1 Month GMAT Study Schedule

GMAT schedule

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 now 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

How to Use this 1-Month GMAT Study Schedule

This GMAT study plan is not for the faint of heart. It was designed so that you would exhaust most of the questions in the GMAC’s Official Guide for GMAT Review and most of the questions and videos in the Magoosh product. It also supposes you have six days/week and 3-5 hours a day, though it occasionally requires slightly more time.

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 either (or all) of these are the case, we’d suggest reconsidering your GMAT test date. Yes, it’s a little annoying to pay the $50 GMAT rescheduling fee–but it’s far better than taking the exam before you have time to fully prepare and needing to pay a $250-$300 GMAT fee for a retake.

Though this plan will be time-consuming and require hard work, dedication, and focus to get through, I know you can do it.

  • Make sure to give yourself at least one GMAT-free day a week to help you absorb what you’ve studied even better!
  • Even though you are dedicating lots of time to GMAT prep this month, you must get 8+ hours of sleep every night since memory encoding takes place in REM sleep.

 
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 test could be as much as a 50 point GMAT score difference.

And why not practice now, pre-business school? After the admissions process and once you’re in your MBA program, sleeping 8 hours will be a lot more difficult!

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

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Essential Materials

Register for a GMAT account on mba.comDownload GMAC's GMATPrep SoftwareGet a copy of the O.G.Subscribe to Magoosh's premium GMAT test prepBookmark Magoosh's Complete GMAT GuideBookmark Magoosh's guide to GMAT Practice Test Resources
  1. The official GMAT website, http://mba.com/ – register for an account on the site if you haven’t already.
  2.  

  3. Download the Official GMATPrep Software from GMAC.
  4.  

  5. GMAC’s The Official Guide for GMAT Review (OG) – The newest edition is the OG2021. If you are going to buy a new guide, get that one.
     
    If you happen to own the OG2020, OG2019, OG2018, OG2017, or even the previous OG2016, then it would be no problem using any of those with this study guide.
  6.  

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

  7. Magoosh GMAT – sign up for the Premium subscription
  8.  

  9. A journal (paper or on the computer) – throughout this GMAT schedule, I will ask you to take notes. The actual act of writing or typing creates important links in your brain because you are using your hands. Even if you never have time to review what you have written, just the act of writing it will help you learn a little more deeply.
  10.  

    • Pro tip: At the beginning of your journal, write down why you are studying for the GMAT. Refer back to it when you’ve skipped movie night for the third time, when your kids have kept you up late, when you’re just plain tired and frustrated of math, or whenever you need a little extra encouragement!
  11. Magoosh’s Complete GMAT Guide – This comprehensive web-based guide to the GMAT gives you the quick but useful overview you need to understand this test. 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.
  12.  

  13. A guide to GMAT Practice Test Resources – This page includes instructions on where to find good full-length GMAT practice tests, and how to take practice tests and incorporate them into your studies.

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Optional/Supplemental Resources

  1. GMAT Club, online forum
  2.  

  3. Beat the GMAT, online forum
  4.  

  5. Magoosh GMAT Math Flashcards
  6.  

  7. Magoosh Idiom Flashcards
  8.  

  9. The Magoosh GMAT Diagnostic Test–a great tool to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Because this one-month GMAT schedule is already filled to the brim with material, we do not include formal practice with the flashcards. If you find these helpful, please integrate work with them where you can.
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Abbreviations Used in this Plan

In this plan, we use standard abbreviations for the question types on the GMAT.

  • OG = The Official Guide for GMAT Review

Quantitative Questions

  • PS = Problem Solving
  •  

  • DS = Data Sufficiency

Verbal Questions

  • RC = Reading Comprehension
  •  

  • CR = Critical Reasoning
  •  

  • SC = Sentence Correction

In addition, AWA denotes the Analytical Writing Assessment (the essay at the beginning of the GMAT) and IR denotes the Integrated Reasoning section.
 

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Week 1 GMAT schedule

One Month GMAT Study Plan: Week One

* Tasks marked with an asterisk indicate that this resource is only available to Magoosh students—sign up here for a free trial!

Week One, Day One

1) Read the official page on the structure of the test, and follow the four individual links to read about individual question types.

2) In the OG

  • Read the first half of the Math Review, before the math questions in the OG.
    • As you read, write down concepts that are fuzzy/rusty/unfamiliar in your journal.
  • 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.
  • Take the first half of the 3.1 Diagnostic Test, pp. 19-26, the mathematics section.
    • When you are done, correct your answers. For questions you got right, glance at the solution, to make sure you got it right for the right reason. For questions you got wrong, study the solutions in detail, taking notes on anything unfamiliar.

3) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

(As you watch these Magoosh videos, take notes in your journal. You will not have time to watch all of them more than once, so take notes to get the most out of 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.)

4) In the Magoosh product, do:

Upon completion of each Magoosh question, watch 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 get wrong.

NOTE: when you do Magoosh practice questions, do not select individual topics that are familiar. When you learn a particular lesson, resist the urge to practice that material right there and then. This plan is based on the philosophy that you should see a random mix of topics every time you practice as you move through the OG.

Yes, this means you will make some mistakes in the beginning, especially with topics you haven’t learned thoroughly yet, but if you study those mistakes carefully, that will prime your mind for understanding these ideas more deeply when you get to them in the lessons.

Getting questions wrong at the beginning may seem frustrating, but remember that you are playing a “longer game”: the point is not instant success at the beginning, but building deeper understanding over time. Also, it’s important to get accustomed as soon as possible to the random mix of topics you will see, one after the other, on test day.

Week One, Day Two

In the OG:

  • Finish the Math Review; as you read, either write down in a separate journal concepts that fuzzy/rusty/unfamiliar.
  • 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.
  • Complete the second half of the 3.1 Diagnostic Test, pp. 27-44, the verbal section. When you are done, correct your answers. For questions you got right, glance at the solution, to make sure you got it right for the right reason. For questions you got wrong, study the solutions in detail, taking notes on anything unfamiliar.

4) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

5) In the Magoosh product, do:

Week One, Day Three

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 PS questions
  • 15 SC questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

When you do each batch of OG 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, 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.

Note that not all the OG explanations are of high quality, and some are not good at all. As an alternative, for all the questions in the OG, you can see much better explanations in our video solutions.

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

NOTE: as you finish lesson modules, take the quiz at the end of the module. If you don’t “pass,” then keep reviewing and take it again, until you can pass that quiz.

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

Week One, Day Four

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 math Data Sufficiency (DS) questions
  • 15 verbal Critical Reasoning (CR) questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

Week One, Day Five

1) In the OG, do:

  • 15 SC questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

Week One, Day Six (BIG Day):

1) Go to the MBA website and download the free software.

2) Take the 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.

Older versions of the GMATPrep software (before version 2.5) do not include an AWA question. In that case, to simulate a full GMAT, begin by selecting randomly a prompt from the back of the OG (if you have a pre-2020 edition) or this MBA.com PDF, and then take 30 minutes to write the essay in a word processing program. Then, take the rest of the GMAT using that software.

Shortly after you are done, check all your answers, and read the explanations of everything you got wrong and everything for which you were unsure. Write in your journal anything you need to learn from the mistakes you made. The essay you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback. See this blog for other options.

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.

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Week 2 GMAT Schedule

One Month GMAT Study Plan: Week Two

Week Two, Day One

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 PS questions
  • 15 SC questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

Week Two, Day Two

1) In the OG, do:

  • 15 CR questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

Week Two, Day Three

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 PS questions
  • 15 SC questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

Week Two, Day Four

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 DS questions
  • 15 CR questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

Week Two, Day Five

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 PS questions
  • 15 SC questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

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.

Older versions of the GMATPrep software (before version 2.5) do not include an AWA question. In that case, to simulate a full GMAT, begin by selecting randomly a prompt from the back of the OG (if you have a pre-2020 edition) or this MBA.com PDF, and then take 30 minutes to write the essay in a word processing program. Then, take the rest of the GMAT using that software.

Shortly after you are done, check all your answers, and read the explanations of everything you got wrong and everything for which you were unsure. Write in your journal anything you need to learn from the mistakes you made. The essay you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.

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.

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Week 3 GMAT Schedule

One Month GMAT Study Plan: Week Three

Week Three, Day One

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 PS questions
  • 15 CR questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

Week Three, Day Two

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 DS questions
  • 15 SC questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

Week Three, Day Three

1) In the OG, do:

  • 15 CR questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

4) Go to GMAC’s official IR practice questions: Use the access code given in the back of the OG, logging in here. This site contains the online version of all the questions in the OG, in case you want to practice the identical questions online instead of on paper; in addition, the official IR practice questions live here.

Uncheck everything else and do the first twelve Multi-Source Reasoning questions, questions #1-12, setting yourself a 30 minute time limit. When you are done, go back and read carefully the full explanation for each question. Take notes on anything you need to remember.

Week Three, Day Four

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 DS questions
  • 15 SC questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

Week Three, Day Five

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 PS questions
  • 15 CR questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

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 a few repeats (which are great for review).

Improve your GMAT score with Magoosh.

Older versions of the GMATPrep software (before version 2.5) do not include an AWA question. In that case, to simulate a full GMAT, begin by selecting randomly a prompt from the back of the OG (if you have a pre-2020 edition) or this MBA.com PDF, and then take 30 minutes to write the essay in a word processing program. Then, take the rest of the GMAT using that software.

Shortly after you are done, check all your answers, and read the explanations of everything you got wrong and everything for which you were unsure. Write in your journal anything you need to learn from the mistakes you made. The essay you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.

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.

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Week 4 GMAT Schedule

One Month GMAT Study Plan: Week Four

Week Four, Day One

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 PS questions
  • 15 SC questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) Go back to GMAC’s official IR practice questions: Use the access code given in the back of the OG, logging in here. This site contains the online version of all the questions in the OG, in case you want to practice the identical questions online instead of on paper; in addition, the official IR practice questions live here.

Uncheck everything else and do the last six Multi-Source Reasoning questions, questions #12-18, and all six Table Analysis questions, setting yourself a 30 minute time limit for all twelve questions. When you are done, go back and read carefully the full explanation for each question. Take notes on anything you need to remember.

Week Four, Day Two

1) In the OG, do:

  • 15 CR questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

4) Go back to GMAC’s official IR practice questions: Use the access code given in the back of the OG, logging in here. This site contains the online version of all the questions in the OG, in case you want to practice the identical questions online instead of on paper; in addition, the official IR practice questions live here.

Uncheck everything else and do all ten Graphics Interpretation questions, setting yourself a 25 minute time limit. When you are done, go back and read carefully the full explanation for each question. Take notes on anything you need to remember.

Week Four, Day Three

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 PS questions
  • 15 SC questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

4) Go back to GMAC’s official IR practice questions: Use the access code given in the back of the OG, logging in here. This site contains the online version of all the questions in the OG, in case you want to practice the identical questions online instead of on paper; in addition, the official IR practice questions live here.

Uncheck everything else and do all sixteen Two-Part Analysis questions, setting yourself a 40 minute time limit. When you are done, go back and read carefully the full explanation for each question. Take notes on anything you need to remember.

Week Four, Day Four

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 DS questions
  • 15 CR questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Read the AWA Argument prompts in the OG (if you have a pre-2020 edition). While GMAC has removed their list of AWA prompts from the 2020 and 2021 OG, you can still find the GMAT essay prompts on this MBA.com PDF. Pick a prompt 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:

4) In the Magoosh product, do:

Week Four, Day Five

1) In the OG, do:

  • 25 PS questions
  • 15 SC questions
  • one RC passage with the associated questions

2) Watch the following Magoosh videos:

3) In the Magoosh product, do:

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 a few repeats (which are great for review).

Older versions of the GMATPrep software (before version 2.5) do not include an AWA question. In that case, to simulate a full GMAT, begin by selecting randomly a prompt from the back of the OG (if you have a pre-2020 edition) or this MBA.com PDF, and then take 30 minutes to write the essay in a word processing program. Then, take the rest of the GMAT using that software.

Shortly after you are done, check all your answers, and read the explanations of everything you got wrong and everything for which you were unsure. Write in your journal anything you need to learn from the mistakes you made. The essay you will either share with a trusted friend or mentor, or post in the online forums asking for feedback.

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.

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Any Extra Days

  • In the OG, sample the remaining SC & CR questions
  • Write another essay from OG (pre-2020 editions) or this MBA.com PDF, and get a critique of it
  • Complete any remaining Magoosh questions for which you have time

Day Before the Test

  • No GMAT preparation all day
  • Eat a large, healthy, leisurely dinner – no alcohol!
  • Go to bed earlier than usual
  • Take every break you’re offered during the exam

Day of the GMAT

  • ABSOLUTELY NO LAST-MINUTE GMAT PREPARATION!
  • Eat a large breakfast, full of protein
  • Do relaxing, fun activities to pass time until the test
  • On breaks, make 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

Bring to the Test

  • A valid legal ID, ensure your name matches your GMAT registration
  • A light sweater in case the test room gets chilly
  • A list of schools to which you’d like to send your score
  • A liter of water
  • Healthy energy-packed snacks (nuts, protein bar, etc.)

 
For relaxation tips, see this post.

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

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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