The dreaded GMAT is enough to have any MBA applicant get the shivers. It can haunt your dreams but it can also be your saving grace for getting into your dream school.
Before you begin jumping into all that is the GMAT, follow these five steps to success.
1. Figure out what you don’t know
Take your first step and complete your first practice exam. I would suggest taking one of the free exams from GMAC as their exams are the closest to the real thing. This will create a starting point for you and will help you grasp what you’re about to get yourself into. Outside of the AWA/essay section, you’ll get a score of where you are starting at.
Don’t worry if you’re far off from your desired score. This is all about getting your feet wet. The great part of a GMAC exam is that it allows you to review your incorrect answers and also will show you which categories you scored less in, whether it be fractions, sentence correction or integrated reasoning.
2. Create a study plan
Now that you know where you’re starting from it’s time to pave the road for where you want to end up. Before crafting a study plan you need to realistically ask yourself the following questions:
After reviewing the questions, sit down with a calendar and start preparing. Whether you are studying full-time or part-time, write down each day what it is you intend to study and stick to your plan. Focus on your worst category first, then move to the easier categories and finish off your studying with back to back practice exams.
3. Book your exam
Once you’ve set up your study plan it’s time to bite the bullet and reserve your GMAT time slot. Go to mba.com and find your closest testing centre. You’ll need to decide a day with an open time slot and then choose if the morning or afternoon exam is best for you.
My first exam I took in the morning and when I didn’t achieve my goal score, I switched both testing enters and time, to the afternoon exam. So definitely think about what the best time could do for you. Look back at your university exams to see which exams you did better in and what time of day they work – it will really help! Then pay the $250 USD to set up your slot.
4. Ask for help
At one point or another in your studying, you’re going to hit a roadblock. Maybe you don’t quite understand geometry or sentence correction isn’t coming together as you hoped. It is time to get some help. Going back to #2 when you decided how budget you can allocate to help your GMAT success – it’s time to put that to work.
You could use the money to purchase more study guides or sign up for a class at a local college or private company. My suggestion and my experience though, would highly recommend hiring a GMAT tutor.
A GMAT tutor, can range in cost per hour, but the help you will receive is catered to the help you specifically need! Why spend $800 on an online course or $100 on extra books that might help you through reading, you can spend one hour at a time with a tutor depending on what it is that you have a question about.
5. Take a Deep Breath & Write your GMAT
Leading up to the last few days before your exam, the key is to gain confidence and reduce your anxiety. Read examples of a variety of exam experiences. Learn about the ear plugs and the exam environment and put that to practice during your GMAT practice exams. Then do what you need to do to find your calm. Have a glass of wine, take a bath, watch a sitcom and most importantly breathe.
If you’ve followed these steps and kept yourself ontop of your study plan you are ready to rock the exam. So good luck, break a leg – I can’t wait to hear how you’ve done!
Looking for a GMAT tutor? Click through to Services and I can help match you with one in your area.