How to Prepare for the GMAT

Preparing for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) involves signing up for the test, obtaining prep materials, creating a study schedule, and getting ready for test day. If you’re interested in attending business school, most schools you apply to will accept GMAT scores as part of your application. This test is a way to show your aptitude for business and your readiness for graduate school.

Sign up and Pay for the GMAT

The GMAT is available worldwide, with test dates occurring throughout the year. Go online to schedule your GMAT exam, giving yourself an adequate amount of time to study between now and your test date. You will find a testing center near you and choose a time to take the exam. The fee for the exam is $250.

Get Test Preparation Materials

Whether you choose to find preparation materials for free online, purchase an online course, or work out of a book, you need prep materials to hone your studying. Your first step should be researching these materials. Find out how each option lays out the studying process so you can choose the one that works best with your learning style.

Many GMAT test prep online courses and books teach you how to take the exam. This includes studying the information that will be on the test, but it also includes strategies for test day that will help you move efficiently through the test without hiccups or distractions.

Create a Study Timeline

Many people take three months to study for the GMAT. Choosing a longer timeline might exhaust you on the subject matter or give you time to forget things. You can study for a shorter amount of time, but give yourself at least a month for adequate preparation.

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First, take a practice test to determine where you stand now. Then, decide how long you’ll study each day, and how much material you intend to get through. Studying over a three-month period can keep you from getting exhausted or bored with studying.

Try setting aside an hour to an hour and a half each day, four to five days a week. Give yourself time off. Take a few practice tests during your study schedule to see how you’re improving.

Prepare for Test Day

You’ve studied hard, and test day is tomorrow. Give yourself an extra boost by getting ready the night before and eliminating as many stressors on test day as possible. Get directions to your test center, and if you’re not sure where it is, take a drive over there the day before.

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive early. Plan a comfortable outfit, and bring snacks for your locker so you can fuel up during test breaks.

The surest way to ruin your GMAT preparation is to not take it seriously. When the test is months away, forcing yourself to study is difficult, but you need to take that time. Signing up for a test date that does not give you adequate time to study is also a mistake. Prepare well, and you’ll receive a better score.