Preparation Details for the GMAT

How to formulate the perfect preparation plan

Appearing for GMAT is no mean task, and requires ample focus and prep. Aspirants who aim at a career in management agree that the grooming process for a future manager starts way early and most surely when they begin studying for the test. So, if you are planning to take the GMAT any time soon, then a perfectly planned  preparation should be under your belt by now. In case it isn’t, don’t break a sweat, relax and read what we have in store for you. It could turn out to be the best way in which you could plan to take the exam.

The first thing you need to have is time, at least a minimum of 6 months till you attend your first semester at a graduate business school. The next step is to plan out your preparation and space it adroitly to match your daily schedule and every day priorities. It doesn’t matter if you are a working professional or a stay-at-home mom, time is of value to any type of individual and chalking out a decisive prep plan to fit in your daily routine is a good way to start. But what do you prepare from? Now, that’s a tricky question because although practice materials and guide books cover all sections, aspirants may need added guidance for a particular section more than for the other. A good way to judge this requirement is to take a simulated test so you can figure out from the score, where you need to focus the most. Download the GMAT Prep TM software from the official GMAT website and take the two scheduled tests. The scores you receive will help you understand your weaker points and then you can give them focused attention, keeping in mind the time you are scheduling for your daily prep itinerary.

The Time

Charting out 6-months for training is the best way to move ahead; because this much time gives you plenty of space to prepare for the exam, work on your B-school applications and make way for a month’s time for a re-test, in case you do not achieve the desired score. If you are appearing for your first round of selections to B-schools in September, then schedule your exam for the first week of July, so that once you do get your scores, you can either start working on your B-school application essays or in case you did not perform well, re-schedule your exam so that you make it in time for the first round. This also means you should start your preparation by mid-March, giving at least 3-4 months until the arrival of the test.

The Plan

Considering everybody has 24 hours in a day to do all their chores, it won’t be fair asking and expecting for more time for studying. You have to set your priorities and make a routine for the prep. Pick out a time of the day when you are most receptive and think you can sit and learn something, take that time and multiply it by at least three hours and divide it into the parts that require your attention the most. It could be algebra, geometry, sentence correction or data sufficiency problems etc. On some days like the weekends, when you are relatively more free than you are on weekdays, make time to take practice tests to monitor your preparation through the entire week, if you see you are improving, you know you are headed the right way. In case that isn’t happening, well then you know what to do. Practice and prepare more.

The Prep Material

Of the humongous amount of prep materials available for practice, it can be pretty confusing for aspirants to decide what to rely on for their prep. At times like these it is best to have a combination-plan of prep guides, DVD practice material, a few one-day workshops for difficult sections/subjects, online forums for discussions of sections and loads of simulated practice tests. When you are considering prep guides then, The Official Guide for GMAT Review is the best book for studying and guidance. It can be ordered online at and it is also available in almost all book stores. The same website also offers other practice materials.

Prep courses too are available with names like the Princeton Review, Kaplan GMAT and Manhattan GMAT. These also offer online stores for an exhaustive coverage of individual sections like Data sufficiency, GMAT AWA, sentence correction and reading comprehension. DVDs and online lectures or instructional videos are also a good idea to be used, mostly when the aspirant is on the move. These require only a laptop/mobile device and can be viewed anytime, anywhere. Joining online forums like or is an interesting way for the aspirant to unwind and talk to fellow would-be test takers and discuss the obstacles they are facing while practicing for the test.

The key elements to the prefect planning for the management aptitude exam are focus and devotion, and only then can the plan succeed and result in a good score for the aspirant. Nothing beats the support of dogged practice for an exam like GMAT and this practice combined with focus and devotion can be the formulation of a perfect planning for the test.