How to study for the gre in a month

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

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How to study for the gre in a month

30 days to study, one GRE test to ace. This is not a lot of time to study, but it is possible. So, let’s build a one month plan! 

Having only 30 days to study has some disadvantages, but a few bright spots as well. It is a pressure-filled situation, and will require your full devotion. On the other hand, the short amount of time means the material will stay fresh in your mind right up to test day. In addition, The Economist GRE Tutor continuously presents you with information that builds on and integrates material you’ve already learned. What this means is you’re constantly studying and improving.

Reality Check

Second time around? Analyse to improve! Take a day to examine your performance from your previous test. What went well? What do you need to do better this time? Learning from our mistakes is key to improvement. For each weakness you identify, ask yourself the following: was the problem…

  • Not commanding the subject matter well enough? Back to basics! Go back and relearn the material. Full control of the fundamentals is key. 
  • No time to properly answer the questions? Construct a detailed time-management game plan for the test. And you may need to rethink your PAL strategy: perhaps you need to use more time-efficient answer strategies? 
  • Making silly mistakes? Ask yourself what could have prevented this. There are often simple habits and techniques we can adopt that can make a big difference, from simply writing and underlining key words and data to rechecking our calculations before choosing an answer

In general, you will need to do what you did last time again—but better. Don’t simply assume you remember or know any of it, and don’t skip any topics without checking your mastery of them.

Whether you’re a first-timer or re-taker, the main thing to remember is this: acing the GRE is a skill—one you need to develop and hone. This skill is mostly about your cognitive flexibility.

Principles for Planning

Use your time wisely. Your goal is to plan and know what you are going to do at every point of the next 30 days. This includes: 

  • An overall study time of 100-120 hours. It’s a lot in one month, but it is definitely possible, even if you are employed full-time. 
  • Studying six days per week.
  • Taking into account all of the non-GRE commitments you have over the next month, and planning around them.

The Plan

This is what your plan should look like: 

First 20 days

  • Do the examPAL course, following the schedule: 
    • PAL 101
    • Integers
    • Geometry Basics
    • Vocabulary and Memorisation
    • Algebra Basics
    • Text Completion 
    • Fractions and Percentages
    • Analytical Writing
    • Interest
    • Reading Comprehension
    • Triangles
    • Powers and Roots
    • Ratios and Proportions
    • Sentence Equivalence 
    • Quadrilaterals
    • Expressions and Equations
    • Rate and Work
    • Circles
    • Sets
    • Positive and Negative Numbers
    • Polygons
    • Counting Methods and Probability
    • Coordinate Geometry
    • Descriptive Statistics
    • Data Interpretation Set
    • Solids
  • For each section, do the following: 
    • Review the material: watch the Intro and Lesson videos. While you do so, compile a material summary and tips list: all the bottom lines you reach while studying—things which will help you to remember and absorb the material, and inform your question-solving. 
    • Solve problems from the relevant topic: do the practice phase for the section, starting with Diagnostic, Improvement, and then Optimisation. 
    • Continuously review your mistakes and keep a running list of mistake types: Why did I make this mistake? How will I avoid it? 
    • Update your tips list continuously.
  • Build an exact schedule with time allotted for each topic. Aim for focusing on one topic per day. If you have exactly 30 days, there will be a few days where you do two topics. 
  • Work on your English skills daily. Read newspapers and magazines, including The Economist, and go over the vocabulary list. If English is not you native tongue, spend at least an hour on this daily. It’s crucial to your success on the verbal section. 
  • Take one day off a week to take a break and do something fun!

Days 21-28

  • Practice tests: Every other day, take a practice test. Make it as similar to the real thing as possible: take it at the same time of day as your real test, from start to finish, with no interruptions. Then, analyse your performance: what did you do well? Where do you need to improve? Spend whatever time you have left over to practice questions from the topics you did most poorly on.
  • Review: On days not devoted to mock tests, go over two or three topics; browse through your summary, go over your notes, and try solving questions that stumped you the first time around. Spend more time on the topics that the test revealed to be problematic. 

Day 29

Relax! You’ve earned it and you need it. Tomorrow’s the big day. 

Day 30



  • Having trouble understanding something?
    • Something small and technical? Don’t get bogged down: postpone it until the review days. 
    • Something fundamental? Give yourself more time for the topic to re-watch the Intro and Lesson. It’s alright to borrow time from other subjects, but don’t skip any entirely.
  • Mistakes = Opportunities. For every mistake, ask yourself: why did it happen? How can I avoid a similar one next time?
  • Focus: Find a quiet, secluded space. (And your phone should be nowhere near you when you study.)
  • Get eight hours of sleep a night every night. Exercise is recommended.

One Last Thing

A month of prep should be intense, not stressful. There’s a difference: stress is what you feel when you don’t have a plan. This is not your situation—you have the tools to know what you’re going to do each day, which should give you the piece of mind to know you’re on track. Tick off your tasks each day once they’re completed, and be flexible: if you’ve completed something ahead of time, move forward to a future task. If you haven’t completed what you wanted, update your schedule to give it more time, or simply set it aside. You’ve only got one month—make the most of it! 

3 week gre study plan

  • 1 Week Study ScheduleSo you’re kind of a last-minute studier…but that’s okay because we’re here to help! 🙂 And since you’ve got very little time, you’re going to have to keep up your end of the bargain and give it your all. That’s why we developed this one-week crash course to doing well on the GRE. It’s no walk in the park (more like a 1-mile sprint!). You can do it!
  • 1 Month Study Schedule (Weekly)You’ve given yourself just enough time to see a big improvement in your score, but that’s assuming you are going to be pretty diligent over the next month. This study plan is intended for those who are flexible self-studiers who just need general guidance and weekly check-ins, not daily instructions.
  • 1 Month Study Schedule (Daily)You’ve given yourself just enough time to see a big improvement in your score, but that’s assuming you are going to be pretty diligent over the next month. Are you worried about getting overwhelmed with studying and want lots of specific help? This study guide will give you a step-by-step plan with daily instructions to improve your score and keep you focused and motivated!
  • 2-3 Month General Study Schedule (Weekly)So you’ve chiseled out some serious time over the next 60-90 days, but you don’t want to just flounder through endless GRE material, wasting precious time. This study guide will provide weekly guidelines for those who are self-motivated and feel constricted by step-by-step instructions. Why the wiggle room on the time? Well, some simply have more of it than others. And life does tend to throw unexpected stuff at us, so this leaves room for breaks!
  • 3 Month GRE Study Schedule for Beginners (Daily)This study guide will give you specific, daily instructions to follow over the next few months. The focus will be getting you up to speed slowly and building skills from scratch, so this study guide is perfect for those who haven’t seen a standardized test in years and want a strong focus on the basics to start.
  • 3 Month GRE Study Schedule: Math Focused (Daily)This study guide will give you specific, daily instructions to follow over the next few months. If you’d describe yourself in the following way, this is the plan for you!: “I have a natural affinity with the verbal, but the math is far less intuitive for me. I would like to focus more there.”
  • 3 Month GRE Study Schedule: Verbal Focused (Daily)This study guide will give you specific, daily instructions to follow over the next few months. You have a strong math background and aren’t worried about that section at all– you want extra help with vocabulary, reading comprehension, etc.!
  • 90 Day GRE Study Schedule for Advanced Students (Daily)This study guide will give you specific, daily instructions to follow over the next few months. If you’d describe yourself in this way, this is the perfect plan for you!: “I actually feel reasonably comfortable with math & verbal; if I took the test today, I’d get around 310-320 combined score. I’m interested in refining my understanding and getting into the 320s region in the next twelve weeks.”
  • 6 Month Study Schedule (Weekly)If you are interested in this plan, you are serious about increasing your GRE score and want a long-term plan. Maybe English isn’t your first language, you haven’t stepped into a math classroom in years, or you simply want a dramatic score increase. If you want some general help with structuring your plan of attack, this is the right study guide for you–provided you have 6 months to spare. This plan includes general instructions for each week, so it leaves plenty of room for personal adjustment based on your progress.
  • 6 Month Study Schedule for Math Beginners (Daily)If you are serious about improving your GRE math score and you want a lot of detailed help, this is the plan for you. The focus here is to help you master math basics and then build off of that knowledge so that you’ll be able to tackle increasingly difficult questions and build confidence in your math skills!
  • 6 Month Study Schedule: Advanced Math (Daily)This plan is for quant rockstars who are not content with a mere 160. This study guide includes plenty of help for students with a strong background in math so that you’ll be in striking distance of that perfect 170, while still providing lots of solid help for a great verbal score as well.


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