How To Prep for the GMAT: What You Need To Know

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A strong or stellar Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT™) score can make your b-school applications. Applicants to Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs are well advised to make GMAT prep a cornerstone in the build of their candidacy.

The MBA admissions experts at The MBA Exchange have the test prep tips, strategies, and guidance you need to crush the GMAT and securely nail that aspect of your candidacy. Our strategies have worked where other tips from top GMAT prep sources don’t, a part of our long track record of admissions support success for top MBA programs.

Whether you’re staring down GMAT prep for the first time, or coming back to the test after frustrating past failures or less-than-stellar scores, our GMAT tutors can advise you on the best GMAT test prep strategy for you. Rebuild your confidence and achieve the score you need to secure your seat at your target MBA programs. What should you target in test prep for the GMAT? Here’s what you need to know.

How to prep for the GMAT

You don’t want to come at the GMAT without a prep plan. This test is too smart for that! Instead, take the time to seek out the test prep materials you need to succeed. When looking for the best GMAT prep books and GMAT prep courses, weigh straightforward language above flashy sales claims. You’re looking for demystification support on this one.

Quant and verbal

The GMAT includes both quantitative and verbal components, as well as an Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA section) and an Integrated Reasoning (IR section). You probably know where your strengths fall in those terms! When you decide how to prep for the GMAT, focus on your weaknesses, but be sure to practice in the areas you’re strong in at least a little, as well.

Clear connections

You want your GMAT prep to connect with your sense of your experience in the real world of the workplace. If you can root your understanding in professional skills and experience, you can retain information much more effectively, making your GMAT test prep that much more of an asset when you sit for the exam.

How long does it take to prep for the GMAT?

The question of how much time you need for GMAT prep depends on a few factors, including your prior testing history and your overall confidence with standardized testing. That said, even if you usually sail through standardized tests, it’s worth taking time to study for the GMAT, as the adjustive test administration style can take some getting used to!

Top MBA programs want to see strong GMAT scores and percentiles from applicants. It’s worth taking as much time as you need to prep for the GMAT in order to avoid the weakness that a low GMAT score produces in an MBA candidacy. Your GMAT target should drive your test prep strategy. GMAT prep tests can help you get a sense of where you’re currently scoring.

Are GMAT prep courses worth it?

GMAT prep classes offer various types of support for future test-takers. As you evaluate potential sources of support for your GMAT prep plan, take these factors into account:

  • The reliability and seriousness of the source
  • The utility of sources like GMAT prep books and classes to your individual situation
  • The cost-benefit analysis – cheaper methods might not yield the results you need, resulting in a less-than-good bargain overall

Online GMAT prep services may have sample tests for download available, as well as free and subscription advice and secrets. If you’re planning on doing your GMAT prep online, make sure to vet free resources, making sure they meet the requirements of your top-tier b-school candidacy.

The GMAT prep support you need

When you’re dealing with the inevitable “ups and downs” of test prep, you want someone on your side to give you the sincere support and guidance you need to get you through. Working with an experienced tutor can make the difference when it comes to your GMAT score. When you have the personal dedication and availability from an accountability partner with top-tier credentials and a history of proven success, you can fully achieve your highest potential.

The best way to determine how to prep for the GMAT varies for individuals from different backgrounds. The best GMAT prep courses understand that, and flexibly adjust to help you hit your GMAT score targets with GMAT prep planning that’s personally tailored for you and your goals.

What’s your GMAT test prep plan? If you’re looking for pointers or have questions, the team at The MBA Exchange are happy to help with experience and insider understanding that you can count on when it comes to securing your highest-possible GMAT score.

Author Margo Diewald, Senior Tutor at The MBA Exchange
Author Margo Diewald, Senior Tutor
The MBA Exchange

In parallel to her consulting and corporate work, Margo Diewald has tutored a wide range of graduate school and college applicants over the past 15 years. Whether consulting, coaching, or tutoring, she believes in the power of clarity, relevance, and engagement to accelerate her client’s growth.

Margo’s expertise spans the GMAT and GRE as well as MBA-level subjects including statistics, economics, accounting, marketing research, and consumer behavior. She published her first two books, All Your Word Problems Solved and Off the Charts! Data Interpretation, with the conviction her approach can fundamentally change a test taker’s relationship with math by making it enjoyable. Familiar with multiple languages, Margo has enhanced awareness of grammar and vocabulary, which helps her clients grasp nuances of American English and subtleties of word choice. She earned an MBA degree at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in business management with concentrations in marketing and finance at North Carolina State University.

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