Hey!! Now that you have decided to pursue MBA, let’s prep you for the GMAT exam, which is an essential step in determining your dream business school.
What is the structure of the GMAT? What am I going to face as questions? What is the GMAT Exam Syllabus? What is the time I have for the total number of questions? What are the skills I need? These questions need answers to even start your GMAT Preparation.
The GMAT is a 3 hours + exam! So if one has to write the GMAT, one has to know the question types, the number of questions, the type of test GMAT is, and what the test actually assesses.
The GMAT is a computer adaptive test in which your performance in every question will determine the level of difficulty of the questions coming ahead.
The GMAT tests your analytical skills, comprehension skills, reasoning skills, and quantitative skills, and the way you use these skills in the questions helps GMAC assess how well you execute the MBA program.
There are four sections that separately test the above skills, namely the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment, GMAT Integrated Reasoning, GMAT Quantitative Reasoning, and GMAT Verbal Reasoning. Last but not the least, your efficiency with time management is of utmost importance.
To have an entire overview of the structure of GMAT, the Official GMAT website must be checked out.
With at least 2 to 3 months in hand, your next step should be to join a GMAT course for your GMAT preparation, be it a GMAT online prep course or a physical one. You are certainly recommended that the fundamentals of the GMAT Verbal Reasoning and GMAT Quant could be covered in no other prep course than in the Princeton Review’s GMAT Course’s study kit that comprises an In-Class Manual for the strategies, approaches, and techniques to master in order to beat the GMAT and a Verbal and Quantitative Review book to get the basics of Math and Verbal rules straight.
The step-by-step approach to each type of question in the Princeton Review Course Manual and Review books, be it in Math or Verbal, helps understand the strategies better and gives the base for GMAT preparation.
The Princeton Review GMAT Online course and Classroom programs give a detailed explanation of the variants according to student needs. Every student is also given a portal that has 10 full-length GMAT mock tests to practice on, over 400 drills for a better understanding of the strategies, and a separate collection of 10 Integrated Reasoning drills too.
How many hours to invest in your GMAT Prep is worth considering and is of significance too. After the course is done you need at least a month or two to recall and practice the strategies and techniques. Also, you have to allot specific times for Math and Verbal. Do not ever think of working on only one of the two. Remember, it’s a composite score that you get on the GMAT. So no taking chances.
You have to practice on material and you have to give GMAT mock tests regularly. Not only this, but you also need to exclusively give time for test analysis.
You could download the study planner from the Official Website too for two months’ preparation.
It is the GMAT Official guide that contains questions most akin to the actual GMAT ones. That makes it a very essential resource for GMAT preparation. The questions in the OG are divided according to easy, medium, and hard questions. Also, explanations provided at the end of each type of question are a huge help in understanding the concepts unknown to you. The passages of the Reading Comprehension each have around 7-8 questions giving you practice in the various types of questions that may be asked of passages.
There is a full-length GMAT mock test also available to check your pacing and understanding of the test.
The OG also has a list of AWA essay prompts along with a sample essay to assist in grasping the template to be followed and key points to keep in mind while writing out the essay.
An overview of the Integrated Reasoning section is also included in the content. All test-taking strategies of the different question types are explained.
Apart from the OG, you can have access to 2 free GMAT prep tests once you create an account with mba.com.
These tests are to be used as practice when you are close to the actual GMAT test date. Taking this test under the actual test-taking conditions will prepare you better for D-Day. Your performance on these tests will help determine the average score you can expect on the real test. This means that the laminated note board that you avail of in the real test should also be used while taking these tests. Using the note board for the first time on the real GMAT may slow down things as you are not used to either the surface of the marker.
Finally, remember that these GMAT mock tests should be taken only after a lot of practice mock tests have bettered your Quant and Verbal skills to a great extent already.
You also have 2 more sets of Prep Tests from the official website that can be bought to maximize your performance.
We always tend to learn better with discussions. GMAT forums such as GMAT Club or Beat the GMAT enhance your grasp of concepts and techniques. The sharing of test-taking experiences and other subtle nuances of solving questions in different ways paves the way for expanding your knowledge in the content for Math and Verbal and also builds your confidence for the real test. You have to be interactive in the forum to gain immensely from it.
Error logs can be a great resource to prep for the GMAT. For each practice test that you take, your analysis should reveal the reasons for the errors made. This will automatically trigger your focus areas and hence improve your performance in the subsequent tests.
The errors have to be categorized according to concept errors, careless errors, time pressure errors, application errors, and lastly errors due to miscomprehension. A ready reckoner, this error log becomes a great contributor to boost your scores.
Equipped and armed with all the above as resources, you can’t but attain a great GMAT score!
All The Best!!
Ques.1 Will I be able to self-prep and reach a decent score of 650 with just the study material from The Princeton Review?
You should be able to, provided you use the material effectively. Joining a course, either a 1 on 1 or a batch will set the basics right and help in using the material and drills to better performance and improve scores.
Ques.2 Aren’t just the Official Guide and the Prep tests enough for preparing for GMAT?
It won’t be sufficient because just practicing on the Official guide questions will not set your pacing and difficulty level appropriately. You need to practice with more full-length tests to get a consistent score. Subsequently, the prep tests will help score as expected. Practice via full-length tests is important.
Ques.3 Are questions in the Official Guide similar to questions I will see in the actual test?
Yes. The questions in the Official Guide are like question banks for any competitive exam that constructs questions that are samples to those that feature in the real test.
Ques.4 Will scoring a 700 + in the prep test assure a 700+ in the real test?
90 % of the time, the answer to this is in the affirmative, but you need to maintain real test-like conditions when you take the prep tests-with breaks, timed, and at a single stretch, even paying attention to the test-taking time.
Ques.5 Why should I use the note board for Verbal? How will that help as a resource?
The use of scratch paper helps in organizing your thought process. You are able to confidently eliminate the wrong answers and effectively, you get closer to the right answer in minutes. When you actually analyze your tests, you are easily able to spot the type of errors you made and that helps reduce errors in subsequent tests. Rather than staring at the screen, you can park your thoughts via scratch paper.
Ques.6 Will 2 months of preparation be enough to take the real test?
Ideally, with time and hard work in hand, 2 months should be enough to take your real test. But before this, you should have to had a good round of revision of the concepts tested on the GMAT, rules, and formulae, and approaches to various types of questions. After this, it’s just practicing with mock tests and test analyses that will prepare you for the actual test.
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