If you want to get into a top business school, a good score on the Graduate Management Admission Test – more commonly known as the GMAT – can go a long way. It is not the only factor in the admissions process, but a high score will only make your application package stronger.
- Consistency over intensity
One can compare GMAT preparation with learning to play chess. It is not only necessary to learn and know all the concepts and tricks; it is also essential to be confident and quick in using them. This means doing quick calculations in the quant section. To improve this skill, it is better to have shorter, daily training sessions rather than cramming during the weekend.
- Create a learning diary
The number of concepts that are asked in GMAT questions are finite. Therefore, a good method to improve and reduce your ‘white areas’ is to keep a learning diary. This means one should write down every unknown prep question (or also questions that took you too long to answer) and try to understand the correct answer and concept behind them. If you do this during your preparation you will see that, in time, your list of weaknesses will become shorter and shorter.
- Set an exponential GMAT prep timetable
It goes without saying that you need to leave enough time and plan effectively during GMAT preparation. Furthermore, I recommend that you take an exponential approach in prep time planning; the closer you get to your test date, the more time you should plan for GMAT preparation. So – if possible – it might be wise to choose a test date that occurs towards the end of a period of holiday, so you have a week or more to focus only on the GMAT before the test.
- Train to use laminated drawing board during GMAT Prep
Many test centres offer only laminated drawing boards for calculations and sketches during the test. This can lead to irritation for those not accustomed to using an erasable overhead marker – especially left-handed people, who often tend to smear their notes. Knowing this, you should practice this during your preparation phase in order to avoid as many surprises on test day as possible.
- Do not overestimate GMAT prep test results
The two prep tests that are available at the official GMAT website are cited by many sources as a good way to train in real test conditions. This is absolutely true, but one should not overestimate the results one gets from these prep tests, since they are not adapted to real empirical, standardized test results. So, use them, but do not consider yourself ready when you have reached your target score in these tests.