Yep, I’m currently studying for the Gmat exams and I have decided to write a comprehensive guide on how I studied for this particular examination.
I have been studying for this exam for a very long time because I hope to get an MBA someday. Gmat is an admission requirement to get into most MBA programs and high scores could get you scholarships. MBAs are pretty expensive and i need to have the best chance at a scholarship.
I’m also thinking about doing a weekly update on my studying, what I’ve learned, etc just to keep myself accountable here. Let me know what you think about that and let’s see how that goes.
Are you thinking about getting an MBA or a Post Graduate Degree, Studying for the GMAT is a good place to start.
Let’s get straight to how I am studying…
How to Make Out Time to Study.
The First thing I did was to delete Instagram, twitter, and snapchat from my phone. Social media is a thief of time and I decided to use that time to study. I couldn’t delete Facebook because I use it for some work, and I wanted to reply to all my birthday messages. (Side note: I install and delete Instagram occasionally cos the struggle is real). see my post on social media fasting.
Getting Study Resources in Lagos
The next thing i did was to purchase the official Gmat guide. Popularly called the GMAT OG.
The OG consists of 3 books in one and when I got to the market, the least price of the complete set of 3 was 30,000 naira. It was even 50,000 naira in some stores. I just humbled myself and bought only one book for 10,000 which was the best price I could get at the time. This was quite an investment cos 10k for one book isn’t exactly cheap but if I’m totally honest, its worth the investment ( exchange rate palaver). I bought mine from a bookstore in Ojuelegba, Lagos.
The GMAT OG is honestly quite bulky and I’m convinced that if I can finish all the questions in it then I’m good to go. Unfortunately, there are almost 1000 questions in it and they are not easy questions. So far I’ve been able to practice about 300 questions effectively.
You can also get some other books like barons, Kaplan, Princeton review, Manhattan etc, but most Gmat gurus swear that the OG is the number 1 book to get especially cos its written by the exam makers themselves and the other books are just for supplementary study.
The Manhattan GMAT study books are also very good but I didn’t find any of them in yaba market as no one had any in stock. I cant testify cos I haven’t used the book myself but some study preps swear by it. It quite pricy.
Creating A study schedule
The next thing I did was to make out time on my calendar. I set an alarm to study for 1 hour in the morning before work, and 1 hour in the evening. This helps to keep me accountable and I try to follow it religiously.
Another very helpful tip I discovered was signing up in GMAT forums and clubs. I never really liked forums because there just seems to be a lot of noise and chatter in there and they could be disorganized. But these ones have been super helpful. People answer difficult questions, they organize live online events with school reps, they give discounts on some online classes and some people actually help to review your applications to see how good you are doing. There’s just a joy in kindred spirits hustling towards the same goal. The most helpful sites include:
www.beatthegmat.com, www.gmatprep.com, www.poetsandquants.com, www.gmatclub.com
These sites are bookmarked and you need to visit them to confirm my testimony.
it would be helpful to note that Beat the Gmat has a fantastic 60days study plan which you can use as a study guide. They send you an email every day for 60 days. I have tried other plans like magoosh but this is still my best. You can subscribe here. A study guide is very important. There are also some documents and spreadsheets you need to have with the study plan but I won’t go into details here.
Mobile and Web Apps for GMAT.
I mentioned earlier that the Gmat official guide is bulky and I can’t really take it out of my house, because of this, I decided to look for study apps to aid my study sessions.
Thanks to Lagos traffic, I spend so much time commuting to work and functions and sometimes it just feels like I am growing old on the road. The right Gmat app was very necessary because of all the potential wasted time.
I needed to find the right GMAT app for the job. I spent a lot of time and data downloading, trying, practicing questions, deleting and reviewing all the GMAT apps mentioned below.
Disclaimer: I only tried these apps on an iPhone, so all the apps mentioned here may not be on the play store nor work the same way (sorry Windows)
Now let’s get to it: the most effective study apps for the GMAT exam for me.
I present to you, my top 3 apps. :
VERITAS Prep I love Veritas prep. Amazing app or rather its the content of the app that’s amazing cos the app itself isn’t fantastic. Veritas prep is actually a study prep company and they do test prep for Gmat, GRE, ACT, etc. Honestly, the original test prep is quite pricy, (more than $1500 for the basic plan) but this particular app contains informative videos on every topic on the GMAT. You also have access to 1 free full-length exam on their website.
You could also sign up for a 1-week trial which gives you access to their full test prep, textbooks, one on one prep, lessons and the whole shebang. They also have an informative YouTube channel and social media presence. (Android and iPhone app available)
The Economist: Also an amazing prep program. gives you everything veritas prep gives apart from the videos. Instead of the videos, you get an interactive prep software with questions and explanations which I think even works better than videos as you have to practice and answer questions while you learn. it’s also a little bit pricey, about $800 for 3 months when they are on sale so you might have to settle for the 1-week trial which I have used 3 times with my sibling’s email addresses(not proud). but trust me the 1-week trial really works. (Android and iPhone app available)
Ready4: formally Prep For Gmat: This is the best out of all 3. This app is simply amazing. I have to check all the time to make sure its still free cos its too comprehensive. I really love it. Let me try to explain how it works. First of all, They ask you questions about your intended school, the score you want etc They basically take your profile and save it. Then you take a full-length test to determine your current ability. Then the classes are made into flash cards and then there’s a test after every class and then your estimated score is updated after every test and then I’m sure you get my point now. There’s also a daily reminder to study. The app is intuitive and beautiful, the content is amazing. there are answers to your questions and you can study randomly or according to topics. (Android and iPhone app available)
The questions in this app are not simple at all and the explanations are really on point. it works offline and best of all its FREEEE!!! lol.
Other Apps and Platforms.
I won’t go into so many details so I won’t have to do a part 2 as this post is long enough.
Manhattan Prep: looks really good but most of the features are locked and they only give you 24hours free access which is really small. I couldn’t do so much with that and I wasn’t ready to pay. All in all, you get badass question, strategies, lessons etc. It looked very good and I saw a lot of good reviews, but the less than 5 days trial really put me off.
AllenPrep: The iOS App for Allen prep has a lot of questions, more than 1000. knock your self out. Not very interested.
DigiSchool: is alright, but the adds popping up every time you launch the app kind of annoy me :(, not as bad as some others sha, but it comes with a lot of valuable test preps and exam advise.
Pocket Prep: as the name says is a really condensed prep app. it allows you to do the basic practice and noting so much. you can unlock bonus features by liking their social media pages and eventually paying $12 which is not bad. But don’t depend on them for the full study.
McGraw Hill: Used their text a while ago and it was very helpful. Their IOS app only has practice tests..
Arcadia Prep also needs to pay for full practice but the free lessons were ok. tick with the full course if you are interested even though the interface isn’t too friendly.
Kaplan and Magoosh Flash Card apps are just mehh!! their full desktop prep is much better. Magoosh really needs to work on their app.. its so crappy.. its so sad cos they have great content. Kaplan was deleted a long time ago, I don’t even remember what it looks like.
I’m not sure if anyone can go through all the questions in all these apps except you have more than six months to prep and you are practicing for 4 hours, 3 times every day in the 6 months 🙂
I hope this has helped someone trying to study for the Gmat exam.
I religiously use the top 3 apps and I have seen A LOT of improvement in my studies.
Have you used any fantastic app to study for the GMAT exam? Please tell us about it in the comments below.
Let me know what you think about my list above.
As an Update to this post, I have a link to a folder of a lot of GMAT materials you’ll need. It contains videos, pdf books, flashcards, and notes. It was shared by someone on LinkedIn and I updated it with some materials of mine.
Let me know if you are interested by doing any of the following:
- subscribe to my newsletter, I share links to resources frequently.
- comment with your email address