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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 GMAT schedule.

Do you need to adapt this study schedule to meet your needs? Check out this blog post for adjustment tips!


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)

The Magoosh GMAT Diagnostic Test


Supplemental/Optional Material:

Manhattan GMAT Series

Magoosh’s free Study Timer app for iPhone/iPad for timing yourself on exam sections and keeping yourself on pace. Currently only available in iTunes.

A Special Note

*Note: You may find that the number of lessons in this study plan doesn’t correspond exactly to the number of lessons in Magoosh. Don’t worry! You aren’t crazy and you aren’t missing any content. We are in the process of updating the lesson videos in Magoosh to make them better and more streamlined so you can use your time wisely. We will update our study plans soon to reflect the changes in Magoosh. We’ll make it clear when the change is coming so you are not caught off-guard! 😀

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.



  • 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.



  • 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 and 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!



  • 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!



  • 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!


By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh GMAT Prep!

20 Responses to 30 Day GMAT Study Schedule

  1. Nikhil March 10, 2017 at 2:35 am #

    Hi chris took up around 9 mock tests 5 from one test providing agency and 4 from another one. The mean of my scores was 642 with the highest at 730(800 test) and the lowest at 590(at the beginning albeit in a test provided by a different agency). My gmat actual test turned out to be a damp squib with me being able to score a mere 600. Although my math was respectable at 41 it was verbal in which I scored a mere 31 that made me bleed . I suspect that CR and the SC sections cost me dear as my performance was neither very stellar nor too pathetic in those. It was of a nature that could swing either way. I have approximately 20 days before I retake the test . The reason why I have had it scheduled so early is because of admission related compulsions. I believe that focusing on SC can help me boost my scores . I intend to refer the manhattan sc guide going by its popularity . I can set aside 3 hours on weekdays and a trifle more on the weekends. Can I make it? Is my choice for the manhattan guide the right one? Kindly articulate your opinion

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 10, 2017 at 6:00 am #

      Hi Nikhil,

      It sounds like you definitely can raise your score with 20 more days of study. The question is: by how much can you raise your score. You didn’t specify your target score for the second time around. But I can give you two figures for possible scores on your retake:

      Assuming your Quant remains roughly the same, but you’re able to boost your Verbal by 7 points, you could get a 650 or so.


      Again assuming Quant remains at 41, you could get a 700 if you can boost your Verbal score all the way up to a 45.

      (Both of those figures come from the GMAT score conversion chart that Sharat put together here on the blog.)

      Raising your score by 7 to 14 points in just 20 days is a tall order. But it may not be impossible. If you focus on SC, I recommend focusing on strategy a lot– tips and tricks for finding the right answers and eliminating the wrong ones. Manhattan does indeed have some good strategy advice. But I also suggest looking for strategy advice on the GMAT Club Forums, and in the text and video tutorials on the Magoosh GMAT Forums. Strategy can be learned a lot faster than grammar, so that may be your most efficient path to improving your SC and boosting your overall GMAT score.

      Final thought, I also recommend taking practice GMATs that are as “authentic” as possible. This means taking actual official practice exams from GMAC, the makers of the GMAT. And it means taking your exams under conditions that are similar to test center conditions. (For more information, see Kevin’s post on why GMAT scores vary.) And of course, be sure to use real GMAT books such as the Official Guide to the GMAT, in addition to good-but-unofficial resources by providers like Manhattan or Magoosh.

  2. Emily October 16, 2015 at 9:48 pm #


    I have exactly one month and one week left before my test. I’ve notice that whenever I do math problems of any type I get anxious and rush the problem. I end up not reading the problem carefully and getting the question wrong. Is there a way that I can stop that from happening?

    • Dani Lichliter
      Dani Lichliter October 19, 2015 at 10:38 am #

      Hi Emily,

      Just recognizing that you are getting anxious is a big step in the right direction. I’d recommend checking out this blog post on overcoming exam anxiety from our GMAT expert, Mike! I hope it helps.

      Best of luck on your GMAT!

  3. Ishita September 14, 2015 at 11:17 am #

    I have two months to prepare for the GMAT. I was thinking to sign up for the Magoosh premium version and buy one additional Math and verbal book for additional practice, will it be sufficient to score around 600.

  4. Quynh September 25, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    Hi Chris, I am starting on working on the one-month schedule on Magoosh. I have a question about Manhattan practice tests. Are they in the 8 book series or somewhere else? I have not managed to buy them yet and am not sure which particular books you suggest to buy to get the practice tests. Thanks!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 26, 2014 at 10:57 am #

      Hi Quynh,

      So to access the Manhattan practice tests, you need to buy any one of the eight guides. Each will have a passcode at the back that will allow you access to the on-line tests. The tests are the same no matter which of the eight books you buy.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  5. 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.

      Good luck!

  6. 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?

  7. 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 Jung
      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:

      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 🙂


  8. 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.

  9. 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 :).

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

    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!

  11. 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 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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