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How to Prepare for GMAT exam - Complete guide

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

How to prepare for GMAT exam- Complete guide

Thinking about how to prepare for the GMAT exam? For succeeding in this prestigious test that will help you in getting admission into leading management universities and colleges abroad, scores of at least 650 are vital out of 800. This is possible with proper planning and strategies. GMAC is the organizing body behind the GMAT, which is a computer adaptive test held regularly throughout the year. The exam can be taken online as well as offline. 

How to prepare for the GMAT exam- Vital pointers

Here are some helpful pointers that will be of immense assistance if you’re wondering how to prepare for the GMAT exam

  • Learn carefully about the sections contained in the test and create the study blueprint likewise. It has four sections and the total duration of the exam is 3 hours and 7 minutes. 
  • Start your preparation well in advance. Aspirants should have a clearly defined plan that is spread out properly. 
  • Get hold of all preparation materials online for the examination along with offline study resources as well. There are countless options available in this regard. 
  • Make a note of the fact that this will be a test with a limited time frame. Hence, one should seek to develop specific skills which will be useful while appearing for the same.
  • Zeroing on weaknesses and working suitably on fixing them, ensuring that they do not impact overall performance in the full examination is important to do well in this exam. 
  • Practicing regularly will help you achieve more perfection and once you are done with your preparation, you should check out sample test papers likewise. This will help you get a clearer picture of your preparation levels. 
  • Read newspapers, magazines, novels, science journals, and other published material to engage with diverse forms of content and enhance your vocabulary. 

How to prepare for GMAT exam- Subject-wise tips for aspirants 

You should adopt a more proactive approach towards successfully tackling the subjects of the GMAT examination. 

Study Tips for Integrated Reasoning – 

This is a section with twelve questions in total and 30 minutes are allotted for this section. An aspirant should complete this entire portion in 25 minutes in an ideal scenario and revise over the last 5 minutes while tracking any possible questions which remain unsolved. Ensure that you cover each topic, be it table analysis, graphical interpretation, or so on. Go through all the study materials and books to ensure the required scores. 

Study Tips for Quantitative Section – 

This is one section that contains 31 questions and the time limit is given for the section is 62 minutes. While you are practicing, you should cover all questions linked to solving problems and data sufficiency. You should aim for finishing the examination within 55 minutes and keep the remainder for checking unsolved questions and revising your answers. You should aim to memorize mathematical formulas used for these topics for enhancing overall speed. Make sure that you keep practicing both difficult and easy questions with a view towards covering the full syllabus for GMAT. 

Study Tips for Verbal Section – 

If you were thinking about how to prepare for the GMAT exam, know that acing the verbal section of the examination is important. 36 questions need to be completed in 65 minutes. This section will test the English language usage and skills. For the Verbal portion, enhance your skills with recommended grammar books and make sure to read editorials in newspapers. This section will have numerous topics like critical reasoning, reading passages, correcting sentences, idioms, antonyms and synonyms, and verb-subject agreement. Make sure that you are covering all these essential topics while you are preparing and get hold of various guidebooks since your analytical and reasoning skills will be tested. 

Study Tips on Analytical Writing Assessment- 

30 minutes are provided for this section in total. You should try and complete the writing section within 25 minutes and keep at least 5 minutes for revision in an ideal scenario. Make sure that you start reading more newspapers and magazine articles. Read articles that have logical arguments placed on topics or aspects which are relevant. Remember vital points linked to any topic and continually practice them so that you can use them while writing. Practice writing on various topics while highlighting diverse argumentative aspects. Try to scale up the overall speed and manage your time in a more efficient manner. 

GMAT Study Material and Practice Test

There are several online and offline resources for GMAT study material. Aspirants can refer to the official GMAC site to obtain preparation material and practice tests. It has free as well as paid resources. Also, here are some preparation and practice test books for GMAT that aspirants can refer to-

  • GMAT official guide bundle
  • Kaplan for all sections
  • Manhattan series for Quants
  • Veritas Prep complete GMAT course
  • PowerScore Verbal Trilogy Bible
  • Manhattan Prep GMAT strategy Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can one get GMAT prep material for free?

One can access some free GMAT prep material on the official site of GMAC. Also, there are several open resources on the internet that one can scout.

Can I use a calculator in the GMAT exam?

Calculator is allowed in the GMAT exam only for the integrated reasoning section. It is not allowed for the quantitative section.

Is the GRE exam easier than GMAT?

Both GRE and GMAT have their merits. As per various analysis of the exams, quantitative questions on the GMAT are generally more difficult than those on the GRE. On the other hand, the GRE verbal section can be more difficult than that of GMAT.

Can I score 700+ in GMAT first attempt?

With the right preparation and exam strategy it is possible to score a 700+ in GMAT first attempt. As per the general trend every year,  two-thirds of test takers score between 400 and 600. A good GMAT score is between 700 and 740, and anything above it is an excellent score. 

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.