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3 tips for preparing for the GMAT

Thursday, October 2, 2014
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3 tips for preparing for the GMAT
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Taking the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is often required of those who apply to business school. The test itself takes a few hours to complete, and many applicants have spent several months studying in preparation for the test. When creating a plan, students should follow certain guidelines to ensure their best possible score.

1. Identify helpful resources
To succeed on the GMAT, it's necessary for prospective students to seek assistance. The Graduate Management Admission Council noted that many students either study on their own, take a course, hire a tutor or seek a combination of strategies. Those preparing for the test should consider what works best for them — as well as their budget — and seek out resources accordingly. The GMAC offers handbooks and downloadable software that's free of charge and gives users insight into the types of questions they'll be asked. It's highly recommended to take advantage of these resources, as they're created by the same organization that produces the exam, and can be incredibly effective in preparing test takers. From there, they should work studying into their schedule..

2. Make a study plan
The busy life of an aspiring graduate student often leaves little room for even the most important activities, so setting aside several times each week for study is crucial to ensuring that it actually gets done. Whether test prep comes from a tutor, professor or classmate, prospective students will need to set aside a regular time for study. The exam is broken up into quantitative, verbal, integrated reasoning and analytical writing sections. Forbes pointed out that many people are stronger in some sections than others, so it's important to structure studying around topics that seem to cause the most difficulty. Most students find that they need to strengthen either their quantitative skills or their verbal skills.

3. Take practice exams
There's more to studying than just getting comfortable with the subject matter. Forbes recommended treating the exam as if it were a marathon. It wouldn't be intelligent to run a marathon without proper preparation and incremental stamina training. Starting to study for the GMAT one month before the exam is not recommended as it takes a while to become secure in areas that may be weak. Also, to make sure it's possible to complete the entire exam, test takers should engage in several practice tests. This will not only prepare them for the kind of questions they'll be asked, but also will help to build up stamina for the length of the exam. As part of the free software offered by GMAC, there are two sample tests that users can take when they're ready.

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