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Your Ultimate Guide to Prepare for the GMAT

Your Ultimate Guide to Prepare for the GMAT

Uploaded on
Oct 13, 2022
Last updated on
Dec 4, 2023
Uploaded on
Oct 13, 2022
Last updated on
Dec 4, 2023
Prepare for the GMAT
A mat you don't want to step on

GMAT, GRE, GATE, and did we forget something? Oh yeah, GCSE. It seems like it's just the letter G’s world, and we’re just a small part of it. The G- gang exams carry a lot of importance and have an important part in shaping a student's future. The GMAT (we admit that the name does sound cool, but we both know there’s nothing cool about exams) in particular, holds a lot of relevance, so we’re here to tell you exactly how to prepare for the GMAT. 

What is the GMAT?

The GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test, is a globally used admissions test for students who want to pursue graduate programs in business or management-related fields. Your GMAT  score is one of the most important things that admissions officers look for in your application. A good score could separate you from other applicants, so taking the time to prepare for the GMAT would no doubt prove to be a wise decision. 

GMAT eligibility criteria 

Since the GMAT is a standardised, global entrance test, there are very few restrictions placed on who is allowed to give the test. However, it is still important to know if you can take the test before you begin to prepare for the GMAT. Here is a breakdown of the GMAT eligibility requirements:

Age: The minimum age required to take the GMAT is 13, and there is no maximum age limit set for test takers. If school just isn't enough of a challenge for you and you’re looking to prepare for the GMAT, there’s no one to stop you! All you need to do is get written permission from a parent or guardian to allow you to sit for the exam. 

Academic background: While most GMAT test takers are usually students in their final year of university or working professionals, there are no official GMAT eligibility criteria stating the need for any specific degree or grade requirements from applicants. 

Number of attempts: You can appear for the GMAT a maximum of 8 times, and you cannot take the GMAT more than 5 times in 12 months. Once you’ve already appeared for the exam, you can sit for your second attempt after 16 days. 

Language: The GMAT questions are all in English, so while a comprehensive understanding of the English language is highly beneficial when you prepare for the GMAT, it is not an official requirement. 

GMAT Preparation

Preparing for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) can be a daunting task, but with the right approach and resources, it can be a rewarding experience. One key factor in GMAT preparation is understanding the structure and content of the exam. There are 4 GMAT sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal. It is important to create a study plan that covers all sections and allows for ample practice time. Utilising official GMAT prep materials and practice exams can also be helpful in identifying areas of weakness and tracking progress. Finally, staying motivated and focused throughout the preparation process is crucial to achieving a high score on the GMAT.

GMAT exam pattern

Like most entrance tests, the GMAT has a specific format with different exam sections. A basic understanding of the exam format is essential while preparing for the GMAT because it will help you better understand how to divide your time while studying. 

GMAT Format

GMAT Test Sections

Quantitative reasoning GMAT

Time Limit: 62 minutes
Number of Questions: 31 
Score Range: 0 - 60

The Quantitative Reasoning Section is essentially the math portion of the GMAT and has two different sorts of questions: Problem-Solving and Data Sufficiency. Both kinds of questions demand a basic understanding of geometry and the fundamentals of algebra and arithmetic, so keep that in mind as you prepare for the GMAT. You are not permitted a calculator while giving the GMAT, but don’t let that scare you, because this section is designed as a way to test your logic and analytical skills and is not solely focused on evaluating your arithmetic skills. 

Tips to how to prepare for GMAT quantitative reasoning 

Learn the basics
Much like other standardised tests, including the SATs, GRE and ACTs, the GMAT aims to test basic, high school-level math skills. When you start to prepare for the GMAT, take a refresher course on calculus, geometry and algebra to strengthen your foundation for the test. 

Know the question types
As mentioned above, the quantitative reasoning section has questions that test your problem-solving and data skills. While you prepare for the GMAT quantitative reasoning section, you must familiarise yourself with the different types of questions on the test. Once you know which questions you excel at and where you could use more work, you will know where to focus your efforts. 

Do practice tests
Practice makes perfect. You’ve likely heard this a hundred times, so allow us to make it a hundred and one. There’s no better way to prepare for a math test than to do practice tests. This is an excellent way for you to practice time management while you prepare for the GMAT. Doing practice tests will also help you learn how to minimise careless errors like writing or copying incorrect numbers. 

Want to do an MBA? Read our blog on the Best Colleges for MBA in the UK in 2023.

Verbal reasoning GMAT

Time Limit: 65 minutes
Number of Questions: 36
Score Range: 0 - 60

The verbal reasoning section of the GMAT is known for being difficult, with less than 2% of people scoring over 51. This section has three main sub-sections you should be aware of as you prepare for the GMAT. The three sections are

Reading Comprehension: In this section, you are given passages from different fields like business, science or humanities and are made to interpret and draw inferences from them.  

Critical Reasoning: This section tests your ability to make and evaluate valid arguments. You will be given a short passage of 100 words or less and a few questions to test how well you understood the passage. 

Sentence Correction:  This section tests how well you have understood sentences by asking you to correct certain phrases or words used within the sentences

Tips to how to prepare for GMAT verbal reasoning

Learn to simplify the language: This section of the test is tricky because it uses a lot of complicated words. A good strategy to implement while you prepare for the GMAT is to study the meanings of words so that you can break down each sentence to its simplest form to comprehend it. 

Know how to comprehend the questions:The questions are designed to confuse you, but once you’re familiar with the structure of each question, it’ll be easier to understand precisely what the question is asking you to do. While you prepare for the GMAT, train yourself to read and comprehend the question before looking at the answers. The multiple-choice answers have a knack for confusing people, but if you’ve completely understood the questions and have an answer in mind beforehand, then it becomes easier not to be swayed by other options thrown into the mix. 

Use a process of elimination: Another helpful strategy to implement while you prepare for the GMAT is to learn how to use a process of elimination. This is especially useful when you struggle to think which answer is right. Instead of worrying about what fits, first, cross out the answers that are 100% wrong, and you’ll be closer to finding out what’s right.  If you are struggling to study with efficiency, here are some proven tips on how to study effectively. If you are struggling to study with efficiency, here are some proven tips on how to study effectively.  

Analytical writing assessment GMAT

Time Limit: 30 minutes
Number of Questions: 1
Score Range: 0 - 6 

In the analytical writing assessment section of the GMAT, you are required to provide an analysis of an argument provided to you. This is an essay-type question where you have half an hour to pen down your thoughts and opinions on a particular topic and provide a critical analysis of it. This is perhaps the trickiest section to practice while you prepare for the GMAT, but we have a few tips here that can help you. 

Tips to how to prepare for GMAT analytical writing assessment

Structure your essay well: While you practice writing essays, ensure that you spend some time thinking about how you want to structure your essay. A well-structured argument flowing logically from point to point is much easier to digest than a haphazard network of ideas. If you’re wondering what a good structure looks like, here’s a template you can learn to follow as you prepare for the GMAT:

1st paragraph: Thesis statement
2nd paragraph: Argument + evidence 
3rd paragraph: 2nd argument + evidence 
4th paragraph: 3rd argument + evidence 
5th paragraph: Conclusion

Use simple language: You may be tempted to use the big fancy words that you’ve picked up while preparing for the GMAT, but it's best to keep your language simple in your essay. If you use too much complicated vocabulary throughout your essay, you may get lost in your sentences and not be able to convey your argument effectively.  

Support your arguments: While writing your essay, ensure that every argument you make is supported by claims made in the passage itself. The question aims to test how well you can comprehend and interpret knowledge presented to you, so focus your argument around the information in the question. As you prepare for the GMAT, ask a friend (preferably one with a critical eye) to read through your practice essays and see if your arguments are well supported. 

Read essay examples :To better understand how other people write their essays, read through some essays that have scored their writers a 5 or above in this section. After reading through what makes a good essay, you should better grasp what works and doesn’t as you prepare for the GMAT. 

Read our blog to find out about MBA in the UK vs MBA in the USA: Which course is better?

Integrated reasoning GMAT

Time Limit: 30 minutes
Number of Questions: 12
Score Range: 0-8 

This section tests your ability to use data to solve complicated problems. The unique part about this section is that many questions allow for multiple responses, and you are allowed to use an online calculator for basic functions. There are four main sub-sections in the Integrated reasoning portion of the GMAT, which are: 

  1. Multi-Source Reasoning: You will be asked to draw inferences from a combination of tables and graphics and will need to be able to digest and analyse the information to answer the questions provided. 
  2. Table Analysis: In this section, you will need to sort your data in a way that makes logical sense according to the question that has been asked, so they can test your ability to understand data. 
  3. Graphics Interpretation: This section will provide you with information in the form of a graph. You will be asked to interpret the data and identify patterns and relationships per the questions asked.  
  4. Two-Part Analysis: Here, the test will analyse your ability to solve problems using both your verbal and quantitative reasoning skills. 

Tips to prepare for GMAT integrated reasoning

Read the questions carefully: This section is incredibly data heavy, so it is imperative that you learn to read and understand these types of questions as you prepare for the GMAT. Don’t get overwhelmed by the numbers, instead, try to make a note of what each number represents as you go through the data. Every piece of data provided will not be relevant to your question, so if a piece of information seems like it doesn’t fit, it probably doesn't. 

Use the calculator :This section of the test allows you to use a calculator while so you should! Analyzing the data will be your biggest challenge so use whatever help you can get to ensure that you aren’t making any silly mistakes. 

Summarise the content : As you go through the data provided, make a rough note of what the data is actually trying to convey before you read the question. That way, when you go to answer the question, you will already have a rough idea of what the question should look like. 

Preparing for the GMAT? Browse through our Guide to Getting an MBA in the USA and get excited about your future!

If you are confused between GRE or GMAT, we’re here to help you. There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing a particular test. It all depends on your preference, goals, and strengths. Make sure you do some research and plan ahead of time before making a clear decision on your choice of preferences. Take some help from the above points; we are very sure that you will come full circle with a definite choice after reading this article. Read our blog on GRE Vs GMAT for a proper grasp over this topic.

Frequently Asked Questions

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