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3 Month GMAT Study Schedule (Math Focused)

OK, you are starting more or less from scratch, and you want to prepare for the GMAT in three months.  You need a strategic plan to organize yourself.  I designed four different versions of the Three Month Plan, and I need you to start with a little self-diagnosis.  Which sounds most like you?

  • 3 Month GMAT Study Schedule for Beginners: Help!  Math and verbal both scare the living bejeebers out of me!  I need all the help and support I can get!  Help!
  • 3 Month GMAT Study Schedule (Math Focused): I have a natural affinity with the verbal, but the math is far less intuitive for me.  I would like to focus more there.
  • 3 Month GMAT Study Schedule (Verbal Focused): Me a math nerd. Me think all math easy. Me have big verbal problems.  One day, me will talk good.
  • 3 Month GMAT Study Schedule for Advanced Students: I actually feel reasonably comfortable with math & verbal; if I took the test today, I’d get around 600-650.  I’m interested in refining my understanding, and getting into the upper 700s region in the next twelve weeks.

 

3 Month GMAT Study Schedule (Math Focused)

 

Resources to have:

1) the GMAC Office Guide to the GMAT (OG13). (Don’t write in the book: write everything on separate paper so you can go back and do problems again with a fresh start.)

2) The code in the back of the OG will give you access to GMAC’s IR website with 50 IR practice questions.

3) a Premium subscription to Magoosh

4) the Magoosh mobile app for your iPhone or Android

5) The Magoosh GMAT eBook

6) The Magoosh IR eBook

7) a journal or notebook (yes, a physical hard copy item)

8) the two online forums:

(a) GMAT Club

(b) Beat the GMAT

These are great places to ask questions about anything GMAT related, or simply to check out the discussions and see how others are preparing

9) a good 1-2 hours a day, for five days a week, and then a good 3-4 stint on the weekend (“Day Six”) — with a day off on the weekend as well. If you would rather free up some week nights, and move some of the material into the other weekend day, you are welcome to do that.  Note: Many folks find that each day’s assignments take 1-2 hours, although times to complete them will vary for different students.

 

Abbreviations:

OG = the GMAC Official Guide

PS = Problem Solving, the multiple-choice math questions

DS = Data Sufficiency math questions

RC = Reading Comprehension verbal question

SC = Sentence Correction verbal question

CR = Critical Reasoning verbal question

IR = Integrated Reasoning question, a separate section unto itself

AWA = the Analytical Writing Assessment, the essay-writing section

NYT = The New York Times newspaper

WSJ = The Wall Street Journal newspaper

TEM = The Economist Magazine

Notes:

I am assuming, in choosing Plan B, that you are talented verbally, but need a review in math.  I am also going to assume that you know nothing about the GMAT; if that’s not the case, feel free to skip some of the introductory reading in the first week.

Also, notice, this is a twelve-week plan.  Three calendar months are typically closer to 13 weeks, so if you actually have three calendar months to prepare, that’s great.  If you have a wedding or a camping trip or something in the middle, you could just skip a few days, and do them later.  Alternately, it would leave you more time for the concentrated review I recommend at the end of the twelve weeks.

Lastly, as much as possible, get enough sleep during this three month period.  REM sleep plays an important role in encoding long term memory, and in an eight hour period of sleep, the last hour has the most REM.  If you are getting 7 hours/night instead of 8 hours/night, you are depriving your brain of one of its most powerful systems for learning and remembering.  Caffeine and energy drinks will keep you feeling awake if you don’t get enough sleep, but they don’t do bupkis to replace the lost opportunity to encode more information into long term memory.

Week One, Day One

1) Go to http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/test-structure-and-overview.aspx, and read about the structure of the GMAT.  Click on each subsection on that page, to read about the individual sections.

2) Take the Diagnostic Test, found toward the beginning of the OG.   Grade it, but you don’t have to read through all the explanations today.  If you did much much better than you expected in math, you may follow Plan D instead.  If you did much worse than expected in verbal, you may choose to follow Plan A instead.

 

Week One, Day Two

1) For the Diagnostic test you took yesterday, go over the explanations.  For questions you got right, simply skim the explanation to verify that you got the question right for the right reason.  If you got the question wrong, read the explanation carefully, writing in your journal any math/verbal concept you didn’t know or understand, as well as anything about the question type that you didn’t understand.  (If you got many questions wrong on the Diagnostic, you may have to spread this step out over the next few nights)

2) Watch Magoosh lesson videos:

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

Math: the five “General Math Strategies” videos

      A note on Magoosh videos: in Plan B, I am going to have you watch each Math video twice.  I am not going to recommend any Verbal videos aside from a few strategy videos.  I recommend watched individual Verbal videos on an as needed basis, for example, watching a related lesson video after getting a Magoosh verbal question incorrect. 

3) In The Magoosh GMAT eBook, read

a) from the beginning of the book up to, but not including, the AWA section

b) from the beginning of the Quantitative section up to, but not including, the DS section

c) from the beginning of the Verbal section up to, but not including, the CR section

4) In the OG

Read the introduction to the Problem Solving section, and do 10 PS

Read the introduction to the Reading Comprehension section, do 1 RC passage with all its questions

Whenever you do OG questions, always check your answers right afterwards, and read the explanation of anything you got wrong. 

 

 

Week One, Day Three

1) In the OG, read the Math Review, the first twenty pages, taking notes in your journal on anything new, rusty, or unfamiliar

2) Watch Magoosh lesson videos:

Math: the first six “Data Sufficiency” videos

3) In The Magoosh GMAT eBook, read

a) DS to the end of the Quantitative Section

b) CR section to the end of the eBook

4) In the OG

Read the introduction to the Data Sufficiency section, and do 10 DS questions

Read the introduction to the Critical Reasoning section, and do 12 CR questions

Read the introduction to the Sentence Correction section, and do 13 SC questions

 

Week One, Day Four

1) In the OG, read the Math Review, up to the end of the Algebra section, taking notes in your journal on anything new, rusty, or unfamiliar

2) Watch Magoosh lesson videos:

Math: under “Data Sufficiency” videos, up to “Common DS Myths – Part II”

3) In the OG

Do 11 PS questions

Do 6 DS questions

Do 1 RC passage with all its questions

4) In Magoosh

Do 13 DS questions

      Whenever you do Magoosh questions, if you get a question wrong, watch the video right then, and take notes in your journal about what concepts tripped you up. 

 

Week One, Day Five

1) In the OG, read the Math Review, up to the end of the Geometry section, taking notes in your journal on anything new, rusty, or unfamiliar

2) Watch Magoosh lesson videos:

Math: under “Data Sufficiency” videos, the last three videos of that section

Math: under “Integer Properties” videos, the first three videos of that section

3) In Magoosh

Do 15 PS questions

Do 13 CR questions

Do 10 SC questions

(For Magoosh SC question, from the Dashboard, go to “Customize Your Practice”, and for Difficulty” do only the “medium,” “hard,” or “very hard” questions.)

 

Week One, Day Six

1) In the OG, finish reading the Math Review, taking notes in your journal on anything new, rusty, or unfamiliar

2) Watch Magoosh lesson videos:

Math: under “Integer Properties” videos, up to “GCD LCM Formula”

3) In Magoosh

Do 15 PS questions

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

4) In The Magoosh GMAT eBook, read the AWA section

 

5) In the OG

Read the introduction to the AWA section; skim the question prompts to get a sense of the variety

 

Week Two, Day One

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Integer Properties” videos, the last five videos

Math: under “Arithmetic and Fractions” videos, the first three videos

2) In Magoosh

Do 30 PS questions

Do 6 SC questions

 

Week Two, Day Two

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Arithmetic and Fractions” videos, the last eight videos in that section

2) In OG

Do 16 DS questions

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

 

Week Two, Day Three

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Percents and Ratios” videos, all eight videos

2) In Magoosh

Do 13 DS questions

Do 13 CR questions

3) Read articles from the NYT or WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In the WSJ in particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Two, Day Four

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Algebra, Equations, Inequalities” videos, up to “Factoring – Quadratics ”

2) In OG

Do 21 PS questions

Do 13 SC questions

 

Week Two, Day Five

1) Watch Magoosh

AWA: watch the 2 introductory videos + the 3 Argument Essay videos

2) In Magoosh

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

3) In OG

Do 12 CR questions

4) Read several articles in The Economist magazine (TEM), noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Two, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to write essays, half an hour each.  In OG, in the section “Analysis of an Argument Sample Topics,” pick two Argument sample prompts at random (or have someone pick them for you), and for each, take 30 minutes to write an essay.

Now that you have these essays, what do you do with them?  If you have a friend or mentor who is a gifted writer, see if they would read the essays for you and critique them. If they are willing, you can show them the assessment criteria in the OG, and ask them to follow it.  Alternately, you can upload your essays in the online forums and ask for feedback.

2) In the OG, read the Integrated Reasoning section

3) In The Magoosh GMAT eBook, read the IR section

4) Read the entire Magoosh IR eBook.

5) Read several articles in TEM and in NYT/WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Three, Day One

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Algebra, etc” videos, up to “Three Equations with Three Unknowns”

2) In Magoosh

Do 30 PS questions

Do 10 SC questions

 

Week Three, Day Two

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Algebra, etc” videos, up to “Working with Formulas”

2) In OG

Do 16 DS questions

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

 

Week Three, Day Three

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Algebra, etc” videos, the last five videos

Math: under “Word Problems” videos, the first three videos

2) In Magoosh

Do 13 DS questions

Do 13 CR questions

3) Read articles from the NYT or WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In the WSJ in particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Three, Day Four

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Word Problems” videos, up to “Shrinking and Expanding Gaps”

2) In OG

Do 21 PS questions

Do 13 SC questions

 

Week Three, Day Five

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Word Problems” videos, up to “Growth Tables”

2) In Magoosh

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

3) In OG

Do 12 CR questions

4) Read several articles in TEM, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Three, Day Six

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

2) Take one 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.

 

Week Four, Day One

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Word Problems” videos, the last four videos in that section

Math: under “Powers and Roots” videos, the first two videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 30 PS questions

Do 6 SC questions

 

Week Four, Day Two

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Powers and Roots” videos, up to “Other Roots”

2) In OG

Do 16 DS questions

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

 

Week Four, Day Three

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Powers and Roots” videos, the last six videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 13 DS questions

Do 13 CR questions

3) Read articles from the NYT or WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In the WSJ in particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Four, Day Four

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Coordinate Geometry” videos, all nine videos in that section

2) In OG

Do 21 PS questions

Do 13 SC questions

 

Week Four, Day Five

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Geometry” videos, the first seven videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

3) In OG

Do 11 CR questions

4) Read several articles in TEM, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Four, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to write two essays, half an hour each.  In OG, in the section “Analysis of an Argument Sample Topics,” pick two Argument sample prompts at random (or have someone pick them for you), and for each, take 30 minutes to write an essay.

These essays you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.

2) Go GMAC’s IR website — the code in the back of your OG should give you full access to this site.  Do the first 15 IR questions, setting for yourself a 38 minute limit.  When you are done, go back and read carefully the full explanation for each question.

3) Read several articles in TEM and in NYT/WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Five, Day One

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Geometry” videos, the last eight videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 30 PS questions

Do 6 SC questions

 

Week Five, Day Two

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Statistics” videos, all five videos in that section

2) In OG

Do 16 DS questions

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

 

Week Five, Day Three

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Counting” videos, the first five videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 13 DS questions

Do 13 CR questions

3) Read articles from the NYT or WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In the WSJ in particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Five, Day Four

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Counting” videos, the last five videos in that section

2) In OG

Do 21 PS questions

Do 13 SC questions

 

Week Five, Day Five

1) Watch Magoosh

Verbal: under RC videos, the first three & the last two videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

3) In OG

Do 11 CR questions

4) Read several articles in TEM, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Five, Day Six

1) Take another 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

 

Week Six, Day One

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Probability” videos, the first five videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 30 PS questions

Do 6 SC questions

 

Week Six, Day Two

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Probability” videos, the last seven videos in that section

2) In OG

Do 16 DS questions

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

 

Week Six, Day Three

1) Watch Magoosh

Verbal: under SC videos, the first three videos & the last video in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 13 DS questions

Do 13 CR questions

3) Read articles from the NYT or WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In the WSJ in particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Six, Day Four

1) Watch Magoosh

Integrated Reasoning: the first ten videos of that section

2) In OG

Do 21 PS questions

Do 13 SC questions

 

Week Six, Day Five

1) Watch Magoosh

Integrated Reasoning: the last eight videos of that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 1 RC passage with its associated questions

3) In OG

Do 11 CR questions

4) Read several articles in TEM, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Six, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to write two essays, half an hour each.  In OG, in the section “Analysis of an Argument Sample Topics,” pick two Argument sample prompts at random (or have someone pick them for you), and for each, take 30 minutes to write an essay.

These essays you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.

2) Go GMAC’s IR website.  Do the next 15 IR questions, setting for yourself a 38 minute limit.  When you are done, go back and read carefully the full explanation for each question.

3) Read several articles in TEM and in NYT/WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Seven, Day One

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “General Math Strategies” videos, all five videos

NOTE: this second time through all the math videos, use your discretion concerning how much of the videos you want to watch a second time.  For some topics, you may watch just as carefully as the first time, while for others, you may just click ahead to the summary to refresh your memory.

2) In Magoosh

Do 30 PS questions

Do 6 SC questions

 

Week Seven, Day Two

1) Watch Magoosh

Verbal: under CR videos, the first four videos & the last video in that section

2) In OG

Do 16 DS questions

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

 

Week Seven, Day Three

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Data Sufficiency” videos, the first eight videos

2) In Magoosh

Do 13 DS questions

Do 13 CR questions

3) Read articles from the NYT or WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In the WSJ in particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Seven, Day Four

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Data Sufficiency” videos, the last eight videos

2) In OG

Do 21 PS questions

Do 13 SC questions

 

Week Seven, Day Five

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Integer Properties” videos, the first seven videos

2) In Magoosh

Do 1 RC passage with its associated questions

3) In OG

Do 11 CR questions

4) Read several articles in TEM, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Seven, Day Six

1) Take another full length GMAT on the GMAC software (You can do each test in the software three times).  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

 

Week Eight, Day One

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Integer Properties” videos, the last eight videos

2) In Magoosh

Do 30 PS questions

Do 6 SC questions

 

Week Eight, Day Two

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Arithmetic and Fractions” videos, the first seven videos

2) In OG

Do 16 DS questions

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

 

Week Eight, Day Three

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Arithmetic and Fractions” videos, the last four videos

Math: under “Percents and Ratios” videos, the first five videos

2) In Magoosh

Do 13 DS questions

Do 13 CR questions

3) Read articles from the NYT or WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In the WSJ in particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Eight, Day Four

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Percents and Ratios” videos,, the last three videos in that section

Math: under “Algebra, Equations, Inequalities” videos, the first four videos in that section

2) In OG

Do 21 PS questions

Do 13 SC questions

 

Week Eight, Day Five

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Algebra, etc.” videos, up to “Eliminating Fractions”

2) In Magoosh

Do 1 RC passage with its associated questions

3) In OG

Do 11 CR questions

4) Read several articles in TEM, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Eight, Day Six

1) Today, you are going to write two essays, half an hour each.  In OG, in the section “Analysis of an Argument Sample Topics,” pick two Argument sample prompts at random (or have someone pick them for you), and for each, take 30 minutes to write an essay.

These essays you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.

2) Go GMAC’s IR website.  Do the next 15 IR questions, setting for yourself a 38 minute limit.  When you are done, go back and read carefully the full explanation for each question.

 

Week Nine, Day One

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Algebra, etc.” videos, up to “Function Notation”

2) In Magoosh

Do 30 PS questions

Do 6 SC questions

 

Week Nine, Day Two

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Algebra, etc.” videos, the last seven videos in that section

2) In OG

Do 16 DS questions

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

 

Week Nine, Day Three

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Word Problems” videos, the first six videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 13 DS questions

Do 13 CR questions

3) Read articles from the NYT or WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In the WSJ in particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Nine, Day Four

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Word Problems” videos, up to “Three Criteria Venn Diagrams”

2) In OG

Do 21 PS questions

Do 13 SC questions

 

Week Nine, Day Five

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Word Problems” videos, the last eight videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 1 RC passage with its associated questions

3) In OG

Do 11 CR questions

4) Read several articles in TEM, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Nine, Day Six

1) Take another full length GMAT on the GMAC software (You can do each test in the software three times).  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

 

Week Ten, Day One

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Powers and Roots” videos, the first seven videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 30 PS questions

Do 6 SC questions

 

Week Ten, Day Two

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Powers and Roots” videos, the last seven videos in that section

2) In OG

Do 16 DS questions

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

 

Week Ten, Day Three

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Coordinate Geometry” videos, all nine videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 13 DS questions

Do 13 CR questions

3) Read articles from the NYT or WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In the WSJ in particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Ten, Day Four

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Geometry” videos, the first eight videos in that section

2) In OG

Do 21 PS questions

Do 13 SC questions

 

Week Ten, Day Five

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Geometry” videos, the last seven videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 1 RC passage with its associated questions

3) In OG

Do 11 CR questions

4) Read several articles in TEM, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Ten, Day Six

1) Today is the last time you are going to write two essays, half an hour each.  In OG, in the section “Analysis of an Argument Sample Topics,” pick two Argument sample prompts at random (or have someone pick them for you), and for each, take 30 minutes to write an essay.

These essays you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.

2) Go GMAC’s IR website.  Do the remaining 5 IR questions, setting for yourself a 13 minute limit.  When you are done, go back and read carefully the full explanation for each question.

3) On Magoosh, do the IR questions.

4) Read several articles in TEM and in NYT/WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Eleven, Day One

In this week, you will be finishing up all the questions in Magoosh and all the questions in the OG.
1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Statistics” videos, all five videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 27 PS questions

Do 6 SC questions

 

Week Eleven, Day Two

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Counting” videos, the first seven videos in that section

2) In OG

Do 14 DS questions

Do 2 RC passages with all the associated questions

 

Week Eleven, Day Three

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Counting” videos, the last four videos in that section

Math: under “Probability” videos, the first four videos in that section

2) In Magoosh

Do 10 DS questions

Do 13 CR questions

3) Read articles from the NYT or WSJ, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In the WSJ in particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Eleven, Day Four

1) Watch Magoosh

Math: under “Probability” videos, the last eight videos in that section

2) In OG

Do 20 PS questions

Do 10 SC questions

 

Week Eleven, Day Five

1) Watch Magoosh

Review any Magoosh videos you need to see again

2) In Magoosh

Do 1 RC passage with its associated questions

3) In OG

Do 11 CR questions

4) Read several articles in TEM, noting not only the information in the article, but also the grammar & syntax: what is the sentence structure.  Note the use of parallel structure, modifying clauses, etc.  In particular, note any graphs: make sure you can summarize the information conveyed in the graph and relate it to the article.

 

Week Eleven, Day Six

1) Take another full length GMAT on the GMAC software (You can do each test in the software three times).  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

 

Week 12 & After: Concentrated Review

At this point, if you have been following the schedule, you should have done every question in both Magoosh and in the OG at least once.  For the days of this week, and remaining days of the test, keep up work on GMAT math and verbal.  Some suggestions for what to do:

1) Go back to OG questions you did a while ago, and do them again.  (This is why it was important not to write in the book)

2) Through selecting question type & difficulty on the “Dashboard”, do Magoosh problems over again, and see how you do a second time.

3) Keep watching for additional times 5 Magoosh lesson videos a day, on whatever topics you feel you need to review

4) Keep studying TEM articles and articles from the NYT/WSJ, looking both for models of good grammar, as well as looking for graphs to study.

5) Go to the online forums, looking for challenging questions that folks are asking.

6) An online search will always turn up additional batches of questions to practice.

7) If you feel you need it, devote one more evening to writing two more practice essays, from the topics listed in the OG

8 ) If you have a weekend day that is more than a couple days for the real GMAT, then take one final practice GMAT from the GMAT software, as on Week Eleven, Day Six.

 

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.

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+!

22 Responses to 3 Month GMAT Study Schedule (Math Focused)

  1. Suri October 9, 2014 at 4:28 am #

    Hi Mike,

    So I’m following this study plan. Unfortunately its taking me longer than one day to complete the tasks assigned for a day. Should I skip to the next day’s material or extend my prep time? Getting 700+ is a necessity for me. Thank you!

    Suri

  2. Michelle October 6, 2014 at 12:55 am #

    Hello Mike,

    Thank you for a wonderful, simple and easy to follow plan. I have a questions regarding the task for Week One Day On – Take the Diagnostic Test from the OG : Should this test be taken timed, or not?

    The OG says it should be taken untimed. However, for it be a decent enough gauge of my current state of preparedness, should I not take it timed?

    Thank you again for your wonderful blog posts – they are comforting and inspiring!

    • Mike
      Mike October 6, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      Dear Michelle,
      That’s a great question! :-) Really, there is no “right” answer to this question. I recommended taking it timed, because I want students to start right away building a sense of what it is to work against a clock. Then again, the problems on the Diagnostic section are particularly hard, and this is probably why the OG says: take it untimed. As long as the vast majority of your practice, and all of your full length tests, are rigorously timed, it doesn’t really matter what you do with the initial Diagnostic test. If you have the time, take it once untimed, and then do it again spending as much time as you need. Those two performances will really give you a good sense of where you are.
      Does this make sense?
      Thank you for your kind words. I wish the very best of good fortune in your studies!
      Mike :-)

  3. Suri September 10, 2014 at 3:58 am #

    Hi Mike,

    Is this plan still applicable to take the test in Dec 2014?
    Also, what will be the impact of IR on the final score?

    • Mike
      Mike September 10, 2014 at 9:39 am #

      Dear Suri,
      Yes, my friend. :-) The GMAT has not changed significantly since the introduction of the IR section in 2012, so this plan is still 100% relevant for the GMAT as it is now constituted. For the score, you may find this blog helpful:
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/understanding-gmat-score-reports/
      The main GMAT score, the 200-800 score, only takes into account the Quant & Verbal sections. The IR is a totally separate score, and it in no way plays into the main score. Now, compared to the main GMAT score, which is very important, how important is the separate IR score? That’s hard to say. It doesn’t appear that IR score has played a significant role in admission. As long as your IR score is decent, 5 or more out of 8, that should pose no problem.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike :-)

      • Suri September 10, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

        Yes, it does. Thank you!

        • Mike
          Mike September 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

          Dear Suri,
          You are quite welcome. Best of luck to you!
          Mike :-)

  4. Alyssa September 8, 2014 at 8:21 am #

    Mike,

    I have a few questions about the best method for completing Magoosh math problems. I have been completing them doing quiz mode with the timing set for the timing of 2 min/question and reviewing the answers when the time runs out in adaptive mode covering all topics. Is this the way to approach the problems?

    Lately I have been a bit discouraged because with the adaptive I am only getting hard problems with the occasional medium, thus I feel like I am getting a lot wrong and am spending too much time on each problem, so I keep running out of time before I finish all the problems. Maybe this is good because you learn more from the questions you get wrong, but I struggle with keeping optimistic.

    Should I be practicing doing a range of difficulties or is adaptive the way to go as it is how the test will be given? Also should I be timing myself and watching the videos at the end of completing the problems or doing unlimited time and watch the video after every question?

    I am sure there are a lot of different approaches to be taken, however, what would you recommend?

    Thanks,

    Alyssa

    • Mike
      Mike September 8, 2014 at 10:35 am #

      Dear Alyssa,
      I’m happy to respond. :-) First of all, about this comment, I will caution you. The blog comments are the place to ask questions that are relevant for general users, that could benefit anyone using this plan. For personal questions, requests for individual help specific to you, you should press the “HELP” button on any internal Magoosh page: that generates a support ticket. This question is an “in-between” question, so I decided to approve it as a blog comment and answer it here. Just bear in mind that there are two very different modes of asking questions, for different kinds of questions.
      OK, as to your question. First of all, here are three blog articles that express the philosophy by which this study plan was designed:
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-study-approaches-systematic-vs-random/
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/understanding-the-gmat-practice-vs-exam-performance/
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/pacing-and-timing-strategies-for-the-gmat/
      Here’s a GRE blog that’s also important:
      http://magoosh.com/gre/2013/good-i-got-it-wrong/
      In some ways, that last blog is most relevant to your situation. My advice: do all practice in adaptive mode, observing a strict time limit. I imagine the most straightforward way to do this is, for example, to set a 20 minute timer for 10 questions, and after you are done with the questions, watch the video explanations and any related lessons you need. Remember, a truly excellent student never makes the same mistake twice. It’s exceedingly difficult to live up to that ideal perfectly, but it is one for which to strive. Treasure each and every problem you get wrong: each one is a potential goldmine that will allow you to understand exactly what pieces you are missing and exactly how you need to improve.
      Have courage, my friend! The business world is absolutely no place for the faint of heart.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike :-)

      • Alyssa September 9, 2014 at 8:10 am #

        Mike,

        Thank you for your response. Those articles really helped me to change my outlook on the studying process, which is just what I needed!

        Thanks,
        Alyssa

        • Mike
          Mike September 9, 2014 at 9:49 am #

          Dear Alyssa,
          You are quite welcome, my friend. :-) I am very glad you found that helpful! Best of luck in all your studies.
          Mike :-)

  5. Aviram September 4, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    Week 2 Day 6, ‘forums’ incorrectly spelt as ‘forms’.

    • Mike
      Mike September 5, 2014 at 10:19 am #

      Dear Aviram,
      Thank you very much for pointing that out! :-) I just corrected that typo. That good eye for detail will serve you well on the test! Best of luck to you!
      Mike :-)

  6. Nasser July 7, 2014 at 12:20 am #

    Dear Mike,

    Im a bit confused on which study schedule i should go for. I have an average math background and below average in verbal.
    My goal is for a 750 test score and would like to know which study plan in the best for my skill set and goal? and if i should combine two study plans into one?

    • Mike
      Mike July 7, 2014 at 10:32 am #

      Dear Nasser,
      My friend, I would not recommend this study plan, which is really for folks who are strong in verbal but struggle in math. I will recommend the beginning plan:
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-gmat-study-schedule-for-beginners/
      If you follow any of these plans, everything will pass before your eyes that you need to do well on the GMAT. You need to understand that 750 is a truly exceptional score. To achieve this, you will need the information & strategies we provide, but you will also have to provide exceptional dedication, exceptional attention to precise details, exceptional memory, exceptional depth of understanding, and exceptional ability to apply what you know creatively. Getting a 750 depends on much more than the content you learn (which we can provide) — it depends on a whole collection of other skills that you have to be to demonstrate on the test.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike :-)

  7. Sarah January 27, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    When you say “Do 30 PS questions” or “Do 6 SC questions” are there particular questions you’d recommend or should we just start from #1 and go forward?

    • Mike
      Mike January 27, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

      Sarah,
      I recommend just start from #1 and move forward. Of course, you will get a mix of topics, some of which you have studied already and some of which you haven’t reached yet in the Magoosh curriculum. This may seem like a mistake, but it’s not. You see, part of what you have to learn with the GMAT is what to do, what can you do, when you don’t know what to do. Wrestling with uncertainty, and being comfortable with that, is part of the process. Furthermore, if you get a question incorrect, and read in the explanation about some idea that would have helped you understand it, that primes your mind to appreciate more fully that idea when you finally do get to it in the curriculum. I explain a little more in this post:
      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-study-approaches-systematic-vs-random/
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike :-)

  8. Cole January 21, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    Is there maybe an excel version of this study schedule? Or something similar?

    • Mike
      Mike January 21, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

      Dear Cole,
      No, I’m sorry: there’s just this webpage version of it. I’m sure it would not be hard to copy this entire schedule and paste it into Word, and once you have it there, you could do any one of a number of manipulations on it. Best of luck to you.
      Mike :-)

  9. Roopa January 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

    Hi, Whats the acronym of TEM?

    • Mike
      Mike January 14, 2014 at 9:49 am #

      Dear Roopa,
      I’m sorry. This abbreviation was explained in other plans, but it wasn’t explained here. TEM stands for The Economist Magazine, a very high quality weekly publication. You will see that I added this to the abbreviation list at the top. Thanks for pointing this out.
      Mike :-)


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