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GMAT Preparation Tips

GMAT Preparation is a journey of honing the skills that a person requires in the field of Business and Management sector. GMAT might seem like an uphill task but with strategic planning and persistent practicing, one can enhance his/her GMAT Score to drastic levels. This article will guide the GMAT aspirants in accessing all the official GMAT Preparation resources available as well as provide them with useful preparation tips for cracking the GMAT test.

Planning for GMAT should be done prior to starting the GMAT Registration Process. This will provide the test takers with ample time to deliberate on the GMAT Syllabus and GMAT Exam Pattern. Once he/she has gone through these details, they can proceed for the GMAT Exam Date Scheduling and registration with an appropriate preparation plan and strategy.


Important highlights of the GMAT Exam Pattern

The GMAT Exam Pattern involves four sections- Analytical Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Section, Verbal Section. The test taker has to attempt them in a duration of 210 minutes which includes two 10 minutes optional break in between. The four sections of the GMAT Exam are:

SectionsNumber of QuestionsDuration
Analytical WritingAnalysis of Argument30 minutes
Integrated Reasoning Section12 questions30 minutes
Optional Break 10 minutes
Quantitative Section37 questions-75 minutes
15 data sufficiency
22 Problem Solving
Optional Break 10 minutes
Verbal Section41 MCQs75 minutes
12 Critical Reasoning 
14 Reading Comprehension 
15 Sentence Correction

GMAT Sample Papers

Practicing sample papers is an integral part of preparation for any examination. GMAT Sample papers will help in understanding the format, practicing sample questions, and analyzing one section at a time so that the candidates can arrive fully prepared on the day of your exam. 

Benefits of practicing GMAT Sample Papers

  1. Overview of theGMAT Exam: Sample papers will provide an insight to the examination and the GMAT Exam Pattern.
  2. Analyzing your weak and strong areas:
  3. The type of questions and how to answer them: Sample papers will benefit the aspiring candidates in knowing the type of questions that might come in the examination and how to tackle them.
  4. Time management- Practicing sample papers will act as tool to learn how to manage the time in the examination and how to tactfully attempt the questions in the stipulated period of time.

Download GMAT Sample Paper 1

Download GMAT Sample Paper 2


GMAT Books and Preparation Materials

Before starting to proceed for GMAT Preparation, one must gather all the necessary resources and the available GMAT Books and materials. Some of the officially recommended books and preparation material are listed below:

  1. GMATPrep® Software:  This is a free software for those users who have registered with the official website of GMAT. This tool will serve as an experiential tool for the test takers of GMAT as it uses the same technology as to the official exam and provides the users with scores.

The various features of GMATPrep software are:

  • 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 (note that detailed explanations of answers are not included)
  • GMAT® Total, Verbal, Quantitative, and Integrated Reasoning scores
  • A comprehensive math review
  • A step-by-step guide to preparing for the GMAT exam
  • Ability to extend the GMATPrep® software by purchasing additional questions or exams

GMATPrep is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • Windows: Windows Vista® with SP2; Windows 7® with SP1; Windows 8.1®; Windows 10®
  • Mac: OS X v10.9; OS X v10.10; OS X v10.11 
  1. GMAT Prep Timeline: It offers a step-by-step guidance to your personal study plan and includes various links to tips, products, and advice for improving your weak areas and enhancing your strengths.
  2. New! Official GMAT Integrated Reasoning Prep Tool: This is a tool for the candidates to develop their Integrated Reasoning skills. It features a set of 48 questions and solutions that will be of tremendous help in developing the IR skills.
  3. The Premium Study Collection. This is an official collection of study materials that provides more than 2000 questions from previous GMAT Exams presented in multiple formats. It gives 6 essential study products for cracking the GMAT Exam.
  4. GMAT Focus® Online Quantitative Diagnostic Tool: It acts as a replica of the original GMAT exam. It features 12 Data Sufficiency and 12 Problem Solving questions for each exam taken. It also provides your strengths and weaknesses and acts as a tool to improve your mathematical skills required to crack the GMAT.
  5. GMAT Write®: This tool provides the users with GMAT writing prompts. It aids the candidates to learn the process of critical thinking and analyzing an argument. This is an essential skill for a business career and hence should be mastered by the candidates for the exam as well as for a successful career.
  6. The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review, 2017: This tool helps the users to improve their verbal skills required for the GMAT exam. It provides a set of additional 300 questions from the verbal ability section.
  7. The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review, 2017: This is a tool for preparing and honing the Quantitative skills of the candidates providing 300 questions and their solutions.
  8. The Basic GMAT® Study Collection: It is another preparation resource available at the official store of GMAT providing 1500 GMAT questions and answers. It includes all the following study materials:
  • The Official Guide for GMAT® Review, 2017
  • The Official Guide for GMAT® Quantitative Review, 2017
  • The Official Guide for GMAT® Verbal Review, 2017.

Steps to avail the official GMAT Preparation resources

  1. Go to the official website of GMAT
  2. From the drop down menu of ‘The GMAT Exam’, click on the ‘prepare for the Exam’.
  3. Click on the respective preparation material required to download or buy it.
  4. Alternatively, after going to the official website, click on the “Buy study Materials” and choose your respective option.

GMAT Preparation Tips

There are certain do’s and don’ts a candidate must follow while taking the GMAT and certain other factors that the GMAT aspirants should keep in mind throughout their GMAT Journey. In order to obtain an enhanced score the candidates must go through these tips and rules related to GMAT.

What To Do:

  1. Create a study plan and strategy.
  2. Make your MBA application competitive and up to the mark.
  3. Focus on each of the 4 sections equally.
  4. Prepare and practice so that to attempt all questions in GMAT Exam.
  5. Try to think how to answer the question in front of you in the best possible way instead of trying to think about other parameters such as the difficulty level of the question.
  6. Go through the basic math and work on your logic and analysis skill during preparations.
  7. Increase the pace of attempting the questions.
  8. Attempt all the questions on the Exam day.

What not to do?

GMAT is a computer adaptive test which means the questions will be an outcome of the adaptation of the system made according to the difficulty level of the questions attempted. It uses an algorithm to decide as to what question to produce to the test taker.

  1. Being an adaptive test, the candidate should not waste time in trying to dope the system by attempting questions of easier levels. Instead they should focus on completing the test.
  2. The MBA Aspirants should not only rely on the GMAT Score. No doubt, it will act as a booster to the profile of the applicant but it doesn’t compensate the lack of proper GPA and work experience.
  3. Do not just focus on one section. As the GMAT Score Report provides sectional score which are considered equally important by the Score Recipients and the Recruiters.
  4. Do not try to decode the difficulty level of the questions and try to solve it as soon as possible.

GMAT Preparation Strategy

The first and foremost thing to do while preparing for GMAT is to get well acquainted with the examination. A candidate planning to appear for GMAT must have detailed knowledge of the GMAT Exam Pattern and GMAT Syllabus. To get a firsthand knowledge of what the examination evaluates and assesses, is the first step of preparing for the examination.

There is no shortcut to success- it always entails persistent hard work and strategic planning. It is an examination that tests these four reasoning skills—specifically quantitative, verbal, analytical writing, and integrated reasoning which are an integral part of a Business school student or a Management program student.

The keys points for cracking the GMAT Exam successfully are:

  • Estimate your skills and caliber, what are the areas you excel in and what are the areas you need to work on with respect to GMAT Exam.
  • Molding your study and preparation strategy accordingly.
  • Pacing your solving skills.
  • Lastly maintaining your patience throughout the journey of GMAT Preparation.

Accumulate Information about the Schools and Programs

The primary motive of appearing in the GMAT is to get enrolled in a Business School and place of their choice. Besides this, there are scholarships and fellowships that are based on the GMAT Score and also, GMAT Score is accepted by many employers and recruiters around the world apart from job experience and GPA. Hence the first step towards the journey of GMAT is to know about the Schools, Programs and Institutes accepting the GMAT Score. Once the candidate has ample information about the schools he/she wants to enroll in, they should go through the deadlines of the applying to the programs of their choice. Build a proper timeline accordingly-when to Register for the GMAT Exam, when to take the test and when to send the GMAT Score to the recipients without crossing the deadline of their respective application process.

Time Management Tips

It is one of the most sought question as to how much time candidates should allot while studying for the GMAT? The answer to this question is that the time that an aspirant of GMAT should spend preparing is unique to the candidate as it will involve honing the already present skills of the candidate for the Exam. The candidates can go through the flowcharts to know about the statistical tips for time management.

Register for GMAT Exam

Once you have made a proper timeline and devised a time management plan, you can go for GMAT Registration. The sooner you register according to your timeline the greater is the number of available GMAT Exam Dates and centers. Having registered, you can plan the remaining time period for the test accordingly.

Know the GMAT Exam Pattern and GMAT Syllabus

Analyzing the GMAT Exam Pattern and GMAT Syllabus is a most necessary part of the preparation. Know all the four sections of the examination- Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment, the type of questions in each section, the format of the sections and the analysis of each of the sections.

Know the GMAT Score and set your target

It is very important for the aspiring candidates of GMAT to know all the details of the GMAT Score and the assessment criteria i.e. how each of the sections are assessed and marked. Gather information about the GMAT Score Scale and set a target for yourself. This will keep you in the loop of the competition and help you focus on a fixed goal.

Decode your proficiency level and the areas you are weak in

The next step is Devising a baseline for yourself. Take a GMAT Practice Test and mark your strong and weak areas. While solving GMAT Sample papers or taking a GMAT Practice Test it is very necessary to attempt them as a replica to the actual test. Do not make use of calculator or take help of any study materials while doing so.

Collect GMAT Preparation materials and resources

Before you sit to study, you should gather all the necessary resources and tools required for your preparation. Go through the recommended GMAT Book list and the resources available at the official GMAT store.

Start Studying

The final step is to study. There is no other option but to study and burn the midnight oil in order to excel in the GMAT Exam. Study on a regular basis according to the strategy you have planned beforehand.

Keep evaluating your progress

Simply studying is not a key to success. It is necessary to study tactfully instead of studying for relentless durations. Keep evaluating your progress and marking your yet to improve areas.


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