10 Ways to Include GRE Studies in Your Daily Routine

November 29, 2016

Sometimes, half the battle of GRE prep is just finding time to prepare. It can be hard to fit GRE prep into your life. Here are 10 good ways to include GRE studies in your daily routine.

# 1: Use your mornings and evenings

If you have a standard day job, you probably have spare time time before and after work. The morning and evening hours outside of work can be test prep “bookends” to your day. Start some GRE prep bright and early before you go to your job. Then, after you get home, continue your studies again in the evening.

#2: Use your lunch breaks

This tactic may not be for everyone who has a day job. But if you are among the many workers who gets an hour (or a little longer) for lunch, that’s another good time to get in some quick GRE prep.

#3: Use weekends for intense study, and weekdays to review

Sometimes you need several uninterrupted hours to immerse yourself in GRE Prep. It definitely takes hours to go through a full practice test or a good set of practice questions. It’s often easier to do this meatier, more-time consuming GRE prep on the weekends. Then during the week, you can keep your “GRE brain” firing by reviewing your weekend work an hour or two each day.

#4: Use breaks in your school schedule

If you are finishing up your bachelor’s degree and planning to start grad school immediately after, you probably have lots of chances to study the GRE throughout the day. Use your breaks between classes to prep for the exam.

#5: Let your coursework double as GRE skills-building

Are you taking any classes that involve math? What about classes that require you to read academic texts, or write analytical essays? The skills you use in class are the skills you need for the GRE. If you are prepping for the GRE while in school, learn to recognize the connections between your coursework and your GRE prep. This can help you think about the test and build up your GRE abilities both in and out of class.

#6: Play games

There are lots of vocabulary and math games that you can play to develop your GRE Quant and GRE Verbal abilities. Use crossword puzzles, math puzzles, mad-libs and other kinds of gaming as GRE skills practice. This can be a fun, relaxing, and natural way to work some extra GRE prep into your daily life.

#7: Do mental math

Mental math is one of the cornerstones of successful GRE Quant prep. On this front, you’re in luck. There’s math all around you, every day. The next time you go shopping, try to calculate the total in your head before the cashier rings everything up. (Bonus points if you can mentally estimate the sales tax too!) Mentally add up your miles and average speed on your commute to work. Calculate your day’s earning-to-spending ratio as a kind of profit margin. You get the idea.

#8: Read GRE-like materials for pleasure

There’s a lot of genuinely enjoyable reading that has grammar and vocabulary similar to that of GRE Verbal. Movie reviews and TV episode recaps read a lot like the literary analyses you see on the GRE. News content, especially the material on the editorial page, is also full of GRE vocabulary and can have a smart academic tone. This can be fun, even light reading, the kind you’d do during down time at work and school. Use pleasure reading as a chance to practice GRE-style reading comprehension.

#9: Keep a writing journal

GRE AWA deals with the kind of thinking you do on a daily basis. You’re always responding the views of others (AWA Argument Task) or forming your own opinions (AWA Issue Task). Why not keep a writing journal of these daily thoughts? Get in a little writing time each day, and write about the issues and arguments you’ve naturally encountered.

#10: Plan your time very carefully

Above all, your test prep/life balance needs to be approached with organized, disciplined time management. A pre-made GRE study schedule can help, although you may need to modify a study plan to suit your personal needs. Check out this GRE study guide from Magoosh to see what a typical study timetable can look like.

About The Author

David Recine, Guest Blogger
David Recine, Guest Blogger

David Recine is a test prep expert at Magoosh. He has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has been teaching K-12, University, and adult education classes since 2007.

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