GMAT: 8 weeks Study Plan

GMAT: 8 weeks Study Plan

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is one of the most important MBA Entrance exams in the world. GMAT is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

The GMAT exam is designed to test skills that are highly important to business and management programs. It assesses analytical writing and problem-solving abilities, along with the data sufficiency, logic, and critical reasoning skills that are vital to real-world business and management success. 

This test happens in an online medium & it assesses student’s analytical, and quantitative & as well as the verbal, writing, & reading skills. This exam also assesses the quality of problem-solving skills. The selection process is then followed by group discussion and personal interview.

Too many people begin their GMAT prep by simply buying a book, taking a prep class, or downloading an app. The smarter approach is to first fully assess your individual situation: understand where you are and where you want to go and determine the best route for getting there.

In any combat it pays to know your opponent well, in this case, the GMAT. GMAT test format, GMAT syllabus and GMAT score structure must be on your fingertips before you start your preparation in earnest. This way, you can get a bird’s-eye view to the entire GMAT journey that you are about to undertake.

GMAT Exam Section

Objective

 

Analytical Writing Assessment

Measures the ability to think critically and to communicate ideas. Aspirants are asked to analyse the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument.

 
 
 
 

Integrated Reasoning

It measures aspirant's ability to convert quantitative data between graphical and verbal formats, assimilate information from different sources to solve problems and accurately interpret graphical or tabular data

 

 
 

Verbal

It measures aspirants’ ability to read and understand written material, to evaluate arguments, and to correct written material to conform to standard written English.

 
 

Quantitative Ability

Measures the ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems and interpret data.

 

GMAT Weekly Study Plan

We understand that you may be a full-time working professional or a full-time studentand hence, may have other commitments. However, as you have made the decision to kick-start your GMAT preparation, you must be willing to put in at least 10 hours a week. We recommend adhering strictly to the following weekly schedule:

Let’s first check the GMAT exam pattern, and accordingly make the study plan:

Sections

Format

 

Time

Analytical Writing Assessment

 

1 written essay

30 minutes

Integrated Reasoning

12 Questions on Multi-Source Reasoning, Graphics Interpretation, Two-Part Analysis, and Table Analysis

30 minutes

Verbal

36 questions comprised of reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction

65 minutes

Quantitative

 31 questions on Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving

62 minutes

Week 1: Start slow

 If you are a working professional, you would probably find it hard to focus on study material for long. If you find your mind wandering, don’t push yourself too hard. Take it slow during the first week. Brushing up on math and grammar fundamentals that you studied at school will help you put in the right mindset for the exam.

Week 2: Learn basic techniques

The most reliable study material available for GMAT preparation is the GMAT Official Guide. The second week should be devoted to going through the basic techniques for solving Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Sentence Correction as available in the Official Guide. Spend more time on Sentence Correction since it tests basic grammar rules.

 Also, go through and familiarize yourself with the various types of questions in the Reading Comprehension and Integrated Reasoning portions. In the quant section, focus on tackling techniques to solve Number problems and Percentages. Begin with low difficulty-level questions of Equations, if time permits.

Week 3: Begin DS and RC, Maintain a Performance Log

In Data Sufficiency, you are always given a question that is followed by two statements. You are expected to state if the information provided in the statements are sufficient to answer the question or not. You need not solve the question to answer correctly.

DS questions require thorough practice. Aim to solve 5-10 DS questions every day. Follow it up with Problem Solving questions on Equations, TSD and Time and Work. Simultaneously, solve one Reading Comprehension passage every alternate day. Now that you are solving questions, maintain a Performance Log as a record of the errors that you are making.

Week 4: Practice writing, Master Geometry

In this week, you should go through the Analytical Writing Assessment portion of the GMAT Official Guide. Every alternate day, attempt an Issue topic and an Argument topic within the prescribed time limit.

At the same time, you should master questions on Geometry. You should also continue to solve Verbal questions targeting 10 to 15 questions every day. During this time, your focus should be to increase your accuracy. Do not worry about time management. Continue to update your Performance Log.

Weeks 5 and 6: Wrap up quant, move to online mode, practice intensively and analyze answers

By the end of the first four weeks, you preparation should be in full swing. In quant, it is time to move on to slightly difficult topics like Sequences, Permutations and Combinations, Probability and Statistics questions. Plan your time judiciously and practice these hard. In addition, solve 10 questions each of Problem Solving, Data Sufficiency, Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension.

In these two weeks, move from solving questions in the Official Guide book to solving them in the online format of the Official Guide. GMAT is an online exam, so the more questions you do on a computer, the better prepared you are.

There is also another change you will need to bring into your preparation. In the actual GMAT test, you will be required to do both math and verbal questions within 3.5 hours. So, it is important for you to develop the mental nimbleness to transition smoothly between questions testing different skill sets. If you study quant on one and verbal the other day, then the purpose is not solved. Thus, it is extremely important for you to practice different types of questions daily.

After solving questions, spend enough time analyzing the answers. Of the 5 answer options available for each question, only one is the right answer. However, you have to be absolutely sure why the other 4 answers are wrong. Unless you spend time analyzing each answer choice, your GMAT preparation remains incomplete. Do not forget to update your Performance Log!

Weeks 7 and 8: Make you Last Minutes Count

After the end of 6 weeks, you should be comfortable with medium difficulty-level questions on all topics of the GMAT. Once you have done that, you will need to start taking full-length tests. Before starting the full-length tests, however, analyze your Performance Log and revise the theory of areas in which your accuracy level is below 70%.

If you are a working professional, you would be unaccustomed to exams for quite some time and sitting for 3.5 hours will, in itself, be a task for you! However, to know your exact level of preparation, you will have to take the full-length tests in their entirety and at one go, without skipping any section or taking breaks. Take care not to skip the AWA section while taking full-length tests. Remember, when it comes to taking full-length tests, it’s the quality that matters and not the quantity.

 Make sure to take at least 6-8 GMAT Prep Tests. The ideal routine will be to take one test on one day and spend the next day analyzing your performance in the test and taking remedial action. If your performance in any section is below par, then take the next 2 days to go through the techniques involved for that section. Do not move on to the next full-length test unless you have revised and mastered the questions of the previous full-length test.

How can I score 700+ on the GMAT?

You must have sound conceptual knowledge as GMAT is an application-based exam. Also, you will need to understand the pattern of the exam and master shortcuts and techniques which can help boost your speed and accuracy. Time management is crucial in order to crack the GMAT. You should approach your GMAT prep in a systematic and disciplined manner.

Regular study and consistent practice is far better than studying once a week for 10 hours! The above week-wise GMAT Study Plan, if followed religiously, will help you conquer the GMAT, along with your job or college engagements. Sounds like a plan? Cool, let’s charge ahead now!

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