Your Guide to Free GRE Prep

Free GRE Prep Guide

November 9, 2021

This article provides a step-by-step roadmap to prepare for the GRE at no cost.

The path you’ll take to prepare is pretty much the same path our paying customers follow, with one exception: instead of learning all of the GRE content through our video lessons, you’ll learn it by answering (and reviewing) practice questions.

The layout of our course is uniquely suited for this kind of prep. Each subtopic (e.g., standard deviation, right triangles, negative exponents, etc.) in the course features a wide variety of linked practice questions related to only that one subtopic. For example, here’s a partial screenshot of the linked practice questions related to the subtopic of right triangles:

These links are freely available to all students, regardless of whether they purchase access to the video lessons in the course.

Since the practice questions under each video lesson cover a small handful of concepts, answering those questions will expose you to all of the required concepts and strategies related to that subtopic. Along the way, you’ll also become familiar with the many different ways the GRE can test your knowledge of each subtopic.

Note: This process will take a bit longer, but once you've answered enough questions, you'll be exposed to all of the necessary properties, rules and techniques.

Ready to begin preparing for free?

Your Free GRE Prep Study Guide

Follow these steps and then take the GRE with confidence.  

1) Learn the GRE's format and the various Quantitative Comparison strategies by watching all of the (free) video lessons in the following two modules:

2) Take a practice test to determine your baseline GRE score (here's why all students need to do this)

  • Note: You’ll want to save the official (computer-based) practice tests for later in your prep. So, the above link is for an official paper test (in pdf form), which starts on page 35 of the document.
  • Note: You can skip the two writing tasks at the beginning of the test.

3) Since each practice question link takes you to a question on the GRE Prep Club forum, it’s a good idea to create a free account on their site. This will allow you to track your progress via your personal dashboard, which provides information about your success rates, time spent per question, and so on.

4) For every topic (e.g., Statistics, Geometry, Algebra) in the course, visit each video lesson (i.e., subtopic) page and answer as many linked practice questions as necessary (more on this below). 

  • The linked practice questions are categorized by difficulty level. Answer questions up to and including your target score range. For example, if you need a Q158, then answer questions in the 130 to 160 range. If you need a Q163, then answer questions in the 130 to 170 range.
  • You've been preparing for tests for much of your life now. So, we trust you'll keep answering questions until you feel you've mastered that topic to the extent you need. Of course, it’s worth noting that answering all 3000+ practice questions in the course will practically guarantee success on test day.   
  • Take notes as you work through the course.
  • Most of the experts on the GRE Prep Club forum take the time to thoroughly explain their solutions. So, after attempting a question, be sure to review a couple of expert solutions to see whether they’ve provided a better/faster way to solve the question.
  • Note: Keep in mind that the number of practice questions under a certain subtopic is proportional to how frequently that subtopic is tested. So, if a subtopic (e.g., inequalities) has a lot of practice questions, then make sure you’re comfortable with that subtopic.
  • Important: Feel free to alternate between quantitative and verbal topics. Just be sure to complete the quantitative topics in the order in which they appear, since many topics are based on previous topics.
  • Important: The Verbal topics aren’t arranged into subtopics the same way the Quantitative topics are. For each Verbal topic, you’ll find all of the linked practice questions at the bottom of each module page (Text Completion, Sentence Equivalence, and Reading Comprehension).

5) Spend time each week building your vocabulary. You can use our basic and advanced word lists, or use Magoosh’s vocabulary app (their word lists are very similar to ours).

6) Once you've completed all of the modules in the course, take another practice test.

  • At this point, you may already have the skills necessary to achieve your target GRE scores.
  • If you achieved your target scores on this practice test, you might want to take a second practice test (to confirm the first test wasn’t a fluke :-), and then schedule your test.
  • If you haven’t yet reached your target scores, the remainder of your prep will consist of taking practice tests, identifying remaining weaknesses, and working on those weaknesses before taking another practice test.

7) For each practice test you take, carefully analyze the results to determine your remaining weaknesses. There are four types of weakness to watch for:

  • Specific quantitative skills/concepts (e.g., factoring quadratics, standard deviation rules, etc.)
  • Specific Verbal skills/concepts (e.g., 3-blank text completion questions, weak vocabulary, etc.)
  • Test-taking skills (time management, endurance, anxiety etc.)
  • Silly mistakes

For the first two weaknesses, the fix is straightforward: find the related lesson(s), review your notes on that topic, and answer more linked practice questions (in the Reinforcement Activities box) until you’ve mastered the topic. If you’ve run out of practice questions, you can use GRE Prep Club’s question filter to find additional practice questions on that specific topic.  

If your test-taking skills are an issue, then work on those. For example, you'll find a video on coping with test anxiety in the General Strategies module.

If silly mistakes are hurting your score, then try to identify and categorize these mistakes so that, during tests, you can easily spot situations in which you are prone to errors. For more, read this article.

8) Keep taking practice tests and strengthening weaknesses until you reach your target scores on a practice test.

9) Schedule/take the test

10) Send us an email to tell us how you did. 


Practice Tests

Be sure to take some full-length practice tests as part of your preparation. This will strengthen your test-taking skills (time management, endurance,etc.), and it will help identify any remaining areas of weakness. 

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