GMAT could easily be the most difficult test you’ll ever write. Questions are tricky. Timing is brutal. The exam gets progressively more difficult with every question you get right.
To score well, you need to be better than hundreds of thousands of candidates who took this test in the last 3 years. Knowing formulas and tricks is simply not enough to get a competitive score.
Preparing for the GMAT could certainly be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.
Follow the step-by-step guide in this week’s Top 10 GMAT Preparation Tips and you’ll be well ahead of other candidates who are still struggling to get started!
1. Refresh your Math theory
Learn all the theory. This is the most fundamental element of the GMAT. Many test takers are afraid of this, but remember that most of the theory is high school or earlier. So, if you learned it back then, you can learn it again.
Moreover, the theory is finite, which means that there is an end in sight. Believe it or not, it’s possible to learn all the GMAT Math theory within a couple of weeks.
As you learn the theory, be sure to not just read about the concepts, but also practice. Knowledge is power only when you can apply it!
If possible, attend a Free GMAT Math Refresher class in Toronto, you’ll get not only an excellent overview of Math fundamentals, but also will learn the GMAT prep strategies to help you achieve a 700+ score within a matter of weeks, not months.
2. Get reading!
The #1 mistake everybody makes on the test is mis-reading. On the GMAT, you’ll be expected to read long, confusing passages that are really boring!
Start reading complex passages and academic articles – this will help you get used to reading an analyzing difficult texts on unfamiliar topics – a skill that will go a long way on the test day!
3. Take a free practice test
After you’ve refreshed your basic Math theory, but before you started studying for the GMAT, take a free diagnostic test. This will help you understand your starting level and build a solid study plan to get you to your dream score.
Didn’t score well on the diagnostic test?
Remember, diagnosis is not the same as prognosis. With the right time, effort and support, you could achieve your dream score – guaranteed. To do so, however you need a study plan.
4. Have a realistic study plan
Know where you’re starting from (your diagnostic score), where you want to be (your target score), and how much time you could spend studying each week. Build a study plan and be sure to run it by someone to see if it’s realistic.
If you write our practice test, we’ll help you with your study plan for free.
5. Follow your plan, adjust if necessary
A plan would only work if you stick to it. However, if you’ve overestimated your time commitment, or underestimated your abilities, your plan will need a review. Be sure to look at your plan at the end of each study week and adjust, if necessary.
Spend 10-15 minutes at the end of each week to record your progress and tweak your future plan. Remember to keep it real – be honest with yourself!
6. Don’t rely on memorization
If you’ve studied for a while and haven’t seen improvement, you may be focusing too much on memorizing concepts and question explanations. After all, this is what most of us did on college exams.
However, this strategy will not work on the GMAT. To master the test, you need to develop skills to take on this challenging exam, not simply memorize the steps to solve a problem.
Do you think you could learn how to swim by memorizing how to do it?
Learn new skills. Don’t simply memorize. If you decide to come to the Admit Master GMAT Mastery program, you will learn advanced skills we call “Thinking Like a CEO”. These skills will help you not only do well on the GMAT, but make better decisions in your everyday work and personal life.
7. Learn from your own mistakes
Many people are afraid of making mistakes, but mistakes are good when you study! They give you an opportunity to get outside of your comfort zone and learn better ways to approach problems.
8. Do online practice questions
You may have already been doing questions from GMAT books, however there is no substitute for the computer-based practice. An online study platform not only will help you get used to doing questions on a computer, but also, most importantly, will keep track of your progress and will tell you what you need to focus on, helping you study more efficiently.
9. Write 6-8 practice tests
Full-length, 4 hour GMAT practice tests will give you real insights into what you could expect on the test day. They will also help you chart your study progress and understand when you’re ready to face the real exam.
Once you learn GMAT strategies and methodologies (ideally by taking a professional GMAT course), be sure to schedule 6-8 practice tests once or twice a week before your test day, and don’t forget to allocate time to analyze your performance and learn from your own experiences.
Want to know what practice exams to take? Read our recent blog about this here.
10. Don’t forget the rest of the application!
It’s been said that GMAT may be the most important part of your MBA application. However, this is only partially true.
For most top business schools, a high GMAT score is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition to get in. The strength of your application will play a much more important role in the admission decision.
Many business school students will tell you the GMAT was the easy part. Do you have what it takes to get into a top MBA program (assuming you could do well on the GMAT)? Do you have realistic expectations? And are you not selling yourself short? We could help you answer all of these questions at a free 1-on-1 MBA Admission Consultation.