GMAT prep tips

A friend recently asked me tips for preparing for GMAT. Thought I would share them here as well. I am not actively looking into changes in the GMAT format so this might already be outdated. Visit gmat club/ official GMAT website for all the latest GMAT gossip

So, GMAT prep is a bit different than CAT or other Indian competitive exams in the following ways:

  1. The questions are dynamically chosen. If you mark a question wrong, the next question for you would be easier and vice versa
  2. You cannot revisit a question. So you need to solve questions as they come. 

This means there is a very high importance of being always accurate on easy/medium questions. If you make silly mistakes early on in the exam then you might be messing up the whole attempt. 

Keeping this in mind, here is the preparation approach that worked best for me. 

  1. Do the OG GMAT guide end to end – You can buy 2nd hand one to save money but just make sure you don’t buy a very old edition as the syllabus/pattern might change a little bit year over year.
  2. For every question you attempt in OG
    1. If you marked it correct – see if it was a lucky guess or did you understand the content 
    2. If you marked it wrong – write down the question number and the reason for the mistake in a diary.
  3. Once you are done ~70% of the OG, give the first official free mock exam on
  4. Once you are done 100% of the OG give 2-3 of the free mocks provided by Kaplan, Manhattan, etc.
    1. Before every mock, go through the list of all the mistakes you’ve made while solving OG
    2. After each mock add the mistakes you made in that attempt to your mistake diary. Keep revising this diary before every mock exam (and also the final exam)
  5. If you are lacking in a particular area, buy area-specific guides from Manhattan Prep, Kaplan, etc. I got one for comprehension. 
  6. Once you have decent confidence, give the 2nd official mock on 
  7. Buy a mock exam pack if you are still scoring well below your target score
  8. Most importantly: Have an exam date in mind. (This can be 20-25 days before the application deadline of one of the colleges. For ISB R1, I gave the exam in mid-August) If you don’t have an exam date in mind, you cannot track your progress.
  9. Book the exam at least 1 month in advance to get the optimum date that works for you.
  10. Read all the rules about rescheduling, retaking GMAT, etc well before the actual exam so that you can go in with absolute clarity.

This approach helped me crack 740 in GMAT with 2.5 months of prep. Hope this is helpful.

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