For an average GMAT student, the GMAT prep takes about 2.5-3 months. Every week is crucial and is spent preparing for the different sections one at a time, with a few practice tests in between.
There is no quick way to prep for the GMAT. You cannot cram, or push through the prep materials within a couple weeks and expect to score over 700 on the test. If you do, you’re either gifted, or just really lucky.
The last week, however, is the one you need to focus on the test as a whole. This is the week where all your practice needs to be integrated to give you the best possible results on the 3-hour long GMAT test.
The last week is kind of light work for most students and is a buffer week into the test. Some students spend it frantically revising and going through every period or comma they have ever placed in their notebooks.
This can be a hazardous approach.
With a good GMAT study plan, you would have worked through and revised all the problems on the different sections of the GMAT. Obsessing over the test in the last week will only make you doubt yourself more and we don’t want that.
We want you to be prepared to take the test but not anxious about it.
But there are some things you can do in the last week of your GMAT prep that can help you strengthen your work and possibly improve your score by a lot.
Go through the format again
You must have gone through the format on the GMAT before starting your prep. Since then, you would have left it alone like an old pair of jeans you don’t fit into anymore.
The last week before your GMAT is the right time to break those jeans out and have a good look at them before you give them away. I mean look at the test format again. Understand every information provided on it.
You don’t have to learn it by heart, just know it well enough that you don’t have to spend 30 seconds looking at it during the test.
Take a practice test
This is the last time before the test that you will be able to see your progress. After this, it will just be you and the final score.
Taking a practice test in the week prior the actual test can help you with two things. First, it will give you the feel of how the test will be once again. Second, you can figure out how you need to tweak your time management strategies if you aren’t able to finish the test within time.
It will also help you with the first point, i.e., familiarizing yourself with the test.
Grammar rules and Math concepts
We all know how stingy GMAT is with its grammar rules. If the test requires parallelism, it will require it for every single question. Thus, knowing these rules by heart will solve half of your problem on the GMAT Verbal section.
Similarly, with Math concepts, you don’t need to do any more practice sets for GMAT Quant. This last week should see you going through and learning all the Math concepts and Grammar rules that the test abides by.
Formulate a plan to guess
You have worked very hard on solving a million problems in both Verbal and Quant. By now you must be well versed in every technique and method to solve a particular problem. However, there must be some problems that you might not be able to solve no matter how hard you try.
These problems might either have concepts that you can’t fully grasp or just always take more than 3 minutes to solve. Formulate a plan of guessing on these problems. Or skip them altogether.
If you choose to guess on these problems, this is the perfect time to learn guessing techniques for the various sections on the GMAT.
The day before the test
The day before the test is your prep day. Throughout the day you will have only one responsibility. Check the materials you need to carry to the test center and plan everything from the breakfast to the route to the GMAT test center.
Other than this, take this day off. Lounge around your house or grab a coffee with friends. Don’t get too adventurous. It is supposed to be a break not a vacation.
This is to help relax you before the test. After all, mindset is key to manifestation.
While giving the GMAT, do not resist taking your optional breaks. You might feel like an eight-minute break won’t make a difference but it does. When you will be 20 minutes in on the section that you did not take a break before, you will truly understand the value of that time-off.
The GMAT is not just a test of your concepts. It tests your patience and mental presence alike. We all have been prepared for certain tests or presentations in life and still walked away with a poor performance. This mainly due to anxiety and pressure that we place on ourselves.
Know that the GMAT isn’t the end all of your career. You can take the test again or reschedule it if you’re underprepared. Staying calm however, will help use all your prep in the most effective manner.
Here is how you can reschedule your GMAT if the need arises.