1-Month Study Schedule for the GMAT

Student looking at calendar representing GMAT study plan 1 month

This post was updated in 2024 for the new GMAT.

Suppose you need to prepare for GMAT in 1 month, starting from square one. You’ll need a good GMAT study guide, dedication, and the willingness to study hard for the next ~30 days. Studying for GMAT in one month might not give you a whole lot of time, but we’re here to help you with this 1 month GMAT study plan to make the best of what you have. 🙂

Table of Contents

Getting Started

How to Use This 1 Month GMAT Study Plan

This GMAT study plan is not for the faint of heart. It supposes that you study between 1.5 and 2.5 hours per day, though it occasionally requires slightly more time, 6-7 days a week, and take a practice test every week.

I know it will be hard to stick to this GMAT schedule if you have a full-time job, children, or other family obligations. If any (or all) of these are the case, we’d suggest reconsidering your GMAT test date. Yes, it’s a little annoying to pay the GMAT rescheduling fee–but it’s far better than taking the exam before you have time to fully prepare and needing to pay for a retake.

If you are committed to a 1-month schedule this plan will be time-consuming and require hard work, dedication, and focus to get through, but we know you can do it.

Now, you can just dive into this plan! However, you’ll find it more effective if you use it methodically. To get the most out of this GMAT study plan, approach it with as follows:

  • Make sure you have all the essential materials.
  • Maintain your motivation. Writing down why you want a particular score on the GMAT—and reviewing your reasons often—can be a powerful reminder to keep you going!
  • Maintain your physical health. Eat well and get physical activity as much as you can!
  • Sleep for eight hours! Get enough sleep during this three month period. REM sleep plays an important role in encoding long term memory!
    • In an eight hour period of sleep, the last hour has the most REM.
  • Avoid artificial crutches: 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.
  • Bring it all together for test day! Review Magoosh’s tips at the end of this post for how to make sure you do your best when it (officially) counts.

Essential Study Materials

Here are our recommendations for resources that will provide you with test-like practice:

A Premium subscription to Magoosh

Magoosh’s Complete GMAT Guide: This comprehensive web-based guide gives you a quick and useful overview. You’ll see how the GMAT is designed and scored, what skills it tests, how to find and use the best GMAT prep, and how to study for each test section.

GMAC’s GMAT Official Guide (OG)–The newest edition of the e-book and online question bank is here: OG 2023-2024. If you are going to buy a new guide, get that one. Want a paper copy? Check out this link.

Word to the wise: Don’t write in the official guide or any prep books. Do all your work on separate paper or on a computer. You will want to keep the books clean, so that later, if you need to look at a problem again, it is still fresh and unmarked.

An Error Log. Not sure what’s up with an error log. The link at the beginning of this sentence will walk you through the benefits and provide you with access to a Free template.

Note: The GMAT underwent major changes in 2023. So, you might be wondering what to do if you have prep materials that were produced for older versions of the GMAT. Good news! You can absolutely keep and use those older materials; however, there are a few topics and subject areas that you should skip if you do choose to use older materials. Here’s what you should leave out:

  • Lessons/practice for Sentence Corrections
  • Lessons/practice for the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
  • Lessons/practice for quantitative questions that test plane geometry concepts
  • Lessons/practice that use the Data Sufficiency (DS) question type to test purely algebraic or numeric property concepts. DS questions now all either test verbal reasoning skills or math in a real-world context (aka) word problems based on realistic scenarios.

Optional Materials

The Magoosh mobile app for your iPhone or Android

The OG Verbal Review 2023-2024, the OG Quantitative Review 2023-2024, and the OG Data Insights Review 2023-2024. These links will take you to the e-book and online question banks available from the Exam Prep section of mba.com. You cannot go wrong if you use materials produced by the folks who write the exam.

GMAT’s additional official practice exams, which are now entirely digital.

The Magoosh GMAT Math Flashcards. If you happen to see a deck for plane geometry concepts, remember to skip those since those concepts are no longer tested on the GMAT.

If you’ve exhausted the OG and Magoosh materials, another credible option is Manhattan’s All the GMAT book set. It is an excellent prep source. (Don’t write in these books either!)

The two online forums:

GMAT Club

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.

Abbreviations

OG = the GMAC Official Guide

QR = Quantitative Reasoning, the multiple-choice math questions

VR = Verbal Reasoning, which is broken down into the following two question types:

RC = Reading Comprehension verbal question

CR = Critical Reasoning verbal question

DI = Data Insights questions

DS = Data Sufficiency, which is a type of DI question

 

1 month GMAT Study schedule

*The large majority of the lessons included in this schedule are only available to Magoosh students—sign up here for a free trial!

Day 1: Diagnostic Test, Review, and GMAT Basics

  • Take Magoosh’s Free GMAT Diagnostic. When you are done, note your score, then check your answers.
  • If you haven’t done so already, build your error log and add questions from the diagnostic you just took. You’ll be using your error log throughout this study plan. Today, you are going to do your first in-depth review. For each question you entered into your log do the following:
    • Try to determine and make note of why you missed the question
    • Read any related text explanations and watch any related video explanations
    • Watch any recommended lesson videos (don’t worry about watching them out of order. You’ll likely be watching the videos a few times, especially those that relate to your weaker areas.)
    • Be aware of any trends that help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Go to the test-maker’s website, and read all about the GMAT. Click on each of the Quick Links on the sidebar of that page to explore the exam structure, content, and to check out a few sample questions.

In Magoosh, watch the following videos:

GMAT Focus Introduction: all seven videos in this section

Gmat Focus Intro: Quantitative Section

GMAT Focus Intro: Verbal Section

GMAT Focus Intro: Data Insights Section

Computer Adaptive Testing

GMAT Focus Scores

Pacing, Skipping, and Guessing

Gmat Focus Intro: Test Day

Day 2: Quantitative Reasoning Basics

NOTE: You might find that some of the content in Magoosh videos may seem super easy or very challenging. Some folks will find the verbal information obvious and the math hard-going; other folks will have the reverse experience. If the material is relatively easy for you, feel free to click to the end and simply read the summary. If the material is new to you, take notes on what you are learning, and if possible, watch that video a second time.

NOTE II: After most Magoosh questions is a text and/or video explanation. If you got the question right, just skim the text summary of the video to verify you understand it. If you got the question wrong, watch the video explanation right away. If you don’t understand a question after reviewing the text and video explanations, email us at Magoosh.com. Due to a high volume of questions, please allow up to 48-hours for a response.

Getting questions wrong at the beginning may be frustrating, but remember that you are playing a “longer game”: the point is not instant success at the beginning, but building deeper understanding overtime. Remember to add all incorrect questions to your error log!

Watch the following videos:

In Quantitative Reasoning (QR), watch the following General Math Strategies videos and complete any associated practice quizzes:

Intro to GMAT Math

Mental Math: GMAT Estimation

Mental Math: Doubling and Halving

Mental Math: Squaring Shortcuts

Number Sense

The Use and Abuse of Formulas

Properties of Real Numbers

Positive and Negative Numbers

Mixed Numerals and Improper Fractions

Word Problems with Fractions

Quiz: Arithmetic and Fractions

Error Log Review: Arithmetic and Fractions Quiz

Magoosh Custom Practice:

From your dashboard select Practice → Custom Practice → All Quantitative Reasoning. Select “clear all” and then check the box for Arithmetic and Fractions.

  • 10 QR questions. Subject: Arithmetic and Fractions

Review

If you have not done so as you worked through the questions, be sure you review all the practice questions you’ve attempted.

Add any that you missed to your error log, and remember to be sure that for each question you do the following:

  • Try to determine and make note of why you missed the question
  • Read any related text explanations and watch any related video explanations
  • Watch any recommended lesson videos (don’t worry about watching them out of order. You’ll likely be watching the videos a few times, especially those that relate to your weaker areas.)
  • Be aware of any trends that help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Day 3: Verbal Reasoning

Watch the following videos and complete any associated practice quizzes:

Intro to Critical Reasoning

Dissecting an Argument

Common Argument Types

General CR Strategy

Weakening the Argument

Strengthening the Argument

Assumption Questions

Trap Answers

Magoosh Custom Practice:

From your dashboard select Practice → Custom Practice→Verbal Reasoning→ Critical Reasoning. Select “clear all” and then check the boxes for Strengthening and Weakening & Assumption questions.

  • 10 VR questions. Subject: Critical Reasoning, Strengthening and Weakening & Assumption.

Review

If you have not done so as you worked through the questions, be sure you review all the practice questions you’ve attempted this week.

Day 4: Quantitative Reasoning

In QR, watch the following videos and complete any associated practice quizzes:

Number Sense and Percents

Ratios and Percents

Quiz: Ratios and Percents

Error Log Review: Ratio and Percents Quiz

Multiples

Least Common Multiple

Testing Cases

Remainders

Integer Property Strategies

Quiz: Integer Properties

Error Log Review: Integer Properties Quiz

Magoosh Custom Practice:

From your dashboard select Practice → Custom Practice→ Quantitative Reasoning→ All Quantitative Reasoning. Select “clear all” and then check the boxes for Percents and Ratios & Integer Properties questions.

  • 10 QR questions. Subject: All QR, Percents and Ratios & Integer Properties.

Review

If you have not done so as you worked through the questions, be sure you review all the practice questions you’ve attempted.

Day 5: Data Insights

Watch the following videos and complete any associated practice quizzes:

Fundamentals of Data Sufficiency

DS Elimination Method

Avoiding Common DS Mistakes

Introductory DS Strategies

Word Problems, Summarizing Information

DS with Integer Constraints

Tautological Statements

Quiz: Data Sufficiency

Error Log Review: Data Sufficiency Quiz

Magoosh Custom Practice:

From your dashboard select Practice → Custom Practice → Data Insights (DI) → Data Sufficiency. Select “select all.”

  • 10 DI questions. Subject: Data Sufficiency

Review

If you have not done so as you worked through the questions, be sure you review all the practice questions you’ve attempted this week.

Day 6: OG Question Bank Diagnostic Test

OG Diagnostic practice tests!

If you haven’t already done so, in the OG online question bank, navigate to Practice Exams on the sidebar. Take all three diagnostic practice exams.

GMAT Practice Exams

Go through the answers after you are done, taking notes on anything you got wrong.

At this early stage of practice, it is not as important to mimic the real GMAT conditions. Pay attention to how well you maintain focus within each section. Note your energy level during different sections, and how this affects your concentration.

Day 7: OG Diagnostic Test Review

Review

If you didn’t do this yesterday, open your error log for a deep-dive review of the practice test. During this session with your error log, determine which question types you are currently struggling with the most in regards to timing. If running out of time is not an issue for you, review your error log to find the questions where you should have spent MORE time. Can you find any patterns? Where do you make careless mistakes? Figure out where you should slow down when testing.

*You can also use this day to catch-up on or review any of this week’s assignments.

Day 8: Take a Break

Relax and prepare for the next round of studying!

Day 9: Quantitative Reasoning

Watch the following videos and complete any associated practice quizzes:

Factoring-Combined

Advanced Numerical Factoring

Factoring-Rational Expressions

Two Equations, Two Unknowns-II

System-Number of Solutions

Three Equations with Three Unknowns

Absolute Value Equations

Strange Operators

Absolute Value Inequalities

Quiz: Algebra, Equations, and Inequalities

Error Log Review: Algebra, Equations, and Inequalities Quiz

Magoosh Custom Practice:

From your dashboard select Practice → Custom Practice → All Quantitative Reasoning. Select “clear all” and then check the box for Algebra.

  • 10 QR questions. Subject: Algebra

Review

If you have not done so as you worked through the questions, be sure you review all the practice questions you’ve attempted.

Day 10: Verbal Reasoning

Watch the following videos and complete any associated quizzes:

Intro to Reading Comprehension

Approaching the Passage

Understanding Structure

Dissecting the Passage

Approaching the Questions

Answer Choice Traps

Magoosh Custom Practice:

From your dashboard select Practice → Custom Practice→Verbal Reasoning→ Reading Comprehension. Select “select all.”

  • 10 VR questions. Subject: Reading Comprehension.

Review

If you have not done so as you worked through the questions, be sure you review all the practice questions you’ve attempted.

Day 11: Quantitative Reasoning

Watch the following videos and complete any associated quizzes:

Multiple Traveler Questions

Shrinking and Expanding Gaps

Work Questions

Growth and Decay

Mixture Questions

Intro to Sets and Venn Diagrams

Double Matrix Method

Three Criteria Venn Diagrams

Arithmetic Sequences

Recursive Sequences

Inclusive Counting

Sums of Sequences

Backsolving

Intro to VICs

Day 12: Data Insights

Watch the following videos and complete any associated quizzes:

The IR Calculator

General IR Strategies

Multi-Source Reasoning

Bradley Metalworks 1 (Practice)

Bradley Metalworks 2 (Practice)

Table Analysis

High School Exams (Practice)

Graphics Interpretations

Types of Graphics

Venn Diagrams

Scatterplots

More on Scatterplots

Three Companies (Practice)

Numerical Flowchart (Practice)

Day 13: Mock Test

In Magoosh, take a full-length practice test!

In your dashboard, navigate to Practice → Practice Test, choose the order in which you want to take the sections, and then start your practice test.

Try to mimic the GMAT conditions. You can review your test immediately after completion or save it for tomorrow.

Day 14: Mock Test Review

Review

If you didn’t do this yesterday, open your error log for a deep-dive review of the practice test. During this session with your error log, determine which question types you are running out of time on, and also review your error log to find the questions where you should have spent MORE time. Can you find any patterns? Where do you make careless mistakes? Figure out where you should slow down when testing.

*You can also use this day to catch-up on or review any of this week’s assignments.

Day 15: Take a Break

Relax and prepare for the next round of studying!

Day 16: Quantitative Reasoning

Watch the following videos and complete any associated quizzes:

VICs – Algebraic Approach

VICs – Picking Numbers

Quiz: Word Problems

Error Log Review: Word Problems Quiz

Laws of Exponents II

Equations with Square Roots

Fractional Exponents

Exponential Equations

Quiz: Powers and Roots

Error Log Review: Powers and Roots Quiz

Magoosh Custom Practice:

From your dashboard select Practice → Custom Practice → All Quantitative Reasoning. Select “clear all” and then check the boxes for Word Problems & Powers and Roots.

  • 10 QR questions. Subjects: Word Problems & Powers and Roots

Review

If you have not done so as you worked through the questions, be sure you review all the practice questions you’ve attempted.

Day 17: Verbal Reasoning

Watch the following videos and complete any associated quizzes:

Conclusion and Inference

Bold-Faced Questions

Flawed Argument Questions

Paradox Questions

Evaluating the Conclusion

Miscellaneous CR Tips

Critical Reasoning Example #1

Critical Reasoning Example #2

Quiz: Critical Reasoning

Error Log Review: Critical Reasoning Quiz

Magoosh Custom Practice:

From your dashboard select Practice → Custom Practice→Verbal Reasoning→ Critical Reasoning. Select “clear all” and then check the boxes for Evaluating, Paradox, Conclusion/Inference, Flawed Argument, and Structure.

  • 10 VR questions. Subject: Critical Reasoning, Evaluating, Paradox, Conclusion/Inference, Flawed Argument, and Structure.

Day 18: Quantitative Reasoning

Watch the following videos and complete any associated quizzes:

Weighted Averages II (Advanced)

Range and Standard Deviation

More Standard Deviation

The Normal Distribution

Quiz: Statistics

Error Log Review: Statistics Quiz

Fundamental Counting Principle

FCP with Restrictions

Factorial Notation

Magoosh Custom Practice:

From your dashboard select Practice → Custom Practice → All Quantitative Reasoning. Select “clear all” and then check the box for Statistics.

  • 10 QR questions. Subject: Statistics

Review

If you have not done so as you worked through the questions, be sure you review all the practice questions you’ve attempted.

Day 19: Data Insights

Watch the following videos and complete any associated quizzes:

Intro Two-Part Analysis

Verbal Two Part Analysis

Math Two-Part Analysis

Highway to Hillsborough (Practice)

Algebraic Sequence (Practice)

Quiz: Integrated Reasoning

Error Log Review: Integrated Reasoning

Magoosh Custom Practice:

From your dashboard select Practice → Custom Practice→Data Insights → Integrated Reasoning. Select “select all.”

  • 10 DI questions. Subject: Data Insights, Integrated Reasoning

Day 20: Mock Test

In Magoosh, take a full-length practice test!

In your dashboard, navigate to Practice → Practice Test, choose the order in which you want to take the sections, and then start your practice test.

Try to mimic the GMAT conditions. You can review your test immediately after completion or save it for tomorrow.

Day 21: Mock Test Review

Review

If you didn’t do this yesterday, open your error log for a deep-dive review of the practice test. During this session with your error log, determine which question types you are currently struggling with the most in regards to timing. If running out of time is not an issue for you, review your error log to find the questions where you should have spent MORE time. Can you find any patterns? Where do you make careless mistakes? Figure out where you should slow down when testing.

*You can also use this day to catch-up on or review any of this week’s assignments.

Day 22: Take a Break

Relax and prepare for the next round of studying!

Day 23: Quantitative Reasoning

Watch the following videos and complete any associated quizzes:

Counting with Identical Items

Combinations

When to use Combinations

Calculating Combinations

Counting Strategies

Quiz: Counting

Error Log Review: Counting Quiz

Intro to Probability

Complementary Events and Simple Rules

Mutually Exclusive Events

Binomial Situation

The “At Least” Scenario

Analyzing Questions

Using Counting Techniques

Quiz: Probability

Error Log Review: Probability Quiz

Magoosh Custom Practice:

From your dashboard select Practice → Custom Practice → All Quantitative Reasoning. Select “clear all” and then check the boxes for Probability and Counting.

10 QR questions. Subject: Probability and Counting.

Day 24: Verbal Reasoning

Watch the following videos and complete any associated quizzes:

Primary Purpose

Detail Questions

Inference Questions

Miscellaneous RC Tips

RC Example, Passage #1 Path Dependence

RC Example, Passage #1, Question #1

RC Example, Passage #1, Question #2

RC Example, Passage #2, Office Organization

RC Example, Passage #2, Question #1

RC Example, Passage #2, Question #2

Quiz: Reading Comprehension

Error Log Review: Reading Comprehension Quiz

Magoosh Custom Practice:

From your dashboard select Practice → Custom Practice→Verbal Reasoning→ Reading Comprehension. Select “select all.”

  • 10 VR questions. Subject: Reading Comprehension

Review

If you have not done so as you worked through the questions, be sure you review all the practice questions you’ve attempted.

Day 25: Practice

Miscellaneous Practice:

Take a QR, VR, or DI section test and then break out your Error Log for analysis of any questions that you missed.

Day 26: Practice

Miscellaneous Practice:

Take a QR, VR, or DI section test and then break out your Error Log for analysis of any questions that you missed.

Day 27: Mock Test

In Magoosh, take a full-length practice test!

In your dashboard, navigate to Practice → Practice Test, choose the order in which you want to take the sections, and then start your practice test.

Try to mimic the GMAT conditions. You can review your test immediately after completion or save it for tomorrow.

Day 28: Mock Test Review

Review

If you didn’t do this yesterday, open your error log for a deep-dive review of the practice test. During this session with your error log, determine which question types you are currently struggling with the most in regards to timing. If running out of time is not an issue for you, review your error log to find the questions where you should have spent MORE time. Can you find any patterns? Where do you make careless mistakes? Figure out where you should slow down when testing.

*You can also use this day to catch-up on or review any of this week’s assignments.

Day 29: Take a Break

Relax and prepare for your official GMAT test!

 

COUNTDOWN TO THE EXAM:

Day Before the Test

No GMAT preparation all day!

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

Go to bed earlier than usual.

Day of Test

ABSOLUTELY NO LAST-MINUTE GMAT PREPARATION!

Eat a large breakfast, full of protein

Do relaxing, fun activities to pass time until the test

Bring to the Test

A liter of water

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

Take the optional break and be 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.

Good luck!

Authors

  • Mike MᶜGarry

    Mike served as a GMAT Expert at Magoosh, helping create hundreds of lesson videos and practice questions to help guide GMAT students to success. He was also featured as “member of the month” for over two years at GMAT Club. Mike holds an A.B. in Physics (graduating magna cum laude) and an M.T.S. in Religions of the World, both from Harvard. Beyond standardized testing, Mike has over 20 years of both private and public high school teaching experience specializing in math and physics. In his free time, Mike likes smashing foosballs into orbit, and despite having no obvious cranial deficiency, he insists on rooting for the NY Mets. Learn more about the GMAT through Mike’s Youtube video explanations and resources like What is a Good GMAT Score? and the GMAT Diagnostic Test.

  • Linnea Newman

    Over the last 15 years, Linnea has worked with students of all ages and abilities in the U.S. and abroad, trained new teachers for the classroom, and written curricula for various test types. Her past experience includes tutoring TOEFL, ISEE, SSAT, ACT, SAT, GRE, LSAT, and GMAT students for The Princeton Review and working as the Director of Instruction Management for The Princeton Review Taipei. Her expertise runs the gamut of standardized tests, but there’s a special place in her heart for the verbal and essay components. Looking for a way to help more students, especially those who were unable to afford access to expensive test prep programs, Linnea joined Magoosh in 2019. She is a member of the Content Team, who connects with students as a blog contributor and through various lessons and other content on the Magoosh platform.

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