An Effective Study Plan for the GMAT

Study for GMAT in 3 Months

A systematic plan plays a vital part in helping you achieve a high score in GMAT. A multitude of preparation courses are available which help to prepare for this all important exam. Some courses can help to prepare in a few weeks while others may take a few months. While many candidates opt to join a course for preparation, some prefer to self study for the GMAT. On an average, it requires about 3 months to prepare considering about 20 hours of study in a week. Before beginning the preparation, it is necessary to formulate a study plan according to the hours you can dedicate to the study. For a 3 month preparation, it is imperative that you set aside at least 2 hours on weekdays and more on the weekends.

    • GMAT test pattern:

Before formulating a schedule, it is important to understand what the test is all about. The GMAT consists of three sections – verbal section, quantitative section and analytical writing assessment section. It is a computer adaptive test comprising of questions of different levels of difficulty with the harder questions carrying more points. It tests your basic skills in Mathematics, grammar and reasoning and abilities to solve problems under a strict time constraint.

    • Study plan:

A schedule has to be formulated to best suit you. Every section, whether quantitative or verbal will require time to prepare no matter how proficient you may be in mathematics or grammar. For the first week, it is best to try to understand the test pattern rather than plunging into solving mock or practice tests. The first week should be used to research the study guides and other resources such as websites, discussion forums and test software available for additional and important information for preparation.

      • Month 1:

Devote the first month to understand and prepare for the quantitative section. This section consists of problems in basic mathematic and questions on data sufficiency. While the concepts tested in basic Mathematics are mostly learnt in high school, data sufficiency may not seem common to many. Therefore, it is imperative to understand, learn and solve problems on data sufficiency. The basic Mathematics too needs practice as the concepts have possibly not been used since college or high school. Engineering and mathematics graduates may find it easier than those who are not, but it is advised not to feel too overconfident and practice mathematics carefully. The quantitative Mathematics problems have a subtle style that requires practice to get used to.

      • Month 2:

Once the quantitative section has been covered, it is time to focus on the verbal section. This section consists of questions on critical reasoning, sentence correction and reading comprehension. It is suggested that you devote time to each of the above and top up your learning with practice problems. Once you are confident with critical reasoning problems, move on to sentence correction and devote time to understand and learn it. At the same time, set aside time to practice a few questions of critical reasoning that you have already covered. While focusing on this section, it is important not to forget the quantitative section completely. Solving a few questions of the quantitative section as you progress on the verbal section is recommended.

      • Month 3:

With both the quantitative and verbal sections covered, the time is apt to start with practice tests. It is advised to take as many practice tests as possible. Time the tests and review your mistakes. The score for analytical writing assessment comes separately and does not affect your GMAT score. It is therefore recommended to not spend more than a few days in understanding and practicing the analytical writing section.

Like all study plans, your study pan for this test will help you in successfully securing a high score when followed diligently.