I’m currently studying for the Gmat exams and I have decided to write a comprehensive guide on how I studied for this examination.
I have invested a lot of time studying for the GMAT because I hope to get an MBA someday. The 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 honestly cannot afford the fees at this point in my life. If you are in this same boat with me then this post will be useful for you.
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.
PS, this didn’t work out.
Let’s get straight to how I am studying…
1) I removed all distractions.
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 and making social media profitable for you.
2) I found study resources.
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 (The General book, Quant and Verbal) 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 because 10k Naira for one book isn’t exactly cheap but if I’m totally honest, it’s 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. 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 GMAT prep books from Barons, Kaplan, Princeton Review, Manhattan etc. Most Gmat gurus swear that the OG is the number 1 book to get especially because it’s written by the exam makers themselves.
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 can’t confirm this because I haven’t used the book myself but some study preps swear by it. PS: It’s also not cheap.
3) I created A study schedule.
The next thing I did was to make out time to study on my calendar. I set an alarm to study for 1 hour in the morning before work, and 1 hour in the evening. I did this very easily with Google Calendar and A ToDo App. Check out my post on my top productivity apps.
4) I got active in online communities focusing on GMAT and stanzdardized tests.
Another very helpful tip I discovered was signing up in GMAT forums and clubs. I never got into forums because there just seems to be a lot of noise and chatter in there and they could be disorganized if moderation isn’t done well. 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 currently bookmarked on my PC.
5) I created a Study guide
A study guide breaks down everything you need to study into small chunks to be covered over a period of time. It’s like a school curriculum and it was super useful It would be helpful to note that BeattheGmat.com 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 study plans from magoosh but beat the GMAT is still my favourite. A study guide is very important. I customized my own study guide with a lot of input from beatthegmat.com and other tips I got from random places on the internet. Subscribe to my email list below and leave a comment if you want the study guide.
6) I installed GMAT Apps .
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 spent a lot of time and data downloading, trying, practising 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 Andriods)
My top 3 study apps for the GMAT exam were:
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 mostly because its FREEEE. This app is simply amazing. I have to check all the time to make sure it’s 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 flashcards 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 you can check out include:
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 also know what you think about my list above.
As mention above, If you are interested in my study guide and some of the online resources i use/used to help me study for the exam (I have a folder full of resources, but ill rather not share here), please do the following:
- subscribe to my newsletter, I share links to resources frequently.
- comment on this post with your email address