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Old 1 Month Daily Plan (Pre-July 2015)

Before You Begin: This is an older version of the Magoosh 1 Month (Daily) Study Schedule. You should only use this plan if you started with this study plan before¬†July 2015. If you are just starting to study, please use the most updated version! ūüôā¬†

OK, suppose you are starting from Square One and have just a month to get yourself in shape for the GMAT.  That’s not a whole lot of time, but here’s how to make the best of it.

This outline supposes six days/week of preparation.¬† It will actually help you integrate even more deeply if you have one GMAT-free day a week.¬† I am assuming you have 3-4 hours a day, with occasional days (presumably on weekends) when you will put in more time.¬† It could be a comfortable rhythm, for example, to do a few hours each weeknight, a larger session on Saturday, and then take Sunday off.¬† I know it will be hard to stick to this regimen if you have a full-time job; if you are working full time, you may consider postponing your GMAT, if possible, to give yourself adequate time to study, and following a two-month or three-month plan. ¬†NOTE: Many folks find that each day’s assignments take 3-4 hours, although times to complete them will vary for different students.

Also, very very important: even though you are doing more work preparing for the GMAT during this month, you must get 8+ hours of sleep every night.  Memory encoding takes place in REM sleep, and it’s in that last hour of an eight-hour session of sleep that we get the most REM.  Getting an average of 8 hours of sleep vs. an average of 7 hours of sleep every night between now and the GMAT could be as much as a 50 point score difference.  Getting enough sleep is very important!

Essential Materials

1) GMAC’s The Official Guide for GMAT Review (OG)

2)¬†Magoosh GMAT‚Äď sign up for the Premium subscription

3) the official GMAT website,¬†mba.com¬†‚Äď register on the site

Optional/Supplemental Resources

1) GMAT Club, online forum

2) Beat the GMAT, online forum
*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! ūüėÄ

Week One

Week One is has two tasks:

a)  to begin with getting information about you: what are your strengths and weaknesses?  Where do you need to focus attention?

b) to get familiar with the layout of the test

 

Week One, Day One

1) In the OG

Read the first half the Math Review, before the math questions in the OG; as you read, either write down in a separate journal concepts that fuzzy/rusty/unfamiliar.

2) In the OG

Read the introductory section to PS questions, DS questions, RC questions, and CR questions.  You will find these introductory sections before the banks of that question type.

3) Read the official page on the structure of the test: http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/test-structure-and-overview.aspx, and follow the four individual links to read about individual question types.

4) Watch the following Magoosh Videos

Under the Intro to the GMAT section: all ten videos, or as many as are needed

Under the Reading Comprehension (RC) section: the first three videos

Under the Critical Reasoning (CR) section: the first video

In Math: the first five  videos

(As you watch these Magoosh videos, take notes in a notebook.  You will not have time to watch all of them more than once, so you need to get the most out of the time you watch each one.  Even if you never again look at what you write, the fact that you are writing, and therefore processing, what is being said will help you remember it.)

Week One, Day Two:

1) In the OG, finish the Math Review; as you read, either write down in a separate journal concepts that fuzzy/rusty/unfamiliar.

2) In the OG, read the introductory section to SC questions, including the “Basic English Grammar Rules” section: as you read, either write down in a separate journal concepts that fuzzy/rusty/unfamiliar.¬† Read the introduction to the AWA and read the entire IR section.

In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR questions, and the first RC passage with questions.  When you do each batch of questions, correct yourself right after, and then read the explanation given whether you got the question right or wrong.  At the beginning, be religious about reading the explanations carefully, making sure that, on questions you got right, you got them right for the right reason.  As you continue in your studies, you can just scan explanations for question that were easy to get right.

Also, very important.  If you don’t fully understand the explanation given in the OG, then can go the Magoosh YouTube channel, where explanations are available for all the Quantitative questions, and you can also post questions in the online forums.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

Under the Sentence Correction (SC) section: : the first five videos

In Math: five more videos

Under the Analytic Writing Assessment (AWA) section: all five videos

Under the RC section: the remaining seven videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 Problem Solving (PS) questions, 10 SC, 10 CR;

When you do the Magoosh question, start by watching the video following the question whether you got the question right or wrong.  As time goes on, and you are comfortable with why you go a question right, just watch the videos for questions you got wrong.

Week One, Day Three:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions. (NOTE: for any day, if a single RC passage has more than 5 questions by itself, then you can do that passage alone, not two RC passages that day.)

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: 6 more videos

In Math: six more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 Data Sufficiency (DS) questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

Week One, Day Four:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the CR section: the remaining 12 videos

In Math: four more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

Week One, Day Five:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: six more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

Week One, Day Six (BIG Day):

1)Go to http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/download-free-test-preparation-software.aspx, download the free software.

2) Take he first full-length GMAT on the GMAC software.  Go through the entire solution after you are done, taking notes in your journal on anything you got wrong.

That software does not include an AWA question.  To simulate a full GMAT, begin by selecting randomly a prompt from the back of the OG, and then take 30 minutes to write the essay in a word processing program. This essay you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.  Then, take the rest of the GMAT using that software.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GMAT conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GMAT.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal.

3) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In  the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section: all 17 videos

Week Two, Day One:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

Week Two, Day Two:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

Week Two, Day Three:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

Week Two, Day Four:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

Week Two, Day Five:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

Week Two, Day Six (BIG Day):

1) Take the second full-length GMAT on the GMAC software.  Go through the entire solution after you are done, taking notes in your journal on anything you got wrong.

That software does not include an AWA question.  To simulate a full GMAT, begin by selecting randomly a prompt from the back of the OG, and then take 30 minutes to write the essay in a word processing program. This essay you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.  Then, take the rest of the GMAT using that software.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GMAT conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GMAT.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In Math: eight more videos

Week Three, Day One:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

Week Three, Day Two:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

Week Three, Day Three:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

Week Three, Day Four:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

Week Three, Day Five:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

Week Three, Day Six (BIG Day):

1) Retake the first full length GMAT on the GMAC software. Because the software has a larger question pool than the number of questions on each test, you will usually see many new questions as well as repeats (which are great for review). Once again, go through the entire solution after you are done, taking notes in your journal on anything you got wrong.

That software does not include an AWA question.  To simulate a full GMAT, begin by selecting randomly a prompt from the back of the OG, and then take 30 minutes to write the essay in a word processing program. This essay you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.  Then, take the rest of the GMAT using that software.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GMAT conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GMAT.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: five more videos

In Math: eight more videos

Week Four, Day One:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

4) Go to GMAC’s official IR website: the code in the back of your OG will give you access to this site.¬† Do the first 12 IR questions in a 30 minute time limit.¬† Just answer the questions and move on.¬† After the 30 minutes is up, check your answers and read carefully the explanations.

Week Four, Day Two:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

4) Go back to GMAC’s IR website.¬† Do IR questions #13-24 in a 30 minute time limit.¬† Just answer the questions and move on.¬† After the 30 minutes is up, check your answers and read carefully the explanations.

Week Four, Day Three:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: eight more videos

3) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

4) Go back to GMAC’s IR website.¬† Do IR questions #25-37 in a 33 minute time limit.¬† Just answer the questions and move on.¬† After the 30 minutes is up, check your answers and read carefully the explanations.

Week Four, Day Four:

1) In the OG, do 20 DS questions, 10 SC, and the next two RC passages with questions.

2) Read the AWA Argument prompts in OG; pick one at random, write an essay in half an hour; get a friend or mentor to critique it, or submit it on the online forums for critique.

3) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: four more videos

In Math: seven more videos

4) On the Magoosh site, do 20 DS questions, and 2 passages worth of RC questions.

Week Four, Day Five:

1) In the OG, do 20 PS questions, 10 CR, and 10 SC

2) On the Magoosh site, do 20 PS questions, and 10 SC, 10 CR;

3) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In the SC section: any remaining videos

In Math: seven more videos

4) Go back to GMAC’s IR website.¬† Do IR questions #38-50 in a 33 minute time limit.¬† Just answer the questions and move on.¬† After the 30 minutes is up, check your answers and read carefully the explanations.

Week Four, Day Six (BIG Day, if this is NOT the day before the real GMAT):

1)  Retake the second full-length GMAT on the GMAC software. Because the software has a larger question pool than the number of questions on each test, you will usually see many new questions as well as repeats (which are great for review). Once again, go through the entire solution after you are done, taking notes in your journal on anything you got wrong.

That software does not include an AWA question.  To simulate a full GMAT, begin by selecting randomly a prompt from the back of the OG, and then take 30 minutes to write the essay in a word processing program. This essay you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.  Then, take the rest of the GMAT using that software.

As much as possible, try to mimic the GMAT conditions.  Give yourself relatively short breaks in between sections.  Only eat the kinds of snacks that you are planning to bring to the real GMAT.  Note how your sleep the night before affects your work.  Note how what you had for dinner the previous night and what you had to eat earlier that day affects your energy level and concentration.   Write any observations in your journal

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos

In Math: seven more videos

Any extra days:

1) In the OG, sample the remaining SC & CR questions

2) Write another essay, and get a critique of it

3) Do any remaining Magoosh questions for which you have time.

Day before the test:

1) No GMAT preparation all day.

2) Eat a large, healthy, leisurely dinner ‚Äď no alcohol!

3) Go to bed earlier than usual.

Day of test

1) ABSOLUTELY NO LAST-MINUTE GMAT PREPARATION!

2) Eat a large breakfast, full of protein.

3) Do relaxing, fun activities to pass time until the test.

Bring to the test

1) A liter of water.

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

3) On breaks, make sure to get up, move & stretch ‚Äď 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.

For relaxation tips, see this post.

Any questions on this plan?  Just leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to help!

Ready to get an awesome GMAT score? Start here.

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