A solid score on the GMAT or GRE is required in order to apply to most business schools. Although the GMAT may be a tough challenge, especially if it’s been a few years since you’ve cracked open a textbook, there are many ways to prepare for the exam so you can feel confident and comfortable on test day. When you’ve decided to take the plunge, here are a few simple steps to take to get started on your GMAT journey!
1. Establish a Study Schedule
Preparing for the GMAT requires a significant amount of discipline. For most people, it is going to be a multi-week or multi-month process to prepare. You’ll need to find time in your schedule to learn the material, test yourself, and adjust your study plan to focus on your weaknesses. All of that requires that you remain consistent in studying to ensure you can score well on the test. Creating a set schedule as soon as possible lets you get into a habit that on certain days of the week or certain times of the day you know you will be studying. This also helps avoid the ever present danger of procrastinating. Do yourself a huge favor and get this prep work done ASAP.
2. Take a Diagnostic Test
You can ease your nerves and feel more comfortable on the test day by taking multiple practice tests in advance. These practice exams are modeled after the real test and can allow you to get more familiar with the Quantitative, Verbal, and Integrated Reasoning sections. It will not only allow you to evaluate how well you are likely to score, but can also work as a form of studying. Remember to set aside at least 90 minutes (in addition to the multiple hour long test!) for reviewing your test scores following the practice exam to ensure you know which areas you need to improve on as you continue your test prep journey.
3. Get some Test Prep Products to Supercharge your Studying
Select a few prep books to use that will bolster your self-study regimen. Remember to look for questions of all difficulty types. Your prep materials should absolutely include multiple approaches to every type of question you may come across like Quant, Verbal, or even Writing! Having good study materials is a major part of the test preparation challenge you face ahead.
4. Find a Study Group
There are many different types of study groups available for individuals who are preparing for the GMAT. A study group can benefit those who work well with others and need accountability to stick with their test prep goals. You can meet up for study dates with your peers in person, purchase a test prep course to take from a teacher, or even meet up with online communities to prepare for the GMAT. This will allow you to learn from other individuals in sections you may be struggling in and even teach the material to other study partners. Remember the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else!
5. Use a Timer
The GMAT is three hours long and has multiple sections. That means you need to learn how to be conscious of the time as you work on each section of the test. Use a timer each time you take a practice test to learn if you need to move more quickly or pace yourself as you work through the exam.
The score you earn on the GMAT will significantly influence the business school you’re accepted to as you work towards a successful career. With the right study supplies and preparation, you can approach the test with confidence and exercise the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired.