GMAT Study Plans and GMAT Study Guides

Open book with pen representing a GMAT study guidePhoto by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Good GMAT study is planned GMAT study. It really is important to plan ahead for what you’ll need to study and how you’ll study for the GMAT. You need to gather a good set of prep materials and a well-organized timeline for how to make the most of them. So whether you have one month or six months to study, one of the plans we’ve outlined below can help you study more effectively for the GMAT. Keep reading to learn how to start preparing for the GMAT and which study guide may be right for you!

How to Study for the GMAT

Studying for the GMAT exam is like preparing for a marathon. You’ll need motivation, endurance, speed, and skill. 💪🧠

  1. Consider your dream grad school and research the score you’ll need to get in.
  2. Take a GMAT practice test to take an inventory of your skills in math and verbal. This will help you figure out what you need to study for the GMAT.
  3. Diagnose your strengths and weaknesses based on your practice test so you can adapt your study plan to the areas where you need work.
  4. Learn about the format of the GMAT, the number of questions you’ll see in each section, and how long you have for each.
  5. Review time management tips and stress reduction skills.
  6. Write down the reason you want to take the GMAT test so you can refer to it when you feel like giving up on studying.
  7. Use a Magoosh GMAT study guide!

Get Started With a Free GMAT Study Guide How-To!

If you’re wondering how to study for GMAT exams on your own, look no further than this free GMAT study guide! Created by our knowledgeable GMAT tutor, Elliot, this guide gives a succinct overview of the GMAT study tools you’ll need to succeed on test day.

This includes GMAT tips and tricks, including how (and where) to take a diagnostic, the secret to learning from your mistakes, and more—all in a one-page, downloadable resource! Click the button below to access our free GMAT study guide PDF.

Download the guide button - magoosh

Most Popular GMAT Study Guides

Get Your Free GMAT One-Month Study Schedule

One-Month Daily Schedule
[printable version]

You’re a test taker — perhaps a business school hopeful — starting from Square One. Or perhaps you just registered for next month’s GMAT exam. You haven’t studied for this test before, and you want a step-by-step GMAT study guide to help you plan out the next few weeks. It’s not very much time, but you want to make the most of what you have, with a guide for GMAT prep to match. Then this Daily 1-Month GMAT Study Schedule is for you!

Get Your Free GMAT Two-Month Study Schedule

Two-Month Daily Schedule

Your test is coming up soon. You haven’t started prepping yet, and you need to know how to maximize your available time. Not to worry! Two months can be long enough to prepare for the GMAT–if you know how to allocate your study hours and get the right resources. If you’re looking for a guide that will help you get the most out of two months of GMAT prep, then this 2 Month GMAT Study Schedule is for you!

Get Your Free GMAT Three-Month Study Schedule

Three-Month Daily Schedule
[printable version]

You have more time to prep than the above GMAT study schedules. You’re ready to dedicate 3 months to GMAT test prep. However, you’re still starting from scratch and want to feel organized about this endeavor. (After all, this is your MBA or graduate management future we’re talking about!) If the test intimidates you, or you just want to start fresh, then this Beginner’s 3 Month GMAT Study Schedule will be your best friend. If you think you’re further along than a beginner, then keep scrolling down to explore our other GMAT study schedules.


Additional GMAT Study Schedules

Whether you’re attempting to cram or are taking your time to study leisurely for the GMAT, it always helps to have a more structured GMAT study guide to keep you on track and help you attain a good GMAT score. Whatever your timeline, we have a GMAT study guide for you.

Below are our regularly-updated, expert-designed GMAT study schedules that include lists of suggested resources and checklists of specific tasks and goals for every day. Let us know how you like them! 🙂

Weekly 1-Month GMAT Study Schedule

In the words of our very own Chris Lele, “do you have what it takes – namely time – to commit yourself to GMAT prep?” If your answer is a resounding “YES!” then you’re ready for this Weekly 1-Month GMAT Study Schedule. It includes the Official Guide and Magoosh product, just like the others. However, this is a much broader study guide than the one above. But perhaps you already have a rough idea of how you’d like to allocate your time to study, or maybe you’re starting to prepare for a GMAT retake and know where you’d like to focus the most amount of time. If you want more guidance, go with the Daily 1-Month GMAT Study Schedule. If you want to just better understand the top priorities and goals week-by-week then this weekly breakdown is for you!

Math-Focused 3-Month GMAT Study Schedule

Maybe you’re a beginner, or maybe you just want to concentrate more on math review than verbal. In other words you’d rather go over data sufficiency sample questions than sentence correction question types. This Math-Focused 3 Month GMAT Study Schedule is for you! Although this plan covers Magoosh lessons on all topics, it focuses more heavily on the math problems so you can concentrate on strengthening your weaknesses. Oh, you’re a math whiz, you say? You want to concentrate more heavily on verbal GMAT questions? Then keep scrolling down to the next prep plan…

Verbal-Focused 3-Month GMAT Study Schedule

You have a strong math background, so you want to concentrate your GMAT practice questions to focus more on verbal during your GMAT prep. More critical reasoning section practice; less data sufficiency section. A little sentence correction and a bit of reading comprehension section; not so much GMAT quantitative section. You still have 3 months to study, but want to dedicate the majority of that time to improving your verbal skills (while still getting a good amount of GMAT math prep in). It sounds like the Verbal-Focused GMAT Study Guide Schedule is the study schedule for you! This study guide will cover all of Magoosh’s verbal problems twice and a substantial amount of reading practice as well. Ready to get started? Then let the wise Mike McGarry lead you through this awesome 3-month GMAT self-preparation guide!

3-Month GMAT Study Schedule for Advanced Students

If you had real GMAT test dates scheduled for this week, you would receive exam scores that you’re happy with (but why you would take “a few” in one week, we aren’t so sure). That’s all just to say that you feel comfortable with your level of preparation. Your hard work and efficient study habits have paid off. However, you want to get a great score: you’re aiming for the upper 700s. To do this, you want to refine your studying to aim for top-tier results. Then, the 3-Month GMAT Study Schedule for Advanced Students should be your go-to study guide. By following this study plan, you will cover all the information needed to attain an elite GMAT score. Fear not; practice questions and practice tests are still included. Score higher, score smarter, and have fun studying with our 3-Month GMAT Study Schedule for Advanced Students.

6-Month GMAT Study Schedule

You have more time than that allotted in the 1- and 3-month study guides. You’re starting early and giving yourself ample time to prepare for the GMAT. But you still want to work hard and diligently each week to score high on everything from the analytical writing section to the quantitative section. The 6-Month GMAT Study Schedule is the right GMAT review for you, then! If you’re determined to stay organized over the next 6 months, but need a little help doing so, then use this study guide as your rubric and guide.

Not sure how to start preparing for the GMAT or which GMAT study plan is right for you? Take the Magoosh GMAT Diagnostic Test. Interested in adapting one of these schedules to meet your needs? Check out this blog post for adjustment tips.

Links to reviews of required GMAT study prep material and resources:

All of the GMAT study plans require you to use and sometimes purchase GMAT prep resources. We understand you may want to “look before you leap” and learn more about these resources before you spend your time and money on them. So we’ve made a set of reviews for the most important resources in our GMAT study guides.

We also provide some reviews to books that are not listed in any GMAT study guide of ours, but may be useful to you. Check everything out by looking through the links below:

magoosh logogmat club beat the gmat logosmanhattan prep logo

Read our review for Magoosh resources
Read our review for GMAT forums Read our review for Manhattan GMAT
Graduate Admissions Council (GMAC) logoNOVA Press logoPowerScore logo
Read our review for The Official Guide (from GMAC)Read our review for Nova GMATRead our review for PowerScore GMAT

If you don’t have all of the required resources above, we encourage you to order them ASAP. (Or find them on the Web for free ASAP, in the case of some of the items listed above.)

Additional resources

You may be interested in these additional resources to help you study for the GMAT:

And for our ambitious students that want to achieve a 700+ GMAT score, these resources are for you:


A Final Word on How to Study for the GMAT

As you can see, there are a lot of GMAT study plans. But remember, every plan should have some individual “twists.” Feel free to modify our study guide, adding and changing activities as needed.

The study schedules we offered really show you how to study for the GMAT, both in terms of what to study and the best ways to schedule your study. Be sure to study official GMAT materials and reliable third-party materials. And above all, discipline is key. Daily GMAT preparation is needed for the Verbal Section and the Quant section, and you should prep for IR and AWA on at least a weekly basis.

Ready to get an awesome GMAT score? Start here.

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