However, it's not always the case that you will have 2-3 months free to study for the GMAT. We're all busy people and conflicts happen can happen. So what's the best way to prepare for the GMAT when you have under 1 month to study?
If you are a person who doesn't have much time, don't worry--I am convinced that you can still sufficiently prepare for this test. You only need to do two things:
- Study the Official Guide books
- Take as many practice tests as you can
One epiphany that I had while studying for the GMAT was that the same question patterns are tested over and over again. When I actually took the GMAT myself, it almost felt like I was cheating because I was able to recognize so many questions from my OG practice--with a number or word changed here or there. You should practice only with OG when you are on a time crunch because OG is the only GMAT prep book that features actual (but retired) GMAT questions. By studying OG carefully, you will be able to pick up on the question and concept patterns featured on the test, and you will be prepared.
With a time constraint of one month to study, I would suggest studying OG like crazy during the weekdays and doing as many practice exams as you can during the weekends--perhaps 2 or 3 tests each weekend. Picking up question patterns from OG is one thing, but applying your knowledge to the test is another. Be sure to take your practice tests under simulated conditions and also carefully review the answers after each test. I would purchase the Kaplan GMAT and Princeton Review GMAT books--they have some decent practice tests. [Warning: Kaplan tends to underinflate your practice test score by 50-100 points. Don't be fooled!] On your last weekend prior to your test, use the GMATPrep software for your practice tests. GMATPrep is a free software you can download from MBA.com (and I think it also comes with OG), which exactly simulates the real GMAT exam (user interface, and actual retired GMAT questions). GMATPrep will be the best guage to determine how you will perform on the real exam.
In conclusion, try your best to devote 2-3 months preparing for your GMAT--use my blog (https://beatthegmat.blogspot.com) to get ideas on how to structure your preparation. However, if you have only a month to spare, focus on OG and practice tests. You can still do a great job preparing for the GMAT under a time crunch.
Best of luck!