Study Guide

IMPORTANT: On September 22, 2023, ETS (the GRE test-makers) changed the format of the GRE. The updated tests still tests the same content the "old" edition tested, EXCEPT the Analyze the Argument essay has been removed from the Analytical Writing section. The new test also has shorter sections. The details of these changes can be found here

The layout of this prep course, including this Study Guide, will not be updated to reflect the changes to the test as Brent, the founder of Greenlight Test Prep, has recently joined the team at Target Test Prep.  

That said, since this video prep course still covers all of the content tested on the updated edition, it can still be used to prepare. The onus, however, will be on you to to familiarize yourself with the changes to the test, which can be found here.   

Required resource

  • You can begin preparing as soon as you have an account, which will give you access to all videos in the course.

Course structure and methodology

  • The course consists of 500+ videos and 3,000+ practice questions.
  • Each video lesson (e.g., Right Triangles) covers a handful of concepts.
  • Beneath each lesson, you’ll find a Reinforcement Activities box with linked practiced questions.    
  • Each link in the Reinforcement Activities boxes takes you to a practice question on GRE Prep Club, a free GRE prep forum that contains thousands of GRE-quality questions. 
  • Brent, the creator of, has personally answered most of those linked questions, which means you can see his strategies in action. Here’s an example of one such question, with Brent’s response directly beneath. 
  • By creating a free account on GRE Prep Club, you’ll have your own personal dashboard that allows you to review various statistics related to your prep (time per question, success rate, areas of weakness, etc.).
  • In addition to the targeted practice questions beneath each video lesson in the course, you’ll find a comment board where you can ask questions related to that particular topic. This approach helps you master each concept, and it helps you see the many different ways the test-makers can test each concept. For more on the importance of a focused approach, read this article

Ready to begin? 

Step 1 (of 26 steps). Get to know the GRE

  • Visit the About the GRE page to learn all about the GRE
  • Register an account with ETS (Educational Testing Service), the official GRE test-makers. You’ll need an account to take official practice tests, as well as receive information regarding financial aid, recruiting events, and schedule your exam. 

Step 2. Establish your baseline scores

  • Determining your baseline scores early in your prep will help direct your studies in a variety of ways, including: 
    • How many practice questions you’ll need to answer to reach your target scores
    • The difficulty levels of the practice questions to answer
    • The rate at which your score is improving 
    • If you’re reluctant to take a practice test so early in the game, read Take a Practice Test Already! 
  • Before establishing your baseline score, you should first familiarize yourself with Quantitative Comparison questions. Since this question type is unique to the GRE, you’ll have not seen this question type anywhere else.  
  • Go to the Quantitative Comparison module and watch all 7 videos.
  • Take ETS's paper-based GRE practice test, which begins on page 35 here (pdf) 
  • Note: Feel free to skip the essay writing sections of the test. For this activity, what matters are your baseline Verbal and Quantitative scores.  
  • Use the key on page 114 to determine the number of correct responses for each section.  
  • Once you know the number of correct responses in the Verbal and Quantitative sections, the score conversion table on page 115 will tell you your scaled baseline scores.  
  • Note: We'll save the computer-based practice tests for later, once you've completed all of the lessons. 

Step 3. Learn how to maximize your study sessions

Step 4. Review some general GRE strategies 

Step 5. Complete the Quantitative Comparison (QC) module

  • Create a free account at GRE Prep Club so you can track your progress via your personal dashboard.
  • (Re)watch all video lessons in the Quantitative Comparison module
  • Take notes!
  • Answer all practice questions in the Reinforcement Activities boxes beneath most lessons 
  • Read this article about the limited value of testing numbers in QC questions

Important: For the remainder of the study guide, feel free to alternate between quantitative and verbal modules. Just be sure to complete the quantitative modules in the order in which they appear, since many topics build on previous topics.

Step 6. Complete the Arithmetic module

Step 7. Start building your vocabulary

To achieve high scores in the Verbal sections of the GRE, you will need a large vocabulary. So, throughout the Study Guide, you will be encouraged to spend time learning the definitions of hundreds of words found on the GRE.

  • Go to the list of 500 basic GRE words on Quizlet and spend some time familiarizing yourself with the variety of games and activities you can use to learn the definitions of common GRE words.
  • If you wish to achieve a very high Verbal score, spend some time learning the definitions of the words in the 500 advanced GRE words on the Quizlet site.
  • Watch this video with proven tips on building your vobabulary

Step 8. Complete the Powers & Roots module

Step 9. Complete the Algebra & Equation-Solving module

  • Watch all video lessons in the Algebra & Equation-Solving module, and answer as many reinforcement questions as possible (more here)
  • Don't forget to keep building your vocabulary (Step 7) throughout your prep

Step 10. Complete the Word Problems module

  • Watch all video lessons in the Word Problems module, and answer as many reinforcement questions as possible (more here)
  • Reminder: Feel free to alternate between quantitative and verbal topics. 

Step 11. Complete the Geometry module

  • Watch all video lessons in the Geometry module, and answer as many reinforcement questions as possible (more here)
  • Have you been building your vocabulary (Step 7) on a regular basis?

Step 12. Complete the Integer Properties module

Step 13. Complete the Statistic module

  • Watch all video lessons in the Statistics module, and answer as many reinforcement questions as possible (more here)

Step 14. Complete the Counting module

  • Watch all video lessons in the Counting module, and answer as many reinforcement questions as possible (more here)
  • Keep building your vocabulary!

Step 15. Complete the Probability module

  • Watch all video lessons in the Probability module, and answer as many reinforcement questions as possible (more here)

Step 16. Complete the Data Interpretation module

  • Watch all video lessons in the Data Interpretation module and, for each question type (e.g., Strengthen the Argument, Paradox, etc.), answer as many reinforcement questions as possible (more here)

Step 17. Complete the Reading Comprehension module

Step 18. Complete the Sentence Equivalence module

  • Watch all video lessons in the Sentence Equivalence module
  • Once you’ve watched all of the video lessons, answer the linked official practice questions at the bottom of the Sentence Equivalence page 

Step 19. Complete the Text Completion module

  • Watch all video lessons in the Text Completion module
  • Answer practice questions at the bottom of the Text Completion page
  • Keep building your vocabulary!

Step 20. Complete the Analytical Writing module

Step 21. Complete the following activities before your next practice test

Step 22. Take a practice test 

It’s time to check your progress since taking a baseline test. 

Did you reach or exceed your target scores?

If your answer is yes, then you’re almost ready to take the real deal GRE. Before scheduling your test, however, it’s best to take another official practice test (or two) to make sure the latest test wasn’t a fluke. Your goal should be to exceed your target scores on at least 2 of the remaining practice tests to be certain you’ll reach your target score on test day.

If you haven’t yet reached your target score, proceed to step 23

Step 23. Identify and strengthen remaining areas of weakness

From this point on, your prep will be guided by your areas of weakness. Below, you’ll find a variety of suggested activities to strengthen any remaining areas of weaknesses.

  • Review the questions you got wrong on your latest practice test and identify the topic(s) tested (e.g., inequalities, right triangles, etc.)
  • Review your personal dashboard on GRE Prep Club to identify problematic topics 

For each area of weakness you identify: 

  • Review your notes for that topic
  • Review the video lesson for that topic
  • Answer linked practice questions in the Reinforcement Activities beneath the related video lesson
  • Note: If you’ve already answered all of the linked questions, use GRE Prep Club’s question filter to isolate questions related to each area of weakness.    
  • If silly mistakes are hurting your score, reread this article about avoiding silly mistakes

Once you’ve spent at least 20 hours strengthening your remaining areas of weakness, it’s time to take another practice test. 

  • Repeat this process until you’ve reached your target score on at least two official practice tests, and then schedule your exam

Step 24. Avoid surprises on test day

Step 25. Test day!

  • Do your best!

Step 26. Tell us how you did

  • Send us an email. We’d love to hear from you! Even better, how about a video review?

Building Vocabulary

The key to building your vocabulary is to FULLY ENGAGE with each word. Say the word aloud. Think of 3 synonyms and 3 antonyms. Imagine or even draw a scene that depicts the word's meaning. And so on. Engage, engage, ENGAGE

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