ExamPal and PrepAdviser teamed up to discuss how to develop and follow an effective study strategy for a high score on the GMAT, as well as give helpful advice on building a strong profile.
The video above is a recording of the webinar held on November 29, 2018 with Dave Green, Senior Tutor at ExamPal and Iliana Bobova, Editor in Chief and Head of Admissions Consulting at PrepAdviser.
There are a couple things to bear in mind before you begin constructing your GMAT study plan. First of all, it’s important to note that there are many different ways to solve each question. Dave says:
There is no such thing as one single explanation. I have taught many students over the years, and when a novice GMAT teacher comes to me and asks: how do you explain this question? My answer is, to whom? There’s no one way to explain it.
Second, mastering admissions tests is not about knowledge. Instead, it requires a skill called cognitive flexibility. As you know, the GMAT has strict time constraints, so you will be expected to move quickly through algebra, geometry, word problems and other types of questions with confidence. With this in mind, below are three different study plans you can choose from to accommodate your schedule.
You have a time allocation of 100-120 hours. 130-150 for non-native English speakers. You should also schedule specific study hours that enable you to focus entirely on your GMAT studying. The first 47 days of your preparation are for subject review and practice. First, you should make a list of all the GMAT topics. Afterwards, you can create a 2-day mini-schedule for each topic. Doing that allows you to divide your time and pay sufficient attention to each part of the GMAT. You should also add in some daily reading and a vocabulary routine. Remember to take 1 day off a week, to relax and re-energize. Days 48-50 are unscheduled.
The last 10 days are devoted to reviewing (problematic topics, material summary, practical tips list, mistakes list) and writing practice tests every other day. Make sure that the tests follow the same time allowance as the GMAT, and spend the rest of the day analyzing your results.
If you choose this study plan you will be required to devote yourself to daily studying with one day off a week. The first 20 days will focus on subject review and practice, and you will spend one day per topic. Your one-day mini schedule can be divided into three parts: morning, afternoon and evening. In the morning you will review fundamental material, going over a summary and practical tips list. In the afternoon, you should solve subject-related questions, review mistakes and update your mistakes’ list as well as your tips’ list. Finally, you should leave the evening for reading and memorization.
This plan is great for a first time GMAT taker or for someone working full-time with many busy evenings. It is similar to the 2-month study plan, but more spaced out. During days 1-77, you should spend 3 days per topic. Your first day is spent studying fundamental material, your second day practicing subject-related questions and your third day on reviewing. Days 78-80 are unscheduled. During the final ten days, 81-88, you should spend the odd days reviewing and the even days writing practice tests.
Here are some additional tips from Dave to use when studying:
• Silence is golden! Finding the right study space is crucial in order to make the effort spent worthwhile. Make sure that there are no distractions – silence your phone, and sit in a place where no one will be able to disturb you.
• If you’re having trouble understanding something small—push it to review. However, if it is a fundamental gap, devote more time.
• Be aware that mistakes equal opportunities.
• Getting enough sleep is important— try to get 8 hours minimum.
Have you already taken the GMAT, and are you satisfied with your score? That is one part checked off of the eligibility of most business schools. Iliana reminds us of the other two important factors of a profile evaluation: potential for success and the X factors. Business schools will review your language and aptitude skills to assess whether you will succeed in their program, and equally importantly see what makes you unique—the X factor. Make sure that you have a relevant career plan which is reflected in the curriculum of the program and shows your motivation to grow professionally.
To find out how changing your GMAT study schedule will lead to higher efficiency, check out: Vary Your GMAT Study Day (Video)