Part 3: 4 day GMAT plan
You’re taking the GMAT without having any free days just before. Not a problem! My student tend to run hot – i.e. they may be a over-the-top obsessive about details. Great for knocking out financial models, death to your GMAT score if you have too much time on your hands just before the test.
Since you won’t have a weekend or at least not a leisurely weekend to prep, here’s the best way to maximize your performance with what you have. Remember, over-work leads to
1. Brain Fatigue – your brain is a muscle just like your biceps
2. Concentration on practically irrelevant topics – worst offender = Combinatorics
3. Ignoring obvious topics because you know you’ve got them 70%+
Get yourself in game day shape no matter what your strengths and weaknesses are. The schedule assumes Thursday test, adjust accordingly.
– 1 hour refresh on Sentence Correction
– Mock essay and IR – run through the GMAC questions provided on GMATPrep (download at mba.com)
– up to 2 more hours on verbal, mixed set
– 2 hours on math, mixed set
– Get physical, whatever your sport or exercise, go do it. It helps to get out of study focus. Your brain is crunching the hard work you’ve done and making it useful.
– up to 90 more minutes on medium math questions “after dinner”
– early to bed (by 10p if possible!)
– 1 hour Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction
– 2 hours divided: mixture of 10-15 low – hard Data Sufficiency questions (before verbal), followed by a mixture of 20 low – hard Algebra and Mechanics questions (both PS and DS)
– make sure you’re getting enough water. Studies on dehydration and IQ show a 10 point IQ drop with mild dehydration. Did you know that the fluids you consume on Monday influence how hydrated you are on Thursday?! Make sure you get a steady supply of water all day especially this week.
– 1-2 hours Critical Reasoning Questions and 2 long Reading Comprehension Passages (all the questions)
– 2 hours on Common Geometry problems and other minor areas – deep review, probably only 20 problems total
– If the Testing Center is not familiar, go visit. You want to know what the area looks like and where you might park or which bus/train you’ll need to take.
– Up to 2 hours open study – mix it up with DS/PS on quant, and rounds of SC/CR/RC on verbal.
– Get up at normal time – you want to be totally alert for your test. No sense changing your morning routine unless you test starts before you normally get up.
– Basic push-ups, lunges, and jumping jacks for 10 minutes or do a modified gym routine to get your blood pumping – not to exhaust you.
– Have a “normal” morning. Eat breakfast, or if you don’t normally eat breakfast, consider a protein snack that includes some healthy fat (avocado or almonds for example).
– Go to the office if necessary. Do your work. Avoid GMAT distractions.
– Aim to be at the test center 20-30 minutes ahead of time. Check-in can be a pain.
– Before you sign in, work on a handful of medium level questions (medium for you). These should be questions you know you will know how to do. Getting a few things right will take the stress edge off and actually helps your brain persist on the next set of challenges.
While the material you study this week can help you refine, you aren’t likely to Move Mega GMAT Mountains with content in the final few days before the test. If you prove me wrong, blast us in the comments below, please! If you want to do crunch study, you need a GMAT Master (Call us: 646.535.2838) or you need to do the cram session a few weeks in advance, more than 14 days in advance is great. It takes the material some time to gel in usable form.
Let us know how you do. Good luck!