GMAT Guide

The GMAT journey is a hard one; but I believe I did a decent job of prepping for my first try (most likely will be taking it again for a ~750).

So where ever you are at in your GMAT journey (whether you are thinking about it, just signed up, already studying, or planning on retaking) I hope this guide helps you conquer this ridiculous test.



  • 160 Hours
  • $500 (including the $250 for the test)

The Result

  • GMAT: 710 (92%)
  • V38 (84%)
  • Q49 (81%)
  • AWA: 6.0 (91%)
  • IR: 7 (82%)


  • Graduated in 2009 with a BS in Accounting (3.7 GPA) from a state university
  • Worked for the last 4 years as a finance analyst for a Fortune 50 manufacturing company

Journey to Breaking into the 700’s

  • 6/30 – Start basic studying
  • 7/14 – GMAT Practice Test 1: 620 (Q44,V31)
  • 7/21 – MGMAT Test 1: 660 (Q43,V37)
  • 7/28 – MGMAT Test 2: 660 (Q45,V37)
  • 8/04 – MGMAT Test 3: Quit early
  • 8/04 – MGMAT Test 4: 620 (Q43,V33)
  • 8/25 – GMAT Practice Test 1: 700 (Q45,V40)
  • 9/02 – MGMAT Test 5: 640 (Q44,V34)
  • 9/08 – GMAT Practice Test 2: 700 (Q47,V39)
  • 9/16 – GMAT: 710 (Q49,V38)

Resources Used (in order of importance)

  • Original GMAT Book (13th Edition)
  • GMATPrep Practice Tests & GMATPrep Question Pack 1
  • Magoosh Online GMAT Prep
  • Manhattan GMAT Test Bank
  • PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible (boosted my CR from 50% to 90%)
  • AWA Template
  • Kaplan 800
  • Manhattan Series

Study Schedule

  • Total time investment over 10 weeks: 160 hours*
  • (M-F) Woke up every day about 4:30AM and studied for one hour (1 hr morning)
  • (M-F) Came home for work and studied for another hour (1 hr evening)
  • (Sat) Studied for about 4-6 hours (until I would get burnt out) (4-6 hrs day)
  • (Sun) Took a practice test and then examined the results after (2-4 hrs day)


  • ABSOLUTELY have to keep track of WHEN and HOW MUCH you study. It will keep you on track.
  • Absolutely loved Magoosh as it laid a great foundation for the GMAT and the GMAT material
  • I only got familiar with the IR via Magoosh and practiced it for 4 hours max
  • I only wrote one essay the night before the GMAT using the template
  • I traveled a lot in the month of August (low study month)
  • Took only cold showers (how I was able to work 60 hours a week and study 20 hours a week); if motivation to study is holding you back check out this TED talk

What I would have changed

  • Error Log…if I had one I know I would have gotten a higher score
  • Spent too much time studying concepts and not enough time studying questions (with an error log)
  • Should have spent more time with my CATs
  • I truly believe that how I studied got me to the 700 club; however to get to the mid 700s, more emphasis needs to be put on the Manhattan Books and Kaplan 800

Ask me questions if you would like insight or help…

12 Responses to “GMAT Guide”

  1. zulhay

    This guide is great! I have been studying for the GMAT for the past 4 months and have not kepis a great focus. This guide will help me do that. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your comment made me want to continue writing.

  2. First Experience Applying to B-School

    […] up for Magoosh (which I highly recommend as a starting point) and started executing my GMAT plan (my guide can be found here). Studying for the GMAT, working 60 hours a week, and researching applications and tours was not […]

  3. John Hunter

    Did you find that the Manhattan GMAT Tests were harder than the actual GMAT? Thanks

  4. kami

    That is insane. I would just admit you since you show so much resolve.

    I spent 2 weeks studying with an avg 2-3 hrs/day and only Q bc I’m self-assured of my V ability. I achieved a 750 on the 2nd try (1st attempt I didn’t finish Q section) with a 97th percentile on V.

    However, my undergrad GPA is garbage. I worked for Google but as a drudge (no mgmt exp). I didn’t get accepted into anything <= rank 13, waitlisted <=20.

    I've seen some people in the job functions I want get 99th percentile or ~770+. I could probably do it but I'm not sure how much it would help. Every interviewer wanted to know how I could test well yet have a low GPA.

  5. Arsene


    Thank you for writing this blog.

    I wanted to know how you prepared for the quant?
    1. did you first complete the OG and then jump onto the magoosh app or viceversa
    2. Is there any other resource you used for quant?
    3. Did you use any strategies for Quant or just the usual Algebra?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: