Study Guide - Overview

Follow the Steps and Beat Your Target Score

Are you ready to have some fun? Because, once you get into the groove of this straightforward, results-driven program, you'll wonder what you were worried about in the first place. We’ll start with the basics, build a foundation and then systematically cover all of the concepts and strategies needed to surpass your target score. Here's how we'll do it...

 

Gather Your Tools

What you'll need:

  • Access to the full GMAT video course (subscribe here)
  • The Official Guide for GMAT Review (Any version from 2015-2020 works, but I recommend the latest edition)
  • An Improvement Chart corresponding to the edition of your Official Guide

What you might want:

If you require additional practice materials, consider purchasing any of the following (these resources are also referenced in the Study Guide):

  • Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review (2020 edition or any earlier edition)
  • Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review (2020 edition or any earlier edition)

 

Decide Your Timeline

Regardless of whether you have 1 month or 6 months to prepare, your study plan consists of two stages:

STAGE 1: Build a strong foundation

In STAGE 1, you’ll start with the basics and gradually learn/reinforce the content until you're ready to put your knowledge to the test (practice tests, to be precise!).

STAGE 2: Take practice tests and strengthen remaining areas of weaknesses

Practice tests are ridiculously valuable. They show you what to expect on test day and, more importantly, they help identify concepts and strategies that need strengthening. During STAGE 2, you’ll take practice tests and strengthen areas of weakness until you’re ready for test day.

Dividing your time between stages 1 and 2

For optimal performance, you should spend about two-thirds of your time on STAGE 1, and one-third on STAGE 2. So, for example, if you need to take the GMAT in one month, you should complete STAGE 1 in about 20 days, leaving 10 days for STAGE 2.

 

Create Your Daily/Weekly Schedule for STAGE 1

The Study Guide consists of bite-sized learning activities such as:

  • Watch video lessons #1 to #10 in the Word Problems module
  • Answer the questions labeled "Additional Practice" at the bottom of the Geometry module page
  • Answer Reading Comprehension questions #515 to #569 in the 2020 Official Guide

Here’s what two of the learning activities look like:



As you can see, each learning activity has a corresponding checkbox, allowing you to track your progress and easily see which activities are left to complete.

STAGE 1 has 105 learning activities in total. So, to determine how much you must accomplish each day, just divide 105 by the number of days you can devote to STAGE 1.

For example, if you can devote 50 days to completing STAGE 1, then the number of learning activities to complete each day = 105 ÷ 50 = 2.1. So, a little more than 2 learning activities per day. Alternatively, you might set a goal of 14 or 15 learning activities per week (to take some days off here and there).

Here are a few more timeline scenarios

  • 30-day schedule:  (20 days for STAGE 1, and 10 days for STAGE 2)

Complete about 5.2 learning activities per day for 20 days (about 37 per week), followed by STAGE 2 (practice tests and strengthening weaknesses)

  • 45-day schedule:  (30 days for STAGE 1, and 15 days for STAGE 2)

Complete about sdsning activities per day for 30 days (about 25 per week), followed by STAGE 2 (practice tests and strengthening weaknesses)

  • 60-day schedule:  (40 days for STAGE 1, and 20 days for STAGE 2)

Complete about 2.6 learning activities per day for 40 days (about 18 per week), followed by STAGE 2 (practice tests and strengthening weaknesses)

  • 90-day schedule:  (60 days for STAGE 1, and 30 days for STAGE 2)

Complete about 1.8 learning activities per day for 60 days (about 12 per week), followed by STAGE 2 (practice tests and strengthening weaknesses)

  • 6-month schedule:  (4 months for STAGE 1, and 2 months for STAGE 2)

Complete about 1 learning activity per day for 4 months (about 7 per week), followed by STAGE 2 (practice tests and strengthening weaknesses)

If you need some help developing a custom study plan, don't hesitate to reach out to me.

 

Complete STAGE 2

The GMAT is a test of your Math skills, Verbal skills, AND test-taking skills (endurance, time management, anxiety control, etc.). So, 700-level math/verbal skills combined with 600-level test-taking skills will likely result in a score that's closer to 600 than to 700. So, during STAGE 2, you’ll take two to six practice tests. This will help build your test-taking skills, and it'll identify any remaining areas of weakness.

You’ll keep taking practice tests until you reach your target score, at which point you’ll be ready for the real deal.

 

Final Notes

Getting ahead of schedule and having days off

The first 9 learning activities will take you a total of 4 to 5 hours to complete. This means you’ll quickly find yourself ahead of schedule, which is good. Preparing for the GMAT takes some work, and this buffer will allow you to take a day off here and there. Treat yourself; you deserve it!

Reinforcement Activities

Each video lesson includes a Reinforcement Activities box with links to related practice questions. (Here’s an example.) You don't necessarily have to do all of them, but benefits include:

  • Extra practice during STAGE 1
  • Strengthening weak areas during STAGE 2

 

Get Started

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