Every candidate who sits down to take the GMAT has one goal in mind – score 730+. This score doesn’t just put them above the 96th percentile band, it also opens up doors to admissions opportunities to some of the world’s best global MBA & management programs. It transforms a good application into a great one that catches the eye of even the most elusive selectors. But only a few thousand students every year ever manage to reach this academic echelon. If you want to be a part of that exclusive group of students and significantly improve your chances of a business school admit, then you need to follow the five-step GMAT study plan we’ve shared below. We’ve distilled the knowledge of our most experienced GMAT mentors into five steps – each building upon the other to get you to your target score.
The five-step GMAT Study Plan to score 730+
Take a GMAT mock test
Before you even begin to design your study plan, take a GMAT diagnostic mock test first. This will be your first introduction to the GMAT – the sections, type of questions, pattern, and processes. You’ll also get a chance to work with the computer-adaptive feature of GMAT.
This mock exam will form the foundation to support your GMAT and business school ambitions.
Diagnose your baseline score
Don’t just look at the overall score of your diagnostic mock. Break your score down across sections, types of questions, and difficulty levels. The goal is to establish a baseline score for each part of the GMAT test. Measure the gap between your baseline and target scores across all sections and identify areas where you can make quick strides and areas requiring longer sustained effort.
Identify areas that require improvement
According to general calculations, a 10-point improvement in the GMAT score requires a minimum 7 hours of work. With this equation in mind, we can estimate the amount of time to be devoted to each topic. Based on the gap between your baseline and target scores, allocate hours to all the topics, ensuring you address your weaknesses first.
Build a smart strategy to shore up your approach
Now that you have a handle on your weaker areas and the estimated time and effort required to improve, it’s time to design a smart GMAT study plan that generates the results you need to get into your dream business program.
Your strategy should align with the ‘Learn First, Practise Later’ methodology.
- Learn first – Begin by understanding the underlying concepts of the different kinds of questions. Then move on to studying the most optimal approach to each question. Last, do a few practice questions and review the official explanations to see if you can apply what you’ve learned.
- Practise later – Fit in ample practice questions to drill into the concepts. Attempt GMAT mock tests and quizzes to see how you’ll fare in exam conditions.
You can also talk to our admission consultants here to hone your GMAT prep strategy.
Create a study calendar for accountability
You must study for the GMAT test for at least 12-20 hours per week. But finding the time to study can be hard for people with busy schedules. That’s where your accountability calendar comes in. Mark your calendar with the topics you want to cover that day. Holding yourself accountable to the calendar will help you push yourself to study more.
Also, add the days you’ll be giving your mock tests to the calendar. Block the hours required to dedicatedly give the mock, analyse it, and correct your errors.
What should your GMAT action plan look like?
Your action plan should focus on boosting your scores on the two most relevant sections of the test – verbal and quant.
Improving verbal score
- Types of questions – Follow a sequential approach that begins with sentence correction, moves on to critical reasoning, and ends with reading comprehension.
- Topics – Pick up your weakest topics from the list you created in step 2. Revise these topics weekly and take sectional tests to check your improvement.
Improving quant score
- Types of questions – In quant, your study sequence should begin with number properties and then go on to algebra, word problems, geometry, and advanced problems.
- Topics – In the topics where your accuracy dips below 60%, you’ll need to focus on building up your conceptual knowledge. Whereas in topics with accuracy greater than 70%, your attention should be on refining your approach to the questions.
Tips and tricks to buff up your GMAT study plan and prep strategy
- After the first diagnostic GMAT mock, give the next one four weeks into your study plan and then every two weeks until only 30 days before your GMAT. In the last month, increase the frequency of mocks to one every four days leaving enough time to analyse your errors and ways to correct them thoroughly.
- Allocating the same hours to each topic is not the direction your GMAT study plan should take. Instead, strategically give significantly more time to your weaker areas to bring them up to mark. But remember to regularly brush up on and practise the topics you’re good at.
- It’s not possible to know all the answers during your GMAT test. With no negative marking for wrong answers, students should consider this an opportunity to score better. Guessing is a strategic capability that can be honed and practised over time. Learn how to eliminate wrong answers based on four factors – distortion, out-of-scope, irrelevant, and opposite.
- People underestimate the difficulty level of the reading comprehension questions in the verbal ability section. Apart from doing practice questions and mocks, you should also read good literature on a wide spectrum of topics. Summarise them in your own words and see if you can accurately capture the key information the writer wanted to send across.
- The goal of the GMAT isn’t to confuse students unnecessarily. This means that their grammar-related questions are linked to everyday academic usage. You can discern the most commonly tested grammatical errors by studying the pattern keenly. Make it a point to practise these grammar topics frequently to ensure they don’t ever stump you.
Armed with the right plan, it won’t be long before you are confident of a 730+ score in GMAT. You can take your prep strategy a step further and make it foolproof by signing up for the intensive GMAT classroom program at IMS. Forty-eight hours of dedicated study, 60+ practice drills, 15 full-length mock tests, and personalised 1-on-1 mentorship guarantee that a high GMAT score is well within your reach.