GMAT Exam Preparation

Firstly, let us understand what the GMAT is, how it is structured and how with dedication and the right tools you can get a high score. 

The GMAT is needed for admissions to most top MBA and business related courses. The GMAT is divided into 4 main sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal. The exam should be completed within 3.5 hours but many centers have optional and mandatory breaks and hence plan to be at the center for 4 to 4.5 hours.


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GMAT Test Section Number of Questions Question Types Timing
Analytical Writing Assessment 1 Topic Analysis of an Argument 30 Minutes
Integrated Reasoning 12 Questions Multi-Source Reasoning Graphics Interpretation Two-Part Analysis Table Analysisn 30 Minutes
Quantitative 37 Questions Data Sufficiency Problem Solving 75 Minutes
Verbal 41 Questions Reading Comprehension Critical Reasoning Sentence Correction 75 Minutes
Total Exam Time 3 hours, 30 min

Level of Difficulty & Analysis – The GMAT adapts to individual ability. The advantage is that it shortens the time to complete the exam and establishes a higher level of accuracy than a fixed test. In the beginning the student is presented with a question of intermediate difficulty. According to your performance the computer scores your answer and uses it as a benchmark to give out further questions. Correct responses typically prompt questions of increased difficulty. Incorrect responses generally result in questions of lesser difficulty.



To register, you need to create an online account, fill out the application form, select a date, time and centre, and pay for the test. You will require some basic information for the registration process so you should keep it handy.


Test prep

To avoid nerves and stress as much as possible, familiarize yourself with the GMAT format. Learn how long the sections takes, how it is scored, how long the breaks are and practise accordingly closer to the test date.

Practise a little daily.



Understand the data given. Take your time reading the question thoroughly. Work out a plan of action in terms of creating variables and working backwards from the answer choices. Now solve the problem. Write down your computation and don’t skip steps.



Critical reasoning measures the student’s reasoning ability. Read the argument and analyze the situation. Read the question and think of an appropriate answer. If the correct answer is not obvious then choose by eliminating the answer choices.



Sentence correction requires the student to be familiar with the stylistic conventions and grammatical rules of standard written English. The aim is to redo the sentence in accordance with certain grammar rules. Read the sentence thoroughly and consider all the rules before choosing your options. Do not reject an answer just because it sounds correct. Avoid sentences that are too wordy.



Pace yourself while answering. Strictly work under time. Do not take too much time to solve a problem that is too difficult. Read the information thoroughly before choosing any answers. Eliminate the wrong answer choices and narrow down your choice to two correct answers.



Evaluate each statement and decide if it alone answers your questions. If not consider other options that are put together correspond to your decision. Ascertain whether your answer choice answers the question asked pertinently. Do not make unwarranted assumptions.


Before test day

Get your travel plans in order before the day of the test. See how long it takes you to travel and be certain to reach before time as late entries are not allowed to give the test.

Do not change your appearance compared to your photo ID before the test day. Your face needs to match the ID perfectly so if you have any alterations, you might face issues.


Test day prep

Confirm your appointment centre, date and time.

Things you should carry- appointment confirmation email from Pearson VUE, photo ID which is the physical original in plastic card format and not on a paper, a photocopy or an electronic version, a basic watch that only shows time and does not record or store any information, a small snack for your break and water.

Things you should not carry- any electronic devices including your phones, stationery material, big bags, jewellery, weapons, books, etc.

Arrive at least 30 minutes before your exam starts. You will be asked for your ID, digital signature, palm scan and you will have to take a digital photo. After your test is over, you will receive an unofficial test score after the test.

Who needs to give the GMAT?

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Top Business Schools in the US

Even if there may be some options for students who are not planning to give the GMAT, if you want to study at a well-ranked university like Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale, University of California, the GMAT is indispensable. Find more about studying in the US here.

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Top Business Schools in Canada

Similar to the US, there may be a few universities in Canada which can allow you to apply for a business program without the GMAT but if you want to enrol at the best universities in the country like Rotman, Schulich, or McGill, a good GMAT score is required. Find more about studying in Canada here.

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Top Business Schools in Singapore

Like the US, most business and management programs in Singapore under NUS, SIM, or Nanyang require GMAT as a part of their application requirements. Find more about studying in Singapore here.

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Top Business Schools in the UK

The GMAT is not compulsory in several universities in the UK but if you want to study at the best business schools like London Business School, Imperial, or Warwick the GMAT is an excellent addition to your profile. Find more about studying in the UK here.

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Top Business Schools in France

For business school applications in France, you do not require the GMAT for some schools. However, if you do give the GMAT, you stand better chances of getting into the best universities like HEC Paris, INSEAD or ESSEC. Find more about studying in France here.

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Top Universities in Australia

For masters applications in Australia, you do not require the GRE for most schools. However, if you do give the GRE, you stand better chances of getting into the best universities like University of Sydney, UNSW, or University of Melbourne the country has to offer. Find more about studying in Australia here.


800 is the highest score you can get on the GMAT.

You should ideally study for at least 3- 4 months. This depends on your ability to grasp information and the time you can dedicate to studying and practicing. 

This depends on your preferences but the analytic writing section can be challenging to those who are not used to writing essays using complex words.

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