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How Do You Study for the GMAT? Part I: The Calendar

December 13, 2013 by

Studying for the GMAT is not something that most test-takers take lightly and is usually a commitment of 2-3 months or more. While most of you studying for a test like the GMAT often know what to study, you probably have many questions about how to study. Study schedules can definitely vary depending on your particular situation such as goal score, starting score, work schedule, school schedule, and family obligations, but, based on a long history of working with students and studying how we learn, here are some general rules of thumb to remember as you begin to form your personalized study schedule.

The first thing to know about studying for the GMAT is that this is not a test that you can cram for. Studying for the GMAT is like preparing for a marathon. You want to build up to test day with a plan that builds … Read full post

Study the GMAT in Small Batches

October 1, 2012 by

A few months ago I had a student in one of my GMAT classes tell me her study plan.  She was very diligent and committed to the study process, and the plan was a very well thought out and detailed.   Furthermore, she was executing the plan brilliantly.  The problem was that her score was going nowhere.  She wasn’t gaining any ground from her masterful execution.  What was the problem?

After digging a bit deeper, one thing stood out.  She was using all the tools: practice tests, online quizzes, workshops, workbooks etc.  None of this seemed odd.  In fact, it was all commendable.  However, there was a fatal flaw in the way she was using these resources.  She wanted to makes sure that she had the endurance to answer these questions on test day.  Therefore, when she sat down to do quantitative problems, she would create a set of 37, do … Read full post


September 8, 2012 by

The GMAT is in some ways a technological marvel. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, thousands of locations across the globe are instantly reporting scores on the same test. The computer-adaptive test adapts to your skill level, adjusting difficulty on a question by question basis. Every center is equipped with a state-of-the-art scanner that records examinees’ handprints as a security measure.

Unsurprisingly, technology can also help you prepare for this test. Every GMAT student knows that paper-based quizzes can’t produce a test-like experience. Full-length practice Computer Adaptive Tests, like those offered by Kaplan and from, are key to success. But you can take the online prep a step further; most GMAT prep books, like Kaplan’s or the Official Guide, are also available as PDFs. Learning your lessons from a tablet or computer screen get your eyes used to reading on a monitor, and forces you to … Read full post

GMAT Prep: Be Assertive to Make Time

August 23, 2012 by

A few weeks ago, a group of break-dancers started dancing outside my GMAT classroom at a local university.

Now, a part of me thought this was very fun. I like to pretend I’m still cool to college students. So, I was smiling and trying not to bop my head to the music when I went out and asked them to turn down the music. They were pretty nice about it, too, and turned down their music. For about fifteen minutes. The second time I asked them to turn it down, I was a little less nice—and they were a little less happy to comply.

The third time, I didn’t ask. I called the Campus Police and had them rousted.

I felt bad about it. I was becoming “The Man.” I was an authority figure.  I was stern.  I wasn’t a “cool guy” anymore.  But I got over my guilt quickly, … Read full post

GMAT Superhero

May 24, 2012 by

Captain America was a man out of time. Everyone he knew had grown old or died in the sixty years he was frozen in ice.  He was left behind by a rapidly changing culture, and the modern world didn’t (yet) have use for a super-soldier in the new paradigm of war. So what did he do to deal with this stress? He hit a punching bag.

Well, to be more accurate, he punched through a punching bag.

Bags. Plural.

But I digress. There is a lesson we can learn from this superhero that will help us on test day, and it’s not about punching aliens or throwing indestructible shields. Rather, what he shows us is that exercise works. You don’t literally need to beat up canvas sacks of sand (though I enjoy knocking a heavy bag around from time to time). Anything from yoga to running to weightlifting can … Read full post


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