GMAT Exam Preparation

Preparing for the GMAT exam requires focused study aimed at mastering both the content and strategies crucial for success in graduate business programs. The GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test, is a standardised test used by many business schools worldwide as part of their admissions process. To excel in the GMAT, candidates must thoroughly understand the exam format, including the sections on Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. Additionally, developing effective test-taking strategies and practising with official GMAT materials are essential for achieving a competitive score. With dedication and strategic preparation, candidates can enhance their chances of gaining admission to top-tier business schools.

Understanding the GMAT Exam

The GMAT Exam-Focus Edition lasts for 2 hours and 15 minutes, with the option of a 10-minute break. It consists of three sections, totalling 64 questions with the total score ranging from 205 to 805.


Quantitative Reasoning:

This section assesses your foundational knowledge in algebra and arithmetic, as well as your ability to apply this knowledge to solve problems. It comprises 21 Problem-Solving questions.


Verbal Reasoning:

This section evaluates your capacity to comprehend written material and to reason and evaluate arguments. It consists of 23 Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions.


Data Insights:

The Data Insights section measures candidate’s proficiency in analysing and interpreting data and their capability to apply it to real-world business scenarios. It also assesses digital and data literacy, which are highly sought-after skills in today's business landscape. This section has 20 questions.

GMAT Preparation Strategies

Preparing for the GMAT requires careful planning, effective time management, and utilising study resources. Here are some strategies to help you excel:


Diagnostic Test

Begin your GMAT preparation journey with a diagnostic test to assess your strengths and weaknesses.

Analyse the results to identify areas that need improvement.

Use the diagnostic test as a benchmark to track your progress throughout your study plan.


Study Materials

Purchase reputable GMAT study materials such as official guides, prep books, and online resources.

Consider enrolling in a GMAT prep course or accessing online platforms that offer comprehensive study plans.

Utilise materials to ensure a well-rounded understanding of the exam content.


Practice Questions

Regularly practise GMAT-style questions to familiarise yourself with the exam format and improve your problem-solving skills.

Focus on areas where you struggle the most but also allocate time to reinforce your strengths.

Utilise online question banks and official GMAT practice tests to simulate exam conditions.


Time Management Techniques

Develop a realistic study schedule that fits your lifestyle and allows for consistent practice.

Prioritise GMAT preparation by allocating dedicated study sessions each week.

Break down your study plan into manageable tasks and set deadlines to stay on track.

Use techniques such as the Pomodoro method to maintain focus during study sessions.

By implementing these strategies and staying disciplined in your preparation, you can maximise your chances of success in the GMAT.

GMAT Test Day Tips

The Day Before the Exam:


Ensure you get a good night's sleep to wake up refreshed.

Avoid studying intensely; instead, engage in light review or relaxation activities.


Organise Test Materials:

Gather all necessary documents, such as identification and exam confirmation.

Check the test centre's location and plan your journey accordingly.


Healthy Habits:

Eat nutritious meals and stay hydrated.

Avoid excessive caffeine or heavy meals that could affect your sleep.


On Test Day:

Arrive Early:

Aim to reach the test centre before the scheduled time to avoid stress.

Familiarise yourself with the surroundings and check-in procedures.


Stay Calm and Focused:

Practice deep breathing or meditation techniques to calm nerves.

Focus on positive affirmations to boost confidence.


Strategic Time Management:

Allocate time wisely to each section, ensuring you have ample time for all questions.

Don't dwell on difficult questions; mark them for review and move on.


Maintain Confidence:

Trust in your preparation and abilities, maintaining a positive mindset throughout the exam.

Stay resilient, even if faced with challenging questions.


Test Center Logistics

Before the Exam:


Confirm Appointment:

Double-check your test date, time, and location to avoid any last-minute confusion.

Contact the test centre if you have any queries or concerns.


Travel Plans:

Plan your journey to the test centre, considering factors like traffic and public transport schedules.

Have alternative routes in mind in case of unexpected delays.


On Test Day:


Early Arrival:

Aim to arrive at the test centre at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time.

Allow extra time for potential security checks and registration procedures.


Check-In Procedures:

Follow the instructions provided by test centre staff regarding check-in protocols.

Ensure you have all required identification and documentation ready for verification.


Comfort Considerations:

Dress comfortably in layers to accommodate varying room temperatures.

Familiarise yourself with the test room environment, including the location of amenities like restrooms.


Mental Preparation

Pre-Exam Strategies:

Visualisation Techniques:

Visualise yourself entering the test centre confidently and tackling questions with ease.

Imagine successfully overcoming challenges and maintaining focus throughout the exam.


Positive Affirmations:

Repeat affirmations to boost confidence and reinforce your capabilities.

Focus on your strengths and past successes to bolster self-confidence.


Relaxation Methods:

Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.

Engage in yoga or mindfulness meditation to calm nerves and enhance concentration.


During the Exam:


Stay Present:

Focus on the present moment, avoiding distractions or worries about the outcome.

Concentrate on each question individually, giving your full attention to the task.


Manage Anxiety:

Acknowledge any nervousness or anxiety but don't let it overpower you.

Use grounding techniques like focusing on your breath to stay centred and composed.


Confidence Boosting:

Remind yourself of your preparation efforts and the skills you possess.

Trust in your ability to tackle challenging questions and adapt to different scenarios during the exam.

Additional Resources

Official GMAT Website: 

Visit the official website of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) for detailed information about the GMAT exam, registration, study materials, and official practice tests. 

GMAT Official Website:



GMAT Club: 

An online forum where GMAT test-takers can discuss study strategies, share tips, and seek expert advice. It also offers a repository of practice questions and explanations. 

GMAT Club:



Beat The GMAT: 

Another popular online forum featuring discussion threads, study plans, and expert advice to help you prepare effectively for the GMAT. 

Beat The GMAT:



Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog: 

Manhattan Prep is a well-known test prep company offering courses for various standardized tests. Their blog provides valuable insights, study tips, and strategies specifically tailored for the GMAT. 

Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog:



GMAT Official Practice Exams: 

Access official GMAT practice exams on the official website to simulate the test-taking experience and gauge your readiness. 

GMAT Official Practice Exams:



GMAT PrepNow: 

A comprehensive online resource offering video lessons, practice questions, and study plans designed to help you improve your GMAT score. 

GMAT PrepNow:


Official GMAC YouTube Channel: 

Subscribe to the official YouTube channel of GMAC for video tutorials, tips from test-takers, and expert insights to enhance your GMAT preparation. 

GMAC Official YouTube Channel:


These resources offer a variety of materials and support to aid you in your GMAT preparation journey.


In conclusion, embarking on your GMAT preparation journey is a significant step towards achieving your academic and career goals. By dedicating time and effort to study, you can master the exam's content and strategies. Remember, GMAT success requires more than intelligence; it demands diligence, discipline, and effective time management.


Start by familiarising yourself with the test format and content, then devise a study plan tailored to your strengths and weaknesses. Utilise a variety of study resources, such as textbooks, online courses, and practice tests, to reinforce your understanding and hone your skills.


Throughout your preparation, maintain a positive mindset and persevere through challenges. Stay focused on your goals and believe in your ability to succeed. Remember, every practice question and mock exam brings you closer to your desired score.


As you embark on this journey, embrace the opportunity for personal growth and development. The skills and knowledge you gain while preparing for the GMAT will not only serve you well on test day but also in your future academic and professional pursuits.


So, start your GMAT preparation journey with confidence, knowing that with dedication and perseverance, you can achieve your desired score and unlock a world of opportunities for your future.

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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