GMAT Study Guide - a prep wikibook
index - edit - roadmap
Scenario 1: You have no clue what GMAT is
- I would immediately run to the store to get Kaplan's GMAT Book with CD. It will help you to get the basics down and general strategies.
- Take a diagnostic test that is on the Kaplan's CD. The score is completely un-representative since the test cosists of 6 sections, 10 minutes each. Reading is very un-representative.
- Having only a month requires to prioritize your time - see where you can get the most bang for the buck. One good option is to study the short math guide that comes at the end of the Kaplan's book. Depending on the results of your Diagnostic test, you will know which evil has to be taken care of first. Reading will probably be the hardest, and the requires the most time to improve, so don't start with that.
- Get the strategies down first. If you have very little time - it does not mean you need to study only formulae and grammar - on the contrary, it is better to get those down first.
- Don't haste to take tests - spend at least a weak studying and figuring out a strategy for questions before taking sample tests. There are not that many of them on the market, anyway.
- After a week, take a GMATPrep - test released by GMAC - it is very similar in content and logic to the real GMAT. Many say that the real test is much harder, but don't be concerned with that yet. Not onlly remember your score, but actually go through the questions you got wrong - know why you messed up. The purpose of this test is another Diagnostic.
- At this time, you should have about 3 weeks left. The next 7 days would be best spent if you can work on the basics of math, grammar, and logic. The short math Guide in Kaplan's book I mentioned is a good starter. If you have more than an hour a day of productive time on your hands, you may invest some money into Kaplan's Workbooks for Math and Verbal. YOu will not have time to cover both of them in entirety, but make sure you get through Arithmetic and some word probems in Math and Grammar rules (beginning of the Verbal workbook) and idioms (very end of the workbook).
- Two weeks till the test. It is time to start taking practice tests. The knowledge you have picked up about the test and the basics of math and grammar from the workbooks should be enough to give you a solid base - make sure your base is strong. Practice tests will be testing how well you know your stuff. One thing is to know and another is to apply that knowledge in 1.5 minutes in a stressful situation. Nevertheless, Kaplan comes with 4 practice tests - take two or three tests in week three. Things to watch when you take the tests: Does it work for you to spend more time on questions or should you rather abandon them if you could not come up with a solution in 2 mins. Can you follow the strategies you learnt for Verbal? Can you do CR's fast enough? Reading is definitely an issue, so what is the best option - run fast through the passage or can you read it more carefully and have better luck with the questions.
- Print out the questions you have made mistakes on. If they are in the book, checkmark or circle them. Make sure you know how to answer them, whether verbal or math.
- Take the Powerprep a week before the test - this will be your approximate score +/- 30 points. It is not precise, but it will tell you that if you get 470 on the second PowerPrep test, you will not get 650 on the real test a week later.
- If you got a low Score on the PowerPrep, reconsider your decision to take the test in such a short time. If your score is within the range (hoping you can improve another 20-50 points) continue your studies. Study for 3 days and then take sample tests for 2 days in a row. Make sure you write the essays in the beginning so that you know how much energy is required for the WHOLE test. This way, you can leave some more brain power for Verbal rather than if you exhaust yourself completely over the essays and Math.
- Learn from Sample tests - make conclusions and refine time question strategies. Make sure you stick to them on the test.
- Last 2 days, go over the questions you missed before - the ones you printed out. Brush up some idioms and get a plan how to write an essay.
- Relax on the last day. You can take a sample test at the same time you will be taking the real test. It is better to take PowerPrep than Kaplan, even though you have already gone through PP. Relax in the evening - dont' do crazy things.
- Get up in the morning and show up - these two things are absolutely crucial ;)