GRE Self Study Plan: 8 Tips for GRE Self Preparation Image
Exams Know-how

GRE Self Study Plan: 8 Tips for GRE Self Preparation

Yocket Editorial Team
5 mins read

Self study can award an individual with power, success, knowledge, discipline, and great fortune. It can help the students learn at their own pace, develop ownership, provide meticulous insights, use innovative learning models, increase awareness, and hone new skills. If you are reading this article, either you have decided to do GRE self preparation or want to design a GRE self study plan. 

Whatever the case is, let’s get an in-depth understanding on it.

Table of Content

GRE Overview and Preparation

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test is a standardised admission requirement for many graduate schools in US and Canada. It examines a candidate’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. It consists of 82 questions that need to be answered in 3 hours and 45 minutes. 

The questions asked in GRE are difficult and require immense preparation. Therefore, to deliver exceptional scores, the students can either enrol themselves on the most prestigious online/offline GRE coaching institutes in India for tutoring or indulge in GRE self preparation. 

If you want to pick the affordable and convenient method of self preparation, there is no turning back. You will have to be constant and persistent in your study efforts. 

Suggested: 8 Tips on When to Start Preparing for GRE

But how can one expert their GRE self preparation journey? 

Let’s check out these beneficial tips, to begin. 

8 Tips for GRE Self Preparation

If you don’t want to spend extra money on coaching or have 4-12 weeks left in your GRE exam, get motivated with the following best self paced GRE prep tips. 

  • Find Your Current Score

You must know your baseline score by taking a full-length GRE practice test before beginning the preparation. This test will help you focus on the shortcomings and weaker content areas. At the end of it, you will know what topics, questions, or sections need extra work. 

  • Determine the Target GRE Score

By now, you must have decided on the university or course you want to pursue. You must compare your baseline score with the cutoff of all the universities to set a target GRE score. It is essential to know the admission requirement of your dream university/program. This analysis will give you an idea of the required effort. 

  • A Plan is Must

Whether you select an online prep course or GRE preparation book, a smart study plan is significant. It will keep you on track and accountable for your efforts. Later in the article, we will know in detail how a GRE self study plan can be created. 

  • Practice New Techniques/Strategies

There is always a better way to accomplish a particular GRE task, goal, or question. Rather than focusing just on the results, follow different techniques or strategies to attempt a particular question/section. With each GRE practice test, your hold on the techniques will improve. 

  • Create GRE Environment

Paper and pencil tests might improve your knowledge but they are quite different from the computerised GRE experience. Therefore, ensure to invest your maximum time in solving online GRE practice tests. They will hone your time management skills, and give an idea about the visual experience and adaptive features of the GRE. 

  • Build Your Vocabulary 

Vocabulary is a critical aspect of the GRE verbal test. Therefore, learn new words by reading academic journals, newspapers, magazines, etc. Besides, if you come across new words while attempting GRE practice tests, note them as well. As they have been asked/used once and can be again. 

Suggested: Best GRE Verbal Books 2022

  • Review the Results

It is beneficial to review your GRE practice test attempt. Know the questions that go wrong, are tricky to understand, or get missed in haste. This examination will help you work on your pace and test-taking abilities. Besides, to check the progress you can also compare each test score with the previous ones. 

  • Is Calculator Required? 

Even though a calculator is provided in the GRE quantitative exam, whether to use it or not is a big question. You must be well-versed in using the calculator; else, it can waste your time and become a liability. So perform your tests with and without a calculator to determine what works best. 

Now you know the tips to champion your GRE self preparation. So let’s go through the most important step of this process — the GRE self study plan!

How to make a GRE Self Study Plan? 

You can only achieve the desired GRE score by creating a to-the-point study plan. All the GRE study materials usually have a pre-built plan layout. However, it may vary as per a student’s weaknesses. Gain an idea of a GRE self study plan layout, with this 2-month sample. 

Month 1 

Week 1

  • Take a GRE Diagnostic Test
  • Review the included concepts

Week 2

  • Learn the exam pattern and syllabus
  • Go through the fundamentals and intermediate concepts

Week 3

  • Study 2 GRE prep classes of 2 hours (GRE quant) + 3 days studying of 1.5 hours (question-solving)

Week 4

  • Study 2 GRE prep classes of 2.5 hours (GRE verbal) + 3 days studying of 1.5 hours (question-solving)


Month 2

Week 1

  • Take PowerPrep tests and work on the mistakes. 

Week 2

  • Learn GRE vocabulary
  • Practice AWA essays
  • Watch GRE quant + verbal videos

Week 3

  • Take GRE Practice Tests
  • Watch videos of difficult concepts
  • Take Rest

Week 4

  • Take full-length GRE practice test and work on the mistakes

This GRE study plan will slightly change for every student according to their target GRE score, the diagnostic GRE test score, and preparation duration. Additionally, note to take rest before exam day, keep calm, and have healthy meals. 

To execute this plan, a student will require the best GRE self study material. Let’s dive right into the list. 

Best GRE Books for Self Study

Among various online and offline study materials, here are the few best GRE study books to consider. Before selecting among the best GRE books for self study, it is advised to go through the included questions, explanation for answers, no. of practice tests, and topic structure.

  • The Official Guide to the GRE General Test, Third Edition
  • GRE Prep by Magoosh

  • ETS’s Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions & Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions

  • Manhattan 5lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems

  • Barron’s GRE Wordbook

  • Kalpan GRE Prep Plus

  • Lastly, you can go premium with Yocket Prep to prepare online. Under this, Yocket offers 2 free full-length GRE practice tests, an adaptive algorithm, an instant test score report, free solutions for the test, and timed/untimed tests to practice strategically. 

For a little motivation, check out this GRE topper Ashwini Nene interview with a 340/340 score. 

Frequently Asked Question on Self Paced GRE Prep

Ques. Does self paced GRE prep work?

Ans. Yes, with sufficient practice and a well-implemented study plan, students can achieve good GRE scores. However, it is advised to begin preparation at least 4-12 months before the test date. 

Ques. Is GRE self study material sufficient for preparation? 

Ans. Yes, study materials like flashcards, notes, practice tests, and books help prepare for GRE. Plus, self preparation also provides a silent test like environment for study. 

Ques. Is the GRE home test harder? 

Ans. No, both the GRE regular and home test have the same difficulty level, structure, duration, and format. 

Ques. How do I clear GRE on the first attempt? 

Ans. To clear GRE in one go, take a mock test in advance, know your pitfalls, and work on them sincerely. Furthermore, follow the prepared GRE study pattern to be consistent in efforts. 

Ques. Are there any tips to prepare for GRE verbal reasoning? 

Ans. Yes, you can explore this Yocket GRE Verbal Tips Video for reference. 

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