Monday, March 7, 2011

Newsflash: Business School Applicants Do Not Own Macs, According To The GMAC

This weekend, I received my official enrollment materials in the mail for the GMAT, including their Information Bulletin and the GMATPrep CD. It feels... official! Unfortunately, the CD is not compatible with my MacBook Pro, and likewise for the online software download, so I'm going to have to have to either dig my old Dell laptop out of the back of my closet, or bring home my work laptop.

I've also been doing a bit of reading on GMAT prep, which is having me re-think my preliminary study ideas. On Stacy Blackman Consulting, two hours of studying is recommended for each desired score point increase. Beat The GMAT has a 60-day study plan which entails two to four hours per day for two months straight. Over at GMAT Club, the basic study plan for novices includes two to five hours per day, for three months!

So, how much is really enough?


  1. Hi Courtney:

    I would say 2-3 months of studying is realistic depending on how much time each day you can devote to studying. Personally, I took eight weeks to study, and was studying 2-3 hours a day during the week, plus 4-6 hours a day on the weekends. I also took a vacation in the middle, which I spent almost entirely on GMAT study. It all depends on how much you want to improve your score. I would highly recommend the Manhattan GMAT online course. Good Luck!


  2. I agree with runnergirl--2 to 3 months is really the sweet spot in terms of time to prepare. But the trick is staying disciplined and making sure you do at least a little prep every day. It's like training for a marathon--consistent practice and work will take you far!

  3. Courtney,

    Are you familiar with I'm John Byrne, the editor. Could you email me at


  4. Can't you install the software with Boot Camp or Parallels or something like that?

    Oh and good luck with your GMATs! I actually found your blog while researching whether to buy a Macbook Pro for b-school this year. :)

    Alex (eskimoroll)

  5. I'm very upset that b-schools haven't hopped on the MacWagon yet...

  6. Hi there.

    I'm also a 2012 applicant. I just started a blog.

    I was wondering if we could cross-link our blogs?

    I already added a link to your blog on mine -->

    Thanks in advance!

  7. Hi Courtney,

    My name is Brent Hanneson and I’m a GMAT instructor who has created GMAT preparation resources for Magoosh and Beat The GMAT. I also post regularly on Beat The GMAT.

    I recently launched a video-based GMAT prep course at, and I’m wondering if you’d be interested in reviewing my course on your blog. In return, I’d be happy to offer you and some of your community members free accounts.

    Best regards,

  8. I typically recommend 2 months of prep and keep the last month open-ended (based on your GMATPrep test scores). Usually students take around 3 months, using the last month to focus on ironing out very specific flaws.


  9. I too was bummed that the GMAC materials weren't compatible with my Mac. I just used my PC laptop for those practice exams.
    As for how long to study for the test, I'd say 3 months should be sufficient if you are already scoring 600+ on practice tests. If you use the right materials from the start and have a well thought out study plan you should see progress quickly.