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GMAT Preparation Tips – Strategy, Section-Wise Tips & Books

24 August, 2023

GMAT is a computer-based, standardized admissions test offered all over the world. It is one of the keys to assessing more than 7,000 business and management programs worldwide. While your GMAT score is not the only factor that graduate schools consider, it plays a vital role in the admissions process, especially for business schools. 

Look carefully at the criteria and decide how to prepare for the GMAT using the best method. Aspirants who plan to prepare for GMAT should be serious from the very beginning. As B-schools worldwide widely use the GMAT for evaluating applicants, candidates must be consistent and dedicated.

 GMAT Preparation 2024: Plan & Strategy
How to Prepare for the GMAT 2024?

When a candidate has a sound preparation strategy, they will feel more confident and will be able to handle the actual exam more easily. Studying for the GMAT is generally recommended two to three months before the test date, and there are numerous resources available to prepare you.

1. Get to know the structure of GMAT

As GMAT is different from other management exams on account of its adaptive nature, candidates need to look for what to start with before and how to start with. Knowing key parameters like the exam syllabus, registration, and exam syllabus is essential before knowing how to prepare for the GMAT. Furthermore, it will assist the candidates in understanding the marking scheme, how the paper is structured overall, the marking scheme, topic-wise weighting, and the type of questions asked in the exam.

2. USe GMAT Diagnostic Test 

GMAT diagnostic tests function similarly to mock GMAT examinations, which take place before the actual GMAT examination. The questions asked in a GMAT diagnostic test are similar to those asked in the actual examination.

3. Improve your study time by focusing on it

GMAT computer adaptive test candidates need to familiarize themselves with the different levels of difficulty they may encounter.  This indicates that the candidates are well-prepared to tackle different question types effectively. Candidates should increase their study time in the weeks leading up to the actual GMAT exam in order to achieve high scores. However, it is essential to choose an exam date that provides sufficient preparation time

4. Time Targets

Time management and practice are essential components of GMAT preparation. As a result, speed and accuracy will be improved. Attempt to complete 30 questions within a time frame of 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, maintaining time targets will enable the candidate to improve.

5. Take advantage of GMAT coaching

To crack the GMAT, it is all about targeting the right type of questions that will determine the percentile score. The candidates may also require mentorship at every stage of their preparation for the GMAT. Hence, GMAT aspirants must consider a variety of credible and possible learning approaches when it comes to GMAT opportunities, as this will help them make an informed decision regarding which methods and modes are most suitable and convenient for them.

6. Consistent Practice 

Practicing consistently in GMAT preparation increases candidates’ confidence and familiarity with the test. As more time is spent on studying the subject matter, any test candidate is more likely to perform well and in less time.

Section-Wise GMAT Preparation Tips 2024

Let’s understand the section-wise preparation tips for the GMAT 2023 exam as this will help in improving the GMAT preparation.

  1. Quantitative Reasoning – Section 1

The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GMAT assesses a candidate’s foundational mathematical skills, their ability to apply logic quantitatively, their understanding of elementary concepts, and their ability to solve quantitative aptitude problems. 

The main areas tested in this section include: 

Problem-solving and data sufficiency: These are two basic varieties of questions, which the questions of this section may be categorized into. Both test the candidates on the following skills including:
1. Elementary Algebra
2. Arithmetic
3. Common concepts of geometry. 

 Problem-Solving Questions:
These types of questions are designed to test:
1. Foundational mathematics aptitude skills.
2. 
Ability to apply logic to solve quantitative problems
3. Knowledge of basic mathematical concepts 

  Data Sufficiency Questions
The purpose of this type of question is to evaluate a candidate’s ability to:
1. 
Observe and Analyze the quantitative aptitude problem
2. 
Identify which pieces of data are relevant and which are not
3. Find out the exact time to start solving

2. Verbal Reasoning- Section 2

1. The verbal reasoning section deals with all questions in English. The candidates will need to solve all question types related to English usage, reasoning, grammar, and structure.
2. Invest more time in reading newspapers, magazines,s and other editorial content for best practice.
3. Obtain advice from experienced test-takers, guidebooks, and mentors on how to approach different types of questions.

The questions in this section are categorized into critical reasoning, reading comprehension, and sentence correction. 
a. Reading comprehension question: This section comprises passages of 300-400 words in length. The topics range from politics, economics, and philosophy to knowledge-based ones like current affairs, biological and material sciences. No special knowledge is required to solve the questions.
b. Critical Reasoning Questions: This category tests the ability to observe, evaluate, and analyze the arguments presented and develop a suitable action plan. This section tests a student’s ability to analyze arguments, construct arguments, and formulate and measure action plans in a constructive, rational manner.
c. Sentence correction question: This type asks the aspirant to determine the choice that best describes the key idea or the relationship. It is mandatory to know grammar. This section also tests the two main areas of language proficiency, namely correct expression and efficient expression. 

3. Integrated Reasoning – Section 3

1. Aspirants should be aware of the time allocated for this section and practice accordingly. 2.
2. It is important for aspirants to practice a variety of question types including table analysis, interpretation, reasoning, and so forth.
3. Aspirants should utilize quality resources for the IR section of the GMAT exam. When solving practice questions, make note of any issues you encounter and discuss them with your mentor or an experienced test taker. 

There are four basic question types: 

  • Two-part analysis: In this type, lengthy statements will be followed by small tables. Candidates are asked to select two options from a list of five or six options.
  • Multi-source critical reasoning: There may be lengthy statements followed by small tables and candidates are asked to select two options from five or six options that are given.
  • Graphical Representation: A variety of graphs are presented, and the candidate must be able to analyze them. Then, they should proceed to answer the two questions of which drop-down menus are provided.
  • Table Analysis: This data is presented in tabular format, followed by three questions with two possible answers.  This requires the ability to sift through the data.
  • Analytical Writing Assessment – Section 4

During the GMAT analytical writing assessment, candidates are assessed on their ability to think critically and communicate clearly. There is a 30-minute essay assignment on analyzing an issue or analyzing an argument. Topics of general interest. such as business, current affairs, and science, will be the focus of the issue and the argument. 

GMAT Preparation: Things to remember on D-Day 

Before the exam:
Practice and understand the tools in computer test mode. Also, read through all the rules and regulations given for taking the exam. 

During the exam:
Log in before test time to maintain the buffer. Remove all electronic devices or any other items that will not be allowed to be used during the exam.

After the exam:
Candidates will not be able to cancel the test scores received unless there is a technical problem after confirmation.

GMAT Exam Pattern 2024
The GMAT exam pattern outlines the basic structure of the exam and includes various test modes. GMAT test patterns are designed to assess an applicant’s ability to succeed in a management program.  Multiple-choice questions are included in four different sections of the test. There are separate time limits within which the candidate must answer the questions in the section. Aspirants should familiarize themselves with the GMAT exam pattern before preparing for the exam. The GMAT exam is a 3-hour, 7-minute online test and consists of four broad sections which are shown in the table below: 

Sections  Number of Questions  Time Limit (Mins) 
Analytical Writing  1 question (01 Essay)  30 
Integrated Reasoning  12 questions  30 
Quantitative  31 questions  62 
Verbal  36 questions  65
Total  80 questions  187 
  • GMAT Exam Pattern: Analytical Writing Analysis

The analytical writing analysis section includes one task and will require analyzing the reason behind the argument. The task will be based on general business-related topics.  

Duration: 30 minutes
No of questions: 1

  • GMAT Exam Pattern: Quantitative Reasoning 

Duration: 62 minutes
No of Questions: 31 

The Quantitative Reasoning section comprises multiple choice questions to analyze your mathematical reasoning through quantitative problems. There are two types of questions, including problem-solving and data sufficiency. 

  • GMAT Exam Pattern: Verbal Reasoning 

The verbal reasoning section of the test consists of multiple-choice questions designed to assess an aspirant’s ability to read, comprehend, and use written material in a logical manner.

Duration: 65 minutes
No of Questions: 36 

  • GMAT Exam Pattern: Integrated Reasoning

Aspirants are tested on their ability to integrate information from different sources and solve complex problems.

Duration: 30 minutes
No of Questions: 12 

Best Books for GMAT Preparation in 2024

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the GMAT. The best GMAT preparation books and resources can help you score well on the GMAT. 

  1. Manhattan Prep Complete GMAT Strategy Guide Set 
  2. GMAT Official Advanced Questions 
  3. Kaplan GMAT Prep Plus 2023
  4. Powerscore GMAT Reading Comprehension Bible 
  5. Mometrix Secret GMAT Prep Book 
  6. 30 Day- GMAT Success 
  7. GMAT Foundations of Verbal: Practical Problems 
  8. GMAT Math Workbook 
  9. GMAT Analytical Writing 
  10. Kaplan GMAT Premier 
  11. Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction Strategy Guide 
  12. GMAT Official Guide to Quantitative Review 
FAQs on GMAT Preparation 2024

How to prepare for the GMAT?
Below are a few ways to prepare for the GMAT:
1. Select the test
2. Create a strategy based on your abilities
3. Set timelines for the study plan
4. Take mock tests
5. Register for the test 

2. Can I prepare for the GMAT on my own? 

There are several ways to prepare for the GMAT exam, including private coaching, online courses, and physical classes. It is not difficult to prepare for the GMAT on your own. Even if an individual enrolls in GMAT coaching, they should study independently. The best way to prepare for the GMAT is to understand its syllabus and pattern. 

3. How to take the GMAT mock test? 

You can take the GMAT practice test at any time. The exam should, however, be taken in the same manner as a real test. Take the test in one sitting, and do not take extra time. Over time, you will develop certain strategies based on GMAT practice tests and its analysts. The next time you take a mock test, try these strategies. Analysis of the GMAT mock test is just as important as the test itself.

4. What are the key things to consider before starting my GMAT exam preparation? 

The GMAT score is not the only criterion for admission to a good business school. Before beginning your GMAT preparation, it is essential to consider all factors. It is ideal to begin your study abroad journey at least 10-12 months prior to your admission date. You should prepare for the GMAT for 3-6 months and prepare admission documents for a few months. If you need to retake the GMAT, keep some buffer time.

5. What skills are tested through the GMAT exam? 

The Graduate Management Admissions Test assesses the student’s writing, analytical, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English. It also measures the candidate’s ability to reason using all of these skills. Additionally, the test is designed to assess the candidate’s analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities, as well as their ability to make complex judgments.

6. Can I prepare for GMAT in three months? 

GMAT candidates require a comprehensive study plan in order to prepare for the exam within three months. Many candidates attempt to complete their GMAT preparation within two months. However, a three-month study plan must be followed to prepare for the GMAT. During these three months, one may begin preparing for the GMAT with official GMAT study materials. Besides official study materials, one should take GMAT mock tests, take short notes, and revise them repeatedly.

7. Can I score 700+ in the GMAT on the first attempt? 

It is possible to score 700+ on the GMAT with the right test strategy and preparation. Every year, two-thirds of test takers score between 400 and 600. A GMAT score of 700 to 740 is considered excellent, and anything above this is considered excellent.

8. How many times i can attempt the GMAT exam?

The GMAT can be taken a total of eight times with a gap of a minimum of 16 calendar days between two tests. However, one can take the test only five times in a calendar year. 

9. What level of maths does the GMAT cover? 

The GMAT covers mathematics up to the level of high school. Quantitative sections of the GMAT do not require advanced mathematical knowledge. Nevertheless, you should be able to apply your mathematical knowledge and skills in various ways. Practice your math skills rigorously with GMAT experts and use any tools at your disposal to prepare.

10. Is GMAT compulsory for applying to MBA and PhD programs outside India?

GMAT scores are required by most universities today for their BA programs, and they may accept GMAT scores for some Masters and PhD programs in finance and management.

Conclusion: 

The GMAT is the premier test used to determine admissions to graduate business programs. By demonstrating your problem-solving abilities and critical reasoning abilities, the GMAT can help you prove your commitment to and eligibility for an MBA or business master’s degree program. If you need more help, you can check out our GMAT Classroom, GMAT Focus Edition Online, etc. Using this comprehensive guide you will increase your chances of admission to top graduate business schools around the world, and a high GMAT score will give you a significant advantage over other applicants.