Am I screwed for the GRE if I only spend one month studying for it?

Long story short: I didn't plan on applying for MBA school for 2022 entry because I wanted to wait until I felt confident that classes would be in-person all year round. However, my asian parents are basically threatening to disown me if I don't apply for fall entry this year. They're obsessed with school brand and are salty that I didn't go to an Ivy for undergrad (went to Berkeley). 

Since that significantly compresses my timeline, and my lazy a** hasn't put any time into studying for the GRE yet, am I screwed if I sign up to take it in one month? I've been hearing a lot of varied responses from word of mouth irl and these forums. Some have told me that they got 330+ with only one week of studying (granted they're pretty smart, like almost perfect SAT smart) while others have told me it took them months to get a score like it. 

Ideally, I'd like to aim for 330+ in order to feel good about applying to the M7 schools. Not sure if that's extremely farfetched, but it's hard for me to gauge since most people I know in my personal circle who went to MBA school took the GMAT instead.

For reference, I got around a 2200 on my SAT in 2014 without studying if that can serve as comparison.

Comments (9)

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Jan 10, 2022 - 1:41pm

I'd sit down and take a diagnostic (from ETS) - there's no hard and fast rule, but obviously if you're at 325+ then getting to 330 in a few weeks is a lot easier than 310 to 330. SAT is somewhat predictive, but of course depends on whether your standardized test skills have improved / atrophied in the past few years. 

What else is in your background? Experience, recs, major, etc.? Even if you don't hit 330+ with the right story you have more than a fair shot at M7

Jan 10, 2022 - 2:46pm

Will take a diagnostic either tonight or tomorrow depending on how long work takes today. Work experience is 2.5 years in big 4 consulting and startup nonprofit board member on the side. The rec is probably what I feel most confident about, my boss is a strong writer and loves me. GPA isn't great though, a 3.4 with a degree in Econ because I partied too much in school, that's why I feel like I have less room for error with the GRE.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Growth
Jan 10, 2022 - 4:05pm

330 is pretty absurdly high-mean/ median for most schools in the m7 is like a 162 for V and Q. Stanford is the only one that has an average around 330. I'm certain many people do get that high, but they are likely unusually good test takers. The quant will be fine, but the verbal for the GRE is borderline a huge vocab test. You will need to learn 1000's of words to get a verbal score above a 165. A month might be enough, but as others mentioned it totally depends where you are starting.

I'd read a bit on the averages for these schools-b school admissions are really not super gre or gpa focused, your work experience is going to matter more.

Jan 10, 2022 - 5:47pm

So ironically I am actually way stronger in verbal vs quant, which is why I opted for the GRE instead of the GMAT. It's also why I did not have a good time in my econ undergrad program. I'm more concerned about the quant part. On the SAT, my verbal section was actually one question away from perfect.

That's interesting that you said 330 is absurdly high. On Harvard MBA admission's website, they made it seem like it was the median which is what freaked me out.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Growth
Jan 10, 2022 - 6:56pm

Keep in mind that's harvard-if you were talking CBS, Kellogg, Booth, Wharton, Sloan, pretty sure it's a bit lower.


Most Helpful
Jan 12, 2022 - 10:45am

I'm the founder of Achievable GRE test prep ( and I can add some additional color.

  • First off, we have a lot of people cramming for the GRE in a month or so. Giving yourself three months to study is much better, but a month is still common.
  • Fortunately for you, the quant section is the easiest to improve your score. There are only so many types of questions on the GRE - we've categorized them into 50 main groups. You can basically just drill these until you can fly through them.
  • While it's great that you're a naturally good test taker, you need to learn how to get good at the GRE specifically. Scoring high on the GRE quant section isn't about knowing the math concepts well. It's about being able to answer those question types quickly and accurately, usually without actually doing the math that would otherwise be required.
  • Goal-wise, you basically just need to be above the average score for the program you want - getting a top score doesn't actually help your application that much.

Founder of - modern test prep for the FINRA SIE, S7, and GRE.

  • 2
  • Business School in CorpStrat
Jan 14, 2022 - 11:00pm

Please ignore this clown selling a service and just use Gregmat. I got a 320+ with maybe ~50 hours of studying in total and I got a far lower SAT score. Should be doable in the time frame you have.

Jan 15, 2022 - 10:04am

Congrats on your scores, that is impressive. Our users have similar high scores with about half the study time.

GregMat is a fantastic service and we highly recommend them as well. However, their focus is on instructional video content and they don't have much practice material.

For people looking for thousands of questions and full-length practice exams, you'll need additional resources, whether it is us or something else.

Founder of - modern test prep for the FINRA SIE, S7, and GRE.

  • Business School in CorpStrat
Jan 15, 2022 - 10:15am

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