How to Prepare for the GMAT | Exam Easy Self-Study Plan


Going ahead and preparing for the GMAT by yourself may seem a bit of a tall order, but with the right self-study plan, you’re well on your way to good results. Regardless of whether you have a busy routine or you need a guided study plan, developing a specific GMAT preparation strategy is key at this point. This guide will take you through practical and simple to-do steps that will lead to more time efficiency which will in turn boost your confidence ahead of test day.

Understanding the GMAT Exam

Acing the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is one of the most important components for those who are looking to get into the premier B schools. To begin with, understanding the ins and outs of the exam structure and process is paramount. Unfortunately, we won’t go into those details in this article. But lucky for you, we have got it covered. Please refer to our other blogs to learn everything you wanted to know about the GMAT exam but were too afraid to ask on account of being mistaken for a simpleton. 

Benefits of Self-Study

Certainly, self-study has a lot of advantages, otherwise you’d not have stumbled into this article. It offers numerous upsides depending on your circumstances, learning style, and career goals. The flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and ability to customize your learning process are just a few benefits that make self-study a compelling option for many candidates.


One major advantage of self-preparing for the GMAT is the flexibility it offers. You have the freedom to plan your study schedule around your activities without being restricted by set class schedules. Whether you prefer mornings or evenings you can customize your study sessions to align with when you feel most focused and efficient. This adaptability also enables you to modify the length and frequency of your study sessions depending on your understanding of the content and other personal obligations.


Studying for the GMAT independently usually costs less, than signing up for preparation classes. Even though top-notch study materials have a price tag they are typically a one-time purchase. Additionally, there are plenty of no-cost or affordable resources on the internet such as practice exams, question collections, and tutorial videos. Opting for self-directed study allows you to cut down on costs while still maintaining the effectiveness of your preparation.


Studying on your own also has the benefit of being tailored to your needs. You can dedicate time to the areas that require practice while breezing through or spending less time, on topics you already excel in. This individualized method is usually not possible, in a formal classroom setting. By evaluating how you perform on practice exams you can consistently tweak your study schedule to concentrate on enhancing your areas ultimately enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of your preparation.

Creating Your Study Schedule

Creating GMAT Study Schedule

Setting Realistic Goals

To begin your GMAT prep you need to establish practical, well-articulated objectives. Evaluating your current circumstances is very key – think about where you are starting from in terms of score, where you want to be when it comes time for the test, and how much time you have left until then. One of the best ways to stay motivated is by setting a goal that you can achieve which also gives an ending point to work towards. Like if your initial mock test score is 500 and your target is 700 then plan incremental improvements that will see a reasonable increase every month.

Prioritizing Weak Areas

If you identify and concentrate on your weak sides, your performance in the GMAT will improve significantly. First, take a practice test to establish areas of weakness and strength. In areas where you score low, try going through concepts again and solving more questions. For instance, if you discover that you have difficulties with quantitative problems, allocate extra hours weekly for this section. So by focusing on what really needs improvement, this strategy will ensure that your study time is well utilized for maximum effect.

Allocating Study Time

Spreading your time out effectively is key to keeping a balanced approach. Divide your time wisely between learning content, reviewing time, and taking practice tests. Make a weekly schedule so you know when you are planning to study math each week when you are studying verbal, and when you are reviewing. Studying frequently, but shortly, is generally better than studying for too long and too infrequently. Not only does this help with knowledge retention, but you tend to be more engaged that way too.

Study Tips for GMAT Preparation

Practice Regularly

When it comes to GMAT test prep, consistency is key. So just like you would train for a marathon, make it a point to practice every day. The more you practice, the more GMAT question formats you become comfortable with. Besides, you get the hang of the GMAT format to feel at home. Doing timed drills helps tackle these questions correctly and quickly and also improves your pacing. This way, you gradually build up your test-taking stamina and can be well-prepared for the real test-taking pressure on the big day.

Utilize trusted GMAT Prep Materials

There is a plethora of study material available online and offline by these supposedly GMAT experts. And if you are new to the GMAT preparation, it can be tiresome to figure out what is worth subscribing to and what should be discarded as junk. By the time you get your head around it, you might have wasted a lot of time. So, when it comes to an effective and efficient GMAT preparation strategy, rely only on trusted resources such as official GMAT material, The Princeton Review study material, etc. These materials are made by the test makers and they represent the closest possible real exam questions. For example, the Official Guide for GMAT Review contains a question bank of hundreds of old exams, along with answer keys and explanations as well as test-taking strategies. By incorporating the study of this type of material, you certainly use the best resources possible to practice.

Take Mock Tests

Full-length mock tests are a key component of comprehensive GMAT test prep. You need to be familiar with the test environment to be able to physically handle the testing rigor calmly and effectively. Tests also give you an idea about where you stand and allow you to assess the effectiveness of your preparation strategy. Try to take one mock test every 2 weeks. Upon completing mock tests, score yourself and understand the areas in which you didn’t do well. Then, refine your preparation strategy for the future. With systematic planning and dedication, you can also create a solid plan and achieve high GMAT scores. Please note that GMAT success is a function of not just your knowledge but also your strategic execution and regular practice.

Staying Motivated Throughout Your Preparation

Staying Motivated Throughout GMAT Preparation

Preparing for the GMAT exam can be taxing and tedious. Thus, it is important to find the source of your motivation during the weeks or even months of preparation for your exams. These approaches will not only lift your spirits but help keep you on course for a better future.

Rewarding Yourself

Don’t shy away from patting yourself on the back for achieving small, albeit important, goals. Simple things such as taking a day off, watching a movie, or treating yourself to your favorite meal can go a long way in keeping up your motivation levels. Not only does setting up a reward system make the preparation journey fun but also it pushes you to reach the set goals.

Joining Study Groups

Join a study group. As a team of people studying the same material, you all can pool knowledge and offer moral support when the going gets tough. You can likely find study groups through local educational centers, libraries, or online via MeetUp or Facebook groups. These connections might also help with networking, which has an impact after you have taken and passed your exam.

Tracking Your Progress

You won’t have a problem staying motivated if you are actually making progress but to make progress, you need to know where you stand. This is why you need to keep track of what you study and what your score in your practice exams actually is. This will help you see how far you have come and what areas you need to focus on. Besides, you will also be able to see when you need to change your study plan. To do this, you can create a chart showing what you study and how good your practice exams are or you could create a spreadsheet.

Final Preparation Strategies

As D-Day approaches, shift your entire attention toward tightening the loose ends. Go over everything, revise, and review your progress. Concentrate on targeted practice sessions. Make use of mnemonic devices such as mind mapping, flashcards, etc. for easier memorization, and most importantly always take timed practice tests.

When it comes to the actual Test day, make sure that you pack essentials early, only review key points, arrive on time, and stay calm and positive.


Making a self-study plan for the GMAT is a huge responsibility. Nevertheless, it is possible to complete it through the proper strategy. Create a “timetable” of preparation, stick to trusted study material and resources, and regularly take tests. Do not forget about intermediate self-checks to adjust the course. Such an approach will significantly boost your self-confidence and comfort on the exam day and eventually lead to your best result on the GMAT. Good luck!

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Is it possible to prepare for GMAT by myself?

Certainly! Many test takers have done exceedingly well whilst preparing on their own. There is no reason why you can’t. Having said that, you will need the right mix of strategy, motivation, and resources.

Why should I consider a self-study plan for the GMAT?

Self-study offers a lot of benefits. Firstly, it is cost-effective. Secondly, it offers a lot of flexibility. And most importantly, you can customize the GMAT prep to suit your needs.

Should I incorporate breaks into my study plan?

Yes, you must incorporate breaks to avoid burnout. Remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint.

How can I stay motivated during self-study?

Set realistic achievable goals. Set up a reward system. Whenever you hit a milestone, treat yourself. 

How do I go about my self-study plan for the GMAT exam?

Begin by familiarizing yourself with the exam format and content. Then, set specific goals, allocate study time each day/week, and create a study schedule. Break down topics into manageable chunks and incorporate regular practice tests.

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