If your question is whether you can prepare for GMAT in 3 months, the answer is yes. Although the pace of learning differs for different applicants, 3 months is enough time to prepare for the GMAT and achieve a good percentile of marks.
The secret ingredient of this success is strategic planning and a lot of hard work. If the whole idea of preparing all by yourself gets a little overwhelming for you, you can always seek help from institutes offering a prep course for the GMAT. Getting admitted into one will help you ease your work and provide assistance in your preparation and choose from the business schools.
GMAT Exam Pattern: How to prepare for GMAT in 3 Months
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a multiple-choice, computer-based and computer-adaptive standardized exam. The GMAT exam is one of the gateways to getting admitted to the top business schools for MBA Programs. Along with your educational qualifications and work experience, Business schools also ask for an excellent GMAT score. The exam evaluates your grasp over areas of algebra, geometry, basic arithmetic, multi-source data analysis, grammar and has four sections. The GMAT exam is divided into four sections. The four sections that form the GMAT exam paper are:
- Analytical Writing Assessment
- Integrated Reasoning
However, schools do look for your overall score in all the sections therefore giving equal attention to each section of the GMAT is necessary to attain a good score.
Here is an overall outline of what are the areas you need to work upon for your GMAT exam preparation.
|Section||No. of Questions||Types of Questions||Time||Range of Score|
|Analytical Writing||1 question||Analysis of Argument||30 minutes||0-6 [in increments of 0.5]|
|Integrated Reasoning section||12 questions||Data Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis||30 minutes`||1-8 [in increments of 1]|
|Quantitative Reasoning||31 questions||Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving||62 minutes`||6-51 [in increments of 1]|
|Verbal Reasoning section||36 questions||Reading Comprehension passage, Critical Reasoning questions, Sentence Correction questions||65 minutes`||6-51 [in increments of 1]|
Week 1: Prepare for GMAT in 3 Months
Take a preliminary diagnostic test to assess where you stand. Learn the basic parameters of all the sections including scoring and question types. Take a look at the GMAT Exam Pattern and get an outline of what to expect in the exam and how to go about it. This is the first step where you prepare yourself mentally and collect all the best resources available.
Week 2-4: Prepare for GMAT in 3 Months
Practice! Practice as much as you can. Do as many practice questions as possible and get feedback on what went wrong and analyse how to make it right and look for the correct solutions. Assess what is your strong areas as well as weak areas. Pick up which section is your strong area.
If Quant is your strong area, specify which section. Specify which section fetches you the most marks, if it’s critical reasoning, sentence correction or which question types, strengthening arguments or usage of idioms appear most difficult to you.
Week 4-8: Prepare for GMAT in 3 Months
Now that you have a basic foundation of the overall course, try and bring a conceptual understanding o fall the question types and analyse patterns and categories. If you had difficulty in any sections, try going back to the fundamentals first and then work your way back once again.
Besides, you should maintain your routine of practising daily questions on all the sections with a priority to your weaker sections.
Week 9-12: Prepare for GMAT in 3 Months
Strategise! For the last few days focus on building strategy. Try out of the box thinking for the questions and repeat. Try plugging in numbers on the problem-solving sections. Work on sketching outlines for passages.
Review on the grammar and math problems that still seems foggy and continuing practising.
The last few weeks are for you to work on your timing strategies. Try setting a timer to replicate the exam situation. A few repetitions with the standard set time would increase your time efficiency. Review how you have scored.
This practice will boost your confidence and keep you stress-free before exams. You will have a clear idea of how much time to spend on each question. In these weeks, do not try your hand at a complex math problem. Set this time for revisions only.
Besides the essentials, do not let stress and anxiety take away all our sleep and appetite. Take good care of yourself mentally and emotionally. Keep time to review the essentials and remember you have prepared well.
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Tasks for Week 1:
- Begin with the Quant section. Look at its contents and revise basic concepts of Number Properties, Percentages, Ratios.
- Go through the Grammar rules and make a mental note of which areas of the writing section you can deal effectively with.
- Set a reminder to invest some time in reading newspaper to improve your Reading Comprehension skills.
- Start practising questions on Ratio and Proportion, Algebra, Permutation and Combination, Sentence Correction, Subject-verb Agreement etc.
Tasks for Week 2:
- Review the concepts of Linear equations, Quadratic equations, inequalities and start from the basic questions.
- Critical Reasoning questions comprises almost 1/3rd of the verbal section so its time to start practising questions from weaken the argument, strengthen the argument, find the assumption etc.
- Integrated reasoning sections carry questions on the case study, graph reading and interpreting data etc. Start practising 2-3 questions every day.
- Continue reading books and novels to improve reading comprehension
- While practising topics make a note of your mistakes so that you can get back to it later.
Tasks for Week 3:
- Revise basic concepts of Geometry and Coordinate Geometry.
- Learn about Data Sufficiency questions and the concepts that are most likely to appear in the test.
- Keep practising reading comprehension in everyday reading. Look for keywords, recognize the question type to master reading comprehension.
- Now that you have practised a majority of quant topics, prepare a formula sheet of all important concepts of Maths for last-minute revision.
Tasks for Week 4
- Revise basic concepts of combinatory and statistics.
- Zero in some trendy topics to practice your writing skills and try to use very specific examples to support your argument.
- Practice a mixed number of critical reasoning, sentence correction, reading comprehension, paradox, parallelism, rhetorics etc.
- For the Integrated Reasoning, practice questions on problem-solving, data sufficiency.
Tasks for Week 5-8
- Start with topic wise questions of the difficulty level 600-800 for the first 2 weeks.
- Practice timed Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning questions. After each attempt evaluate your marks and mistakes.
- Go through your mistakes and for the next attempt try reducing some time.
Tasks for Week 9-12
- Appear for 3-4 Sectional tests.
- Try to attempt at least 6 Full-length tests.
- Examine your tests and go over questions which went wrong before you appear for the next test.
- Do not forget to focus on accuracy and time management.
Essential Advise while You Prepare for GMAT in 3 Months
- Do not get Overwhelmed: Do not get overwhelmed by too many study materials available. Pick one at a time. Try conquering one topic at a time. Do not get into 100 ways to solve a problem. Stick to one way and master that well. Pick up one resource material at a time and try sticking to it.
- Consistency is the key: At times you might fall out of your routine. Do not overstress yourself. Try joining online GMAT forums and discussions with people who wish to study in groups. Actively participate for a dedicated amount of time. Remember that consistency is the key.
- Prep Courses: There are instuitutions offering help to strategically prepare for your GMAT. Some notables ones are EduAims, Jamboree Education, TIME, etc. Also, an online interactive MBA community, GMAT Club Test helps you fulfill your target score with efficient strategies.
- Focus on Your weak Areas: In the initial month of your preparation, focus specifically on your weak areas. Sit with it and work through it. Review, analyse and repeat until you get a clear understanding of what went wrong.
- Do not overemphasize practice questions: Although, practice is a key point in all of the strategic planning, do not try to overemphasize anything. remember, balance is everything. You don’t have to everything about the type of questions that might be asked in the exam. You need to prepare strategically.
- Believe in yourself and a have a realistic approach. Initially plan and work out what lies ahead. This helps you prepare mentally about what are things that you would anticipate and have to deal with. Aspirants who already have a visualised experience of what to anticipate and the level of dedication required while preparing for the GMAT exam and in their MBA application will not quit easily.
- Three months is enough time: If you strategically prepare for the test you don’t have to go through the hassle of waiting for a year after you complete your graduation to prepare for the GMAT test. Three months is enough time if you can make appropriate use of it.
Mistakes to Avoid While You Prepare for GMAT in 3 Months
GMAT Preparation Tips you Must be Well Aware of
The only way to ace your GMAT is to strengthen your conceptual knowledge and strategical preparation. Here are a few general tips that could help you prepare for GMAT in 3 Months:
- Practice on a Computer: As the GMAT exam is a computer-based exam and it runs for a duration of 3-hours, get yourself acquainted with practising on a computer to save time at the day of the exam. If you are among the few people who can not pull the mental fatigue of sitting in front of a computer for a long time, this would be greatly beneficial for you. Make sure you are well prepared for it and the best way for being ready is to practice as many sample papers as you can, on a regular basis.
- Set a Timer: Your success or poor performance in the GMAT exam is greatly dependent on how well you can manage time. There’s no point if you know a lot but do not know time management and go on and on for your favourite topic. The GMAT exam comes with a specific time duration and you need to answer every question in the stipulated time. Start this exercise of tracking your speed with a timer when you practice for the exam to avoid any silly mistakes or leave out questions you knew very well because you coul dnot manage time.
- Feed the Brain: Having a good memory aids in solving questions effectively. A good memory comes with practise and a keen observation of how the question needs to be answered. Start by solving sample papers, mark your incorrect questions and work on them until they’re perfect. Discuss among other applicants. This helps a lot in memorizing the content.
- Find your Forte: It is nearly impossible to be perfect at everything and know it all. There will be some sections of the GMAT exam which will would reuire more time and more of your energy. There will also be some sections which won’t take you long to ace. Thus, gauge through your strengths and weaknesses to come up with an appropriate strategy to ace the exam.
- Keep an Eye for Mistakes: Make it a habit to identify and rectify your mistakes immediately. If you struggle with a particular question, eliminate the process of guessing and answering incorrectly. Take your time and fill the answer which completes the sentence! Work through it.
Additional Readings to Clear Your Doubt Regarding GMAT exam and Selection of Best Colleges to pursue your MBA: