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With a Month To Go Before His GMAT Test, It’s Time to Focus

While I feel pretty confident that I’m at the 700 level already, I definitely don’t want to become nonchalant about my upcoming test.  This is the final month of my three month plan.  If you read the debriefs on the Beat the GMAT forums, this is usually when people ramp up their studying significantly.  For health reasons, I’ve actually taken a break the past couple days, but plan to ramp back up again tonight.  Below are the key themes I will focus on this final month.

Less blogging. I enjoy blogging because it gives me a moment to reflect on the work I’ve done and put everything in context.  But right now, during crunch time, I feel I don’t have the luxury to spend a couple hours a week on my blog.  I need to be focused on the test.  I’ll probably post more after my test is over, and when I get into the essay writing process.  But for now, the test is my first priority.

More Sleep. I’ve been staying up late so I can study for longer periods but it has definitely had a detrimental effect on my health.  I don’t want to be in this kind of shape during the actual test, so I definitely want to fix this in the coming weeks.  I’ll start going to bed earlier and try to work out more often.

Review my notes.  I took them for a reason, and this was it.  I took pretty decent notes when reviewing the MGMAT study guides and during the course lectures themselves.  I feel with a month to go that I’m at risk to “forget” stuff that I already learned and that would definitely be a huge waste.

Memorize. I have a list of things to memorize.  I put this off towards the end because I wanted it fresh in my mind.  Now’s the time to actually follow through with it.  I’ve never had trouble memorizing things in school, so I’m hoping this won’t be too much of an issue.  The math and geometry formulas don’t scare me; it’s the idioms that make me worried.  Other things I need to memorize include the timing splits for each section of the test and the essay structure for each AWA question.

Planned studying.  I have a habit of committing that I will do “something” for a couple of hours each night that’s GMAT related.  While generally beneficial, I definitely need to be more precise in terms of what I study.  Mindlessly doing problems at this point isn’t the best use of my time.  I need to focus on my weaknesses and study those intently to improve my score.

Read The Economist. Either The Economist or other wordy material that’s difficult to understand.  This is to prep for Reading Comprehension.  I generally do a pretty decent job in Reading Comp – I just need to make sure that I’m in the right mindset before the test.

Rates & Work. I don’t know why, but I always seem to have issues with Rate problems.  Any time I get a question with a car going this many miles per hour, I seem to get flustered.

My Checklist

  • AWA format memorized
  • Timing Splits memorized
  • Understanding of Rates and Work & Harmonic Average Formula
  • OG Questions Completed and Reviewed
  • Beat the GMAT Questions Mostly completed
  • 197 700 Level GMAT Prep Math Questions
  • Remaining MGMAT CAT Exams
  • Remaining GMAT Prep Exams
  • Kaplan CAT Exams
  • MGMAT Homework Banks
  • Specific MGMAT Labs

This post is adapted from Random Wok, a blog written by Mako from Silicon Valley. You can read all of his posts at Random Wok.

Previous posts by Mako at PoetsandQuants:

Why I Want an MBA

Climbing the GMAT Mountain: 630 to 710 on a Practice Test

Do Consultants Have An Unfair Edge Over Other Applicants?

Falling Behind & Stressed Out

My New Critical Reasoning Strategy

Figuring Out My Odds of Getting Into Harvard, Stanford, Wharton

With My GMAT Classes Over, It’s Now Just Me and the Test

Making a GMAT Test Taker Feel Like A Complete Pansy