How to Prepare for GMAT
Strategizing and planning is the foremost step to start your GMAT preparation. In order to get into your dream B-school, be at Harvard Business School, Wharton University, Kellogg School of Management ISB or any other of your choice in 150+ countries you need to appear for the GMAT exam and prepare accordingly.
Pre-requisites of GMAT Preparation
Before you start your GMAT preparation, there are a few things that need to be taken care of. You need to make sure that you:
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- Familiarise yourself with the exam pattern: GMAT is very different from other MBA exams because of its computer-adaptive nature. You should be aware of the exam pattern, syllabus and eligibility so that you get a structured detail about the paper. You can check out the GMAT Exam details here.
- Take a diagnostic mock test: Before you start with anything take a mock test just to know where you stand and to what level of difficulty can you answer the questions.
- Target B-schools and what score you need: Different B-schools have different selection criteria. Your GMAT score validity also varies from college to college. Just make sure to thoroughly research the B-schools you’re targeting and their selection procedures.
- Take up GMAT Course and Resources: Go for a very structured GMAT Course. Taking up coaching can help you in the long run to ace your GMAT preparation. Make sure that the resources and study material you rely on are very relevant to the GMAT pattern.
- Identify your weaknesses: Analyse yourself through the mocks and tests you’re taking and work on them accordingly. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses and practise on your weak areas more thoroughly.
- Design your study plan: Now coming to the most important part, planning for GMAT. Evenly distribute your time to all the sectionals and give extra time to your weak areas. A detailed section-wise practice is given below.
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Section-wise Detailed Strategy
1. Analytical Writing Assessment
In your AWA essay, maintaining a confident and formal tone is the key. You are supposed to critique the provided argument and not provide your own opinions on it. Write a crisp and concise essay instead of writing full sentences and long words, say what you mean very straightforwardly.
Plan how you’re going to proceed with the essay before you start writing. Maintain a logical flow. Arrange what you want to write in a systematic way, take points and write them into paragraphs. Lastly, be yourself and use the flow you’re comfortable with.
2. Quantitative Section
In this section you’ll be dealing with two types of questions. An effective GMAT preparation strategy is required to ace this section. Here is how you can deal with both of the types of questions.
a) Problem Solving Type: Sometimes you might come across questions that seem to be more difficult than the GMAT level. You just need to look for an easier and faster approach to solve that question. Use the answer options and test them out and find out which one works. Use logic for calculation. For example, to find out 25% of a given number, you should know when to multiply it by 0.25 or 1/4. The GMAT exam mainly checks your application skills, not theoretical.
b) Data Sufficiency: These types of questions are considered to be the toughest in the GMAT exam. This section tests whether you have enough data to answer the questions. You don’t always have to completely solve the question in order to know the correct answer. You just need to know if the given statement answers the stem of the question. Just keep it in mind that Statements 1 & 2 must lead to the same conclusion.
3. Verbal Skills
The Verbal skills section has 3 sections namely Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction. Building an efficient GMAT preparation strategy for them accordingly is very important for your.
a) Reading Comprehension: Develop a regular reading habit to tackle RCs. Read articles from different sources and genres. Make sure what is being asked. Try to not read the passage over and over again. Read all the options carefully and use elimination method. Start focusing on your speed once you get into a reading habit. Draw out information based inferences. Try figuring out the tone and gist of the passage and what the author actually wants to convey. Practice regularly and you’re good to go.
b) Sentence Correction: Here, you’ll be provided with a sentence, part of which will be underlined. There will be five options given out of which you’ll have to choose the one which rephrases the underlined part the best. Start by reading the sentence very carefully. Know what the sentence is actually conveying. Now before you read out the options, focus on the underlined part and figure out the possible errors in the sentence. Check the options and eliminate the vague ones.
c) Critical Reasoning: Because CR questions directly stress your thinking skills across a wide range of scenarios that demand critical evaluation, logical reasoning, and attention to detail, they are at the core of what is evaluated on the GMAT.
It’s critical to be able to determine which sentences give evidence or context and which sentences present the conclusion in order to successfully evaluate a passage provided in a GMAT CR question. Try to imagine the opposite of the given argument in your brain when answering strengthening/weakening questions. This will aid you in comprehending the relevance of an argument, and you may find the appropriate solution by examining the consequences if the contrary were to be true.
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