Without a doubt, the GMAT is an incredibly important exam that will influence the rest of your academic career. However, even those of us with the best study plan intentions aren’t always able to follow through. Taking 3-6 months to dedicate 40 hours a week to your study prep sounds great in theory, but sometimes life gets in the way.
Don’t lose hope! It is still possible to thoroughly prepare in only a month; you’re just going to have to be smart about creating your study plan. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you figure out the best way to approach your GMAT test prep. Good luck!
Step 1: Figure Out Your Target Score
This will give you a goal to shoot for, as well as an idea of how many hours you’re going to need to dedicate to your studies. If you’re going to be using a GMAT tutoring program (which is recommended given your time limit) then you can take a full-length practice test to give you a base score. From there, you can figure out how much you need to improve. On average you want to give yourself an hour for every point you want to increase. For example, if you want to increase your score by 50 points then you should plan on needing approximately 50 hours of study.
You can get an idea of a good target score by looking online at the official GMAC website or at graduate schools you plan on applying to. Most schools will have a list of generic requirements and average admittance scores, GPAs, etc. that their incoming students have. If you have a couple of dream schools you plan on applying to, then look at their stats to figure out what you’ll need to be an ideal candidate.
Step 2: Find Your Best Study Materials
This step will be a little bit easier if you’re working with a GMAT tutoring program, but you can still do this on your own. You can find many kinds of study materials online that are either for free or for a fee. However, be careful not to try to use too many study sources. Too many sources can lead to you spreading yourself thin trying to fit in all of the material, so instead find 3 to 4 high-quality resources you can go through thoroughly.
Step 3: Write Out Your Study Schedule
Your new schedule should include specific study times for every day between now and your exam. Every day/week/month you should list what material you’re planning on covering as well as what goals you want to reach. This will help make sure that you stay on track and don’t accidentally miss anything important.
You should also make sure to schedule in plenty of sleep, exercise, and rewards for when you hit certain milestones. GMAT prep can take a lot of energy, so you want to make sure that you’re taking good care of your body as well as your mind. If you don’t, you run the risk of burning out before you reach your exam date.