2 Week Advanced Study Strategy for GMAT

Note: The following post is about how to maximize your score when you already have good quantitative skills and are a good reader.   This is intended as a 2 week strategy for taking the GMAT.

Just to recap, the GMAT consists of:

-Integrated Reasoning Section (30 min, Separate Score)
-AWA Essay (30 min, Separate Score)
-Quant section (75min, contributes to your score out of 800) – raw score out of 51
-Verbal section (75min, contributes to your score out of 800, Only the Sentence Correction is actually challenging) – raw score out of 51

For materials, I would recommend
-The Official Guide (for practice questions only)
-Manhattan GMAT Guide set (see below for books)

Day 1: Spend a few minutes reading about the GMAT and take one of the GMATPrep Practice tests (you can skip the essay if you want)
(GMATPrep is a free download from mba.com)

Day 2-4: Run through each of the quant strategy guides (5 books), the Reading Comprehension, and Critical Reasoning Guide Book. spend about an 1hr on each one. Skim through the sections and try the last few problems in each section (i.e. the hardest sections).

Day 5: Spend this entire time on Sentence Correction (in my view Sentence correction is the hardest)

Day 6-9: Manhattan GMAT Practice Tests, Go over any weak spots, Repeat. (Also I can give you access to manhattan gmat practice tests)

Day 10-11: Go over integrated reasoning, AWA, and anything else you feel like

Day 12: Take the second GMATPrep Test

Day 13: Relax, go over test, and review any material .

Day 14: Test Day!

Books Required for Plan

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Which GMAT Books to buy

There are a myriad of GMAT resources available.   What’s more is that companies produce entire sets of strategy guides the contain several books.  View a comprehensive list of GMAT Books by clicking the link below.

Click here for a full list of GMAT Books.

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A Guide to Understanding the New GMAT

So you may have heard that the GMAT is changing; here is some info on that change.

What’s being added?
The GMAT is adding an Integrated Reasoning Section to the exam. This section will be 30 minutes. This section will NOT be computer adaptive (it will not adjust the level of difficulty). A new score reflecting just this section will be created.

What’s being cut?
The AWA Analysis of Issue is being cut.  The only essay you will have to write is the Analysis of Argument Essay.

What’s staying the same?
Everything else. The Quant Section, Verbal Section, and the scoring for these sections (i.e. the score that is out of 800) will remain the same. Also, the length of the test will remain the same since a 30 minute essay is being replaced by the 30 minute integrated reasoning section.

When will these changes occur?
The new section debuts on June 5, 2012.

About the New Section

What is the new integrated reasoning section like?

  • The new 30-minute section will only have 12 questions.  The entire section will not be standard multiple choice.  Some questions may include a drop down list for example.
  • Sample topics for this section: graph interpretation, table analysis, reasoning
  • Unlike the Quant and Verbal sections, this new section is NOT computer adaptive.  Nonetheless, you can’t skip questions and come back later.
  • At the time of this writing (September 2011), the order in which the sections appear has not been decided.
  • You will have a calculator (on your computer screen) that can only be accessed during this section.
  • Official Prep Material (i.e. from GMAC) will be available in April 2012.
  • This new section will have a new separate score.


This change is rather minor and there is no reason to sweat it. Of the current three and a half hour test, only 30 minutes is changing. According to GMAC, they are changing the GMAT because “in the most recent survey in 2009, 740 business school faculty said 21st century business students need to be able to evaluate different types of information to solve complex problems, convert data between different formats, and evaluate tradeoffs and outcomes.” In my opinion, GMAC is doing this to stay relevant (i.e. get some press/show they are adapting to the times). GMAC is also following a wave of similar changes that are being made/have been made for the GRE, SAT, and ACT. Also, cutting one AWA does not really affect the GMAT’s usefulness as most people had similar scores on each of the two AWA’s.



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Blog Coming Soon!

In the mean time, check out the other pages, like the AWA Analysis of Issue.

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