GMAT 2020: Preparation Tips and Strategies, Sample Books

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    GMAT is an exam that is conducted by GMAC every year to select the brightest business minds of the world. It is said that one can excel in GMAT only with hard work and strategic planning. One has to make proper planning to enhance GMAT score. In the article, a proper overview of GMAT preparation skills has been discussed widely.

    After completing GMAT Registration process, test takers should start preparing for this exam. GMAT Syllabus covers all those subjects that test the analytical skills of the test taker.

    GMAT 2020: Exam Pattern

    Every year more than 2lakhs of candidates register for GMAT. Exam pattern of GMAT consists of four sections

    • Analytical Writing Assessment
    • Integrated Reasoning
    • Quantitative Reasoning
    • Verbal Reasoning
    Preparation Tips

    GMAT 2020: Preparation Tips

    Test takers should have a clear idea about the lists of dos and don’ts that have to be followed before GMAT exam. Such preparatory stages have to be in mind throughout the journey. Few things to be followed are

    • Create a proper study plan with an equal distribution of study hours to each subject
    • Make an MBA application outstanding by exploring each nook and corner of your CV
    • Go through the GMAT syllabus properly to get an idea of the subjects
    • Then take a mock test to diagnose weak and strong areas among the subjects
    • Always find out the best possible way that is required to answer any kind of question
    • Understand the difficulty level of the question and then make an approach to answer
    • During preparation never neglect any subject
    • Always keep in mind all four subjects are equally important in this section
    • Work strongly on weaker sections
    • Practice logical reasoning for better performance in GMAT
    • Strategize your time management skills
    • Attempt only those questions which you are completely assured of

    Just like dos test takers should know about the list of don’ts before appearing for the exam. GMAT is a computer adaptive test that means the questions will be an outcome of the adaptation of the system made according to the difficulty level of the questions attempted. It uses an algorithm to decide as to what question to produce to the test taker. List of don’ts for GMAT is the following

    • As GMAT is a computer adaptive exam, therefore, one should not waste time adjusting with the system. Focus only on completing the exam
    • While taking mock tests never look for the score. These mock test score will help in boosting your performance for the main exam
    • Never focus on a single section where you are good at. GMAT score report provides a sectional score that is equally important by the score recipients and the recruiters
    • Do not try to decode the difficulty level of the questions and try to solve it as soon as possible
    Preparation Strategy

    GMAT 2020: Preparation Strategy

    It is rather stressful to take up an exam. If the said exam can make or break your career, then the anxiety hits the roof. Do not panic, preparatory stages will successfully prepare for GMAT. A combination of smart work and hard work is efficient work. These two pillars will lay a solid foundation for your GMAT journey. Fasten your seat belts as we will be going through various GMAT preparation tips; that will help you ace this exam in no time and strike a balance in working hard and being smart.

    Defeat the procrastination monster

    The procrastination monster is lurking in the darks of your mind at any given time. This dormant monster wakes up every time you have a significant task in hand. As rightly said, Procrastination is the grave, buried in it lies the opportunities. So, from day one gets digging: as you have to grab with both hands these golden opportunities. Day one begins from the moment you have decided to take up GMAT. There is no tomorrow but only today. Hence, every moment is precious and counted and do not succumb to the procrastination monster. Beat it black and blue so that you can clear GMAT with flying colors.

    Know Your potential

    Blindly starting with your preparation with no game plan will not get you very far. To set a game plan, knowing your potential will be a great help. What this essentially means is to get a starter score of GMAT. This score you obtain is without any preparation and thus will act as the bottom rung of your ladder. Depending on your score, you will accurately know on which rung you are standing: and how many steps you need to climb to reach the top of the ladder.

    Number of steps between top rung and bottom rung of the ladder

    With the starter score in your hand, the first course of action in your game plan is to estimate the time you will require to prepare for GMAT. Bear in mind: the period should be definitive and not unclear. If you think it is 6 months, 6 months it is. No, give or take. Also, to be noted, the time you set aside for preparation should be concerning the GMAT score you have set as your aim to reach.

    When is the auspicious event?

    Setting the date on which you will attempt the test is equally important as preparation. Randomly selecting a date like throwing a dart isn't the go-to plan here. You have to be mindful of several things in mind. For instance,

    • Application deadline
    • Length of time needed for the preparation of essays, resume and obtaining the letter of recommendations
    • If due to unfortunate reasons, you weren't able to score you aim for: then you might have to retake the exam. So, this buffer time is also essential to be kept in mind.

    With being conscious of these state of affairs for GMAT preparation, set a suitable date for the GMAT.

    Do not be a Pressure Cooker

    During the span of preparation, at some point, you are bound to feel some pressure. Test anxiety appears when you stress and fear of failure keep pounding in your brains. You are not alone. Everyone stresses, but the way you deal with it matters. It's not the load that breaks you down, it is the way you carry it.

    Few approaches you can undertake to deal with your stress and unload are-

    • A meticulous study plan will go a long way in helping you deal with anxiety. By checking those boxes in your study goal plan, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.
    • Take breaks in between study sessions to give some room for your brain to breathe and refresh.
    • Keep yourself hydrated and regularly munching on healthy snacks to provide fuel to your brain.
    • Focus on one question at a time while taking the test.
    • Have a strategic plan for taking the test. Just knowing the concepts won't suffice. Your goal is to score as much as possible and not how much you know. So, smartly go about preparing for tests. As they say, know your enemy, know their sword.
    • Lastly, you may get a couple of questions wrong. No big deal, the world isn't going to come to an end because of it. Worrying about it will not get you anywhere.

    So do not stress, do your very best, appreciate every step, and forget the rest.

    Mock tests are your best pal

    You can prep for the GMAT for ages, but how will you ensure that you are getting ready for GMAT the right way. Mock tests are the milestones of preparation. The benefits associated with mock tests are-

    • Reveals the area of your strength and weakness.
    • Display the management of time in different areas by which you can maximize your GMAT score.
    • Mock tests will improve your stamina and the concentration needed to take the GMAT for a lengthy time.
    • Taking mock GMAT tests will exhibit your level of preparedness and give a glimpse of what your score will be.

    Beware of the mock tests you take. Not all mock tests are legible because the score prediction may vary from the actual GMAT due to variation in the algorithm. This will create a false sense of security and not benefit you. Besides GMAT Prep mocks, test takers should go through some reading resources for better performance.

    Ace the time race

    Time plays a pivotal role in your results. It could be the determining factor why you haven't been able to score well despite a good grasp on the concepts. Well, you can always improve in this area with a tactical approach and leverage your score. By the aid of mock tests, you might have been able to analyze your skillsets for GMAT. Now which are your strong points and which are the areas you need to put extra effort. On this basis, you can plan out the time you need to spend on each question.

    An important tip for ultimate time management is 'Takt time'. Takt time is the average time required to solve questions of a particular type correctly.

    Takt time varies from person to person depending on their skillsets and proficiency level and from section to section. It is an average measure that it takes into account your time to answer easy, medium, and hard questions.

    Reduce Takt time as it is proportional to the ability to process information and apply the concepts in addition to the efficiency with which you apply the process to solve GMAT questions. Ace the time and with the race.

    Finishing touches

    You have been preparing for a long time and the exam is around the corner now. With the exam looming so close say with two to three weeks left, it isn't smart to learn new concepts. It is time now to focus on strengthening the concepts you have learned and diminishing the weak areas. You should take the test in conditions similar to the actual exam conditions such as -

    • Taking the exam at the same time of the day as an actual test appointment.
    • Answer all the sections in one go.
    • Reproducing test center conditions – writing material and focused environment.
    • Take the test in a single sitting with two 8-minute breaks as provided in the actual test between sections.

    With simulating conditions, your body will be conditioned to sit for 3.5 hours and thus elevate your stamina.

    On the eve of GMAT

    The awaited day is finally here. You have slogged for days and nights for this day, which can steer your path of life. The best tip and final tip for this day is no preparation. That’s right, do not prepare as that is what you have been doing. Have belief in your GMAT preparation and allow it to unfold on this day and bring it to fruition. Concentrate on gathering the essentials such as documents, writing materials, snacks, water and so on. Also, know what not to carry into the test center. On prior have a look into it and do not carry these items. You do not want to create a disaster by not writing the exam only for this silly reason. Know your test center and be there 30 minutes early. Allow this buffer time to put behind the formalities and remaining time to familiarize yourself with the surroundings.

    These are some preparation tips that are surely going to benefit you in your GMAT preparation journey. Hoping these GMAT preparation tips prove to be useful to you and end this D day with perfection.

    Books and Preparation Materials

    GMAT 2020: Books and Preparation Materials

    Before starting to proceed for GMAT Preparation, one must gather all the necessary resources and the available GMAT Books and materials. Some of the officially recommended books and preparation material are listed below:

    1. GMATPrep® Software: This is a free software for those users who have registered with the official website of GMAT. This tool will serve as an experiential tool for the test takers of GMAT as it uses the same technology as to the official exam and provides the users with scores.

    The various features of GMATPrep software are:

    • Ninety free questions – 30 Quantitative, 45 Verbal, and 15 Integrated Reasoning – with answers and explanations
    • Tools to create your own practice question set
    • Two full-length practice tests with answers (note that detailed explanations of answers are not included)
    • GMAT® Total, Verbal, Quantitative, and Integrated Reasoning scores
    • A comprehensive math review
    • A step-by-step guide to preparing for the GMAT exam
    • Ability to extend the GMATPrep® software by purchasing additional questions or exams

    GMAT Prep is compatible with the following operating systems:

    • Windows: Windows Vista® with SP2; Windows 7® with SP1; Windows 8.1®; Windows 10®
    • Mac: OS X v10.9; OS X v10.10; OS X v10.11
    1. GMAT Prep Timeline: It offers step-by-step guidance to your personal study plan and includes various links to tips, products, and advice for improving your weak areas and enhancing your strengths.
    2. New! Official GMAT Integrated Reasoning Prep Tool: This is a tool for the candidates to develop their Integrated Reasoning skills. It features a set of 48 questions and solutions that will be of tremendous help in developing IR skills.
    3. The Premium Study Collection. This is an official collection of study materials that provides more than 2000 questions from previous GMAT Exams presented in multiple formats. It gives 6 essential study products for cracking the GMAT Exam.
    4. GMAT Focus® Online Quantitative Diagnostic Tool: It acts as a replica of the original GMAT exam. It features 12 Data Sufficiency and 12 Problem-Solving questions for each exam taken. It also provides your strengths and weaknesses and acts as a tool to improve your mathematical skills required to crack the GMAT.
    5. GMAT Write®: This tool provides users with GMAT writing prompts. It aids the candidates to learn the process of critical thinking and analyzing an argument. This is an essential skill for a business career and hence should be mastered by the candidates for the exam as well as for a successful career.
    6. The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review, 2017: This tool helps the users to improve their verbal skills required for the GMAT exam. It provides a set of additional 300 questions from the verbal ability section.
    7. The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review, 2017: This is a tool for preparing and honing the Quantitative skills of the candidates providing 300 questions and their solutions.
    8. The Basic GMAT® Study Collection: It is another preparation resource available at the official store of GMAT providing 1500 GMAT questions and answers. It includes all the following study materials:
      • The Official Guide for GMAT® Review, 2017
      • The Official Guide for GMAT® Quantitative Review, 2017
      • The Official Guide for GMAT® Verbal Review, 2017.

    Steps to avail the official GMAT Preparation resources

    • Go to the official website of GMAT
    • From the drop-down menu of ‘The GMAT Exam’, click on the ‘prepare for the Exam’.
    • Click on the respective preparation material required to download or buy it.
    • Alternatively, after going to the official website, click on the “Buy study Materials” and choose your respective option.

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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