10 tips for your GMAT that actually help

April 11, 2011

Whatever you do, whichever way you plan your studies, however long is your timeline, there are a couple of things you MUST keep in mind. These 10 points are my most repeated ones whenever I am giving advice or sharing my experience.
  1. Take a test date: After dabbling with the idea of GMAT for a maximum of one week, take a diagnostic test and based on that take a test date. It may be 2 months later, 3 months later, but you HAVE to take a test date to stay motivated and on track.
  2. Read the best books: I cannot stress this enough. It's actually very obvious: you save time, you learn only correct stuff, you do not waste time and energy over whelming yourself. So only get the highly recommended bare essentials except if you have special needs with a particular topic or section.
  3. Have your Basics strong: Give time and effort in strengthening your basics. It's a fixed cost you incur, but the foundation has to be strong to capitalize on it. It's not just about GMAT. When you get into a B-school, you will need these concepts again. You don't just want a shallow, short-term knowledge base. So before solving problems it's always a good idea to study that topic from a trusted source.
  4. Practice / Study daily: No brainer. To be consistent in your performance and build a good stamina for the exam you have to practice daily as if it's the last day of your prep. Practice as if you are taking the actual test. Give your best in every problem, every line of the book.
  5. Take atleast 10 mock tests: Anything fewer is not going to be a true representative of your preparation. So if you want to have a fair idea of your final score, take no more than 10. 2 GMAT prep + 4 Kaplan + 2 Princeton/Manhattan maybe.
  6. Do not rely solely on Mock Test Scores: They are not correct most of the times. I recommend relying on your accuracy levels for a fairer judgment.
  7. Keep 1 Month in case you have to retake GMAT: Try for the best, prepare for the worst. Even after lots of hard work, sometimes people fail. That doesn't mean you give up. Get back and retake it. But space that 1 month before the application season which starts around June. So keep that buffer.
  8. Have a reasonable goal: Don't under or over assess yourself. There are things which might be stopping you from getting your dream score, but you should figure that out in that 1 month. After that, it's just an excuse. If your goal is a 720, make sure there no major glitches toward getting that number. There is no point analyzing after you have screwed up; well there is, but it's always better to do that before the exam.
  9. Get the help when you need it: If you get stuck, get help right away. No point waiting for something to happen. Get help, ask people, get the impediments out of the way as soon as you encounter them.
  10. Stay healthy: It's weird but you won't believe how many times people say that they screwed up because they were on medication. Stay fit. Stay positive. Live healthy. Take out time for hobbies, fun activities. GMAT does not mean 2 months of jail. Have a good life, balanced life. Enjoy the journey.

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  1. Having a reasonable goal is the thing most people forget about but motivation is what keeps you ready for all endless preparations and hours of studying.

  2. Hi thannks for posting this


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