How to increase your GRE score from 290 to 310: a student preparing for exam

How to Increase GRE Score from 290 to 310


As an aspiring student, you are likely to come across the Graduate Record Examination, GRE. This is because the GRE is a critical milestone in graduate school admissions processes. I’m guessing that in your academic endeavors, you must have taken this examination, however, you have failed to live up to your expectations—310 target score. I will be sharing how to increase your GRE score from 290 to 310 while leveraging your experience.

Understandably, achieving a score of 290 might feel like a respectable starting point, but reaching the 310 range can be a game-changer, considerably expanding your options for the best graduate schools and scholarships. 

Are you ready to conquer the GRE and achieve your academic dreams?


A Brief Overview of The Graduate Record Examination

The GRE is a standardized test that measures your verbal thinking, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing abilities in order to determine how prepared you are for higher education. A good GRE score is vital in convincing admissions committees that you are capable. GRE evaluates your academic ability and aptitude in your chosen field.


How to Increase GRE Score From 290 to 310 

All right! So I need to tell you that if you are expecting some sort of magical tip on how to increase your GRE score from 290 to 310, you will be disappointed. This is because everything I’m going to share with you in this section is practical. And they are things you will have to do to guarantee an increase in your GRE score. 

So here are the steps to increasing your GRE score from 290 to 310:


Setting Your Target Score

You may think this to be totally irrelevant maybe because you didn’t do so the first time you wrote the exam yet you passed overwhelmingly. However, doing this is very necessary. You could go back and write the exam the second time and score less than your initial score; it’s not witchcraft, it happens. This is why you must have the right motivation, and furthermore, approach the GRE again with the right and a ready mindset.

Now! You may think “isn’t setting a target just deciding in your mind that you are going to do better?” Of course, you are not far from the truth; it’s part of it, but that’s not everything. 

So how do you set a target score for yourself?

Setting a clear target is a process! I’m pretty sure that at this stage, you should have a list of your priority graduate schools already. However, if you haven’t yet, you should begin by making a list of the graduate schools of your interest. After which you should take your time to explore every available on the official websites of these schools. In your search, you should be able to identify the various admission requirements of the schools for the specific program you intend to pursue. Some of these institutions usually publish the average graduate record examination scores for previously admitted students. This will give you a clear idea of the score range you should be looking at. How does your current performance dim in respect to the expected score range? Look it up and note areas that mostly need attention.

If the average score range says 310, you don’t just get to set 310 as your target score. There’s this popular saying “reach for the stars, maybe if you miss, then you can get the moon.” 

Scoring above the average range of your target schools will definitely bolster your chances of being accepted. A higher GRE score shows how proficient you are, firstly, in your ability to think critically, solve problems, and secondly, in certain subject-specific skills. A high proficiency indicates that you are ready to handle the rigorousity of the graduate studies. 

Likewise, some institutions and organizations use the GRE score as a criteria to offer scholarships or financial assistance. If other aspects of your application are strong as well, an impressive GRE score will make you a standout applicant. And you will have a competitive edge, especially when you are vying for limited slots in some graduate programs. Generally, don’t forget to set only realistic targets.

And that’s that for setting your target score! What next?


Creating a Perfect Study Plan

It is very unwise to approach your next exam without a proper preparation; in this preparation process, you will need a guide for your study routine.

Now we will be creating a perfect study plan to help you achieve this feat.

Firstly, you are going to need to balance your study schedule with other commitments, so have this in mind. Every perfect study plan has a time factor. You must have an overall idea of how long you are going to study for the GRE. Are you sticking to the intensive or moderate or extended preparation? You must make up your mind first. In case you are wondering what an intensive, moderate or extended preparation is, I have it explained here. There I also discussed how long you should study to prepare for the GRE, you should check it out. 

Once you have an idea of how your preparation timeline should look—keep in mind the specific application deadlines for the graduate schools of your interest, it’s time to devise a study schedule that addresses your needs.


Making a Study Timetable

Like I said, your study plan should address your needs, and aid improvement. Thus, allocate more time to areas where you struggle. And maintain a practice routine in areas where you excel. 

Since you can’t cover all the GRE resources, you are going to handpick a few prep books authored by reputable publishers. Online resources like Educational Testing Service, ETS, is a good start.

Incorporate full-length practice tests into your study schedule. Take mock GRE in between studies in preparation for the real deal. 

Shorter, and more frequent sessions allow for better retention and prevent mental fatigue; break your study time into smaller, focused blocks.


Tips to Ensure Proficiency in Verbal Reasoning

It is important to note that there are three (3) categories to the graduate record examination—Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Proficiency in all 3 categories will ensure a better performance.

Let’s start with the Verbal Reasoning!

The Verbal Reasoning category of the GRE is all about language skills, particularly your vocabulary. 


How to Improve Your Vocabulary in Preparation for The GRE?

The best step to improvement, aside from learning new things, is practice. Always review your existing vocabulary, learn how these words are used in sentence construction. As Frank Herbert puts it “…..Actual learning requires that you do those things—what you have learned” 

American illustrator, Dr Seuss would add “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Exposure to different genres and writing styles exposes you to a wider range of vocabulary. Cultivate a habit of reading! Read diverse materials. Materials such as newspapers, magazines, novels, and academic articles will help a lot in your preparation. 

Reading is enjoyable when it is fun! Try out word games and puzzles. In addition, vocabulary Apps and Online Resources can not be overstated. 


Tips to Ensure Proficiency in Quantitative Reasoning

If you must increase your GRE score from that 290 that it is, to the 310 you desire, you must conquer this GRE category. Quantitative Reasoning tests your ability to use mathematical concepts to analyze, interprete quantitative information, and draw conclusions. 

To ensure success in this category, you must have a proper understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts.


How to Improve Your Basic Understanding of Fundamental Mathematical Concepts in Preparation for The GRE?

This will take you back to your high school—or secondary school—as it is commonly used in some part of the world, mathematics. Graduate record examination questions usually come from key areas such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, data analysis, etcetera. 

Invest in high-quality GRE prep materials that offer comprehensive reviews of the essential topics. Look for study guides, GRE prep books, or online resources that provide clear explanations and ample practice problems. 


Tips to Ensure Proficiency in Analytical Writing

In this category, you will either analyze an issue or analyze an argument. For the former, you will be presented with an issue or statement, and you will be required to examine the given topic from different perspectives and present a well-structured essay that analyzes the issue. For the latter, you will be presented with an argument or a claim. Your objective will be to identify strengths and weaknesses in its reasoning, as a way to assess the soundness of the argument or claim. You will write an essay that effectively critiques the given argument, highlighting any logical flaws and suggesting potential improvements. 


How to Increase GRE Score from 290 to 310: Strategies and Techniques

At this junction, we are drawing closer to a conclusion. Simple strategies that could help you to increase your GRE score from 290 to 310:


  1. Your study plan should include a proper time management for the exam. Get used to the various types of questions under the GRE categories by taking practice tests. Take note of the time you spend on each section. Divide the allotted time for each section by the number of questions for subsequent practices. 
  2. Maintain a steady pace and avoid being stuck or dwelling on a difficult question! Start by answering the questions you find easier and revisit difficult questions later. But be smart with it.
  3. Depend on intuition to make educated guesses where necessary. You surely can’t know everything. Don’t leave questions unanswered!



There’s no any magical hack on how to increase your GRE score from 290 to 310. It is only possible through proper planning and conscious effort. Don’t be deceived! 

Brace yourself for a scenerio where you take the graduate record examination again but eventually fall below your initial score. Don’t get discouraged. It only means you should work harder and try again. Don’t forget “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” I can’t wait to share in your success story. Cheers!

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