How to Prepare For Gmat

If you have decided to apply to graduate business schools, the GMAT would certainly be on your mind. It is completely alright to be nervous about this important step in the application process. However, you can reduce your anxiety by approaching the GMAT with a solid plan and strictly adhering to it.

Numerous resources and practice tests are readily available in online and textbook formats. But where do you start, and how do you get the most of the learning process? The following guide on how to prepare for GMAT answers these queries, along with giving you an insight on what to expect on the test.

How to Prepare for GMAT

Before you begin preparing for the GMAT, it is important to have an overall plan. Let’s take a look at what you need to do in order to ace this test.

Know the Exam Structure

It is important to be comfortable with the structure of the exam before you attempt it. The GMAT has four sections:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning

The entire test would take around 3.5 hours to complete, including two breaks. You will not be able to skip, change or return to previous answers. The computer uses your response to one question to determine what the next question will be.

Take a Diagnostic GMAT Test

Taking a diagnostic test will help you understand where you stand without any preparation. Complete a full-length and realistic practice test to find out your scores on the Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning and Verbal sections. This test will also give you information on your strengths and weaknesses, time management skills and familiarity with the format. Make sure you take this test in conditions as close to exam day conditions as possible, with no distractions or interruptions. Spend a good hour or two reviewing the test in detail once you have cross-checked the answers.

Register for the Test

Based on your diagnostic test’s scores, you will be able to determine how long you need before the test to prepare. Make sure you choose a registration date that covers your study plans and gives you plenty of time to practice. A good amount of time could be 3 months before the exam, though it all depends on how much time you can dedicate to the preparation and how much time you have before college admissions start closing. Also make sure that you give yourself time to re-take the test, in case you do not score well in the first attempt.

Create a Study Plan

Planning your study schedule is an integral part of the process. This will help you ensure that you do not waste any of your time. Set your target goal in accordance with the average GMAT scores for top business schools and create a study plan that you believe will help you achieve the target score. Create a study schedule that is reasonable and works well according to your personal commitments. Think about how much time you can dedicate to studying and practicing.

Get the Right Study Materials

The market is saturated with GMAT preparatory materials – from online courses to personal tutors and prep apps. You ought to know where to invest your time and money and what kind of learning outcomes to expect. Pick the study materials that work best with the way you study. For instance, if you are good with learning through traditional textbooks, you should purchase one. If you are not sure what would work for you, try a few free online resources before you consider purchasing anything.

Find the Right Study Environment

Look for an environment that is conducive to studying. This would typically be a quiet place, without distractions. You can spend hundreds of hours in practice and not learn a thing if you are unable to concentrate. Turn off your phone and all forms of social media to fully devout time to the preparation.

Practice. Practice. And more Practice

This is the most important part of the preparation process. Try and get as much practice as you can. This will help you understand how one topic can be tested in so many different ways. The more you practice, the more you will be able to identify and correct your weaknesses. Don’t get discouraged by wrong answers on practice questions. Spend sufficient time reviewing your answers and where you went wrong. The review process is as important as the attempting process.

Work on Your Weak Areas

A lot of practice will help you identify your major weak areas. Once you know where you are lacking, you should go back to the textbooks and review the concepts you are getting wrong. Take help from a study partner if you need to, but make sure you overcome all your weaknesses. Look for patterns of question that you are having trouble with. For instance, you may be great with algebra, but might be having trouble remembering the formulas. Focus on these areas first to see the maximum score improvement.

Simulate Test-Day Experience

Do as many test simulations as your schedule allows. It would be ideal to do this near the exam date so that you can get comfortable with the format and time management. Try and attempt full tests in a quiet place with no distractions. It is important to take an entire test in one sitting, so you know how to cope with sitting in front of a computer for 3.5 hours straight.

Be Prepared for the Test Day

The entire preparation process can be rendered useless if you are not prepared for the test day. Following are a few tips to make sure you bring your A-game to the test center.

  • Get a good night’s sleep for at least a week before the exam
  • Don’t study on the last night, since last minute cramming can do no good
  • Have a fulfilling and high-energy breakfast
  • Make sure all your identification documents are in place
  • Have your car gas filled up the day before to avoid any trouble
  • Make sure you are aware of the test center rules
  • Take a snack with you for an energy boost during the designated snack breaks
  • Be sure to grab an extra jacket in case the testing center gets too cold

Post Your Comments

* All Fields are Required