GMAT Impact: How to Prep for the GMAT in 14 Days (If You Absolutely MUST)

When it comes to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this weekly blog series, Manhattan GMAT’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

Prepping for the GMAT in 14 days? Is that even possible? Most people study for a minimum of two months, and the average is probably closer to four months.

Obviously, studying for the exam in just two weeks is not ideal. You can only learn so much in such a short period of time.

Still, sometimes people get stuck. Maybe you have not gotten the GMAT score that you need to be competitive at a particular school, and second-round deadlines are fast approaching. Maybe you are on a waitlist and the school has indicated that your chances would be better if you could raise your score. Whatever the circumstance, you can do some things to try to achieve a score boost in a short period of time.

If you need to do this (not “want” to, need to—only do this if you have no choice!), then keep these two things in mind:

(1) You are going to live, sleep and breathe the GMAT for the next two weeks. Make sure that your personal and professional life can actually handle this commitment; if not, then you will be adding a whole lot of stress to your life for what will probably not be a very good return on your investment.

(2) You will also need to set realistic expectations for yourself. Nobody is going to jump from a 500 to a 720 in two weeks. Unless you are already naturally at a pretty high level, that you will score 700+ is unlikely.

Have I scared you off yet? No? Okay, click here for a detailed 14-day prep plan. Note that this plan still leaves a lot for you to figure out for yourself. The plan does not give you long lists of assignments; rather, it helps you figure out how to prioritize what you are going to do based on your particular strengths and weaknesses. Nobody can do everything in 14 days, and what you need to do will differ greatly from what other students may need, so your real advantage will be in figuring out how to spend your time wisely.

Finally, one last word of advice: if you are thinking about prepping in 14 days because you hate to study, or because you have two weeks between jobs and think it would be a great way to spend the time, or really any other reason that does NOT involve an absolute need to prep in such a short period of time, then do yourself a favor. Give yourself more time!

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