The following article has been inspired by the thoughts of Mr. Mayank Srivastava. He is the Founder of Experts’ Global, one of the world’s leading EdTech firms in the field of GMAT prep and MBA admission consulting.
GMAT, Graduate Management Admission Test, is the most trusted management entrance examination that there is. As such, every prospective management professional wants to know how to crack this test. Fortunately, this task is not as insurmountable as one may think. The typical GMAT candidates can prepare for the GMAT in just 3-4 months, only investing 25 hours per week into preparation. However, doing so will require an efficient and organized preparation strategy. There are 5 simple steps, in such an approach…
Step 1: Take a Diagnostic Test
Starting your preparations with a diagnostic test has two distinct advantages: 1) It will familiarize you with the format, question types, and scope of content that you will encounter on the GMAT. 2) It will give you a clear sense of what level your GMAT skills are at. Here is a free GMAT practice test that you can take. This is a rather good test, as it will also identify your five weakest areas-both in quant and verbal.
Step 2: Build Your Conceptual Understanding
One of the most common GMAT prep mistakes is beginning with the official guide. Having been prepared by the test makers, the guide is one of the best resources but it is primarily geared towards practice and the first few weeks of the preparations have to be focused on understanding the GMAT concepts. Using the guide, at this point, would be a waste of a valuable resource.
Step 3: Practice a Great Number of Problems
Once the GMAT concepts are fully understood, begin doing practice questions. Begin by focusing on becoming accurate and start timing yourself, once you can reliably get above 75% correct. At this stage, you will need a lot of patience. It takes most students hundreds of questions to strike a balance between speed and accuracy.
Step 4: Take Up Full Length Practice Tests
While doing the above two steps, you will have to take up regular practice tests. Doing full length tests will help one keep in touch with the GMAT concepts/sections, as well as build up the stamina that one will need to give the 3.5-hour long GMAT. It will also give one the opportunity to develop time management and test taking strategies that will help in the real exam. There are a number of free GMAT tests available, online. However; one will need to do a good number of tests, in order to fully prepare for the GMAT. It will also be best if these tests are consistent with one another, a back and forth in the quality and nature of the practice tests will slow down one’s progress. That is why it is best to go for one comprehensive practice test series.
Step 5: Understand Your Mistakes
The scope of the GMAT is predefined. This means that by understanding our mistakes and how to avoid them, you will be able to easily improve your score. You need to have the right mindset while taking up practice tests. You need to do the tests with the intention of learning from the experience, not just getting high scores.
Bonus Points: Test Taking Strategies
Do not be afraid to mark a few questions at random, in order to complete the test. An incomplete test’s penalty is greater than that of a few wrong answers. Even with close to 20% of the questions wrong, one can still get the 99th percentile. This is why it would not be wise to spend too long on any one question. Remember to solve the first few questions, carefully, as the adaptive nature of the test means that they will carry more weight. It is also important to not start analyzing the test as one does it. Only focus on the questions at hand. Only focus on the questions at hand.