Year after year, hordes of students aspire to get into a graduate management programs namely MBA. However, one question that infests online forums is-How to prepare for GMAT? (We have a solution for that too- Be a GMAT Ninja: Free Short Course
This is owed to the fact that the GMAT entrance exam serves as a gatekeeper to get into a Business program. However, many have attempted to cross this bridge but have often failed. One of the main causes for this is that aspirants find it difficult to balance GMAT preparation along with their job/ college. They inevitably lose out on one while focussing on the other. Now if you are one of these hopefuls, don’t worry! I shall give you a few tips on how to prepare for GMAT. Who knows maybe you’ll stay sane through the ordeal after all. Sounds good eh? Now let’s go…
Quantity v Quality
Apart from ‘How to prepare for GMAT?’ the one question that seems to be looming on everyone’s mind, ’How much time should you set aside to prepare for GMAT?’. I don’t think you’re going to like the answer to this question. According to data collected from January to December 2014 from more than 4,271 GMAT takers, it was inferred that 56% of test takers spend at least 51 hours prepping for an exam. This should not come as a surprise since it has been statistically proven that: those who score higher tend to study for more number of hours.
However, does not necessarily mean that your GMAT score would be directly proportional to the number of hours that you study. In fact according to Oren Jackman, founder of examPAL; “Less is inefficient, and, on the other hand, if you give yourself too long, 3 to 4 months, you’ll start forgetting what you learned at the beginning. This is important because all the knowledge is interconnected.” Hence, it is imperative that you allocate your time efficiently over a period of time. Planning schedules and setting timetables go a long way as far as allocation of time is concerned. It is essential that you designate time for exercise as it would keep you fresh.
So, the answer to the question ‘How to prepare for GMAT?’, I’d say do what works for you!
Be honest with yourself
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Not everybody is good at everything! Oh is that harsh? Sorry, you’re the one who asked me; ‘How to prepare for GMAT?’. When it comes to competitive exams, we all have areas that we are strong in whereas there are other areas that we need to work on. This may sound cliché, but practice makes perfect. So, it is important that you work on the areas where you lack. Maintaining a diary really helps in this regard. Recognizing your faults alone is not enough.You ought to work on these areas in a consistent manner.
Get familiar with the GMAT, its structure and questions
This is an essential step as far as preparing for GMAT is concerned. The GMAT exam is unique. For eg; in the Data Sufficiency section, candidates are required to determine whether there is enough data to answer a particular question. It is important that you know what to expect before you attempt the exam so that you can prepare accordingly.You can start by getting an overview of the four sections; Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. Only then will you know which areas you’re proficient in and which you are not.
You can look at question papers from previous years to get a sense of the kind of questions that you could expect. You can actually visit http://www.mba.com/ for more information on the GMAT exam, prep materials etc. Just remember that your end goal is to get familiar with question formats and timing. So plan a strategy that would give you the right amount of time to feel prepared and address your challenges. However, when everything fails; just google ‘How to prepare for GMAT’.
If you did so much as to google ‘How to prepare for GMAT?’, it means that deep within, you know that you can do it. Guess what? Yes, you can. With a little preparation and some smart work, there’s no way that you wouldn’t be able to get through. Just find a way to stay motivated through the process.
This may seem like a simple phrase but it holds good in most cases It is important that you maintain a clear head during preparation and also before attempting the exam. Accept the fact that you’re never going to master every little detail. What you can do, however, is to be fully prepared. DO NOT neglect your basic needs like good nutrition, exercise and enough sleep. It is important that you allocate some time for recreation so that you don’t burn out.
Hence, it is clear that the road to GMAT is a rocky one that many have found it hard to tread on. However, the journey could be made easier by following a few steps. By keeping the aforementioned guidelines in mind, I’m sure you too could make your GMAT journey a successful one.
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