The GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test), as the name suggests, involves a lot of logic and application (aptitude) in addition to subject knowledge. Given the structure of the exam, your first step should be finding your strengths and weaknesses. Take a diagnostic test, and assess yourself. Once you identify what your weak area is, you need to work on that area, without compromising on your strong area.
Most GMAT test-takers are full-time working professionals or full-time students, and spend around four to five months preparing for the exam. Assuming that one spends atleast 3 hours a day on GMAT preparation, we recommend the following schedule.
Many of you will be getting back to studying mode after quite some time. So, it is advisable to take it slow in the first week. Spend the first week brushing up your mathematics fundamentals that you had studied in school. The best way to do this will be to solve the Jamboree GMAT Nova book. The topics covered in this book are Geometry, Number Systems, Permutation & Combination, Probability, etc.
The most reliable study material available for GMAT preparation is the GMAT Official Guide. The second week should be devoted to going through the basic techniques for solving Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Sentence Correction as available in the Official Guide. Spend more time on Sentence Correction since it tests your basic grammar rules. Also, go through and familiarize yourself with the various types of questions in the Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning portions.
In the third week of your GMAT preparation, go through the Analytical Writing Assessment portion of the GMAT Official Guide. Attempt an Issue topic and an Argument topic within the prescribed time limit.
In this week, also go through the theories and techniques of the Data Sufficiency questions of the Maths portion of the GMAT Official Guide.
In the third week, it is also a good idea to book your GMAT date. People always prepare better when there is a target date to work towards.
Weeks 4, 5 and 6:
By the end of the first three weeks, you are expected to have gained a fair idea of what the course content is for the GMAT. In the next three weeks, you will need to do the following on a daily basis.
- Read the newspaper in the morning. Pick any article, read it and then make a list of the things you remember from that article. Maintain a record of how much time it took you to do that. This will help improve your reading speed and retention levels. And, this, in turn, will improve your performance in the Reading Comprehension questions of your GMAT Verbal Section.
- Write an Issue topic or an Argument topic within the prescribed time limit. Make sure to do it in Notepad, and not in MS Word.
- Solve 10 questions each of Problem Solving, Data Sufficiency, Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. After solving them, spend enough time analyzing the answers. Of the 5 answer options available for each question, only one is the right answer. However, you have to be absolutely sure why the other 4 answers are wrong. Unless you spend time analyzing each answer choice, your GMAT preparation remains incomplete. Maintain a record of your performance and accuracy for each of the 5 types of questions – Problem Solving, Data Sufficiency, Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning.
In the actual GMAT test, you will be required to do both math and verbal questions within 3-4 hours. So, it is important for you to develop the mental nimbleness to transition smoothly between questions testing different skill sets. If you study maths on one and verbal the other day, then the purpose is not solved. Thus, it is extremely important for you to do each type of question daily.
Weeks 7 and 8:
After the end of 6 weeks, you will be able to complete the entire content of the GMAT Official Guide comfortably. Once you have done that, you will need to start taking Full-length computer tests.
Most of you have been away from active studying for quite some time, and sitting for 4 hours will, in itself, be a task for you! However, to know your exact level of preparation, you will have to take the full-length tests in their entirety and at one go, without skipping any section or taking breaks. Take care not to skip the AWA section while taking full-length computer tests.
Remember that when it comes to taking full-length tests it’s the quality that matters, not the quantity. The ideal routine will be to take one test on one day and spend the next two days analyzing your performance in the test. If your performance in any section is below par, then take the next 2 days to go through the GMAT Official Guide and revise the techniques involved for that section. Do not start the next full-length test unless you have revised the material in which you did not do well in the previous full-length test.
How can I score 700+?
Student should have good conceptual knowledge as GMAT is an application based exam. However, one needs to understand the pattern of the exam and master short cuts and techniques which can help you in scoring 700 plus. Time management is an important skill one would need to master in order to crack the GMAT.
And, time management skills can be developed only and only through practice!