How to Study for the GRE in a Week?

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How to Study for the GRE in a Week?

Maybe you have procrastinated, or perhaps you weren’t sure what course you wanted to do or what school you tried to apply for; now that you have made up your mind, there is no longer time, and the application deadline is in a few weeks. This means you have just one week to prepare for the GRE.

Do not panic. Panicking won’t get you anywhere. The first step to ensuring you get good grades is to take a deep breath and calm down. Know that to study for this exam in a week is challenging, but not impossible. Many other people have done it, and you can do it too. I will be listing a couple of things to do to ensure you achieve a good score for the GRE in a week.

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But before that, let’s talk about the immediate steps you have to take and the mindset you have to develop in preparation for the exam.

1. Consistency

Before you start any preparation, make sure you mark out time to study every day. You have to learn every day for long hours. Note that, ideally, you need about three months to study, and these three months include time to take breaks and have a little fun. But this is a week, and there is no break.

You have to pick up study materials and go through them every day to familiarise yourself and get comfortable with these questions.

2. Know the Structure of the Exam

This might seem obvious, but it is essential. Break everything down and learn how it is done. The GRE is divided into the sections: the AWA, Verbal reasoning, and Quantitative reasoning. These sections are further divided into subsections required to dig deep into your in-depth knowledge as a student.

You can only ace them if you know what they are about. That’s the only way you can prepare adequately for them.

How to Study for the GRE in a Week

3. Set Your Goals

Planning. This is the body of this preparation. Plan each day before you even get into it. Structure your week until the day of the test, and make sure the load gets lighter as the day approaches.  Also, what is the cut off for your dream school? Could you write it down and then plan for it?

Days 1-2 

This is the time to set your foundation, ensure you are doing the right thing. The first thing you should do is to take a full practice GRE test. Why? This is to ensure you identify your strengths and weaknesses.

When you take this test, there would be a particular section you do well in and a specific section you do poorly in. Now that you have known which ones they are, you now know which of these sections to put extra time into.

Write sample essays and choose someone with adequate knowledge to give you good feedback on it. From your score, you already know where to improve on.

Also, watch videos on each section, especially the math section, and familiarise yourself with the mode of questions.

Days 3-4 

For these days, you will want to spend the most time on sections you need the most work on. Don’t get tired or lazy and never procrastinate. You will need to study without distractions for hours on end. And you will need to answer questions upon questions until you start to feel yourself gaining confidence in these sections.

This does not mean you should ignore those sections where you feel you are proficient. It would help if you still keep your eyes on the bigger picture. At least twice in the two days, take a full practice test. Your score should be higher than the previous ones you took on days one and two.

Make sure these practice tests are timed because, along with building your knowledge on these sections, you want to make sure you have also developed the ability to withstand the pressure of that clock ticking away as you answer your questions on the test day. Please write a minimum of two essays and also get feedback on them.

How to Study for the GRE in a Week

Days 5-6

You already wrote some essays on days 3 and 4; now you get them back and review them critically. After reviewing them, write another one bearing in mind the corrections made in the previous one, then submit again.

As you do this, you are already gearing up to write another practice test. Before you do this, go through the previous tests you have written and then check through the questions you missed. By now, you should answer some or all of them since you have already made corrections. Take time off to congratulate yourself and then take another full practice test. Make sure it’s timed.

After doing this, gauge your results and see how far you’ve come.

Day 7 

Try to relax. You have done well up until this point, and now, it’s time for you to evaluate your week and look how far you have come. Try not to read too much on this day. Go over the previous tests and essays you have written and the corrections you have made.

Jot down the observations on your notecard, and be sure to keep them in mind for your test. It’s been a week now, and at this point, you shouldn’t even be taking any practice tests. Just revise.

How to Study for the GRE in a Week

Test Day 

Avoid all preparation materials on this day, even your note cards. Avoid looking at your revision notes or corrections, it will only force you into last minutes cramming, and you don’t want to do that.

Make sure to eat healthily and keep yourself hydrated. Please show up to the venue early and be ready to ace it.


Like I said before, studying for the GRE in a week is only challenging; it is not impossible. Recognizing the challenge is good and would put you in the right mindset for preparation.

Do not be afraid to fail during practice. When you practice and fail some questions, it will only show you where you need to improve. Do not feel pressured; you are not alone. Many people have done this in a week and passed, and you can do it too.

Good luck.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.