1 Month Calendar
The 3 GMAT resources you'll need:
1) Download GMAT Prep software from mba.com
2) Learn the GMAT Pill Study Method via Online Video Course (login/sign up here)
3) Get a copy of the Official Guide to the GMAT
General Outline For 1 Month
GMAT Study Day 1:
Download GMAT Prep software from mba.com and go through the various question types on the computer adaptive platform so you get familiar with the test interface and the different question types you'll see. Also get used to the order in which the different sections appear (first essay, then integrated reasoning, then quant, then verbal).
Go to bed feeling excited about how you will be studying the next day. You should already know which section is your weakest and you will go to bed knowing that tomorrow will be dedicated to NOTHING but enhancing your understanding of your weakest section. For example, think: "Tomorrow is Sentence Correction Day"
If you have an iPad, go ahead and download videos for that section onto your iPad so that you can watch them during your commute to work the next day (if you have work).
Shhhhhh! It's GMAT time!
1 Month Calendar
Get rid of ALL distractions including
- Instant Messengers
- Mobile Phone Notifications
- Miscellaneous distractions or people
GMAT Study Day 2 &3:
Start the GMAT Pill Course and learn the core frameworks for each section. Then apply these frameworks to the Level 600 and Level 700 questions provided and learn the most efficient way to approach each of the questions.
Based on what you saw and how you did in the different sections of the GMAT Prep software, figure out which section you are weakest on and dedicate this entire Day 2 and Day 3 to that section. Ideally, you want to schedule day 2 and 3 on a weekend, especially if you have a day time job.
If you've determined that sentence correction is your weakest section, then dedicate the entire Day 2 and Day 3 to ONLY sentence correction questions and NOTHING else. Remember, the idea here is to stay as focused as possible on one particular section so you can maximize your learning here in as little time as possible. So remove all types of distractions including other GMAT question types.
Ideally this day is a weekend so you can budget the entire day. If so, split your day in 3 segments - each for about 2-3 straight hours with no distractions. A morning session, afternoon session, and evening session is best with breaks for lunch and dinner.
If this day falls on a weekday for you, then go through at least a few videos in the morning when you eat breakfast. You should have downloaded videos overnight the previous night onto your iPad if you have an iPad. Whether you need to commute to work via train, bus, or subway you'll be able to watch GMAT Pill videos on the go and during your lunch break.
Then when you return from work at night, budget 2-3 hours to go through more videos and start applying what you learned to Official Guide Questions
GMAT Study Day 4-5:
Assuming you have a day-time job, you will only have 2-3 hours per night to study GMAT. During these 2 hours - make the absolute most of it. Apply what you learned in the GMAT Pill videos to the Official Guide Questions for the most realistic testing of your understanding.
Do NOT go to bed until you understand why you get each question wrong during the 2-3 hours of study. Wake up the next morning and review those same GMAT questions as you eat breakfast before going to work.
Repeat the process on the night of the fifth day.
GMAT Study Day 6-10
Congratulations! By now you should have improved your weakest section by a good amount. It's tie to mix it up and introduce your second weakest section (e.g., critical reasoning) and change your thinking cap to something a little bit different.
The process is the same as it was with your first section. Login regularly and apply the thought process that you learn to Official Guide Questions.
GMAT Study Day 11-14
Repeat the process for your 3rd weakest section (e.g. Reading Comprehension)
GMAT Study Day 15-18
Repeat the process for your 4th weakest section (e.g., Data Sufficiency)
GMAT Study Day 19-21
By now you should be approaching your strongest section. Since you started on your weakest section and made improvements along the way, you should now be approaching your strongest section so you don't need to dedicate 4-5 days on it. You can budget closer to 2-3 days.
The process remains the same. Repeat and continue to build this mental endurance.
GMAT Study Day 22-23
You are approaching the last 10 days of your exam. So you should start thinking about going through full length practice tests. Of course you can't do taht until you go through the integrated reasoning section. Note that you will get a separate score for your integrated reasoning section and that it will not affect your overall 800 score.
Note also that on your actual GMAT exam, you will first see the analysis of an argument essay, then the 30 minute integrated reasoning section, then an optional break, then the quant and verbal sections. So keep that in mind.
There are 4 parts to the integrated reasoning section. Just divide the days 22 and 23 in half. So that you can cover 2 sections per day. By the end of the budgeted two days, you will have covered all the integrated reasoning.
You can go to bed on the 23rd night knowing that you will retake the GMAT Prep software exam that you took on Day 1 the next day.
GMAT Study Day 24-25
Repeat the GMAT prep software CAT test that you took the first day and see how much improvement you made. Note where your problem areas still lie. Spend these two days reviewing your mistakes and also reviewing the mistakes you made the very first day. Always keep track of which questions you got wrong so you can refer back to them later.
GMAT Study Day 26-27
Go through more Official Guide questions and also take a look at the essay. As long as you structure your essay in the manner suggested by the OG, you should be fine. Structure matters the most in your essays. It doesn't matter whether you argue for or against the argument.
GMAT Study Day 28
You should budget an entire day to an actual GMAT CAT exam simulation. This could be another GMAT prep CAT or any other CAT you get elsewhere
GMAT Study Day 29-31
Spend the last few days reviewing the "stupid" mistakes that you make and brushing up concepts and thought processes. If your exam is early in the morning, practice waking up early for several days and going through your entire pre-test routine.
If you normally eat a light breakfast, don't all of a sudden eat a breakfast on your exam day!
Start visualizing yourself going towards the test center and going through any mental processes you might expect. Make sure you bring gatorade or light snacks with you so you can access them during your break.
Get up and do jumping jacks if it helps. Just get mentally prepared with a positive attitude. You can reference this article on GMAT psychology and timing strategies.
Syllabus: Detailed 4-5 Day Plan For Each Section
Step 1: Learn & Absorb - watch the GMATPill videos covering Core Frameworks and Application of Thought Process to GMAT questions. This section is the most crucial part to rethinking how you approach GMAT questions and is the core of the GMATPill Program.
Step 2: Sprints - review the questions in the section pill and use the Practice Quiz to time yourself. The goal is to take questions you are familiar with and answer them as fast as possible and as accurately as possible. The questions are chosen at random. You should find yourself taking a deep breath, hitting start, sprinting through the question, and then confidently say what the answer is before hitting next. This entire thought process must be repeated and will simulate what you actually do on test day.
Step 3: OG Practice - practice with real questions and review the explanations.
Step 4: OG Sprints - Just as with the GMATPill questions, you want to pick questions at random (even though you may have gone through them before) and challenge yourself to answer as quickly as possible.
Step 5: GMATPill Practice Pill Platform - When you've exhausted those questions, get more practice here and practice sprinting through. Jot down your thought process in the comments section below - even the ones you got wrong. It will help retain the strategy you need when answering the question on exam day. When you have a question, leave a comment and Zeke will provide commentary to help you out.
GMAT Study Plan Strategy and Why It Works
What You Will Do #1: Dedicate ENTIRE days to a particular GMAT section - beginning with the section you feel weakest in - and focus on NOTHING else.
Why It Works: By dedicating an entire day to Sentence Correction, for example, you will be able to reduce your anxiety about worrying about all the different sections and instead just focus in on your weakest section. With all distractions aside, you will be able to maximize your improvement in as little time as possible.
What You Will Do #2: Eat, sleep, and breathe nothing except one particular section (like GMAT Sentence Correction) for 2 full days.
Why It Works: Scientific studies show that you maximize and retain learning during REM sleep, which usually happens after the 7th hour of sleep for most people. So make sure you budget in a good amount of time for sleeping - preferably 8-9 hours.
If you can review your GMAT mistakes immediately before going to bed and then wake up the next day to review those mistakes again while eating breakfast, you will be better able to ensure that you don't make the same mistakes again. You will also maximize your study efficiency and understanding of the test.