While researching business school admissions requirements and strategising your application process, it is crucial to consider the preparation for the GMAT exam. Achieving a high GMAT score will distinguish you during the admissions process and potentially open doors to scholarships that can assist with the cost of your degree.
Although preparing for the GMAT may initially seem intimidating, be reassured that with a well-structured study plan, a strategic approach to test preparation, and the guidance of our knowledgeable GMAT study tips, you can position yourself for success and attain your optimal score.
Advance your objectives in business school by implementing these valuable study tips.
Create an Early GMAT Study Plan
When aiming for an MBA or business master's program, it's crucial to consider the multiple components of the application process, such as essays, letters of recommendation and resumes. To avoid the challenge of juggling these tasks alongside GMAT preparation, it is recommended to establish a GMAT study plan early on. Did you know you can effectively prepare for the GMAT exam in eight weeks? The Official GMAT Exam 8-Week Study Planner, provided by the makers of the GMAT exam, offers a free resource that outlines goals, tools, and tips to help you work towards your business school aspirations within a two-month timeframe.
Familiarise Yourself with the Test Sections
Before formulating your study plan, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the structure of the GMAT exam. The exam consists of four main sections:
- Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): This section evaluates your critical thinking skills and ability to communicate ideas effectively.
- Integrated Reasoning (IR): The IR section assesses your capacity to analyse data and interpret information in various formats.
- Quantitative Reasoning (Quant): In the Quant section, your mathematical reasoning, problem-solving abilities, and interpretation of graphical data are tested.
- Verbal Reasoning (Verbal): The Verbal section examines your reading comprehension, editing skills, and capability to comprehend written arguments.
Use the free GMAT Official Starter Kit + Practice Exams 1 & 2 to familiarise yourself with the test format and these different sections. These practice exams mirror the actual exam format, progressively increasing in difficulty and providing an accurate simulation of what you will encounter on test day.
Carefully Select Your GMAT Prep Materials
When it comes to test preparation resources, the options are abundant. However, exercising caution and choosing wisely is essential, as not all resources are equal. We highly recommend utilising GMAT Official prep materials for the most effective and realistic preparation experience. Developed by the creators of the GMAT exam, these materials utilise the same scoring algorithm as the actual test and include authentic questions from past exams. Using these materials can best simulate the real test-taking experience and ensure you are adequately prepared.
Identify and Address Your GMAT Weaknesses
Understanding your areas of weakness is crucial for devising an effective overall preparation strategy. We suggest utilising the GMAT Official Guide Series to assess your abilities and identify weak areas. Analyse your results meticulously and create a customised study plan that specifically targets those areas where you need to improve your skills to achieve your desired goals. It is essential to be realistic with yourself during this process. Scoring 700 or higher on the GMAT may be feasible for some. By taking the GMAT Mini Quiz, you can obtain an instant estimated score range and better understand what is realistically achievable.
Manage Your Time Effectively during GMAT Prep
Since time is limited during the GMAT exam, mastering time management is crucial for success. If you anticipate that the Verbal section will be particularly challenging, focus on refining your verbal skills and learning to execute them swiftly. Once you have practised enough and have a solid grasp of the concepts, start incorporating time tracking into your study sessions. This will enable you to train yourself to solve problems efficiently within the given time constraints. Adding Practice Exams 3 & 4 to your preparation after completing the free exams 1 & 2 will enhance your pacing skills further. (From Mba.com) You can better align your timing strategies and optimise your performance by scoring and pacing yourself against the same algorithm used on the actual exam day.
Avoid Getting Stuck on GMAT Questions
It's important to remember that there is a penalty for failing to complete each section of the GMAT exam, and leaving questions unanswered can result in a potential decrease in your score. Instead of fixating on answering every question ideally, prioritise sticking to a well-defined pacing strategy. Limit yourself to up to two and a half minutes per question. If you struggle with a particular question, make a strategic guess and move forward. This brings us to our next point.
Utilise the Process of Elimination on the GMAT Exam
Save valuable time when faced with questions where you are unsure of the correct answer. Instead, employ a process of elimination to eliminate the incorrect options and increase your chances of selecting the correct answer. Focus on identifying the best choices and swiftly move on to the next question. If you run out of time, despite your best efforts to pace yourself, devise a thoughtful "guessing strategy" to minimise unnecessary deductions from your GMAT score.
Develop Visual Literacy Skills during GMAT Preparation
Mastering visual literacy, which involves the ability to interpret symbols, charts, and tables, can significantly enhance your efficiency during the GMAT exam. Visual data is commonly presented in the GMAT, making comprehending and analysing such information a critical skill quickly. You may encounter non-standard mathematical notations or problem-specific symbols in the Quant section of the exam. Hence, feeling comfortable with visual representations and remaining composed is crucial.
Enhance Mental Math Skills in Your Study Plan
Solid mental math abilities are valuable for saving time during the GMAT Quantitative section. While practising, resist the temptation to rely on a calculator for every calculation. Instead, challenge yourself to perform calculations mentally. Remember, you won't have access to a calculator during the actual GMAT exam, so honing your mental math skills is essential for success.
These additional tips for your GMAT preparation can enhance your performance and boost your overall score. Remember, avoiding time-consuming traps, utilising effective strategies, and developing essential skills like visual literacy and mental math are vital components of a successful GMAT experience.
FAQs on Study Tips for GMAT Preparation
How early should I start preparing for the GMAT exam?
It is recommended to prepare for the GMAT exam as early as possible. Consider allowing yourself several months to study and become familiar with the content and format of the exam. This will give you ample time to develop a comprehensive study plan and address any areas of weakness.
Are there any free resources available for GMAT preparation?
Yes, there are several free resources available for GMAT preparation. The GMAT Official website offers the Official GMAT Exam 8-Week Study Planner, which provides goals, tools, and tips to help you prepare for the exam in as little as two months. Additionally, you can access the GMAT Official Starter Kit, which includes practice exams that mirror the actual exam format.
How can I identify my weaknesses in GMAT preparation?
Utilising the GMAT Official Guide Series to identify your weaknesses in GMAT preparation is recommended. These resources provide practice questions and exams that can help gauge your abilities and pinpoint areas where you need improvement. Analyse your results and use this information to create a customised study plan to target your weak areas.
What is the recommended pacing strategy for the GMAT exam?
A recommended pacing strategy for the GMAT exam is allocating appropriate time to each section. Spending at most two and a half minutes on any question is advisable. Adhering to a pacing strategy ensures enough time to complete each section and minimises the risk of leaving questions unanswered.
Should I guess on questions I need clarification on during the GMAT exam?
Yes, making strategic guesses on questions you need clarification on during the GMAT exam is advisable. Leaving questions unanswered can result in a penalty, potentially lowering your score. Utilise the process of elimination to rule out incorrect answer choices and increase your chances of selecting the right option. A well-thought-out guessing strategy can help mitigate score deductions.
Is a calculator allowed during the GMAT exam?
No, a calculator is not permitted during the GMAT exam. The Quantitative section of the exam requires mental math skills to solve mathematical problems. Practising and improving your mental math abilities is crucial to perform calculations efficiently and accurately during the exam.
These frequently asked questions provide valuable insights into practical study tips for GMAT preparation. By understanding these key points, you can enhance your preparation strategy and increase your chances of achieving a favourable score on the GMAT exam.