GMAT Test: How to Prepare for It

Also referred to as the Graduate Management Admission Test, GMAT is a computer test, the purpose of which is to assess the reading, analytical, quantitative, verbal, and writing skills of an individual. The exam is available in English and is a must for a graduate management program like an MBA. The test requires knowledge of algebra, arithmetic, geometry, and grammar.

The sole purpose of the test is to assess the problem-solving ability and analytic writing skills of an individual. The test can be taken 5 times a year; however, each attempt must have a gap of at least 16 days.

The format of the GMAT test

The GMAT test is composed of 4 different sections. The first section is of analytical writing assessment. The second section is of integrated reasoning, the third section is quantitative, and the fourth section is verbal. The total time for the test is 3 hours and seven minutes. The time for the analytical writing assessment is 30 minutes. Another 30 minutes are allotted for the 12 questions of integrated reasoning. In the quantitative section, you need to complete 31 questions in 65 minutes. Finally, the verbal section has to be completed in 65 minutes (36 questions).

The verbal and quantitative sections are composed of multiple-choice questions. The questions are provided in a computer adaptive format. At the time of the verbal and quantitative sections, the test takers are given a question of average difficulty.  If the question is answered correctly by the test taker then this results in more difficult questions.  Similarly, wrong answers result in questions which are of lesser difficulty.  The process will continue until the completion of the test. The computer will assess the ability level of the test taker and will present a raw score of each section.

How to prepare for the GMAT test

You should at least prepare for three months before appearing in the GMAT exam. The only challenge which you will face is the maintenance of your momentum and motivation. Some of the steps which you can follow for the preparation of your GMAT exam are as follows.

  1. Diagnostic Test

If it is possible then take a full-time realistic practice test of GMAT which you can easily find on the internet.  The test will help you assess your integrated reasoning, quantitative, and verbal ability. The result of the test will not only include your score but will also provide you the information about the question types you did well in and which you did not do well in. The test result will help you in designing your study plan.

The practice test will make you familiar with timing and the format of the test. This surely is a serious advantage as the majority of the people do not know what it really likes giving a GMAT test. Giving the test, again and again, will help you in recognizing your mistakes. Over a period of time, you will become better in GMAT as you overcome your mistakes.

Try to set the same conditions of the practice test which you are likely to face on the real test day. You can schedule the test on 3.5 hours provided you want to skip the essay otherwise keep it to 4 hours. Take at least 1.5 hours to review the test results.

  1. Study Schedule

There is a huge danger of falling into procrastination especially if the test is 3 months away. Yes, there are several other things in life as well which you need to indulge in. However, the time slips very fast and if you keep on procrastinating then there will come a time when the test will only be a week away with you not prepared at all. To avoid such situation make a proper study plan for yourself and daily prepare yourself for this highly important examination.

Studying every day will improve your score big time as compared to studying 2 days a week. Since you only have 3 months to prepare hence you need to work at a very reasonable pace. If every day is difficult for you then you can study 4 days a week with 3 segments of 30 minutes each.

Take some time out for at least 6 practice tests. Take a practice exam once you have studied at least for a month. You can take another test at the 6-week point. Similarly, you can take the test once a week for the 4 weeks leading you towards GMAT. The point is that if you really want to prepare well for the exam then for this you need to give a lot of practice tests. The practice tests will give you the flair of the real test environment.

  1. Study Plan

The best way to study is to, first of all, use a GMAT class or book to understand the strategies. After learning the strategies you can follow up with practice test and questions. Applying what you learned immediately in a test environment will help you prepare well for the real exam.

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GMAT is not a piece of cake. The top-notch universities of the world have made this test compulsory. You need to prepare for this test well. Yes, there will be some sleepless nights but you need to work hard as clearing GMAT is not that easy. If you want to study at a reputable university of the globe then for this you need to prepare for the GMAT test.

The studying methods which we have mentioned above require no rocket science. If you find it very difficult to practice on your own then do not worry as you can always seek the help of a tutor as well. However, ensure that whoever you hire must have prior GMAT experience under his belt. GMAT is not a test that can be studied from any Tom, Dick, and Harry. You need to select a teacher who has cleared this exam before and who knows each and everything about this highly professional test.

Do not waste your time and start preparing!

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