Aprant AgarwalStudy Abroad Expert
GMAT Preparation: Preparing for GMAT isn’t as impossible of a task as it is made out to be. All you need is focus and clarity of action. You can choose to study on your own or you can join a coaching centre. Both these methods work perfectly fine, it all depends on your priorities. In this article, we will inform you how to prepare for GMAT comprehensively. To choose the best method how to prepare for the GMAT you first need to look at your criteria and decide accordingly. To be able to study on your own effectively, you need good GMAT books and resources, along with study material, motivation, and self-discipline. If time is a constraint and one needs professional guidance to ensure a competitive edge in GMAT exam preparation, then joining a coaching centre for GMAT is the better option.
Top 10 Study Tips to Prepare for the GMAT Exam 2023
Make sure to understand the GMAT pattern and the GMAT syllabus. Once you have understood how the exam works, you need to refer to authentic GMAT study material and prepare a study plan. Those who are going to give the GMAT exam in 2023 can go through these top 10 GMAT preparation tips.
1. Learn about the GMAT sections
Before making a study plan you should be well-versed in the structure of the GMAT exam.
The GMAT includes four sections:
- Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA section): it measures your ability to think critically and communicate your ideas.
- Integrated Reasoning (IR section): evaluates the test-taker's ability to analyze data and interpret information displayed in different formats.
- Quantitative Reasoning (Quant section): evaluates the test-taker's ability to solve quantitative problems, reason mathematically, and interpret graphic data.
- Verbal Reasoning (Verbal section): it measures your editing abilities, reading comprehension skills, and whether you can make sense of written arguments.
GMAT is scored in the 200-800 range. This score includes only the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections. Integrated Reasoning is scored out of 8, whereas, AWA is scored out of 6.
2. Make a study plan before starting the preparation
Having a GMAT study plan early will help you chalk out a clear path for the GMAT preparation. Mostly, students prepare a 12-week study plan that helps them in knowing the tips and tricks needed to achieve their business school goals. Typically, students spend around 3-6 months for the GMAT preparation. Here is a tip: before you decide how much time is required for the GMAT preparation, appear for a GMAT mock test. Depending on the score that you get in that mock test, you can decide the time you need to prepare for the GMAT.
3. Select GMAT prep material
Gather GMAT prep material online and offline. There are a lot of online GMAT prep materials that you can use to prepare for the GMAT test. You can also look at the GMAT official prep material. Select the material that has a similar scoring algorithm as the GMAT. Also, solve questions from past exams. Here is an overview of the GMAT preparation books:
- GMAT official study material
- Manhattan GMAT Guides
- Other resources from Veritas, Magoosh, Kaplan, etc.
- GMAT Club and Beat the GMAT forums
- Thursdays with Ron videos
4. Work on your weaknesses
First, identify your weak areas and then focus on overcoming them with regular practice. Out of the four sections, our sub-sections within them check out the areas where you need improvement and give all your attention to strengthening your skills.
5. Don't stick to one question
There will be a penalty if you don't complete each section of the exam. Also, unanswered questions will decrease your score. Don't spend too much time on solving a single tricky question and rather give limited time to each question. Do not spend more than two and a half minutes on one question.
6. Focus on the time limit while preparing for the GMAT
With limited time, developing your speed is of utmost importance. Focus more on the area which is taking too much of your time. Like if you are taking too much time on the Quantitative section then work on improving your quants skills. Solve the GMAT practice exam every day and develop your speed.
7. Use an elimination strategy
Don't spend too much time on a particular question that you cannot solve. Do not get obsessed with giving the right answers. Whenever stuck with a tricky question just mark the one which is nearest to the correct answer and move on to the next question.
8. Improve visual literacy while preparing for the GMAT
Learn to read charts, symbols, tables, and graphs to increase your efficiency. GMAT exams have visual data questions, so, learning this skill will help you in better time management as well. This will help you in solving the GMAT Quant section.
9. Develop the right kind of skills
As it is a limited-time test, develop skills that will come in handy while giving the test. Find your weak area and work on it, so, it will not affect your performance on the entire exam.
10. Practice as much as you can
Practice more and more! As they say, practice makes a man perfect, you need to apply this while preparing for the exam and once you are complete with your preparation go for the free GMAT sample papers. It will help you in finding how well you are prepared for the test.
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GMAT 2023 Study Material
If you take the route of self-study to prepare for GMAT, there are the best books for GMAT 2023 preparation along with study materials and GMAT study plans available to help you. GMAC has its own official study guide and free software. Refer to the following GMAT 2023 books and resources to help create a study plan:
- The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 2022 – This exam guide includes more than 900 questions from past GMAT exams, a diagnostic section to help you assess where to focus your efforts, and invaluable test-taking tips and strategies to help you get the score you want.
- Free GMATPrep Software – This software includes ninety free questions – 30 Quantitative, 45 Verbal, and 15 Integrated Reasoning – with answers and explanations, tools to create your own practice question set, two full-length practice tests with answers, etc.
- Manhattan GMAT Strategy Guides - This set includes: GMAT Roadmap; Fractions, Decimals, and percents; Algebra; Word Problems; Geometry; Number Properties; Critical Reasoning; Reading Comprehension; Sentence Correction; Integrated Reasoning & Essay.
- Kaplan GMAT 800: Advanced Prep for Advanced Students - Tips for test-taking, proven strategies for getting a perfect score of 800, and focused guidelines for tackling each question type all combine for the ideal preparation tool for the most ambitious student.
- Other Resources from Veritas, Magoosh, etc.
- GMAT Club and Beat the GMAT forums.
- Thursdays with Ron videos.
Section-wise Preparation Tips for GMAT 2023 Exam
Learn how to prepare for the GMAT and go through the GMAT exam preparation tips section-wise. Learn about the GMAT exam pattern and syllabus and plan your routine strategically covering topic by topic. Making slow progress but continuous efforts will help you achieve a GMAT score of 700 or above.
GMAT Preparation Tips: Integrated Reasoning Section
- This section includes 12 questions with a time of 30 minutes. Ideally, a test taker should complete the section in 25 minutes and keep the last 5 minutes for revising and also keep an eye on unsolved questions if any.
- Make sure to cover every topic whether, graphics interpretation or table analysis, so, you can attempt the GMAT test confidently.
- Go through the books and study material to prepare for the test.
GMAT Preparation Tips: Quantitative Section
- This section includes 31 questions and a time limit of 62 minutes.
- Cover questions related to Data Sufficiency and Problem-solving while practising.
- Memorizing the mathematical formulas used in these topics will help in increasing the speed.
- Practice both easy and tricky questions to cover the entire GMAT syllabus.
GMAT Preparation Tips: Verbal Section
- A total of 65 minutes are allotted for the Verbal Section of the GMAT test during which you need to solve 36 questions
- This section tests your English language skills and usage. For the Verbal section enhance your grammar with grammar books and read newspaper editorials.
- The section will have questions from various topics like reading passages, critical reasoning and idioms, synonyms-antonyms, sentence correction, and subject-verb agreement.
- Cover all these topics while preparing and using different guide books as this section will also test your reasoning and analytical skills.
GMAT Preparation Tips: Analytical Writing Assessment
- A total of 30 minutes are allotted to the Analytical Writing Section
- Try to wrap up the writing assignment in 25 minutes and spare the last 5 minutes for revising the written content
- Develop the habit of reading and try to read topics from different areas
- Read newspapers that will be of great help to prepare for the Writing section
- Read articles that argue on relevant topics and also highlight examples
- Try to remember important points in a topic and practice continuously, so, you can use them while writing
- Practice writing on different topics and highlight argumentative points
- Try to increase your speed, so, manage time efficiently
These preparation tips will help you understand how to improve your GMAT scores to get into better colleges. Getting a great score on the GMAT exam isn't a difficult task, and just requires proper planning and preparation.
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How to Prepare for GMAT 2023 Exam?
Now that you have looked at the section-wise strategy of the GMAT 2023 exam preparation, it is time you understand, in brief, about the 3-month GMAT 2023 study plan. Students can always tweak this plan as per their requirements.
GMAT 2023 Prep Plan
Student Success Stories for GMAT
Here are some student success stories and tips to help you understand how to get a high score on GMAT:
|How I scored 750 on the GMAT: Akshay Deshmukh||How to score a perfect 800 on GMAT?|
GMAC has launched the GMAT Focus Edition. The current version of the GMAT 2023 exam will be available until at least early 2024. Hence, candidates will have the option to register for both the GMAT exam formats from 29 August 2023 onwards.
Important: For a complete analysis of the GMAT Focus Edition, students must visit our GMAT Focus Edition article.
Now that you have understood GMAT 2023 exam preparation strategies, it is vital that you implement them and follow them with dedication. For answers to more queries, you may read our GMAT 2023 Preparation FAQs.
GMAT Preparation 2023 FAQs
Q. How much time is required to prepare for the GMAT exam 2023?
A. Typically, it takes about 3-6 months to prepare for the GMAT 2023 exam; however, it could be less or more depending upon your current skills and aptitude. The best way to decide how much time is required to prepare for the GMAT exam is to take a GMAT mock test or diagnostic test before you begin your preparation. Once you are clear where you stand, you need to understand the GMAT exam pattern and the GMAT exam syllabus. Start your preparation with the official study material of the GMAT exam. Make sure to complete it at least twice. You can then refer to other GMAT books and online resources. You must appear for GMAT practice tests every week to gauge your progress.
Q. Which skills are tested in the GMAT?
A. GMAT tests different skill sets like the ability to think critically, ability to analyse data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills. So, one needs to develop these skills to get a decent score in order to get admission to their dream B-school. The best way to develop these skills and score well on the GMAT is to practice the official study material multiple times and appear for as many GMAT mocks as possible. Once you have completed the official GMAT study material, you can move over to other GMAT books such as the Manhattan prep GMAT guides.
Q. Can I prepare for the GMAT on my own?
A. There are different ways to prepare for the GMAT exam including online courses, private coaching, and in-person classes. At times, timing or pricing can be an issue for some candidates, for them, self-study can be a good option. It is not difficult to prepare for the GMAT on your own. Moreover, even if you opt for a GMAT coaching, you will still have to study on your own. There is no magic pill that can substitute hard work and self-studies. Make sure to understand the GMAT syllabus and pattern. Once that has been done, you can start with the official study material. Later on, you can refer to the Manhattan GMAT prep guides.
Q. How can I prepare for the GMAT exam at home?
A. There is a lot of GMAT study material available online which you can access and start preparing. Those who do not want to go for coaching/tutoring can study at home and can prepare for the GMAT test on their own. Make sure to prepare a sound strategy to prepare effectively. Do not leave the official GMAT study material at any cost. You must complete it at least twice. Prepare short notes as you study; these will aid in revision. Also, give practice tests once you are through with the preparation. It is always better to understand your weaknesses and work on them.
Q. Where Can I get GMAT Prep Material for free?
A. There are various sources where one can get GMAT prep material for free. Below are some of the sources to get free GMAT prep material:
- The official GMAT website (mba.com) offers tips to prepare for the exam.
- Veritas prep offers free GMAT lessons and free tools that will come in handy while preparing for the exam.
- Manhattan Prep offers free GMAT online prep tools that are very useful for candidates preparing for the GMAT exam.
- GMAT Club and Beat the GMAT forums.
Q. How to take a free GMAT Sample Practice Test?
A. Although there are a lot of sources available online to prepare for the GMAT exam, however, candidates can access free GMAT practice tests on the GMAC site (mba.com). They need to download the GMAT prep software and create an account and get GMAT practice tests. Make sure that you solve the practice tests provided by the GMAC. These will provide you with a near real-time feel of the GMAT and will help you gauge the level of your preparation. Once you complete a GMAT mock test, it is essential for you to analyse your performance in that GMAT practice test. You need to work on your weak areas based on your mock test analyses.
Q. When to take free GMAT practice tests?
A. Candidates should start doing free GMAT practice tests right from the beginning of their preparation. Even if they do not score well, they must appear for full-length mocks. GMAT mock tests will help them analyse the level of their preparation and will help them develop question-solving skills. In addition, once you are finished with your complete preparation then you should do a free practice test every 3-4 days before the real test. GMAT mock tests are the most important aspect of your GMAT exam preparation. Moreover, just giving a mock test is not important; you must analyse your performance in that test to understand your weak areas.
Q. How to take the GMAT mock test?
A. One can take the GMAT practice test anytime, however, make sure you take the exam in the same way as you are going to take the real test. If you are going to attempt the Writing section first then do the same in the mock tests as well. Do not take extra time, and complete the test in one sitting. With every subsequent GMAT practice test and its analyses, you will come up with certain strategies (whether they are related to certain topics or sections); make sure to try those strategies in the next GMAT mock tests. Analyses of the GMAT mock tests is as important as the mock itself.
Q. Can I use a calculator in the GMAT exam?
A. Candidates are not allowed to bring their calculators for the exam, they are provided with digital calculators with basic functionality that can be used in the Integrated Reasoning section only. Candidates are also offered 2 dry erase markers and a 5-page laminated booklet for rough work during the GMAT exam. Do not worry about the calculator part. GMAT does not ask you for very complicated calculations. In order to increase your speed, you must memorize (yes, memorize!) tables, squares, and cubes until 25. In addition, you may visit CAT and Banking exam websites as they have excellent tricks to increase your calculation speed.
Q. Can anyone get a perfect 800 score on GMAT?
A. Getting a perfect GMAT score i.e. 800 is not at all easy and not many test takers achieve this feat. Out of almost 2,00,000 test-takers annually, only a handful of candidates are able to get a perfect GMAT score. With consistent efforts and perfect strategy, one can get a good score; however, getting a perfect score is quite difficult. Students need to understand that a good GMAT score does help in their application; however, it is not the only criterion of your admission application. Other documents such as a Statement of Purpose, admission essays, etc. are equally important. Hence, you must focus on these documents as well.
Q. Is the GRE exam easier than GMAT?
A. The GMAT test might be easy for those go prefer logical problems instead of Geometry as there are more Geometry questions in the GRE. In addition, the Quantitative section is harder in the GMAT in comparison to the GRE. The verbal section in the GRE can be difficult for non-native English speakers. Candidates can go back and forth in the GRE test, whereas in GMAT one doesn't have the freedom to save and return to each section during the exam. The decision to choose a test for studying abroad depends on various factors such the course requirement, university requirements, current level of preparation, comfort level with the exam pattern, etc.