While there may not necessarily be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to how long you should take to prepare for the GMAT, studying regularly and consistently for a fixed number of hours in a day can help you improve your scores. A 1-month or 3-months study plan can often be too hectic and way less time to prepare for the various sections of the test. However, a GMAT study plan for 6-months before the exam is generally recommended by experts, as it gives you sufficient time to prepare, without weighing heavily on other important activities including profile building and academics. This article will guide you through the process of efficiently preparing for the GMAT over the course of 6 months.

The GMAT is a standardized computer-adaptive exam, which is a common requirement for applications to graduate management programs at most business schools, all over the world. The GMAT is specifically designed to test your analytical and critical thinking skills, and your ability to solve problems under time pressure.  Since GMAT is a skill-based test, rather than a memory-based one, developing these skills requires months of dedicated effort, in order to achieve the best results. Hence, 6 months provide you with enough time to learn and understand new concepts and put them to practice in mock tests to gauge your progress, as well as assess suitable strategies for yourself.

Who is this 6-months GMAT Study Plan Suitable for?

The 6-month Study Plan is ideally suitable for you if:

  • you are not familiar with all the required concepts and feel the need to learn right from the basics
  • you have a well-planned admissions’ calendar for keeping track of impending application deadlines. Investing time in creating such a calendar ensures that you are aware of your application deadlines without having to worry about potentially losing out on an academic year
  • you are an undergraduate student who has to simultaneously focus on academics and profile building
  • you are a  working professional, juggling work and personal commitments

If you are a student, you usually have a lot to do during the preparation and application phase. And, if you are a working professional with 5-8 years of work experience, you may often find it difficult to hit the books again and adhere to a regular study schedule. So, this plan is ideal for both. 

Study Materials for Your 6 Months GMAT Preparation 

Some essential study materials to utilize for your GMAT 6 month preparation are: 

  • GMAC’s Official Guide for GMAT Review – Since this is the official guide from the creators of the GMAT exam, the questions from this book would have appeared in previous editions of the GMAT. You will also have access to GMAC’s IR website where you will have access to about 50 IR practice questions.
  • GMAC’s OG Verbal Review and OG Quant Review – Both these guides will provide you with official questions from the GMAT.
  • GMAT’s Additional Practice Exams  – Most of these practice question papers and exams are now completely online. They will help you get acquainted with the adaptive testing pattern of the GMAT (this means that the difficulty level of the next question is dependent on your performance in the previous question) in addition to solving the questions within the stipulated time period.
  • Flashcards – There are several flashcards that are available to help you study both the verbal concepts and mathematical formulas. They are an excellent way to learn new concepts and remember them for a long time.

Long Term GMAT Preparation Suggestions 

Here are a few tips to help you through your 6 months GMAT preparation. 

  • Set realistic goals – Since it is a long term study plan, you will need to set realistic study goals and targets so that you don’t have trouble achieving the same.
  • Avoid long marathon study sessions  – Long marathon study sessions can drain you and leave you exhausted. This will not help you in the long run and it is recommended that you take short breaks in between to help you concentrate. 
  • Be patient and study smart – You may not see immediate results so you must be patient and study in a smart manner to be able to reach your desired scores.
  • Split your study plan – Instead of studying for one long stretch, we would advise you to split your study plan into 3 month or 2 month chunks instead. This will help you to break the monotony of studying in one single stretch.

6-month GMAT Study Plan

This 200-hour plan will give you plenty of time to improve your GMAT score, while still leaving you with enough time to manage your work, school, and other activities and obligations. Moreover, the 6-month period study plan works well for you if you  are willing to devote the time to study and want to improve  your  final score. 

Given below is a 6-months GMAT study plan table for you. 

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Month 1Understand the GMAT exam

Familiarize yourself with the  format and structure of the GMAT exam.
(2 hrs)
Take Mock Tests

Take  mock tests and assess your scores to know your strengths and weaknesses.
(4 hrs)
Build Your Quant Foundation

Learn about the format and question types of the GMAT Quantitative section .
(2 hrs)

Find out  GMAT Quant strategies and tips.
(3 hrs)
Build Your Verbal Foundation

Get acquainted with the Verbal  section format and question types. (2 hrs)

Build GMAT Reading Principles knowledge.
(3 hrs)

Learn Sentence Correction concepts. (3 hrs)

Work on your  Grammar fluency. (1 hrs)
Month 2Quant Review

Build Algebra knowledge.
(3 hrs)

Brush up on your basic Geometry knowledge.
(3 hrs)

Understand the concept of  Word Problems
(3 hrs)
Verbal Review

Strengthen your Reading Comprehension knowledge. (4 hrs)

Learn Critical Reasoning concepts
(4 hrs)
Quant Review

Build Number Properties knowledge.
(3 hrs)

Learn the concept of Sets.
(3 hrs)

Practice advanced Quant skills.
(2 hrs)

Improve fluency with the help of flash cards. (1 hrs)
Take a Mock Test and Review

Assess your weaker areas by attempting the mock tests and analysing the scores. (6 hrs)
Month 3Quant Review

Practice Data Sufficiency questions by solving sample papers.
(4 hrs)

Solve Problem-solving questions. (4 hrs)
Verbal Review

Practice the types of questions asked in the Verbal Reasoning section. (8 hrs)
Verbal and Quant Review

Review your mock test results and work on the  Verbal and Quant question types that you are weaker at. 
(8 hrs)
Take a Mock Test and Review

Attempt mock tests and assess your performance to figure out the weaker areas you need to work on.
(5 hrs)
Month 4AWA Review

Review AWA strategies.
(2 hrs)

Practice AWA prompts. (4 hrs)
IR Review

Spend time to find out IR strategies.
(2 hrs)

Practice IR questions. (4 hrs)
Verbal and Quant Review

Solve difficult Verbal and Quant question types based on your latest mock test results. (8 hrs)
Take a Mock Test and Review

Take a mock test and review the scores to figure out areas that still need work.
(5 hrs)
Month 5Review Quant Concepts as needed

Concentrate on Quant topics that you are weaker at — based on your mock test scores. (6 hrs)
Review Verbal Concepts as needed

Focus more on the  Verbal topics that you are struggling with— based on your mock tests. (6 hrs)
Take GMAT Diagnostic Test and evaluate the scores

Take a practice test and review the scores to figure out areas you need to work on. (5 hrs)
Review IR and AWA Concepts as needed

Work on the pending topics (if any) from IR and AWA section (5 hrs)
Month 6Review Quant Concepts as needed

Review and practice questions from Quant topics that you are struggling with —based on your mock tests. (6 hrs)
Review Verbal Concepts as needed 

Assess the verbal topics you find difficult and practice those questions (6 hrs)
Take a Mock Test and Review

Attempt mock tests and review results to know if you still need to work on any subject areas. . (5 hrs)
Light Prep and Review

Go through the topics you’ve learnt or solve a sample question paper. Get enough rest and nutrition before the test day. (4 hrs)

This plan may not be the same for each one of you, as you may have different schedules and work commitments. Besides, the amount of effort and preparation that you will require depends on various factors, including your target score, existing schedule, grasp over various concepts, and your strengths and weaknesses. Thus, you may tweak the plan as per your own requirements, so that it is better suited to your specific needs, and  existing weekly schedules.

So, if you intend to take the GMAT exam, you should allot 1  to 2 hours every day  to learn the concepts and practice mock tests. You would need to incorporate this preparation time into your daily schedule, without letting it affect other important activities and commitments. Hence, this is where a smart study plan works for achieving the best score.

While the path to a good GMAT score may seem long and intimidating, you do not have to cover it alone. At CareerLabs, we would be glad to help you with your preparation with our GMAT Prep programs. Nearly any challenge that you face is surmountable, and we are here to take the journey with you and help you move one step closer to your dream business schools.


1. Is 6 months of preparation sufficient for GMAT preparation?

Yes, 6 months is more than sufficient to prepare for the GMAT. This gives you ample amount of time to prepare for the exam, to solve sample questions and to attempt mock exams periodically. You will have adequate time to study each concept in depth, discuss with your instructors regarding any doubts you may have and more. 

2. How much can one score in the GMAT with 6 months of preparation?

A score of 700 and above is considered a competitive score and this is certainly possible with adequate preparation. 6 months of preparation allows you enough time to study each topic in an elaborate manner and to practice solving sample questions regularly. You can also attempt mock exams to help you get acquainted with the exam pattern and become familiar with the adaptive testing methods of the exam. 

3. Is the GMAT syllabus difficult to study?

No, the GMAT syllabus is not difficult. The GMAT syllabus comprises basic high school level concepts (Maths and English).  If you dedicate sufficient time for studying, you will be able to complete the concepts in an effortless manner. Ensure to set aside time to attempt mock exams, practice sample question papers, etc.


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