“A goal without a plan is just a wish”, goes an anonymous saying.
We at CrackVerbal, believe that the most important part of the GMAT preparation is having a plan to it and following it to achieve the desired outcome.
A study plan usually is very subjective. It depends on various factors like the amount of time you have, the amount of effort that you are ready to put in and your personal stamina and mental bandwidth. This post aims at giving you a general road map – however you will need to make it more objective by filling in the necessary details.
DAY – 0
Step: 01 – Take the Diagnostic test
If someone asks you “How long does it take to go to Delhi?”what would your answer be? The first question that you would obviously ask them is “From where?” Isn’t it?
The diagnostic test on the GMAT essentially helps answer that question. It gives you a ballpark idea of where you stand and also helps you realise the following two things –
1. It gives you a taste of what the actual GMAT feels like (length, difficulty and fatigue).
2. It helps you understand what your current level is and what your core weaknesses are. Also, since most of us are number-driven, the diagnostic test will also give you a number to begin with so that progress can be gauged as you move on with prep.
Some points to remember when you are taking the test –
1. You can take the download the test from here.
2. Make sure you take the ENTIRE test in one sitting (This includes AWA, IR, Quant and the Verbal).
3. Once you give the diagnostic test, we recommend that you take screenshots of the mistakes and store them so that you can analyse them once you take the next test.
Remember that your GMAT journey begins with this single step. So make sure that you take this test on Day 1 of your preparation.
MONTH 1 – WEEK 1 AND WEEK 2
Step: 02 – Start working on the basics
There are a finite number of concepts tested on the GMAT. GMAT is more to do with the applications of theoretical knowledge to everyday problems. Hence, working through the basics shouldn’t really be a problem.
For both Quant and Verbal, go through the Official Guide. These guides have all the theory that you will need to know to ace the GMAT. Make sure you understand these basic concepts well.
P.S:The CrackVerbal Guides for SC, CR, RC and Quant are a comprehensive collection of all the theory that you will need to know for the GMAT. The best part is that we have made consistent efforts to break the entire information down into smaller, more understandable pieces.
This phase should not take more than 2 weeks of time.
MONTH 1 – WEEK 3, 4 & MONTH 2 – WEEK 1, 2 AND 3
Step: 03 – Easy / Medium Questions
Once all the theory you need to know is in place, you will now need to learn to apply these concepts to Original GMAT questions to see how they work. The three main sources of questions to be used in this phase are as follows.
1. Official Guide 2015.
2. The GMAT Guide for the Quantitative Review – 2nd edition.
3. The GMAT Guide for the Verbal Review – 2nd edition.
When you are solving the questions from these books, make sure that you are learning from your mistakes. You will have to analyse your errors as much as you can so that you do not repeat the same error more than once on any other question. You can refer to this blog to see how you can analyse the questions in the OG and VR.
Also, once you have finished solving the questions, you can view CrackVerbal’s video explanations to all questions from the Official Guide from here.
MONTH 2 – END OF WEEK 3
Step: 04 – Take another test.
This time, take the second GMAT Prep test full-length to see how your preparation has been working for you. There HAS to be a considerable improvement in your score this time. If there isn’t, you will realise that your problem is with the basic concepts – either understanding or application.
Step: 05 – Analyse this test
Once this test is done, analyse the errors in the first and second test just as you have analysed the questions in the Official Guides.
If your scores haven’t improved considerably, then you should go over all the theory and go over the questions that you have got wrong in the OG and VR and solve them again to understand the mistakes that you’ve made.
MONTH 3 – WEEK 4 & MONTH 4
Step: 06 – Start working on more questions (The tougher ones!)
You will now be at a stage where you have worked out almost a 1000 questions and have taken 2 full length tests. Post this, the key to effective GMAT preparation is to maintain consistency and the heat to solve questions. But the question is, “Where do I get more questions from?”
There are two sources of official materials that come handy at this stage.
1. GMAT Prep Exam Pack 1 – This tool gives you two more full length GMAT Prep tests for $49.99.
2. GMAT Prep Question Pack 1 – This tool gives you access to an additional set of 404 questions to practice.
3. GMAT Paper tests – Additionally there are three full-length GMAT tests printed on paper that can help you practice more for the GMAT.
Topping up all of this, there is also the GMAT Focus Online Quantitative Diagnostic Tool, which helps a student hone his quant test-taking skills, GMAT Write, which helps a student practice more AWA tasks, and the IR prep tool, which helps a student practice more IR questions. All this material is from GMAC, the official test-makers.
If you are a CrackVerbal student, then you will receive a document, which is a collection of all the questions from the current GMAT Prep software, from us for free. Or else you can check out sources of some tough questions from the links below.
Though it’s easier said than done, the journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step. Hence, it’s very important that you begin your preparation somewhere.
Also Read: How to study for the GMAT with a full-time job
If you need help, just comment below and we’d be more than glad to help.
All the very best!
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