When studying for the GMAT or Executive assessment, the three-month format is the best. Three months actually give you ample time to study and work on the points that you must improve on without really cramming too much. Most review sessions also take up resources, so you do not want to really drag on studying too long.
Also do note that you can only take the Executive Assessment twice and the GMAT also has a limit as to how many times you can take the test. This means that you need to study as efficiently and effectively as possible so you don’t waste time and money on retakes. MBAs for executives take a lot of hard work, so you need to be as efficient as possible.
If I had to go back in time I would have studied for a longer period for the GMAT. Don’t let those people who take the GMAT or executive assessment after a couple of weeks of studying make you feel bad. Everyone is different and everyone has a different way of learning.
Understand and recognize your style and adjust your schedule according to your way of learning, not someone else’s.
What is a good study plan for GMAT for 3 Months?
TAKE AN ASSESSMENT TEST
Taking an assessment test is a great idea before studying so you will know exactly where you stand. The test can also help you know your strengths and weaknesses so you will know which areas you need to focus on when studying.
Taking an assessment test will also enlighten you on your aptitude for the GMAT or EA. This will help you with your endeavor to get an MBA degree. Starting off with an Assessment will give you a baseline to work from. You can take a GMAT online assessment which is readily available.
If you’re taking the GMAT or Executive Assessment test, you can go to the GMAC website where you can find a lot of materials for you to study. Do note that you can use the same GMAT materials for the Executive Assessment.
GET YOUR STUDY MATERIALS
Get all of your GMAT preparation materials upfront as you work on your 3-month plan. It is better that you already have a repository of the things that you need to study, such as practice exams, or Gmat reading materials, so that you can plan what to study for a particular day.
There are several credible sites that give GMAT prep sources such as the GMAC website itself, or the Magoosh GMAT Blog, or the Manhattan prep study schedule.
To know more about the materials, please check out my video “PREPARE for GMAT (or Executive Assessment) EXAM” where you can find more details on this topic.
CREATE A SCHEDULE
A 3-month GMAT study schedule is something that you need to create to properly to keep on track. You need to set the specific dates and the materials that you will use.
However, do note that having a 3 month GMAT study schedule means that you have to follow that schedule. Treat your schedule as sacred and prioritize this over everything else.
This is why you should make it as realistic and doable as possible. You should not put in something like – will study for 10 hours straight with no breaks.
If you need a method on how to plan your schedule properly, you may want to check out this video: GMAT Exam Study & Have a Life (GMAT Prep for a GREAT GMAT Score)
For me, I spent the first month reviewing basic concepts and reading books like Manhattan prep and others. I really like the resources that they have on the GMAT club forum and a majority of the resources are great.
But at times I found GMAT club resources to be a complete or a flat out wrong. I remember one time, I downloaded a study guide only to find that the answers for a few other questions were wrong. It wasn’t a huge setback but it was very disappointing – and I wasted a couple of days of productivity.
To get most out of the GMAT club forum focus on specific problems. Sometimes you’ll have two or three people who will answer the same question in multiple ways. This will give you ideas for how to solve similar problems on your own.
I recommend that people get the best study tools that they can for the GMAT and not try to take the cheap way out by only looking at free resources.
Here is a list of some of my favorite resources that I used to study to get a top score on the Executive Assessment and WISH I had them when I studied for the GMAT – years ago.
Second month, I spent most of my time reviewing the areas I thought were very tough during the first month. I continued to work problems to understand the basic concepts and I kept track of all of the questions I got wrong so that way I could review them and the underlying concepts.
I know that some resources recommend that you take a practice test right off the bat to get a baseline and this is true. However, since the executive assessment has limited tests I decided to study for one month and then take a practice test.
So in months number two, I took a practice test to see where I was and took most of the time in this month to study those underlying concepts.
From this point on, I took a practice test every two weeks until I was ready to take the test around the third or fourth month. (I faced a setback in my studying due to personal reasons and had to extend it out a few more weeks).
In the third month I constantly refined my process and really had a better understanding of the things I was good at and the things I needed to work on.
For each problem, I took a screenshot of the questions I got wrong and kept a folder to review them later. Although this isn’t ecologically friendly, I printed off every single question so that way I could have a physical copy of it and work without using my computer.
I don’t know about you, but I get very distracted by my computer and I wanted to make sure that my concentration was not interrupted with notifications from social media.
At this point, I got really good at taking practice tests online and it made me feel more comfortable when I went in to take the actual test.
PLAN HOW YOU WILL STUDY
After doing your assessment, study the areas that you need to focus on or brush up on. Make sure you include them in your schedule. Get a calendar and plan the hours you will study for every GMAT reading material or topic each day.
What you can do for the first week is to focus on this area. Then the following week, you’ll focus on another topic. Then plan an assessment and note what questions you keep on missing.
What you should do is to plan the topics you need to consider for the next three months. By writing them down and creating a calendar, you will become more organized.
TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
Note that regular breaks are totally different from leisurely activities where you plan a cross country trip. Studying for the GMAT or the Executive assessment test will be exhausting, long & frustrating, so make sure you take some breaks.
What you can do is that over the weekends, you may block out four hours to study. But then, you can put 30-minute breaks in for every hour.
Taking a break means closing your books and materials and taking a quick walk outside. This will give you time to freshen up your mind. Also, walking is good for the body and helps to relieve stress.
You may also have some healthy snacks – to replenish your energy. Do try to stay away from too many sweet things which may give you an instant boost, but will end up making you sluggish afterward.
GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP CAN FRESHEN UP YOUR MIND
In addition to taking breaks when studying for this test, you also need to make sure that you get adequate sleep. Staying up till 12 midnight or 1:00 AM is not going to help you retain information better.
Make sure that you are getting enough sleep so that you can focus and you can concentrate when you are studying. Also, make sure to eliminate distractions –- put your cellphone away or make it hard for you to reach it just to keep yourself motivated and distraction-free.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Make sure to track your progress to help you see what are the things that you did right and what are the things that you did wrong. That way, you can adjust your schedule as necessary.
When you initially start off building your schedule, just keep in mind that this schedule is essentially fluid because there will be improvements in some areas. And there are areas where you need to narrow down to specific topics that you need to review.
Remember that no schedule is set in stone and you have to adjust based on your progress.
PLAN WHAT TOPICS YOU ARE TO CONSIDER
Lastly, with your 3-month study plan for GMAT, always understand the areas that you need to brush up on topics that you need to pay more attention to. Note those things and put them into your schedule.
An individual who plans on taking the GMAT or Executive assessment test cannot be bad at everything, so know what you really need to focus on and know what you can study lightly.
By planning the specific topics that you will study, you are sure to create a study plan that will fit within three months.
GMAT STUDY PLAN FOR WORKING PROFESSIONALS
Studying for the GMAT can be very stressful on top of all of the responsibilities that you have at work and with family. The best way I found time to cram in some time to study for the GMAT was to study on the weekends and in the evenings.
I would block out a few hours each night in order to focus on the GMAT/ Executive Assessment and then my weekends consisted of half-day or whole day (four hour or eight hour) marathons studying for this test.
As with anything, it depends on how bad you want it. If you really want to do well on the GMAT or the executive assessment (for people looking to attend executive MBA program) you have to prioritize and make sure that you have enough time built into your schedule in order to make it work.
It’ll be no different for when you actually start in your new MBA program and you’ll have to make time to attend class, complete projects and study for tests. As someone who is currently more than 60% done with the executive MBA program at Yale, studying for the GMAT it was the easier part of the journey.
Getting it right now will help you prioritize a manage your schedule when you’re actually in an MBA program. Building up that muscle of prioritization and making this a priority will pay you so much more down the line. And trust me, you’ll definitely think yourself later.
If it’s too hard right now, and you can’t find time to study, rethink your desire to attend an MBA program or get this degree in the first place. Do you really want it?
Look for ways to make your life easier right now before you have the added pressure of school. Can you hire someone to clean the house? Can you plan your meals so that way you don’t have to spend a few hours each night cooking? Perhaps you have a partner or spouse where you can split some of the responsibilities. Whatever it is look for ways to simplify your life now.
THE GMAT 6 MONTHS STUDY PLAN
This is simple, take the three month study plan and stretch it out. My three month study plan really became a four month study plan due to personal reasons. But this extra time will allow you more time to study concepts that may be more challenging.
For the actual test, you will spend less time on these trivial questions and save your time for more challenging questions.
THE GMAT 5 MONTHS STUDY PLAN
Use the three month study plan to establish baseline’s from practice test and work on your problem areas.
As a recap, focus on basic concepts to review and do practice problems on those basic items even though they may seem trivial.
Keep practicing and solving problems. Once you get past the basics you’ll be able to do official practice problems.
Remember these resources:
Do nothing but practice problems and tests. Repetition and getting a feel for the test will help you be more comfortable when you’re taking the actual test.
To conclude, taking this test is no easy feat.
If you’re able to take it at least once definitely congratulate yourself because having the discipline and willpower to push through all of this constant it shows that you are dedicated and will most likely do well in the MBA program!
This part of the journey definitely sucks but it’s worth it to devote time to this because when you’re in an actual MBA program you’ll have a lot more things to think about and much more work to complete.
Good luck and if you’re putting in the hard work now I know that you will be successful!
You might also like: