How to Prepare for GMAT: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Prepare for GMAT
How to Prepare for GMAT

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a pivotal exam for many aspiring business professionals. It serves as a gateway to top-tier business schools worldwide. If you’re aiming for a stellar score, follow this comprehensive guide to ensure you’re fully prepared.

1. Understanding the GMAT

1.1. Exam Structure

Comprises of:

– Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

– Integrated Reasoning (IR)

– Quantitative Reasoning (Quant)

– Verbal Reasoning (Verbal)

1.2. Scoring System

Scores range from 200 to 800. It’s crucial to understand that the Quant and Verbal sections primarily determine this score.

2. Initial Preparations

2.1 Determine Your Baseline

Take a full-length practice test under real exam conditions. This will show you your starting point and highlight areas for improvement.

2.2. Set Clear Goals

Determine your target GMAT score based on the business schools you’re considering. Your goal should be realistic yet challenging.

3. Crafting Your Study Plan

3.1. Time Management

Balance between:

– High-Priority Areas: Prioritize weaker sections.

– Consistency: Regularly practice even your strengths.

3.2. Quality over Quantity

Opt for focused, quality-driven study sessions.

4. Strategies for Each Section

4.1. Quantitative Section

– Basics: Solidify algebra, arithmetic, and geometry foundations.

– Data Sufficiency: Familiarize yourself with common traps and practice deducing from limited information.

– Problem Solving: Improve calculation speed and use elimination techniques.

4.2. Verbal Section

– Reading Comprehension (RC):

– Diversify Reading: Consume a range of materials from business articles to scientific reports.

 -Note-Taking: Jot down the main idea, tone, and structure.

– Critical Reasoning:

  – Dissect Arguments: Identify premises, conclusions, and assumptions.

  – Practice Logic: Spot common logical fallacies.

– Sentence Correction:

Dive deep into grammar rules and idiomatic expressions.

4.3. Integrated Reasoning

– Multiple Question Types: Master skills like graph interpretation and table analysis.

– Stay Current: Reflect on real-world scenarios.

4.4. Analytical Writing Assessment

– Essay Structure: Prioritize a coherent introduction, body, and conclusion.

– Thesis Statement: Clearly present your argument.

– Evidence-Based Arguments: Support your claims with solid reasoning.

5. Use Reliable Study Materials

5.1. Official Guide for GMAT Review

A must-have. It contains real GMAT questions and comprehensive content reviews.

5.2. GMAT Prep Software

Offers two free practice tests with actual GMAT questions.

5.3. Supplementary Materials

There are numerous third-party resources available. Look for reputable providers like Manhattan Prep, Kaplan, and Magoosh.

6. Take Regular Practice Tests

Simulate the exam environment. Review mistakes, and adjust your strategies accordingly.

7. Physical and Mental Well-being

7.1. Healthy Lifestyle

Regular sleep, a balanced diet, and physical exercise can enhance cognitive functions and stamina.

7.2. Stress Management

Meditation, deep-breathing exercises, and breaks during study sessions can alleviate stress.

8. Final Recommendations

8.1. Day Before D-Day

Refrain from last-minute cramming. Revise key formulas.

8.2. Test Day Protocols

Arrive early, carry the necessary IDs, and stay calm.

How to Improve Different Sections of GMAT: Strategies and Examples

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) assesses various skills across different sections, including Problem Solving (PS), Sentence Correction (SC), Reading Comprehension (RC), Critical Reasoning (CR), and Data Sufficiency (DS). Let’s explore effective strategies for improving performance in each section, along with illustrative examples.

1. Problem Solving (PS):

Problem Solving evaluates your mathematical reasoning and quantitative skills. To excel in this section you must do the following :


Master fundamental math concepts and practice translating word problems into equations. Focus on understanding the question, identifying the problem type, and choosing the appropriate approach.


Question: If John’s age is twice that of Mary’s and their combined age is 45 years, how old is Mary?

Approach: Let Mary’s age be M. John’s age is 2M. The sum of their ages is M + 2M = 3M, which equals 45. So, M = 15. Mary is 15 years old.

2. Sentence Correction (SC):

Sentence Correction assesses your grasp of English grammar, syntax, and effective communication.


Brush up on grammar rules and sentence structure. Pay attention to subject-verb agreement, pronoun usage, and parallelism.


Sentence: The team’s performance have improved significantly since the new coach arrived.

Correction: The team’s performance has improved significantly since the new coach arrived.

3. Reading Comprehension (RC):

Reading Comprehension evaluates your ability to understand, analyze, and draw conclusions from written passages.


Practice active reading. Skim the passage to grasp the main idea, and then delve into the details. Take notes, summarize paragraphs, and anticipate questions.

Example: (Passage excerpt)

“In the 19th century, industrialization led to unprecedented economic growth, but it also resulted in adverse environmental consequences.”


According to the passage, what was the consequence of industrialization in the 19th century?

Answer: Adverse environmental consequences.

4. Critical Reasoning (CR):

Critical Reasoning assesses your logical thinking and ability to evaluate arguments.


Break down the argument into premises and conclusions. Identify assumptions and weaknesses in the reasoning.


Argument: Increasing employee satisfaction will lead to higher productivity, as shown by a recent study.

Question: What assumption does the argument rely on?

Answer: The assumption that employee satisfaction is causally linked to higher productivity.

5. Data Sufficiency (DS):

Data Sufficiency evaluates your logical and analytical skills to determine whether given data is sufficient to answer a question.


Understand the two statements provided and consider each one individually. Determine whether each statement alone is sufficient to answer the question.


Question: Is the perimeter of triangle ABC greater than the perimeter of rectangle DEF?

(1) The perimeter of triangle ABC is greater than the perimeter of triangle XYZ.

(2) The perimeter of rectangle DEF is 30 units.

Answer: Consider each statement individually and together to assess sufficiency.


GMAT success isn’t just about rigorous study but about an intelligent, strategic approach. Dive deep into each section, use the best resources, and maintain physical and mental health. Your dream B-school is within reach!

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I focus on a specific section where I’m weaker, or evenly across all sections?

Balancing your preparation across all sections is important. However, if one section is significantly weaker, allocate more time to improve it without neglecting other sections entirely.

When should I start preparing for the GMAT?

The ideal time to start preparing for the GMAT depends on your familiarity with the content and your target score. Generally, 2-3 months of focused preparation is recommended.

Can I cancel my GMAT scores if I’m not satisfied with my performance?

Yes, you can cancel your scores, but it’s a decision that should be made immediately after the test. Note that canceled scores won’t be visible to schools, but they’ll be visible on your score report.

Is coaching necessary for GMAT preparation?

Coaching isn’t mandatory, but it can provide structured guidance and expert strategies. Consider coaching if you need personalized assistance or find self-study challenging.