How to Prepare for GMAT in 1 Month: A Detailed Study Plan (2023)

How to Prepare for GMAT in 1 Month: A Detailed Study Plan (1)

Is it possible to pass the test with a 1 month GMAT study plan?

Getting into a great MBA program is a worthy goal, made possible by a good GMAT score. While some people plan more than a year in advance to take the GMAT, others are a little more spontaneous.

Maybe you’ve switched directions at the last minute. Maybe you planned how long to study for the GMAT, but the deadline snuck up on you.

Either way, if you’re planning to study for and take the GMAT in four weeks, you have some serious work ahead of you.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to pass the GMAT with only a month of study.

Essential GMAT Study Materials You Will Need

How to Prepare for GMAT in 1 Month: A Detailed Study Plan (2)

Almost every serious-minded MBA hopeful buys a high-quality, well-reviewed GMAT study program. Some are brave enough to self-study.

If you only have four weeks, you’ll need a course. The most important reason is that you’ll need access to organized, comprehensive materials that set the pace for your study. A GMAT course presents you with a well defined structure, so you’ll know what to study, and in what order.

You don’t have time to figure out where to start — choosing one of the best GMAT prep courses will put you on the right track from the outset.

All standard GMAT review courses come with GMAT prep books, practice tests, instructor-led video courses, and GMAT study plans to make sure you cover everything. Some also offer optional upgrades that include one-on-one GMAT tutoring or coaching.

All of these resources will be invaluable to you if you’re studying under an accelerated timeline.

The 8 Main Areas You Need to Prioritize

How to Prepare for GMAT in 1 Month: A Detailed Study Plan (3)

Getting down to brass tacks, if you’re really going to pass the GMAT with only four weeks of prep, you need to prioritize your life.

(Video) How I studied for GMAT in 1 month

The good news is that with this short a timeline, you’ll only have to upend your social life or regular schedule for a little while. The challenging news is that, because of the abbreviated timeline, you’ll need to hit it hard and focus entirely on test prep.

Here are your eight highest priorities.

1. Know the GMAT Exam Format

This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you’re going to dive into GMAT studies, you need to get the format down. Just as your pacing for the next four weeks needs to be meticulous, you need to approach the test with a bird’s eye view of the general subject matter and formatting. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The GMAT has four sections. These are Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning (known as “Quant”) and a Written section.
  • You have 3 ½ hours to take the GMAT. There are four timed sections. Here’s how it’s broken down:
    • Integrated Reasoning will take 30 minutes and you’ll solve 12 questions.
    • Verbal Reasoning will take 65 minutes and you’ll solve 36 questions.
    • Quantitative Reasoning will take 62 minutes and you’ll solve 31 questions.
    • Analytical Writing will take 30 minutes and you’ll provide one written analysis.
  • The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test — you’ll get more difficult questions, worth more points, as you submit correct answers.
  • You are not allowed to bring your own calculator. You will be provided with a calculator for the Integrated Reasoning section, but not for Quant.
  • The total score for the GMAT will be between 200-800. High performers (attempting entry into Ivy League programs) will aim for 730+. An average GMAT score is 556.

In your time-sensitive journey toward the GMAT, allocating the right prep time for each section is key.

2. Get Fluent in the Logic of the Different Sections

Each section of the GMAT is broken down in paradigmatic, or subject-related, sections. These will cover broad areas that include knowing actual facts and reasoning through mathematical and analytical challenges.

Most commonly, the GMAT seeks to get at the logic behind factual representation of ideas. This requires more sophisticated performance and means you need to do more than memorize facts.

For instance, one type of question you’ll encounter is on critical reasoning. You’ll read text and then have to identify an issue, find a fallacy, identify logical relationships, draw inferences and more.

Some of the areas of logic you’ll study as you prepare for the GMAT are grammatical construction, logical predictions, combinatorics, idioms and more. All of these are essential to learn and practice if you’re going to do well on the GMAT.

3. Time Management

With four weeks, you’re basically sprinting toward the GMAT. This means that every second counts. How you study, and how you break up the time, will go a long way in impacting your final score.

The most global advice that can be offered is this: plan how you are going to spend your time studying. This probably means creating a study plan (more on that below).

In addition to these scheduling aspects, managing your time also applies to your actual study sessions. Each one needs to count. This process may best be supported by a GMAT coach or tutor, who can help you identify and hone in on points of weakness.

(Video) 30 days self-prep plan for GMAT | GMAT Pro Tips

Any extras you need to cheerlead and support your journey are well worth it, because time management is enormously important when your GMAT study plan is compressed into just one month.

4. Do Practice Tests

Practice tests should be a huge part of your one month GMAT prep plan. They will serve as diagnostic tools and give you as much interaction with real content as possible. You can get a couple of official GMAT practice tests for free from the test administrators at to get you started.

Practice tests may be enough of a priority that you choose a GMAT study program that offers a lot of them. Practice tests and practice questions should be almost daily fare in your fast-tracked GMAT study plan.

5. Create a Study Plan

Any good GMAT study program should give you some tool with which to devise a study plan. When every minute counts, you need to have a plan for your GMAT preparation. This will ensure that you cover all of the required material and you get enough repetition to yield retention.

The time you spend studying needs to count, and you need to designate the hours each day that you’ll commit to it.

6. Stick to the Study Plan

Following through with a study plan is even more essential when your timeline is short. If you’re studying for the GMAT in four weeks, you can’t have cheat days. Every minute that you planned to study should be spent studying.

This may even mean the 15 minutes you planned to review notecards or the before-bed textbook review. Do everything you commit to doing at the beginning.

Four weeks isn’t long. Make it count.

7. Get Supplemental Materials if You Need Them

Studying for the GMAT in four weeks may not be the right choice if you don’t want to spend a little extra money on supplemental materials. For example, there are a lot of GMAT Quant textbooks to help you master this challenging section.

Many people don’t have a lot of experience with the kind of mathematical concepts and equations they’ll encounter on the GMAT. This extra prep will guarantee that you have some degree of familiarity, if not mastery, of the concepts you encounter on test day.

Another added resource is a GMAT tutor or GMAT coach. Expert GMAT instructors (or high-performers) offer these services as an added layer of support for your fast GMAT prep. This is a good thing to take advantage of and could make a big difference.

(Video) GMAT Study Plan | 1 Month Study Plan for the GMAT

8. Know Your Test Readiness

Last but not least, know when you’re actually ready to take the test. A practice test can help you understand how you would actually perform on test day.

Don’t ignore how you do on these. If you score is subpar, you may want to rethink your timing. It’s a waste of time, money, and effort to have to retake the GMAT because you rushed to the finish line.

GMAT Study Plan (1 Month)

How to Prepare for GMAT in 1 Month: A Detailed Study Plan (4)

Now that you know your priorities, let’s talk about a GMAT study plan. A one month GMAT study plan is a super ambitious journey to take. It’s doable, if you have a plan and stick to it.

Here’s a week-by-week schedule for your GMAT study plan for one month.

Study Plan Table of Contents

  1. Week 1
  2. Week 2
  3. Week 3
  4. Week 4

Week 1

Day 1: Buy a GMAT study program, if you haven’t already.

You may want to pick one that has an accelerated timeline, like Manhattan Prep’s GMAT Bootcamp if you have the budget. You’ll definitely want one with all of the bells and whistles. This should include videos, audio, GMAT textbooks, practice tests, practice question banks, and a study plan.

If you know you want tutoring, get that lined up too. Spend a day familiarizing yourself with how the course works, downloading all important additional materials, and setting up your GMAT study calendar.

Day 2: Take a practice test.

Know how you would score if you took the test today. Then, start the plan for Days 2-7.

Days one and two should take at least six hours.

Days 2-7: Focus on quant.

For a lot of GMAT test takers, quant is a difficult section, so you should tackle it first. Spend two hours each on geometry, word problems, algebra, and number properties.

Week 2

Days 8-14: Week two, shift your focus to the verbal section, while also spending at least 30-60 minutes a day in quant review.

For verbal, you need to work on GMAT reading strategies, practice questions, and sentence corrections. You should spend at least two hours a day on verbal concepts.

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Day 14: At the two week mark, take another practice test.

Spend the full length of time taking the test and then score it (or have it scored). Review the score very carefully, making a list of every question you got wrong and why. This should take four hours.

Week 3

Days 15-21: Week three, you should shift your focus again to the quantitative as well as integrated reasoning.

In addition to the tasks outlined below, spend 30-60 minutes a day in review of last week’s verbal concepts.

For quant, turn to problem solving, data sufficiency and drilling flashcards. For integrated reasoning, use practice questions and study the structure of the section. Spend three hours a day practicing.

Day 21: At the three week mark, take another practice test.

Spend the full length of time, score it, review the score (just as you did on day 14). Compare the results of this test with the one you took on day 14 and make an action plan for any areas of continued weakness or to address new issues.

Week 4

Days 22-30: week four, you should shift your focus again to verbal.

Continue to spend time on review, perhaps upping it to 90 minutes a day to include all of the areas you now know and need to practice.

For this week’s verbal, focus on critical reasoning questions, reading comprehension questions, verbal questions, and drill with grammar flashcards. Spend at least three hours a day doing this.

Within this week, somewhere around day 25, you should spend at least three hours on analytical writing assessment. This will include reviewing strategies and practicing with prompts.

Day Before the Test

Most test prep companies recommend that you don’t study the day before the test. You should take a “bio break.” In other words, take care of your body and your brain. Get rest. Take a break. Give your mind a day to clear out before you have to focus on the test.

Test Day

On the day of the test, don’t cram. Eat breakfast. Collect all of the personal items that you plan to take to the test. Know your route.

Plan your day and then follow the plan, keeping as clear and alert as possible. Go into the test with confidence and do your best.

Time to Start Your GMAT Study Plan for 1 Month

If you have the commitment and enough on the line, you can pull off a 1-month GMAT test prep. Some people are able to work hard enough in that short period of time to get a high score on the GMAT.

(Video) How I Scored 750 on the GMAT (Top 3 Best Resources, My Score History, Recommended Study Schedule)

While it isn’t ideal, if you follow these tips and get clear about what that month will look like, you have plenty of room for success.


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