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30 Day GMAT Study Schedule

Are you ready for an aggressive study plan? Do you have what it takes – namely time – to commit yourself to GMAT prep? Well, even if you didn’t answer a resounding yes to both questions, you may want to pay attention.

Below I’ve put together what I believe to be the most effective 30-day prep schedule for the GMAT. Again, it will not be easy. Expect to budget 15 hours/week. But if you have the time, the dedication, and the grit – and only 30 days – this is the plan for you (this schedule is perfect to use in conjunction with the Magoosh 30-day subscription plan).

Note: This is a general plan, with broad goals and instructions for every week. If you want more specific tasks and more guidance broken down by day, check out our step-by-step version.

 

Essential Material:

Books and online resources:

The GMAT Official Guide, 13th Edition

GMATprep test (free download)

Magoosh GMAT

Magoosh GMAT e-book (general), Magoosh GMAT e-book (Integrated Reasoning)

 

Supplemental/Optional Material:

Manhattan GMAT Series

 

Week 1 Schedule

Top Priorities

Take GMAT Prep Test 1: Sweat through an actual GMAT. Better yet, learn where you are currently scoring, and set a target goal for the day of exam. Also, assess your strengths and weaknesses. And tweak this study guide where necessary. If you rocked the quant section, then make your prep verbal-centric. If you really are worried about the Integrated Reasoning section, you can also focus on that (I wouldn’t worry about this section too much–the rumor has it that b-schools are not really weighing the IR section very heavily as of now).

 

Sign up for the Test: Sounds obvious. Well, imagine priming yourself over the next 30 days for the test only to find out you’ll have to wait another two weeks for an appointment. Not the end of the world – but you may lose that precious momentum.

 

To-Do’s

  • Work through Magoosh Lessons
  • Use MGMAT series for extra practice
  • Keep tabs on your progress
  • Complete and review GMAT prep test

 

Week 2 Schedule

Top Priorities

Take Two Practice Tests: Use Manhattan GMAT. Focus on reviewing all your mistakes post-test. Be sure to space the tests out by a few days.
Put Your New Found Skills to Use: There is no material better than the OG guide (by the way, if you have the 12th. edition, feel free to use it in lieu of the 13th. edition. The questions are, for the most part, the very same ones). Do little drills of ten questions each, mixing it up with five questions from data sufficiency and five from problem solving. For verbal, create drills of 15 questions, breaking them up between sections.

 

To-Do’s

  • Work your way through the OG (described above)
  • Take Manhattan Practice Test 2
  • Tailor Magoosh to focus on certain areas
  • Review tests and Magoosh material
  • Complete half of the Manhattan Series Books and half of Magoosh Lesson Videos
  • Go through Magoosh ebook, especially in those areas you feel you are struggling in most

 

Week 3 Schedule

Top Priorities

Identify Weak Spots: Anyone can complete 500 practice questions. Knowing the right answer is the key. Try to figure out which questions you are missing and the reasoning behind the correct answer (you will also want to understand why your answer is wrong). Use forums such as beatthegmat.com and gmatclub.com to ask experts to dissect a question and elucidate a given concept.

 

Use Magoosh: Magoosh allows you to customize practice sessions based on specific concepts. Based on your weak spots create special drills. What’s great about Magoosh is each question is delivered on the computer with a timer tracking your speed. That’s just like the GMAT!

 

To-Dos

  • Continue working through OG (should have finished about 500 total questions by end of week).
  • Take Manhattan Test 3 and 4
  • Use Magoosh (described above).

 

Week 4 Schedule

Top Priorities

Take Final GMAT prep test: Gauge how far you’ve come in the passed three weeks or so. Figure out in which areas you are still struggling. Remember, return to the Manhattan Guides and Magoosh whenever necessary. They will provide you with the foundation to answer questions correctly.

 

Complete Manhattan Guides and Magoosh Lesson Videos: Remember, return to the Manhattan Guides and Magoosh whenever necessary. They will provide you with the foundation to answer questions correctly. It is also important to read through all the guides in MGMAT and watch all the Magoosh lesson videos. You wouldn’t want to miss anything!

 

To-dos

  • Complete Official Guide
  • Complete all Magoosh questions (Watch necessary videos)
  • Review incorrect answers to GMAT prep test using your newly acquired skills
  • Address any lingering doubts on forums, send us a question through the Magoosh Help tab
  • Complete going through Magoosh ebook for any and all of those areas in which you are not 100% confident

The day of the exam

Don’t forget to breathe!

 

Good luck!

 

About the Author

Chris Lele has been helping students excel on the GRE, GMAT, and SAT for the last 10 years. He is the Lead Content Developer and Tutor for Magoosh. His favorite food is wasabi-flavored almonds. Follow him on Google+!

13 Responses to 30 Day GMAT Study Schedule

  1. Rishi Raj Ranjan January 5, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I Want to give my GMAT exam in 1st week of March but as of now i don’t know anything about it other than it contains 4 sections.Kindly help me out to know what all books to study and what all things to do to get a good score as i have to get a good score at any cost.

    Moreover this is my first attempt for GMAT and i have to make it count. Kindly help me.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele January 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

      Hi Rishi,

      I think the study schedule above lists the best books/resources out there (MGMAT, Magoosh). I know it’s only the 30-day plan, so maybe the 2-3 month plan is better for you. And don’t worry–both resources will dissect the test and help you understand the fundamentals.

      http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-gmat-study-schedule-verbal-focused/

      Good luck!

  2. Adriana December 17, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    I am terrified about taking this exam. I have exactly 25 days to study for this exam. Do you think 4 hours a day M-F, 6 hours of study time on the weekends, and Magoosh will help me score well?

  3. Herly March 4, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I like the 1 month outline you have posted. I feel that’s pressing on time. I am looking forward to taking the GMAT exam in two months time. Do you have a two month outline that would help in my preparation?

    • Margarette
      Margarette March 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

      Hi, Herly

      Unfortunately, we don’t have a 2 month outline, but we do have several for 3 months: http://magoosh.com/gmat/gmat-study-schedule/

      I’d recommend using those and adjusting as you go– you may be able to skip a few days here and there if you are already familiar with a question type/concept.

      I hope that helps! Let us know if you need any help along the way :)

      Best,
      Margarette

  4. ade October 26, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    I think I like ur 1 month plan but is it achievable? My exam is on the 19th of November and I really must pass this.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 30, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      Hi Ade,

      The plan is definitely achievable…but it will take a lot of tenacity and grit. Now you said you had to “pass” this exam. No one really passes (or doesn’t pass) this exam. Your score is very individualized thing. What is your score now? What is a competitive score for the institutions you are looking at? Those are important questions. Knowing the answer to both of them will also help you make the best use of the study plan.

  5. Yesh June 18, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Hey Chris,

    Do you think reading Wall Street journal everyday will help me to improve my reading? I have about 6 months to take the test.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      Hi Yesh,

      Sure, that can definitely help :). Make sure to also read science-related publications, as many GMAT passages are drawn from them.

      Hope that helps :).

  6. Saana June 2, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Hi!
    Your plan seems quite good. Im taking the GMAT on the 25th of this month. My current score is around 600. Can I push it to 700+ by spending 6 hours every week day and maybe 8 on the weekends that are left?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 5, 2012 at 6:49 am #

      Hi Saana,

      That is definitely possible – in fact, you may not even have to spend that much time. Conversely, spending that much time alone does not guarantee you a 700. It’s how you use that time, and how you are able to pinpoint your weaknesses so that you can improve them. Using this study plan as a rough outline should definitely help :).

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  7. Therese March 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    This study plan sounds a bit hard to follow, but I think it’s doable, I’ll just put more effort on this :-)
    I just signed up at magoosh.com and I’ll do my best to follow this study plan, wish me luck!
    Oh, and thanks for providing the link on how to overcome GMAT exam anxiety

    • Chris Lele
      Chris March 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

      Hi Therese,

      You are right – it definitely takes a bit of pluckiness to take on this study plan. But with a little bit of grit and perseverance, you should be able to do it. Let me know if you have any questions along the way :). And I’m happy you found the GMAT link helpful.


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