GRE Material Checklist: Everything You’ll Need to Study for the GRE

This blog post originally appeared on the Magoosh GRE blog.

This GRE material checklist is for you if you’re just starting out with your prep– these are the essentials you must have!

The Official Guide and PowerPrep Tests

The Official Guide 2nd edition is a book filled with helpful practice questions written by the publishers themselves. The PowerPrep tests are full-length tests that come on a CD along with a book (there are two PowerPrep tests on the CD). The book also contains two full-length tests at the back of the book. Nothing can prepare you for the GRE better than practice questions from the creators of the test. Review Magoosh’s full list of GRE practice test resources to get as much valuable prep in as possible.


It is easy to get complacent while doing practice problems. So make sure to use a stopwatch or a timer. That said, when you are first starting to prep you need to take it slowly. But once you’ve got the hang of things, it is ready, set, stopwatch!


This is the only abstract item on the list—but that does not diminish its importance. Doing well on the GRE exam is very much like doing well in sports. He/she who trains hardest does well.

I might add that there is smart training, and not so smart training. For instance, mindlessly going through 1,000 practice problems or spending hours each day trying to fathom a math problem (and its explanation) that is far beyond your ability is probably not the smartest way to train for the GRE.

Study Plan

Want to make the best use of your time? Want to make sure you are only prepping with the best materials out there? Want to find the schedule that best adapts to your time constraints? Then use a study plan to stay on track and monitor your progress. If you’re unsure what plan is right for you, review this Complete Guide to the GRE Exam to review what you need to study and for how long.

Test Date

Choosing a GRE test date may sound very obvious; thus it is the one, to many people’s chagrin, that really bites them. Simply put: the testing center is not rolling out the carpet for your big day. The only way you can get in is by securing an appointment via the site. If you do not sign up in time, you will not get the appointment window that works best for you (nobody likes waking up at 6 in the morning for the 8 A.M. test). Worse yet, there may be no appointments available before your deadline. So make sure you signup as soon as possible.

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