How to Study the GMAT Online
When planning on attending business school, the GMAT will be the most important standardized test you will ever take and studying for the test will be one of the most important things you will do in order to prepare for the application process. Here are some things to consider in order to successfully study for the GMAT online.
What You’ll Need
If you’re going to study for the GMAT properly, you’re going to need a handful of test prep tools in order to assure yourself a good score. Here are a few things that you will want to familiarize yourself with for the GMAT.
- GMAT Handbook: This free handbook is an official guideline that students should read in order to understand the test better. This will allow you to know the rights you have as a test taker, registration and scheduling instructions, test fees and policies, testing rules, how to receive your scores, and how to report your scores to your schools.
- The Official Guide for GMAT Review: The best way to get acquainted with what you will be in for come test time is to take as many practice tests as you can. The Official Guide for GMAT Review will help you study the GMAT online by giving you access to more than 900 test prep questions to take and review your progress.
- Verbal and Quantitative Review Books: Review books are your main source of your study plan, and they are usually sold in separate books for verbal and quantitative sections.
Getting in the Right Amount of Study Time
It’s no secret that the key to being fully prepared for the GMAT is getting in the right amount of studying. The right amount of time includes hitting the books early and studying often.
But what does this mean? How long before the actual test should you start hitting the books? Some experts say that you should start studying 3 months out from the time you are supposed to take the test, but this can be altered depending on certain deadlines. If you are fast approaching a deadline to submit your application to a business school, you may have to cram a little more. There are some study guides that can get you prepared for the GMAT in about a month, but in that case, there is certainly no time to waste.
In addition to how far from the test should you start studying, there’s also a question of how much should you study? According to the official mba.com website, there is a direct correlation to how much you study and what your score winds up being. For example, the average student that scored over a 700 on their GMAT studied for 121 hours total. That is in comparison to a measly 75 hours for the average student that scored less than 400 points.
What to Avoid When Choosing a GMAT Program
When applying to business school, and finally, choosing the one that you will attend, there are certain pitfalls that go along with making the decision. Here are some things to avoid when choosing a GMAT program.
- Not Doing Enough Research: You may think that studying only has to do with the test-taking part of your application, but you should also be studying up on the schools you will be applying to. Look at what the school can offer you in the skills it can teach you and the networking abilities it will lend you. The right school will give you the right tools to go out into the business world and a bridge into that world.
- Not Being Realistic: We’re not telling you to aim low; surely you’ll have your reach schools that you will love to get into, but sometimes you have to take a step back and give yourself some tough criticism. Take a look at your application – your GPA, your GMAT score, your recommendations – and really evaluate whether or not you have a realistic chance of getting into the school you are applying to. If you’re applying to a school that you realistically not cut out for, you’ll be saving yourself money and heartbreak by crossing that one off the list.
- Not Applying to A Lot of Schools: Applying to schools can be a numbers game. The more schools you apply to, the more options you’ll have once it is time to choose the school you will be going to. Set yourself a budget meant for application fees and settle upon the amount of schools that you will apply to based on that budget.
- Not Going to the Best School You Can Get Into: This may sound like an obvious, but you’d be surprised. A lot of attention lately has been paid to the “right fit”, but essentially, the right fit for you should be the best school that you get accepted into. For example, if you’re going into finance, that doesn’t mean that Stern Business School isn’t right for you simply because it is “known for” banking. It still will allot you the resources that come with being one of the top business schools in the country.
The GMAT can be a bit of a daunting undertaking, but if you prepare yourself, you can take the steps to make sure that you achieve the best score on the test. If you study hard, acquire the necessary tools, and avoid the usual pitfalls, you can do well on the GMAT.