As we struggle to best manage our time in our busy lives, many of us who are planning to attend business school are asking, “How long should I study for the GMAT?” The answer will vary for each person and is dependent on many factors, including the score you want and your motivation to achieve your ideal GMAT score.
Although there is no set time, the below factors will help you get an idea of how long you should be studying for the GMAT exam:
3 Factors to Consider When Preparing For the GMAT
1) Your familiarity with the GMAT material – Your grasp over the basics of math and English grammar is a major factor in determining how long it takes you to prepare for the GMAT exam. For example, depending on your ability to learn quickly, you may learn grammatical rules in a few hours but it may actually take a few months for you to apply them properly. Your level of familiarity with the GMAT material and the speed at which you learn determine whether you will be spending one month or six months to achieve your desired GMAT test score.
Helpful GMAT tip: Take a practice GMAT exam to get a sense of where you stand. Consider purchasing GMAT prep books, which all have practice GMAT exams where you can time and score yourself. Treat the practice exam as if was the real GMAT so that you can estimate how much time you need to spend studying to achieve your desired GMAT score.
2) Graduate schools you want to go to – Many business graduate schools have a minimum GMAT score requirement in order to get accepted into their graduate program. The higher the score, the longer you need to spend preparing for the GMAT.
Helpful GMAT tip: If you have no idea what business graduate schools you will apply to, take the time to research by visiting a few school websites. List the graduate schools that interest you and get an idea of the GMAT scores needed to get accepted into their graduate programs.
3) Your Test Taking Skills – How have you performed on previous standardized tests? Are you a bad test taker? Do you get nervous, lose focus, or run out of time during an exam? Although you and another person may have similar knowledge, the difference in your scores may be attributed to your test taking skills. For example, even if you know the material well, you still need to manage your time effectively during the test in order to get a good GMAT score. If you have bad test taking skills, you may need to take more practice GMAT exams to help you be better prepared.
Helpful GMAT tip: Spend time practicing test taking tips, such as taking practice GMAT exams and timing yourself. Try your best to simulate a similar setting of when you actually take the GMAT. If you get stuck on a question, don’t obsess over it and practice taking educated guesses.
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