Expert Advice to Make Your GMAT™ Prep Worry-Free
Get expert answers to some of your top questions about preparing for the GMAT™ exam and smart strategies to manage your test-day anxiety.
“I can’t seem to make any headway on my GMAT exam prep and it’s starting to overwhelm me. What should I focus on?”
Does this sound like you? Whether you’re in school, working full time, or somewhere in between, you’re likely juggling a lengthy to-do list. Finding the right balance between your life and your test prep can be challenging.
We asked Pamela Brown, director, product management for GMATPrep™, to offer insights on how to prepare for the GMAT exam from your first study session at home through submitting your final answer on test day.
Learn about and practice all parts of the GMAT exam
Brown recommends first learning about how the exam is structured. Then, begin your test prep by taking a free, full-length practice GMAT exam to set a benchmark. “Once you know where your strengths are and where you need work, you can make better use of your study time,” says Brown. By understanding the exam format, duration, and content in each of the four sections, you’ll be ahead of the curve when you begin working on your study plan.
Set a realistic GMAT study schedule
How to start studying for the GMAT exam starts with creating a realistic schedule. Explore the GMAT prep materials and ask yourself these questions:
1. How much time can I commit each week to test prep?
2. What other priorities and commitments do I have right now?
“If you’re honest with yourself about the amount of time that you have to study, then you’re more likely to meet your goals,” comments Brown. She also recommends determining what other competing priorities you may have and creating a schedule that works with your lifestyle.
Work through wrong answers during GMAT exam prep
Spending time on practice problems is a key component of your exam prep, but it’s what you do with the information you gain that sets you up for success. “We see students who spend hours working on practice problems without taking the time to find out why they got a question wrong,” says Brown. “Your practice is more valuable when you take the time to review each wrong answer, understand what attracted you to that answer, and most importantly, work through the process to know how to approach it the next time.”
Manage GMAT test anxiety
We also asked Brown about how you can alleviate some of the anxiety you may feel about the exam day. She agreed with what many students already know, “test anxiety is real.”
Brown suggests that taking steps to create a real test environment can help reduce stress leading up to your exam. “If you’re going to take the exam in the morning, take your practice exams in the morning.” She added, “Simple things like knowing what you’re going to wear, what you’re going to eat, and how to get to the test center can help you feel more in control and reduce your stress level.”
It’s also important to take time for yourself during your test prep. Are you a runner? Set aside time to log a few miles. Love hanging out with your pet? Take a few minutes for playtime or a quick belly rub.
Remember, everything you are doing right now to prepare for your GMAT exam gets you closer to realizing your goals. Find out what works for you, and set your sights on test-day success.
Get started our your GMAT exam journey with the 8-Week Study Plan.