Build Your Own GMAT Study Schedule

You may have heard that studying for the GMAT is similar to preparing for a marathon. Not many people could run 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometers) without months of preparation! Though you probably won’t be as sweaty as you would be if you were to run for hours, you’ll still need endurance, speed, and strong mental skills to get through the GMAT with the score you deserve. Now, if you’re planning to run a marathon, your schedule is easy to fill out — It’s running on Monday, Tuesday probably some running, and then more running on Wednesday, Thursday, and so on. Not so simple with the GMAT! On your big day, you need to be prepared to use dozens of different math and grammar rules, track the meaning of several thousand words of text, and solve math problems with no calculator, all while going really fast and not making any mistakes. So more like a three-legged hot yoga CrossFit marathon. So what’s your plan? If you’re looking for some help deciding what to do each Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to be ready for the unique challenges of the GMAT, you’ve found it!

Once you have a goal in mind, and you’ve gathered some helpful resources, it’s time to start building your own GMAT study schedule.

Stay motivated — know your goals

What are your hopes and dreams? Who are you and who do you aspire to be? Sorry, I didn’t mean to get too personal, but some reflecting on your reasons for studying for a 3+ hour exam that costs hundreds of dollars and determines a big part of your future is a great place to start!

If you need some ideas, consider your short term vs. your long term goals. Your short term goal might be to take the GMAT in 3 months and score 750, but your long term goal might be to get into a top MBA program and then conquer the world of finance (or maybe just prove to your old calculus professor that you are worth more than the Σ of your parts). I recommend writing down your goals and keeping them somewhere visible — on the fridge, the mirror, or out on your desk. When you’re feeling discouraged or especially tired, look back to your goals to reinvigorate you and remind you of why you’re putting yourself through this.

Before you get started

Before you start building your own GMAT study schedule, you’ll need to get squared away with a couple initial steps. The schedule builder will use a little info to guide you to a recommended study schedule template. Most importantly, it wants to know the results from your diagnostic tests. If you haven’t had all that fun yet, take about an hour and complete both the quantitative and verbal diagnostic tests.

Next, download the GMAT Cheat Sheet (AKA the Free GMAT Study Guide How-To) to get a primer for the test! This guide will give you an overview of everything you need to know for test-day success.

Then head back here and you’ll be ready to go.

Build your custom GMAT study schedule

After you’ve completed your diagnostic, just take this brief quiz and then we’ll recommend a template of your study schedule to get started with!

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  • Elliot Hirsen

    Elliot supports Magoosh students as part of the Academic Help team, with a focus on live tutoring. Elliot has logged over 5,000 hours in 1-on-1 test prep sessions, and has posted 99% scores on the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT, since earning his MBA in 2009. Elliot is a reformed rock climber bum who enjoys spending time gardening now that he mostly stays in one place.