Trevor Klee, Tutor

Boston-based GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Prep Instructor.

Contact me
[email protected]

How to Study for the GMAT

About Trevor Klee, Tutor

-Trevor is a GMAT tutor based in Cambridge, MA, available for in-person and online tutoring.

-He has a 750 on the GMAT, 5 stars on Google and Yelp for his tutoring, and is the official GRE instructor for MIT.

1. Your overall process

a) Start with a diagnostic test. What are your specific strengths and weaknesses? Use an error log to discern the patterns.

b) Do questions to focus on your weaknesses. Really try to understand the process of how to solve questions: you’ll find a lot of examples online. Ask yourself why certain techniques are used, and why your initial instinct may be wrong.

Don’t worry about speed, that comes with being confident and fluent in the techniques. As the old Army saying goes, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.” Focus on being smooth in your application of techniques.

c) Once you feel like you’ve covered your initial weaknesses, or you feel confused about about what to do next, take another practice test. Then start with a) again.

d) There are two parts to studying for the GMAT.

One part is like being a marathon runner. You need to put the miles in on the pavement to run a marathon. Anyone can do it, but it takes effort. Doing questions, getting them wrong, and then learning how to do them correctly is the equivalent of putting those miles in. It’s going to suck, but that’s how you learn.

The second part is like being your own coach. You need to reflect on your own progress and what you get wrong and right. What are the patterns in what you get wrong? What techniques do you have difficulty applying?

2. Your materials

Mandatory

-Official GMATPrep tests

-Official Guide questions, categorized as laid out in my error log.

-Error log helps you organize yourself, and show you what questions you still need to do, which questions you need to understand, and the patterns in what you’re getting wrong.

Optional

-Strategy guides, for the necessary techniques

-My recommendations: my strategy guides, Manhattan’s

3. Your study plan

-Generally speaking, you need to work 100 hours (intelligently) to improve 100 points on the GMAT. This is, of course, a very rough estimate, and depends heavily on the quality of the hours you put into studying.

-A reasonable way to accomplish this is to plan to work for 20 hours a week for 2 months (giving yourself room for breaks and slow days). That means working 2 hours per day on the weekdays, and 5 hours per day on the weekends.

-Studying for the GMAT should be a sprint. If you plan to spend 6 months, you will get demotivated midway through and lose track of what you’ve learned. Make it a major part of your life for 2–3 months, then be done with it.

-For a specific 60 day study plan, you can check out my email course.

4. How to review the sections

-This is both how you should approach the questions, and, more importantly, how to analyze a question you got incorrect

-Revision through the error log is the key to learning

Reading Comprehension: what precisely did I need to read to get the correct answer?

Critical Reasoning: how does the argument work (premise, reasoning, conclusion)? How does the correct answer fit into the argument?

Sentence Correction: how does the correct answer correct and efficiently convey the meaning?

Problem Solving: what equations do I need to start with? how do I get from there to the answers?

Data Sufficiency: How do I simplify the prompt? Or, in other words, what’s the prompt really asking for?

When to seek out tutoring

-You might expect a tutor to say, “Seek out tutoring, all the time, for as many hours as possible, no matter what”

-As my Dad says, “Don’t ask the barber when you should get a haircut”

-But, this isn’t the case. Or, at least, it’s not what I recommend

-You should seek out tutoring in two cases:

1. You took a practice GMAT or a real GMAT, and it didn’t go the way you expected or wanted

2. You’ve been studying for a while, and you’re overwhelmed

-In either case, you shouldn’t seek out tutoring until you’ve put in some serious effort on your own. It’ll save your wallet, and give you a better idea of what you can get out of tutoring

-In that case, you can start your GMAT tutoring journey by emailing me at [email protected] 🙂