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How to Spend the Last 14 Days of Your Prep Schedule
Oct 25, 2015

How to Spend the Last 14 Days of Your Prep Schedule

Congratulations you are in the home stretch! For better or worse, your GMAT appointment is in 14 days. The question is, how do you spend these last days? Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong path to go down before testing starts and it may not be what you expect.

The thing is that your score is not likely to improve much in the next two weeks. You have worked hard for months to get it to where it is now, and it probably will not shift much. This does not mean that you cannot spend some time hitting a few trouble areas, but they should not be your primary focus. Quite often, testers panic in the days leading up to the exam and focus only on their weakest areas. The issue is that when you do this, you neglect all of the other areas that you need to keep fresh. Typically this approach results in a score decrease when the real test rolls around.

For the next two weeks, I want you to put your effort into two things. Firstly, review your materials and keep the things that you have worked hard to master at the forefront of your mind. Secondly, build a strategy for how you will deal with pacing issues on exam day.

The Big Review

For the most part, you have already learned everything that you are going to learn about the GMAT already. Rather than frantically cramming new information into your head, focus on what you can do to keep what you have already mastered in your mind. One of the first things that I tell testers to do is to make three lists of question types. The first list is what you are great at, the second what you are fairly good at, and the third is where you need the most help. Ideally these lists should change as you study as you graduate questions into better understood lists. If you do not already have lists like this, don’t worry you can still make them now. For your review, I want you to hit the first list hard and give the second list a solid go as well. Do not forget the third list exists and still review its question types, but this is not where the lion’s share of your time should be devoted.

Your Test Day Strategy

On top of reviewing you need to finalize your pacing and timing plans. I cannot stress enough how important proper timing is to success on the GMAT. From your timed practice tests, you should have a rough idea of where you are as far as time goes. Take these numbers and really begin to break them down. I want you to look for any areas where you have extra time to spare. I am going to say something counterintuitive, but please hear me out before jumping into the comments section to yell at me. If you find extra time build it in as a buffer to give yourself more time on the questions that you are really good at. That is right, give extra time to the questions that you are good at, not the ones that you are bad at! Here is the reason, sometimes you will come across questions which you know how to do, but they are complex and need extra time. It is better to spend your precious extra seconds where doing so will almost guarantee yourself points. Do not spend this time with questions that you don’t understand. If you don’t get something after months of study, an extra 20 seconds will not magically make it click.

In the end, the best advice that I can give you is to not panic. I get it, the GMAT is stressful, but you are not doing yourself any favors by working yourself into a tizzy. Keep your head on straight. There is one last thing that I want to discuss briefly. If your panic stems from your score on practice tests being nowhere near where they should be. You may want to look into postponing the test and pushing it back a little. If your schedule allows you the time to do this, it may be the best approach for you.

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