your prep. Here is an easy outline you can follow in developing your own preparation schedule.

1. Start general:

You should start studying for your GRE about 9 months before you plan to take the assessment.  At this stage, focus on a broad review of all GRE subjects

One good approach is to schedule regular study sessions devoted to this purpose, at least once a week, during this time you should read GRE practice and review materials. This should happen far enough in advance to ensure that you cover it all, but be spaced out enough to not crowd out your ongoing studies or any of your other priorities in life.

You should also start to get a feel for your preferred method or style of studying as well as what subject(s) you will need to focus on in greater detail.

3. Practice:

Pay attention to the detailsMidway through your GRE preparation, you should have completed your broad review and should start focusing on more specific material. Use this time to focus on the areas where you need more review and practice and keep at it until you feel completely comfortable and very rarely are stumped by any of the questions. 

Be sure you take multiple practice tests. This is the time to get comfortable with the format of the test – time yourself and answer questions in the same sequence you would as the real test.  Concentrate on developing specific test taking skills and strategies for the GRE, and perfect them by taking GRE practice exams. If you don’t feel like you are building your confidence up in each of the areas, you may want to adjust your timeline for taking the test so you can fit in some extra practice

3. The logistics:

A couple weeks before the test, start taking care of logistical considerations - arrange for your scores to be sent to the institutions you want to apply to and make sure you know how to get to the testing location. Your preparation should help you know what to expect from the test and give you a sense of how you will perform. 

When you walk into the testing center you should feel confident about the test.  Be prepared, be informed, and good luck on test day.


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