GMAT Study Tips that Help You Dominate the GMAT

January 27, 2014

Admission

When your MBA application sits on your computer waiting to be submitted, there is only one thing you can do to strengthen your application. Submit a strong GMAT score. And the best way to do that is through intense preparation and GMAT study tips that we’re happy to share.

Your GPA from your undergraduate studies is a reflection of the four years spent there. Your work experience is not something you can immediately change. Your references of individuals you’ve met along the way are the best you could hope for. But your GMAT score is under your immediate control.

If you haven’t yet taken the GMAT, the time you put into preparing for the exam could make the difference getting an admittance or denial letter to your preferred universities. GMAT study tips run abundant on the web, so where do you start? How can you put all your skills together to come out on top in the exam?

We’ve compiled some of the best GMAT study tips from a variety of reliable sources.

GMAT Study Tips

MBA.com Resources

The best way to study for the GMAT is to go directly to the designers themselves. The official website of the GMAT (mba.com) offers prospective business school students many GMAT study tips and practice questions to help prepare for the exam.

The exam itself is a three and a half hour exam that includes four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal. The best way to score the best you can on the exam is to familiarize yourself with the questions that are asked.

Other GMAT study tips include learning about the format of the exam, and carefully reviewing each section, one at a time. A tool on the website called GMAT Focus offers test takers an opportunity to learn their weaknesses on the exam in order to help best allot their study time.

In addition, GMAT Write helps you practice for the writing assessment. Of course, all of these items come at an additional cost.

Take a Practice Test

We offer GMAT simulation tests based on questions from old GMAT tests. Depending on how much time you have set aside, we offer micro, mini, and full versions of the GMAT simulation tests.

When you are studying for the GMAT, be sure to evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses. The best help you can give yourself is to focus on those weaknesses early on to build up your skills. You’ll tend to worry and get stuck on problems that you are not comfortable with. By increasing your skills and comfort with these problems, it will allow you to move through the exam more quickly and hopefully get more questions correct.

It’s also best to master the foundations for each section first, before moving on to harder questions. If you know the basics, they will provide you with building blocks for the higher level thinking. Keep in mind, the exam is adaptive, so each question is dependent upon how you answer the one before.

Take a Class

Aside from studying on your own, many individuals opt to take a review class to help prepare. There are many on the market and people tend to have mixed reviews about them. One of the biggest benefits they can offer is giving individuals a set day/time to devote to studying. Often good intentions go awry with the many demands of life, and study time often gets bumped aside. By enrolling in a class, it becomes a non-flexible item on your calendar, giving you the study time you need. These classes also offer many additional GMAT study tips, and professionals can often help explain concepts that you may be struggling with. Classes tend to run 6-8 weeks long.

Schedule Study Time

Experts say it’s best to divide your study time into a little bit each weeknight and longer time periods on the weekends, but generally not in more than 1½ to 2 hour stretches for optimal learning. It’s ideal not to miss a day, even if it means shortening the time you study rather than skipping the day altogether. One study site suggests 12-15 hours per week, with 1-1½  hours per night, and then 5–10 hours on the weekends (in multiple 1½ –2 hour sessions). Generally you should plan on studying for about 8 weeks leading up to the exam.

Avoid Study Burnout

As the exam approaches, don’t forget to monitor yourself for burnout. Setting time aside is important, but overwhelming yourself will only do harm. As the test approaches, be sure to review but don’t overdo it. If you’ve put the time in, it will show off in the end.

Be Methodical

On the day of the exam, the best GMAT study tips to remember are to keep your eye on the clock, carefully read directions, read each question fully and eliminate answers you know are wrong. Be sure not to get stuck on one question for too long and keep going through the test at a good pace. Remember, you cannot go back and change your answers once you submit them.

There are many GMAT study resources online that offer additional GMAT study tips. We hope you find the GMAT study tips listed useful as you prepare for the test. Remember, the GMAT is one of the few admissions requirements that you can immediately improve to bolster your application.

Good Luck!

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About Jackie Buchy

Since 2011, I have served as the assistant dean for graduate enrollment at George Mason University's School of Management. In my role, I work with prospective graduate students to identify and select the best graduate program to meet their career goals.

View all posts by Jackie Buchy

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