GMAT Study Schedule Breakdown

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It’s officially August!! This year man… literally FLYING by!

I have decided to share my “Less than a month til the GMAT” prep schedule. Feel free to use what I’m doing as a guide for those of you with test dates coming up or even critique what I have planned and let me know what you think worked and didn’t work for you. I’m a first timer so I’m open to any and all suggestions.

I have plenty of practice tests at my disposal and I plan on using them. I have 2 mock exams that I will only practice the verbal section: a) to work on timing, b) assess my weaknesses, c) accomplish both of these without having to sit for the whole exam

My weekends will mainly be focused on practicing quant problems and intensely reviewing my trouble areas. The amount of time on weekdays after work just isn’t adequate enough for me to fully invest in correcting my weaknesses, so these next few weekends are critical.

The week of August 4th will be devoted to not just practicing a section per day, but also working on my timing. I will be following the Manhattan GMAT’s time management chart, keeping track of whether I: a) got the question right and in the recommended time frame b) got the question right but over time c) got the question wrong but didn’t waste much time doing so d) got the question wrong and spent too much time trying to figure it out. Obviously I’m aiming for mostly A’s and C’s

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The week of August 11th I want to use my evenings reviewing strategies for each section. There are numerous sites that offer tips and review strategies so I’m sure I’ll find plenty to occupy me for hours each day. I feel like I started this process so long ago that the little things I made mental notes about or even jotted down, have slipped my mind so this will be a good refresher week.

I will start reviewing the Integrated Reasoning and the Essay sections of the test the Saturday before the exam. Thanks to all you for your comments on my previous post asking about when I should start this.

Everyday I plan on looking over flashcards whether its at breakfast or while I’m on the stairmaster and doing the GMAT Club Question of the Day, just to keep my brain stimulated.

I’ve taken a lot of you guys’ advice and decided to take off the Wednesday before the test (instead of that Friday) to do my last practice test. I am a perfectionist and kind of insane at times, so I know if I took a practice test the day before the exam and didn’t score as high as I would like, I would FREAK OUT. I will still be in study mode on Thursday and Friday but maybe not couped up in the corner of the library like I previously thought.

From most debriefs I have read, I get the sense most applicants take this exam at least twice to reach their desired score, sometimes more. The GMAT, and the MBA application process in general really, is such a trial and error experience and sometimes just having done it once before is the greatest advantage you can have because you know what to expect. I’m well aware that if I don’t score as high as I would like, I’m in the majority and still have plenty of time to redeem myself. So if nothing else, this first shot at G-day will be a learning experience nevertheless, and I’m ready… I think.

DECODING MY CALENDAR

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Posted on August 1, 2014, in GMAT and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. TWBC – All the best for G-day tomorrow!! 😀

  2. Good luck tomorrow!!

  3. All the best for tomorrow! :).

  4. It has been almost a year and a half since I took the GMAT, so my recollections are fairly dim at this point. A few pointers, though.

    A week or so before the exam, go to your test center and scope it out. It helps to know where everything is, so that when you go there on test day you aren’t wasting time or energy trying to find parking, locate the right room, and identify where the restrooms and lockers (for your belongings while you’re taking the test) are.

    Take a break before the exam. Don’t give in to temptation and do more practice problems or a mock test the day before the exam. Just go do something you enjoy. (I spent mine catching up sleep, hanging out with family, and watching a mindless action movie.) Try not to think about the GMAT.

    I would start reviewing the integrated reasoning section a bit earlier. You can definitely put off the essay section until close to the end of your prep (you’d have to be pretty bad at writing to score badly on the essay section of the GMAT), but integrated reasoning does have very different question formats and you should familiarize yourself with that.

    • Lucas,

      Thanks for the pointers! Much appreciated. You’re right, i definitely want to give myself enough time to review IR so i probably will start a little earlier that I originally planned

  5. Okay I just skimmed over your schedule and started fangirling over Fall Out Boy and Paramore! Ahhh, I’m super jealous. These two bands were my favourites during my whole teenage angst and scene phase (also, Panic at the Disco) and I would still love to see them live. Yet another reason why I want to jet off to the States. You guys have all the music!

    Now coming back to the GMAT (bummer), your plan looks so solid. Just keep calm and know that you have more than one chance to get it right. A lot of the how the exam goes depends on your mental state on that day. The first time I gave it, I was under loads of stress and all my prep just went down the drain. The second time, I was super cool and nonchalant about it and I did decently well. It’s an evil mind game.

    • Hahaha don’t forget Green Day!! But yes, I am SUPER excited. Anytime one of their songs randomly plays on my iPod, it brings me back to the good ole days in high school when I had no worries, so it’ll definitely be a nice trip down memory lane. And I hear they always put on a good show!!

      Yes my main goal is not to stress too much, because that’s my immediate reaction anytime I feel even just slightly overwhelmed. I get all panicky and my brain literally stops working so I’ll probably do some yoga on Friday to get my body and mind nice and relaxed. Hopefully it’ll get me as awesome of a score as you got 🙂

  6. Hi. It’s been a while since I did the GMAT (*smug face*) but I recommend you use the GMATPrep software for at least one mock exam. The screen layout and operation are the same as you will experience in the real exam and it gets you used to ticking and confirming your answers. GMAC used to offer two free GMATPrep exams so hope this is still the case.

    During my mocks, I was also super observant of the timings for each section, used the restroom between each section (just as you would in the real exam), did not talk to anyone etc. Perhaps I’m a bit weird but it just helped to take the edge off on actual exam day, plus the extra focus really paid off in the last few questions (particularly not needing to use the restroom!).

    Also, I think you’re allowed to request new paper for each section so, if you even think you might run out of paper midway through a section, get a whole new pad before the clock is ticking so you don’t waste valuable seconds in the exam.

    Good luck with your schedule – but perhaps take it easy the night before, watch a movie, eat pizza, anything to relax your brain so you wake up refreshed on G Day!

    • Thanks topdogmba!! I didn’t know that about being able to request extra paper. I tend to use alot when I’m practicing so that is very useful to know. Yes they still offer the 2 free exams and I downloaded the GMAT Prep software the other day so I will definitely be using it. From what I’ve read its not only the same experience technical wise but also similar in question format/difficulty so I can’t wait to get my first look of how the real exam will be

      I’ll be sure to catch a good movie and get plenty of sleep the night before, maybe not the whole “eating pizza” thing though. I’m too nutrition conscious to do that haha.

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