Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice
mobile search icon

Guide To GMAT Prep: Ten Tips To Ace The Test!

Only 21 per cent of GMAT test takers prepare for 100 hours or more. Read on for more interesting facts about the GMAT and tips for success from the experts.

By  Ifeatu Nnaobi

Mon Sep 24 2012

A guest post from the Graduate management Admissions Council, the organization that runs the GMAT test worldwide.

The GMAT exam is a major step on the road to pursuing an MBA or non-MBA graduate management programme.

Leading business schools and firms worldwide recognising the GMAT as an effective predictor of success ar business school and beyond.

So, start your business school journey right, by following these simple study tips:

1. Start early! Preparing for the GMAT takes time and dedication. Most GMAT test takers start preparing about 3 to 6 months before the actual test date. Using data collected in 2011 from more than 8,000 GMAT test takers, we can see that 49% of test takers spend at least 51 hours prepping for the exam, and those who do better on the GMAT tend to spend more time studying for it.

2. Gather information about your target programmes and keep application deadlines in mind. Register for the GMAT and create a study plan. Don’t forget to give yourself enough time to retake the exam if things don’t go to plan.

3. Break up your studying into chunks, reviewing one section of the test at a time.

4. Familiarise yourself with the test structure, format, and types of questions you will face and really know the exam. Familiarise yourself with each section, its length and the order of the test, including the timing of the breaks so there are no surprises on test day.

5. Get comfortable with the actual test-taking conditions. Remember, the GMAT exam is taken on a computer, so download and use the free GMATPrep software.

6. If your first language is not English, you may want to devote extra time to preparing for the Verbal section of the exam. You can purchase the Official Guide for GMAC Verbal Review, 2nd Edition, which contains hundreds of real GMAT questions, answers and explanations at the mba.com store.

7. Practice writing the essay using the AWA Topics available on mba.com, or purchase GMAT Write – software designed to help you practice your essay writing skills. GMAT Write will even grade your essay using the same technology that the actual exam uses, so you can keep track of your improvement.

8. Review your maths. You may not have studied maths in some time, and if so, it may help to do a review of basic maths skills. The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review, 2nd Edition is available at the mba.com store.

9. Learn what to expect from the new Integrated Reasoning section. Perhaps the most vital tip for the section is to be familiar with the item formats; there are four different item formats, and you should be comfortable with all of them. Most of the 12 questions require more than one response, and you will have to average about one minute per response.

10. Take as many practice tests as you can, ideally under test conditions. Particularly if you are using the Official Guide for GMAT Review or one of our GMAT Paper Tests, try to replicate the test-day experience. For example, try a practice test with your copy of the Official Guide for GMAT Review placed upright (like a computer monitor) and use a sheet of scrap paper rather than writing on the test questions, as you will not be able to do this on test-day.





GMAC also offers prospective students a host of supporting information materials, which can be found at mba.com.

You can ask the experts at GMAC directly online by visiting the official GMAT pages on Facebook or Twitter.