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1 Month GMAT Study Schedule

OK, suppose you are starting from Square One and have just a month to get yourself in shape for the GMAT.  That’s not a whole lot of time, but here’s how to make the best of it.

This outline supposes six days/week of preparation.  It will actually help you integrate even more deeply if you have one GMAT-free day a week.  I am assuming you have 3-4 hours a day, with occasional days (presumably on weekends) when you will put in more time.  It could be a comfortable rhythm, for example, to do a few hours each weeknight, a larger session on Saturday, and then take Sunday off.  I know it will be hard to stick to this regimen if you have a full-time job; if you are working full time, you may consider postponing your GMAT, if possible, to give yourself adequate time to study, and following a two-month or three-month plan.  NOTE: Many folks find that each day’s assignments take 3-4 hours, although times to complete them will vary for different students.

Also, very very important: even though you are doing more work preparing for the GMAT during this month, you must get 8+ hours of sleep every night.  Memory encoding takes place in REM sleep, and it’s in that last hour of an eight-hour session of sleep that we get the most REM.  Getting an average of 8 hours of sleep vs. an average of 7 hours of sleep every night between now and the GMAT could be as much as a 50 point score difference.  Getting enough sleep is very important!

 

Essential Materials

1) GMAC’s The Official Guide for GMAT Review (OG)

2) Magoosh GMAT– sign up for the Premium subscription

3) the official GMAT website, mba.com – register on the site

 

Optional/Supplemental Resources

1) GMAT Club, online forum

2) Beat the GMAT, online forum

 

Week One

Week One is has two tasks:

a)  to begin with getting information about you: what are your strengths and weaknesses?  Where do you need to focus attention?

b) to get familiar with the layout of the test

 

Week One, Day One

1) In the OG

Read the first half the Math Review, before the math questions in the OG; as you read, either write down in a separate journal concepts that fuzzy/rusty/unfamiliar.

2) In the OG

Read the introductory section to PS questions, DS questions, RC questions, and CR questions.  You will find these introductory sections before the banks of that question type.

3) Read the official page on the structure of the test: http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/test-structure-and-overview.aspx, and follow the four individual links to read about individual question types.

4) Watch the following Magoosh Videos

Under the Intro to the GMAT section: all ten videos, or as many as are needed

Under the Reading Comprehension (RC) section: the first three videos

Under the Critical Reading (CR) section: the first video

In Math: the first five  videos

(As you watch these Magoosh videos, take notes in a notebook.  You will not have time to watch all of them more than once, so you need to get the most out of the time you watch each one.  Even if you never again look at what you write, the fact that you are writing, and therefore processing, what is being said will help you remember it.)

 

Week One, Day Two:

1) In the OG, finish the Math Review; as you read, either write down in a separate journal concepts that fuzzy/rusty/unfamiliar.

2) In the OG, read the introductory section to SC questions, including the “Basic English Grammar Rules” section: as you read, either write down in a separate journal concepts that fuzzy/rusty/unfamiliar.  Read the introduction to the AWA and read the entire IR section.

In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR questions, and the first RC passage with questions.  When you do each batch of questions, correct yourself right after, and then read the explanation given whether you got the question right or wrong.  At the beginning, be religious about reading the explanations carefully, making sure that, on questions you got right, you got them right for the right reason.  As you continue in your studies, you can just scan explanations for question that were easy to get right.

Also, very important.  If you don’t fully understand the explanation given in the OG, then can go the Magoosh YouTube channel, where explanations are available for all the Quantitative questions, and you can also post questions in the online forums.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

Under the Sentence Correction (SC) section: : the first five videos

In Math: five more videos

Under the Analytic Writing Assessment (AWA) section: all five videos

Under the RC section: the remaining seven videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 Problem Solving (PS) questions, 10 SC, 10 CR;

When you do the Magoosh question, start by watching the video following the question whether you got the question right or wrong.  As time goes on, and you are comfortable with why you go a question right, just watch the videos for questions you got wrong.

 

Week One, Day Three:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions. (NOTE: for any day, if a single RC passage has more than 5 questions by itself, then you can do that passage alone, not two RC passages that day.)

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: 6 more videos

In Math: six more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 Data Sufficiency (DS) questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

 

Week One, Day Four:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the CR section: the remaining 12 videos

In Math: four more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

 

Week One, Day Five:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: six more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

 

Week One, Day Six (BIG Day):

1)Go to http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/download-free-test-preparation-software.aspx, download the free software.

2) Take he first full-length GMAT on the GMAC software.  Go through the entire solution after you are done, taking notes in your journal on anything you got wrong.

That software does not include an AWA question.  To simulate a full GMAT, begin by selecting randomly a prompt from the back of the OG, and then take 30 minutes to write the essay in a word processing program. This essay you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.  Then, take the rest of the GMAT using that software.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GMAT conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GMAT.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

3) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In  the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section: all 17 videos

 

Week Two, Day One:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

 

In the SC section: four more videos

 

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

 

Week Two, Day Two:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

 

Week Two, Day Three:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

 

Week Two, Day Four:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

 

Week Two, Day Five:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

 

Week Two, Day Six (BIG Day):

1) Take the second full-length GMAT on the GMAC software.  Go through the entire solution after you are done, taking notes in your journal on anything you got wrong.

That software does not include an AWA question.  To simulate a full GMAT, begin by selecting randomly a prompt from the back of the OG, and then take 30 minutes to write the essay in a word processing program. This essay you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.  Then, take the rest of the GMAT using that software.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GMAT conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GMAT.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In Math: eight more videos

 

Week Three, Day One:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

 

Week Three, Day Two:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

 

Week Three, Day Three:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

 

Week Three, Day Four:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

 

Week Three, Day Five:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

 

Week Three, Day Six (BIG Day):

1) Retake the first full length GMAT on the GMAC software. Because the software has a larger question pool than the number of questions on each test, you will usually see many new questions as well as repeats (which are great for review). Once again, go through the entire solution after you are done, taking notes in your journal on anything you got wrong.

That software does not include an AWA question.  To simulate a full GMAT, begin by selecting randomly a prompt from the back of the OG, and then take 30 minutes to write the essay in a word processing program. This essay you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.  Then, take the rest of the GMAT using that software.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GMAT conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GMAT.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: five more videos

In Math: eight more videos

 

Week Four, Day One:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

4) Go to GMAC’s official IR website: the code in the back of your OG will give you access to this site.  Do the first 12 IR questions in a 30 minute time limit.  Just answer the questions and move on.  After the 30 minutes is up, check your answers and read carefully the explanations.

 

Week Four, Day Two:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

4) Go back to GMAC’s IR website.  Do IR questions #13-24 in a 30 minute time limit.  Just answer the questions and move on.  After the 30 minutes is up, check your answers and read carefully the explanations.

 

 

Week Four, Day Three:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

4) Go back to GMAC’s IR website.  Do IR questions #25-37 in a 33 minute time limit.  Just answer the questions and move on.  After the 30 minutes is up, check your answers and read carefully the explanations.

 

 

Week Four, Day Four:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Read the AWA Argument prompts in OG; pick one at random, write an essay in half an hour; get a friend or mentor to critique it, or submit it on the online forums for critique.

3) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: seven more videos

4) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

 

Week Four, Day Five:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and 10 SC

2) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

3) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: any remaining videos

In Math: seven more videos

4) Go back to GMAC’s IR website.  Do IR questions #38-50 in a 33 minute time limit.  Just answer the questions and move on.  After the 30 minutes is up, check your answers and read carefully the explanations.

 

 

Week Four, Day Six (BIG Day, if this is NOT the day before the real GMAT):

1)  Retake the second full-length GMAT on the GMAC software. Because the software has a larger question pool than the number of questions on each test, you will usually see many new questions as well as repeats (which are great for review). Once again, go through the entire solution after you are done, taking notes in your journal on anything you got wrong.

That software does not include an AWA question.  To simulate a full GMAT, begin by selecting randomly a prompt from the back of the OG, and then take 30 minutes to write the essay in a word processing program. This essay you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.  Then, take the rest of the GMAT using that software.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GMAT conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GMAT.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In Math: seven more videos

Any extra days:

1) In the OG, sample the remaining SC & CR questions

2) Write another essay, and get a critique of it

3) Do any remaining Magoosh questions for which you have time.

 

Day before the test:

1) No GMAT preparation all day.

2) Eat a large, healthy, leisurely dinner – no alcohol!

3) Go to bed earlier than usual.

 

Day of test

1) ABSOLUTELY NO LAST-MINUTE GMAT PREPARATION!

2) Eat a large breakfast, full of protein.

3) Do relaxing, fun activities to pass time until the test.

 

Bring to the test

1) A liter of water.

2) Healthy energy-packed snacks (nuts, protein bar, etc.).

3) On breaks, make sure to get up, move & stretch – moving & stretching the large muscles of the body (legs & torso) will get oxygen flowing throughout, which will help keep you awake and keep you thinking clearly.

For relaxation tips, see this post.

Any questions on this plan?  Just leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to help!

 

About the Author

Mike McGarry is a Content Developer for Magoosh with over 20 years of teaching experience and a BS in Physics and an MA in Religion, both from Harvard. He enjoys hitting foosballs into orbit, and despite having no obvious cranial deficiency, he insists on rooting for the NY Mets. Follow him on Google+!

73 Responses to 1 Month GMAT Study Schedule

  1. Gagan Singh June 30, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    Hi Mike,
    I have been preparing for GMAT for almost 2 months now but then the consistency has been lacking. I am planning to take my exam in a month. My score right now is around 640, but my target score is 730+. I am planning to buy premium pack and follow the 1 month plan that you have mentioned in the blog above. Also I am mainly lacking in Verbal as of now.
    My concern is that I want to know if I stick to the above plan, is 730+ achievable?
    Looking forwards to a quick response. Thanks! :)
    Regards,
    Gagan Singh

    • Mike
      Mike June 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      Dear Gagan,
      I’m happy to respond. :-) If you buy the Magoosh Premium plan and follow this study schedule faithful, then absolutely everything you need for an elite score will pass in front of your eyes. Whether you succeed depends on your ability to learn and remember and assimilate. Remember, 730+ is an elite and hard-to-achieve score. It is an exceptional score. To have any chance of scoring in this range, you will have to make an exceptional effort, show exceptional dedication, retain information in an exceptional manner, have an exceptional eye for detail and precision, and be exceptional at making connections. Scoring at that level involves a number of skills. The plan will give you all the information you need to learn, and the rest is up to you.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike :-)

  2. Prashast June 30, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    Hey there..
    I am planning to retake my GMAT in exactly a months time. I am aiming to get a score of 720 + against my recent 620 score. Will this schedule be helpful for me too?

    • Mike
      Mike June 30, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      Dear Prahast,
      I’m happy to help. :-) If you follow this schedule faithfully, it will provide you with all the information you need. Whether you improve depends on your ability to learn & remember & assimilate. Remember that 720+ is an exceptional score, very hard to achieve. To get there, you will need to provide exceptional focus & dedication, exceptional attention to detail, exceptional memory, and exceptional ability to understand ideas in depth and to make connections. All the information you will need is available in this plan, and your success depends on you.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike :-)

  3. José Carlos June 19, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    Hi, I am planning on doing the 30 day GMAT plan, do you have another version of the calendar in this format, maybe another one printable to keep track of my progress?
    Thanks

    • Mike
      Mike June 19, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

      Dear José Carlos,
      I’m happy to respond. :-) We have released printable versions of some of the study plans, but we haven’t done so for this plan yet. I’m sorry, but the best I can say is: this page is pretty much all text, so if you copy & paste into something like Word, that should give you something you can edit relatively easily. I’m sorry that’s the best we can offer at this time. Best of luck to you.
      Mike :-)

  4. Ivonne May 30, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    Hi, I need to take GMAT test on July 22th. I just have time to study less than two months. and I haven’t taken any GMAT test before.
    My aim score is around 500-600.
    Do you think if I subscribe for 30 days Magoosh GMAT plan, it will help me a lot?

    • Mike
      Mike May 30, 2014 at 10:44 am #

      Dear Ivonne,
      I’m happy to respond. :-) Signing up for Magoosh and following this plan diligently will definitely enable you to maximize your potential. Since you have more than a month, I would recommend also reading all the MGMAT books and reading all the content articles on this blog. If you do that, then all the information you need for an elite score will pass in front of your eyes, and how well you do will depend on how deeply you understand, how completely you remember, and how effectively you can apply what you know. The Magoosh video explanations, following each practice question, will be a real help here.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike :-)

      • Ivonne June 1, 2014 at 4:33 am #

        Thanks for your reply. I just took a GMAT practice test and I only got 320! (that’s so bad) I couldn’t purchase a MGMAT book because I don’t live in States right now.. If I rely on the subscription on Magoosh, do you think it will boost my score??

        • Mike
          Mike June 1, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

          Dear Ivonne,
          Magoosh contains everything you need to improve — I would strongly recommend reading the whole blog, in addition to using the product. If you learn diligently from everything Magoosh, it really can help you significantly.
          Mike :-)

  5. Abdullah April 29, 2014 at 12:25 am #

    Hi Mike,

    I’m a GMAT beginner and I intend to write the test on the 15th of June. Earlier I had signed up for a verbal course and this was before I found out about Magoosh :( . I immediately signed up for Magoosh premium as soon as I found out about it.
    Here’s the thing, I’ve already started my verbal prep from the earlier course I signed up for and don’t want to shift now as it would lead to confusion. Now since I’ll be using Magoosh solely for Quant, could you please suggest how i should utilise this schedule? As I have almost more than a month left, should I just go through the quant suggestions given in the 3 MONTH schedule, by doing 2-3 days work in one day and so on?
    Or do I just follow the math suggestions in this ONE MONTH schedule?

    Thanks!

    • Mike
      Mike April 29, 2014 at 10:19 am #

      Abdullah,
      Here’s what I’ll recommend. I believe it is very short-sighted to think, “I am learning Verbal from another Verbal course, so that’s all I need.” That is mediocre thinking that holds students back. An excellent student always wants to know: how can I learn more deeply? I think you should use both the other Verbal course and Magoosh Verbal — being exposed to these ideas in two different orders, in two different ways, will enormously deepen the connections in your brain. Yes, you are right: this is much harder to do, because it forces you to learn much more deeply than you would simply from following one course.
      I would say: follow the 1-month schedule as is, and use the extra time to work on that other Verbal Course — perhaps each week, you push back the Magoosh schedule a day or so to create a day to focus on the other course. I don’t have any sense of how much time that other course demands — you may have to employ some weekend time, and may even have to double up some days: Magoosh work + work from that other course. This will be challenging, but it will really give you a very powerful preparation. If you are eager to do as well as possible on the GMAT, this is the path I would recommend.
      Mike :-)

  6. Aditya April 27, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Mike,

    I’ll be writing the GMAT on June 14, 2014 and have decided to follow this plan to the T, with a few modifications as I see fit. My score on the mock GMAT was 630 with no preparation whatsoever. I’m aiming for a 700+. I’ve been told that the verbal section can play a larger role in obtaining an elite score, as compared to the quant section. Is this because the gmat test-takers are usually better at quant and thus the grading scheme is more friendly towards high verbal scores?

    I have an engineering background so my math isn’t too bad. It’s the verbal section I’m more concerned with. Any additional advice you can provide me with to strengthen that aspect of my preparation?

    Much appreciated,

    Aditya

    • Mike
      Mike April 28, 2014 at 10:23 am #

      Dear Aditya,
      Congratulations on a strong start. With that cold performance, you stand an excellent chance of breaking the 700 threshold!
      I don’t believe the Q & V scores are inherently different in their impact on the overall score, but I know that a large number of non-native speakers take the GMAT, and I imagine this has a huge impact on the V scoring scale.
      First, I’ll say: do not underestimate GMAT math in any way. I am sure you have a strong math background. The hardest GMAT math problems are very tricky. Make sure you know GMAT math inside out.
      Now, on the verbal side: definitely check out our GMAT Idiom ebook:
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom-ebook/
      and our Idioms Flashcard app:
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/announcement-gmat-math-and-idioms-flashcard-apps/
      On all GMAT Verbal questions, there is one clearly correct answer and four choices that are each wrong for a very specific and unambiguous reason: you don’t really understand a GMAT Verbal question until you understand exactly why the right answer is right AND exactly why each wrong answer is wrong. Read solutions to problems carefully: over time, you will develop the ability to spot the patterns of Verbal wrong answer choices. It will also help you to read as many of the Verbal article on this blog as you can.
      Finally, the very best thing you can do for your Verbal performance is: READ. Read every day. Force yourself to read hard challenging material in English. If you can read for 1 hour a day, over and above anything you do associated with this study schedule, that would be great. The Economist magazine would be an excellent journal to read cover-to-cover each week. For more recommendations, see:
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-reading-list/
      I hope all this helps. Best of luck to you!
      Mike :-)

  7. Ben April 24, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    Hi Mike,

    I just signed up for the premium account. I will take the GMAT on May 20th. I have been studying for about a month now and gained an overview of every section. My target score is 600+. I have done about 100 practice questions of the PS and DS part of the OG 13 looking up parts I did not understand on different pages like beathegmat.com and also the great videos here. I would like to follow your 1 month study plan. Do you think you can give me some further advice on how to go on the next days/weeks? I am just working on my bachelor thesis (Bsc. International Financial Management) so therefore I am home for the next weeks and will have plenty of time to study. Do you think it would be realistic to focus on MGMAT at the same time?

    I look forward to hear from you soon!

    Thanks,
    Ben

    • Mike
      Mike April 24, 2014 at 11:48 am #

      Dear Ben,
      Because you have already done some OG question, because you have already watched some Magoosh videos, and because you will have some free time, I think this is doable. Since only you know exactly how many Magoosh videos you have already seen, I will leave it up to you to determine how many videos you should watch to be on pace to end a few days before 5/20; depending on how many you have already seen, your video-lesson watching pace might be faster or slower than the pace of this plan, but the pace of this plan is reasonably brisk. Similarly, you can spread the remaining OG questions evenly over the remaining days.
      If you want to add MGMAT — they are excellent books, but to get through the whole set, that would involve reading close to three full volumes each week — that would be 2-3 additional hours each day. If you can afford that, that would give you excellent preparation, but that’s a ton of extra time. If, for example, you pick just one or two MGMAT volumes that you suspect would be particular pertinent to your studies, then you could stretch that out, so you were doing only 15-20 minutes extra each day, something much more manageable.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike :-)

  8. ben k March 31, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    Hello Mike,

    For someone that has a little over 1 month and a half to prepare for the GMAT, I was wondering if you recommend this or the 3 month plan?

    • Mike
      Mike March 31, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

      Dear Ben,
      I would recommend: stick with this plan. If you find you have some extra time, you might study a few of the MGMAT books as well.
      Best of luck to you!
      Mike :-)

  9. Domsa January 25, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    Hi Mike,

    Due to underperforming today, I’ve decided to say goodbye to the real world for the following 30 days and focus on my GMAT a good 10-12 hours a day. Since this is significantly more hours than this guide requires, what would you say I should do with the rest of my time? Would you recommend going for a 6 month prep guide or should I just squeeze in more practice hours on top of this? I took the test twice so far and I’ve noticed that the ”most common areas” of Quantitative varied both times, the first time it was mostly geometry while today they slapped me hard with digits-related questions.

    Thanks

    • Mike
      Mike January 25, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

      Dear Domsa,
      So, my friend, here’s what I’ll say. Use this one-month plan. The way the brain works, it can be hard to integrate a lot of information in an intense dose. The way you will get the most out of this month is to vary your focus at much as possible each day. For example, one thing I would recommend is watching all the Magoosh Lesson videos twice, but it will do very little for you to watch a video and then watch it again right away; instead, I will recommend, double the pace of watching videos, so you can see every video by about Day 15, and then once you are done with the whole sequence, start from the top and watch each one again in the second half of the month. That way, there should be about two weeks between the viewing of any single video, and that kind of spaced out repeated exposure is what builds connections in the brain. Diligently watch the video explanation to every question you do, scouring it for any chance to deepen your understanding. Take nothing for granted. I would also recommend: read through every single article on this blog: there’s a lot here that can help you, and many times the same concept is explained differently here than in the Lesson video: hearing it two different ways will help you. I also recommend get the entire MGMAT set and read through them during the month. Again, vary what you are doing — on any particular day that you watch, say, Magoosh Lessons on math, then read blogs or MGMAT books on verbal stuff. You should have an equal doses of math & verbal every day, so you get used to switching back and forth.
      Finally, it will very important to maintain excellent health through this month. Get 8+ hours of sleep every single night, because REM sleep is essential for building memory. Eat well: be sparing with caffeine, and avoid “high fructose corn syrup”, which diminishes the ability to focus. It will also be important to take short strategic breaks each day, perhaps a trip to the gym or some other such exercise: supporting blood flow and oxygen to the whole body will increase oxygen to the brain and will support greater attention & learning.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike

      • Domsa January 26, 2014 at 3:34 am #

        It sure does, thank you for the fast reply :)

        • Mike
          Mike January 26, 2014 at 11:30 am #

          Dear Domsa,
          You are more than welcome, my friend. Best of luck to you!
          Mike :-)

  10. Prashant January 8, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    Hello Mike,

    Thank you for the study plan. The question might come across as redundant, but still, I thought i ask simply to clarify. It is regarding the 1 month plan. As I follow the daily plan, particularly in the math section (and even SC some of the time) I am asked to watch “The next five videos. example, Day 2, Math section – Five more videos. Could you please expound on that. Are you recommending that I watch the Very next 5 videos (which are all DS lessons, and which are not questioned on magoosh for that day) or do I watch ANY 5 videos? In other words, am I following a particular (systematic) order, or am I going by the questions I would be answering that day. (And if I am doing so, then PS has a variety of questions, what would be a good action plan?) Similarly, your recommendation to watch 10 more videos in SC section on DAY 3….. :)

    The only reason i ask is because your 3 month schedule is a very well/systematically explained.

    Thanks again1!

    • Mike
      Mike January 9, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      Prashant,
      Watch all the videos in the order in which they appear in the video library — the long sequence of math lesson videos is designed to be watched in that specific order. Do NOT choose your videos based on the questions that day. It’s absolutely true — especially in the early stages, you will come across content in questions that you haven’t seen yet in video lessons. That’s fine.That’s the point. First of all, wrestling with that content yourself is hard, but it primes your mind for learning more deeply when you eventually get to those lessons. Furthermore, it’s very good training to wrestle with questions on which you don’t necessarily know the answer — no matter how well prepared you are, the CAT will always throw some questions of this sort at you on test day. One of the skills you need to develop is retaining your confidence and your intuition about what is right even when you feel a little flustered. See the blog:
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-study-approaches-systematic-vs-random/
      for a more thorough explanation of this logic.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike :-)

    • Shiva May 12, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

      Hi Mike,
      I am running late for admissions for Jan ’15, I am aiming at top business schools and some have also shown interest due to my work experience. However I haven’t given the GMAT and I intend to do it in a month or 2 maximum. Does the above strategy ensure me a score of 720+ ? I can put in 8-12 hours a day for studies. Please guide me.

      • Mike
        Mike May 12, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

        Dear Shiva,
        I’m happy to respond. :-) Following this plan will help you perform about as well as you can, given a month’s preparation. It is true that, if you follow this plan, and especially if you also use the MGMAT books as well, then absolutely ever fact & strategy necessary for an elite score will pass in front of your eyes during the course of the month. How well you retain all that information, how deeply your learn and understand it, and how well you can apply it depends very much on you. In this context, I would suggest this blog:
        http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/getting-a-good-gmat-score/
        I hope all this helps.
        Mike :-)

  11. Rebecca December 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    Hi Mike,

    I have a quick question: I’m taking the GMAT a month from now. My goal is to score 720 + , do you think using the 1 month study schedule will suffice? Or, do I need other resources?

    Thanks,
    Rebecca

    • Mike
      Mike December 9, 2013 at 10:20 am #

      Rebecca,
      In part, this depends on where you are starting. I would say — follow this plan religiously, watch every single Magoosh lesson, and just for good measure, read all the MGMAT books, and with all that, you will give yourself the best chance for an elite score.
      Mike :-)

  12. PB November 26, 2013 at 2:57 am #

    Hey Mike,
    My GMAT is on 11th Dec. I scored 680 on the mock test. Have another 15 days to go. Do you have any suggestion regarding what should I do ? I am scoring poorly in the RC and SC section. I had appeared for GMAT 5 years back and scored 710 last time (Hv an MBA, applying this time for a few advanced courses, so need a really high score of 720 plus).
    What I realize is that I am unable to focus my mind consistently for long durations.

  13. shanaya October 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Hi Mike
    Can you suggest me any online website for free that can check my AWA essay and give me a feedback.

    • Mike
      Mike October 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      Dear Shanaya,
      Unfortunately, that’s very hard to find. You can try posting on Beat The GMAT or GMATClub — many people post there, but I think with very little success. Alternately, do you know about Craigslist?
      http://sfbay.craigslist.org/
      All kinds of writing tutors post on CL, especially in the SF Bay area and in the NYC area. Now, a tutor might charge a significant fee to review your essays and give you feedback, but that’s really the only way I know that you could get this service. I simply don’t think you are going to find this service for free.
      Mike :-)

  14. Mong September 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    Hi Mike,

    I saw on your plan that we need to do some of the practice from the Magoosh site. Is there any place that we can get the practice for free? Is that true that we could only get the problems once we signed up for the premium subscription?

    I had my GMATPrep test before I saw your plan, and I found out that my weakness are RC, and CR. However I can almost get full points from the math part. Could you please give me some more suggestions towards to my situation? (PS: I only have less than 30 days to prepare, and my goal is to get 710+)

    Thanks,

    The best! M

    • Mike
      Mike September 29, 2013 at 10:35 am #

      Dear Mong,
      Magoosh does provide many things, such as this study plan, for free, but ultimately we are a company, a business. To practice the Magoosh questions, you need to purchase the Magoosh product — at least the Verbal product. Since your exam is in 30 days and you are shooting for an elite score, buying the Magoosh verbal plan would be one of the best things you can do for yourself.
      Mike

  15. Ashley July 24, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    Hello Mike,

    I’d like to know the effectiveness of the plan. I think it is a great plan indeed, but could you please clarify how much the plan helps a normal test taker to improve score? For example in my case, I got 550 last time, and I think I’m a quite fast learner, so is it possible to reach even 700+ by following the plan? Or any suggestions would help me a lot. I really appreciate your answer.

    • Mike
      Mike July 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

      Ashley,
      What you need to understand, my friend, is that the “effectiveness of the plan” is completely confounded with the qualities of the user — how fast do you learn? how assiduous are you? how well do you remember? etc. etc. The most I can say is that many quick-witted and diligent students have seen improvement of this magnitude by following this plan. — If you have a little more time than one month, I would suggest supplementing this plan with material from one of the three-month plans listed on the right side-bar.
      I hope all this helps.
      Mike :-)

  16. Tamer Jaber June 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    At first I want to thank you for this plan, Its a great plan that force you to study and stay on the Right way, but I have a couple of comment now and I will keep you updated for any further comments.

    First I want you to take note that a big portion of the test takers are not native English speakers, so take into consideration that an reading will take more time.
    Second I want to notify you that day 2 week 1 is a very long day.

    Thanks again for the plan I hope I will get my score which is 600+

    Which me luck,

    • Mike
      Mike June 24, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      Dear Tamer,
      Thank you for your kind words. May Fortune smile upon you most abundantly!
      Mike :-)

  17. GeenaO May 23, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Hi Mike,

    I am just starting my preps to take GMAT next month. My target is 700+ and I intend to prep 4-5 hrs per day. My pre-test score from the Kaplan GMAT premier was 550 with zilch preparations, but I am used to taking competitive exams and can brush up in few weeks time.

    Would the one-month Magoosh GMAT premier membership and the OG13 be sufficient resources for my preps? And how can I get the 4 GMAC practice tests as outlined in the above study plan?

    • Mike
      Mike May 23, 2013 at 11:29 am #

      Dear Geena,
      It sounds as if, with Magoosh & the OG, you will be in very good shape. For the GMAC tests, go to this page:
      http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/prepare-for-the-gmat.aspx
      You will see links for the **GMATPrep® test preparation software**, as well as for three easy-to-download sets of “retired” paper tests (for a fee). That’s a lot of practice right there. The GMAT Prep software gives you tests in CAT form, but obviously the paper test would not do that. If you want more practice tests that are computer-based and adaptive, like the real GMAT, then I’ll recommend: buy any one of the MGMAT books, discussed here:
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/best-gmat-books-and-resources-2013/
      Pick any volume on which you feel you need a little backup. Any one of those volumes will give you access to six online GMAT CATs. Between the GMAT Prep tests and those six, you should have more than enough practice for your real GMAT.
      Best of luck to you!
      Mike :-)

  18. Ankur Mishra March 27, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    Hey Mike,

    Hope you are doing great!!!

    I had scheduled GMAT for 29 March 2013 but somehow I am not able to get scores more than 620 in my GMAT Mocks, by Princeton Review. Ultimately I have rescheduled it for May 2013. Is it enough time to reach 700+ score. Please guide How can I get there.

    Awaiting for your response.

    Regards,
    Ankur Mishra

    • Mike
      Mike March 27, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      Whether this is enough time depends very much on *you* — where you are in your progress, how fast you learn, what kind of mistakes you are making, etc. I would say — follow this plan assiduously, and because you have more than 1 month, supplement it with additional material from this three month plan:
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-gmat-study-schedule-for-beginners/
      Does this make sense?
      Mike :-)

  19. Gadde March 22, 2013 at 3:41 am #

    Dear Mike,

    Can please suggest some books for GMAT, either from Magoosh or any other author please?

  20. moin March 13, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    Can you recommend more free videos from magoosh gmat?

    • Mike
      Mike March 14, 2013 at 10:38 am #

      Dear Moin —
      If you go on Youtube and search for Magoosh GMAT, you will find all the math & SC problems in the OG solved, each problem in its own video. As for our lesson videos, the videos that cover all the content and strategy you will need for the GMAT, for that, you need to purchase the Magoosh product (one of the cheapest ways to acquire top quality test prep!)
      Does this make sense?
      Mike :-)

  21. kate15 February 13, 2013 at 5:38 am #

    Can you please tell me the pages for the OG? It didn’t specify the pages. Thanks!

    • Mike
      Mike February 13, 2013 at 10:34 am #

      Dear Kate — We don’t specify pages, because some folks are using the OG12 and some, the OG13. Presumably when some future OG14 is released, some folks will use that as well. I understand that when you first get the OG, it’s a large overwhelming book. Here’s a suggestion —— get some sticky notes, and use them to mark the beginnings of the various chapters — that way, you will have no problem flipping to whatever section you need.
      I believe everything in this study plan is specified clearly enough that you should be able to locate it in the OG even without page numbers —- if there’s anything that you don’t know how to locate, please let me know so I can clarify that, for you and for others.
      Best of luck to you.
      Mike :-)

  22. Sandra October 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Hello Mike! I’m from Paraguay, South America. I bought the Master the GMAT 2012 book before I saw your indications about the OG book. Do you think that this book is as good as the OG? I don’t have much time to get ready for the test, and if I buy the OG now it will take too long to get to my country. What do you suggest me?
    Thank you

    • Mike
      Mike October 26, 2012 at 11:03 am #

      Sandra,
      I am not terribly familiar with the *Master the GMAT* book, but I would always recommend the OG, written by folks who write the test itself, over the book of any separate private company. The MGMAT books are the only books I esteem almost as highly as the OG itself. I don’t know how much time you have, but it seems to me you could have amazon.com ship you the OG overnight at a slightly higher fee. I would also suggest searching the online forums (Beat the GMAT & GMAT Club) for OG material. I would also suggest Magoosh itself — a very high quality source of material to which you could have instant access, as long as you have an internet connection.
      Mike :-)

  23. Cuong October 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Hi,

    What if I have just two more weeks to go? I’ve just started preparation about one week ago.
    Rgds,
    C

    • Mike
      Mike October 4, 2012 at 11:07 am #

      Cuong: Well, I would say: do as much of this as you can. Magoosh can still give an enormous boost. Focus on whichever section (Quant, Verbal) gives you more difficulty — in a couple weeks, it will be easier to shore up weakness to make a shaky section stronger, than to make an already strong area even stronger.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike :-)

      • Cuong October 5, 2012 at 1:58 am #

        Thanks Mike for your sensible advice indeed.

        Rgds,
        C

        • Mike
          Mike October 5, 2012 at 11:14 am #

          You are quite welcome!
          Mike :-)

  24. Angel Montemayor September 4, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Hello Mike,

    I saw your indications after I bought the Official Guide 13ed. Is there a way you could tell me which pages are for your step by step for the last edition. It is not the same with the 12 ed. I already started on magoosh since my time for practice is even less than a month and I am getting very confused with the last edition pages.

    Thanks a lot!

    -AM

    • Mike
      Mike September 5, 2012 at 10:04 am #

      Angel,
      Soon we should issue the revised form of this schedule, updated for OG 13. In the meantime — the sections for the first few days are introductory sections for questions, so if you go to those pages, and just go back/ahead a handful of pages, you’ll be at the right introductory section.
      If you are a member of Magoosh, send in a ticket asking what are specific pages of the OG12, and we can help you.
      Mike :-)

  25. Naveen July 26, 2012 at 1:26 am #

    Nice plan. Can you please put in page references to OG11. I have access only to this one.
    thanks.

    • Mike
      Mike July 31, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

      Naveen: At the moment, we have only page numbers for OG12, but probably you can figure estimate reasonably well, because page numbers don’t change too much from one OG to the next. By the end of August, we will update the study plans so they are independent of edition.
      Mike :-)

      • Kie April 14, 2013 at 9:30 am #

        Hi Mike,

        It’s way past August! Are the page numbers changed for the new OG book?

        • Mike
          Mike April 15, 2013 at 10:06 am #

          Dear Kie,
          Notice that no page numbers at all appear in this plan. We removed the page numbers entirely, and refer only to sections, so the plan would be compliant with all editions of the OG. Does this make sense?
          Mike :-)

  26. Vick July 24, 2012 at 2:25 am #

    Mike,

    (1) Does it matter whether it’s the 12th, 13th, or 14th edition of the OG?

    (2) Also, I have heard of people getting 2 or 3 books to get their GMAT done – Princeton, Kaplan, etc. Is it required/essential to get a view of the styles mentioned in these different publications? It just makes the GMAT process more confusing and over-whelming.

    Thanx,
    Vick

    • Mike
      Mike July 24, 2012 at 9:29 am #

      Vick: (1) As for the OG, if you have an OG already, whichever one you have is fine as long as it’s recent (OG >10). If you are setting out to buy an OG, you might as well buy the most recent one — in particular, the OG13 gives you access to GMAC’s 50 IR questions online. BTW, I don’t think an OG14 has even been announced at this point. (2) If you stick with MGMAT books and the Magoosh website, you will have all the tools you need to succeed. I agree — it’s best to keep it simple.
      Mike :-)

  27. Lin July 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Hi Mike:

    I want to know should I follow the order (1),(2), and (3) in each daily schedule? Can I watch the videos first then do the OG? or doesn’t matter the order of 1,2,3, just finish the content in each day?

    Thank you.

    • Mike
      Mike July 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      Dear Lin:
      The order within each day does not matter. I made those 1,2,3 lists just for organizational clarity, not to impose a structure. Experiment and do whatever works best for you.
      Mike :-)

  28. Howard July 11, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    Hi Mike,

    I got the 13th edition too. i assume we just follow your schedule for the 12th edition before doing the IR? Btw, i purchased the premium Magoosh GMAT prep as well. could you give me an idea how best to integrate both your 1 month study plan as well as the Magoosh prep so that i would be ready to take the GMAT in a month? thanks!

    Howard

    • Mike
      Mike July 11, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      Howard: The 1 month plan already includes all the Magoosh resources —- everything except the new IR questions, which you could fold in any time. Does that make sense?
      Mike :-)

      • Howard July 12, 2012 at 8:38 am #

        Oh sorry i meant integrate the new 13th edition to the 1 month study plan with the magoosh prep. actually i like that you have the page numbers for the OG 12th edition, do you mind updating it with the 13th edition? for example day 1 week 1 read Math in OG from p108-121. but in OG 13th i think the math review section is p108-145. so i am just curious if its a big difference? thanks!

      • Howard July 12, 2012 at 8:39 am #

        Perhaps the chapter titles would be easier as a reference instead of the page numbers? thanks!

        • Mike
          Mike July 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

          Howard: at some point before the end of summer, we will update these plans to include not only the OG13 page numbers but also the IR questions.
          Mike :-)

  29. Jeremy June 25, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    BTW how would you integrate the new IR section in this schedule.

    Regards

    Jeremy

    • Mike
      Mike June 25, 2012 at 11:58 am #

      Jeremy: I’ll assume you have the OG13, and hence access to the 50 IR questions GMAC has online, Then, read the IR eBook during your first week (http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-integrated-reasoning-ebook/), and work through those 50 GMAC problems during the last three weeks. Does that make sense?
      Mike :-)

  30. Jeremy June 25, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    Hi Mike,

    can I assume that OQ means OG?

    Or is this some other acronym. I do not really understand.

    Regards

    Jeremy

    • Mike
      Mike June 25, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      Jeremy: Those all should be OG — it’s a typo. I think I just corrected most of them. Thanks for catching this.
      Mike :)


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