GMAT Prep: A 90-day Game Plan

If you are serious about dominating the GMAT, you must get serious about your game plan.  Below is a recommended study plan:

DAY 1:  Go to www.mba.com and download the free GMATPrep software.  Take a simulated CAT test in a relaxed state, but follow all time constraints and take the recommended 10-minute breaks between sections.  This will give you a good idea of where you would score on the actual GMAT if you were to take the test tomorrow.  * Most people will score 30-50 points lower on the actual GMAT (nerves, anxiety, mentally drained, no repeat questions for OG)

DAY 2:  Go to www.testsoup.com and sign-up for over 400 GMAT flashcards for just $9.95/year.  One of the biggest problems with most study plans is that most people do not review flashcards from day #1.  90% of test-takers need a solid refresher course with core concepts, test strategies, and test hacks.  This is exactly what TestSoup will give you.

Also on day 2, begin reading a denser book or magazine than you would normally read.  Try to read 4-5 books in 90-days that you would normally never read cover to cover.  For example, On Liberty and Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill; Any book by Socrates; The Economist; The Wall Street Journal.  Pay attention to sentence structure.  Ask yourself why the author is writing the passage.  What is the scope?

ACTION PLAN:  3-HOURS:  Study all the TestSoup flashcards.  * Make sure you “flag” the flashcards you do not know or understand and review them 2-3x/week.

DAY 3:  Make a small investment in some other great resources:

  • Purchase the Official Guide GMAT trio:  Official Guide Quantitive Review, Official Guide Verbal Review, and Official Guide 800 retired GMAT questions.  * Note:  These books are great for review, but DO NOT try to “memorize” old questions.  This may have worked for you in your undergraduate program, but it WILL NOT work for you on the GMAT.
  • Purchase the Kaplan Premier Live Online book.  Study the book and familiarize yourself with the format of the test, etc.  The real value added from Kaplan is that you get six online tests.  Most people score 60-100 points lower on the Kaplan tests than they will on the actual GMAT.  Don’t freak out if you score in the 500s.  This is completely normal and part of Kaplan’s psyche to prepare you for the actual exam.

DAY 4:  Review TestSoup Flashcards

DAY 5:  Continue reviewing TestSoup Flashcards

DAY 6:  Continue reviewing TestSoup Flashcards

DAY 7-21:  Study, review, understand the explanations of every question/answer in the Official Guide Quantitive Review and Official Guide Verbal Review.

DAY 22:  Take the second full-length CAT test using the GMATPrep software.

DAY 23:  Focus on your weaknesses!  * Most people make the mistake of reviewing various concepts and strategies they already know.

DAY 24:  If you are weak in quant and find yourself not getting better:

  • EZ-Solutions Math Series available at Amazon.com:  Fantastic math review.  The best GMAT math review on the market.

If you are weak in verbal and find yourself not getting any better:

CRITICAL REASONING:

  • Buy a verbal/critical reasoning book for the LSAT.  The prep questions for the LSAT are much harder than the prep questions for the GMAT critical reasoning section.

* You may want to change your approach to critical reasoning questions.  Most GMAT prep programs tell you to read the question stem first and then go back to read the statement.  Try the reverse and see if it helps.  Read and understand the argument first, then read the question stem second.

SENTENCE CORRECTION:

  • Buy the sentence correction book from ManhattanGMAT.  Easily, the best sentence correction book on the market.
  • Memorize the TestSoup idioms list.  GMAT idioms seem to give people the most trouble in sentence correction questions—especially if English is your non-native language.

Stay tuned for Days 25-50 …

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