Skip to main content

How to study for the GMAT

Tuesday, June 09, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a four-hour, computer-based admissions exam for Master of Business Administration (MBA) aspirants. There are a lot of different ways to study for the GMAT. Whether you are taking a prep course or studying on your own, several important aspects remain constant.

A critical first step for GMAT students is assessing their needs by taking a practice test. This will enable students to figure out how close they are to their goal scores and identify their weaknesses. They can then use this information to choose the best course of study.

Take notes

Regardless of which way he or she chooses to study, every student should be taking notes. There is too much critical information for one person to remember by just reading or watching a video, so writing things down is one of the most important GMAT study tips. According to a new study from Mueller and Oppenheimer, students who wrote notes by hand performed better on quizzes than those who took notes on their laptops.

Notes are especially important for the sentence correction and quantitative portions of the exam, since there are so many rules and formulas to memorize. Critical reasoning and reading comprehension don’t require outside knowledge, so a student only needs to get a basic handle on the strategy and then go over a lot of practice questions.

Practice & review questions

After getting a handle on the strategy and content, students should then practice by going over questions. The best source for practice questions is the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the test maker of the GMAT. GMAC has several books in addition to computer-based practice tests and questions, including free GMAT prep software. When going over practice questions, it is essential for students to review the answers so they can analyze what they did wrong and how to improve for their next test.

According to an experienced GMAT tutor, it is also essential to get practice with more difficult questions, especially if one is aiming to score above a 700. Those questions can be found in books like Kaplan 800, which targets those aiming for higher scores.

Take GMAT practice tests

The final and most important of the GMAT study tips is to take a lot of full-length practice tests, including the integrated reasoning and analytical writing assessment sections. These sections are often overlooked because they are not included in the overall score. Many students who are applying to online MBA programs are very busy and do not have time to waste. However, spending time on these sections is not wasted. Since AWA and IR are first, it is essential to get practice going through them before getting to the scored sections.

These are just a few of the foundational GMAT study tips for potential MBA students to keep in mind as they prepare for the standardized test. Those interested in an online MBA program may want to research their preferred schools’ admissions requirements to see if they may be eligible for a GMAT waiver.

Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.

Click on the link below to request more information regarding the UTRGV Graduate Programs.

Request More Information