How to Prepare for the GMAT in Three Months
It’s possible to get a great GMAT score after only three months of dedicated study, but it requires hard work and serious discipline. In the middle of applying for scholarships and filling out MBA applications, you’ll need to devote a good amount of time to your GMAT practice. Follow these steps to get the best GMAT score you can in only three months.
Month 1: Focus on CONTENT
Collect your materials.
Start with the Official Guide (OG) published by GMAC, and the official test information from MBA.com. Learn the general format, content, and do a general overview of the GMAT test itself answering all the questions in the OG 11th and 12th editions.
Create a schedule working backwards from your test date.
If you wait until you are “ready” to take the GMAT, you’ll probably never sign up. Choose a test date no sooner than three months from today and sign up. Knowing your Test Date is set will keep you more disciplined in your studies. If you’re working full time while you prep, then you might consider a four-five month study plan.
Study less, more often with clear “session goals.”
Don’t try to cram by taking three days off mid-week and doing 12-hour sessions on the weekends. Your brain can only retain so much information at a time. It’s better to study in 45-minute sessions every day, with longer chunks on the weekends than to only study twice a week. Also, create a plan of action for each study period. What will you achieve?
Month 2: Focus on STRATEGY
Keep the focus on targeting weaknesses and building strategy.
Once you’ve identified your weaknesses, turn them into strengths with more specific books. Are word problems weighing you down? Pick up MGMAT’s word problems guide. Have difficulty with critical reasoning? Powerscore CR is the only book you’ll need. Make sure you have a step-by-step strategy written out for each of the five GMAT question formats: CR, SC, RC, DS and PS.
Do verbal and quant together.
Don’t spend a month on Verbal, and then pick up Quant. Study the concepts in tandem, switching off. Don’t let more than three days go by without doing a little of both. Both sections require time for your brain to get good at them.
Target your weaknesses with an error log.
Track your incorrect questions after EACH lesson. Use the “60/40” rule, meaning you should be spending the majority of your study time (approximately 60percent) reviewing incorrect question explanations, and trying to fill gaps in your content knowledge. Spend no more than 40 percent of your study time answering new questions.
Month 3: Focus on PACING
Take a full GMAT practice test once a week.
Two things change your score: Stronger knowledge of the tested content and more effective use of strategy. Give yourself enough time in between practice tests to analyze and make the needed adjustments. Plan to take about six practice tests minimum, one a week leading up to the test date. Make sure you can confidently answer all the questions in each section, even if you have to guess occasionally.
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