Following are the four steps to approach the test and kick off the preparations of GMAT:
1. Get acquainted with the test pattern
Since GMAT is a computer adaptive test, you need to be comfortable with taking an exam sitting in front of the computer screen.
It is very different from taking a paper-pencil based test and can affect your speed and accuracy to some extent if not practiced properly.
That’s why the first step for you should be to start reading from the computer screen for long durations of time.
Once you are comfortable with this, start the real preparation. I suggest, before even starting to study, begin with taking a mock test to know where you stand as on date.
There are tons of mock tests available online for practice.
You can check your score instantly and will get to know how much and what all you need to study for the final test.
2. Set yourself a S.M.A.R.T. goal and action plan
A famous Greek saying states “there is no journey without destination”. Set a goal which is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound.
Identify the universities you are aiming to get into and aim for a realistic score to achieve.
Usually top 20 universities would accept scores of more than 700, but there are exceptions if you have relevant work experience or academic merit to your credit.
Please do your research on universities and their score acceptance before setting a target score for yourself.
3. Identify weakness, and build on strengths
As a human being, you can’t be equally good in everything that you do.
There will be a few sections of the test that you will always do better in, and there will be others that aren’t actually your forte.
The key here is to plan how much time and effort you should put in to overcome your lacunae and then execute your plan to come out stronger.
It is very important to devote time to your strength areas to maintain the advantage.
Most of the students do the mistake of overlooking the strength areas and studying only the weak areas.
Please make sure that you spread your time prudently to maintain a balance.
4. Practice, Practice and Practice!
The more you practice with mock tests, the better your chances of doing a good job in the final test.
For an exam like GMAT, taking tests is more important than studying for long hours.
As it is a computer adaptive test, the better you do, tougher the test gets.
You should be experienced enough to not panic in a situation where the difficulty of questions is increasing with every correct answer.
Ideally you should prepare at least for 6 months for a higher probability of getting your targeted score, but with proper planning and execution it can be achieved in 2 months or even in a month! Let’s find out how:
Suggested: Read more about GMAT Prep
How to study for the GMAT in 2 months?
1. Prepare a robust study schedule
If you are aiming to achieve something extraordinary, you have to work in a fashion that is extraordinary too! Prepare a schedule that is systematic and exhaustive.
Set weekly targets to achieve and measure your success by taking a test at the end of every week.
2. Time your efforts
I would suggest do not waste too much of your time in learning something which is not your core strength.
Your aim should be to know and practice the basics and getting conceptual clarity rather than being an expert for any section of the test.
3. Keep the last 2 weeks for revision
Avoid getting into strange territories at the end of your study schedule. Keep on revising what you already know and build on the existing capabilities.
It would give you a confidence boost as the test date approaches, which is essential for a test like GMAT.
How to study for the GMAT in one month?
1. Study every single day
Make sure that you do not miss out on even a single day of studying and practicing.
Set yourself with a target of learning at least one new concept every day for the first three weeks.
This will ensure that you have touched upon most of the study material and that there are no surprises on the test day.
2. Take a test every 3rd day
This will keep you abreast with your position on a regular basis and will ultimately help you in identifying areas of improvement.
With every new test, try to incorporate the learning of the previous test and study sessions thereafter.
Make sure that you do not repeat the mistakes made in previous tests to ensure a better score.
3. Take regular breaks, but not too long
Since there is just 1 month at disposal, you would tend to study for 12-14 hours in a day.
Please make sure that you are not completely cut off from the outside world.
Take a 15 minutes break every 3-4 hours.
Engage in some hobby for 1 hour every day to keep your mind active and stress free. (IMP: Sleep for 7-8 hours every day, your mind needs rest)
How to study for the GMAT while working full time?
1. Utilize weekends and holidays
Make sure that you spend 4-5 hours of studying over the weekends and on holidays.
Since you wouldn't be getting much time on other days, try not to waste too much time in unproductive activities when not in office.
2. Find a partner to study with
This has proved out to be very effective for working professionals.
It is always good to have company of a healthy competitor around preferably from your workplace.
You can study with your partner and compare results.
3. Utilize lunch and coffee breaks
You should carry your study material to work and revise concepts whenever you get the opportunity.
You would not want to hamper your productivity at work, so it is not suggested to start anything fresh, but revision shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes.
Hope this article gives you clarity and some direction in planning you preparations for the GMAT.
All the best and keep practicing!