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Ultimate guide to prepare for GMAT

by Shruti Pandey

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”- Pablo Picasso

Do you aspire to seek admission to top management colleges? If yes, you must be well aware of the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), an internationally acclaimed computer adaptive test introduced by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Over 2100 institutions and universities worldwide offer admissions to students in MBA programs on the basis of GMAT scores.

The exam is managed in 112 countries worldwide in standardized test centers. It analyses and assesses the quantitative, analytical, verbal, English writing and reading skills of students.

What to prepare?

Prior to head start the preparations for the GMAT exam, a student needs to have a clear understanding of what he/she has to prepare. Conducted every year, the GMAT exam involves aspirants to deal with four major sections –

Integrated Reasoning,


Verbal, and

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA).

So basically, a student primarily needs to focus on these key areas to score well in the exam.

Preparing integrated reasoning

The section majorly focuses on the analysis of data available in different forms such as charts, tables and words. With 12 questions to answer in 30-minutes, a student has to show smart work instead of hard work. While a student begins preparation for integrated reasoning, the key strategies to follow include –

Efficient time management

Think critically like the executives who are responsible for making decisions

Focus on answering 10 accurate questions rather than guessing

Practice well the questions of table analysis and graphics interpretation

Dealing with quantitative and verbal problems

Covering a major section of the GMAT exam, the quantitative and verbal problems are the areas where students can actually build up their scores. With 37 quantitative questions to solve in 75 minutes and 41 verbal questions with 75-minute deadline, a student needs to pay attention to the following tips for better scoring –

Never neglect the verbal section despite being a native English speaker.

Pay significant attention to reading comprehension, critical reasoning and sentence correction questions.

Hold a command over basic algebra that covers almost 50% of the questions including probability, number theory, geometry, exponents and square roots, combinatorics, variable operations etc.

Also try to acquire competency in analysis, pattern recognition, data sufficiency, statement problem translation and attention to right details.

Writing an AWA

In order to assess a student’s ability to express his/her ideas and critical analysis together, the section of AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment) has been added to the GMAT exam format. In this section, a student has 30-minutes deadline to analyze the given argument and thereafter come up with a constructive critique either in the favor or against the argument. To score well in this section, the following tips can be really helpful –

Strictly adhere to the structure of the essay – the opening paragraph, the main idea and the concluding paragraph.

Write in simple language with precise and clear arguments.

Avoid complex structuring of sentences as it may lead to ambiguity.

Pay attention to logical flow of ideas.

Lastly, make sure to follow all the standard rules of English while writing.

Tips for the exam day

While the students are all set to give the exam, here are few tips for them to follow on the exam day –

Start the day with a positive approach

Plan the schedule for exam day

Reach the examination center before time to avoid any panic conditions

Manage the examination time efficiently

Stay calm and drink ample amount of water to stay hydrated.

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