Planning for the GMAT

When it comes to studying for the GMAT neither magic formulae nor tricks work— planning and preparation are the keys to a top score. Success on the GMAT is all about putting in the time, effort and dedication required to ace the test. If you stick to your goals and study plan, you can get the score you aim for. Think of your GMAT prep as a prelude to your B-School – an intense and focused experience that needs priority!

Understand GMAT fundamentals

Before you decide on an approach to prepare for the GMAT, take time out to understand the details of the exam. You need to review the topics and question types that are tested, understand computer adaptive testing, and know the exam guidelines and requirements.

Set a target score

Setting a target score will motivate and keep you focused throughout your preparation. Review B-Schools and set a target based on their GMAT score requirements. Take a diagnostic test to see how much work you need to put in to achieve your target GMAT score.

Assess your learning style

Introspect your personal learning style – if you can put in the long hours required and prepare your own study plans then self- preparation, an online course, or access to reliable test preparation books and tests is a safe bet for you. Choose a GMAT prep course if you prefer structures classes or in-person sessions, have been out of a learning environment for some time, or require guidance and mentoring. Look at provenance of teachers, online resources, and quality of content while taking a decision to join a prep course.

Take out time

Preparing for the GMAT takes time –one of the most limited resources at your disposal. Think about how much time you have to prepare for the GMAT, not just how many months you’ll study, but how much time you can set aside per week to prep for the GMAT. Stick to the commitment you’ve made to your GMAT prep else you will find yourself procrastinating.

Constantly review your GMAT study plan

Regardless of the method you use to study for the GMAT, you must constantly review your study plan, play on your strengths and work on your challenges. Know the concepts and how they are tested on the GMAT. You’ll be surprised to know how some of most tricky questions on the GMAT actually test very basic fundamentals. Assess your GMAT progress at regular intervals and amend your plan regularly.

Simulated tests and test reviews

Take simulated tests and do not be tempted to skip the AWA and/or the IR section. The GMAT is a test of mental and physical endurance and unless you take full-length tests you will not be ready for the real test experience. Test reviews are also critical to improving scores; consistency is the key to high scores and you need to pay particular focus to time management during the test.

Have a positive mindset

Test-day pressures will only get in your way. Strong GMAT test takers take the exam with a positive approach - they believe they are prepared and have confidence in their abilities. Remember the GMAT is not an indication of your ability rather it’s a reflection of how well you took the test!

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