Being a Student Ambassador, I have been asked about advice regarding preparing for the GMAT a lot lately. I thought that it would be a good idea for me to pen down my thoughts out in the open for everyone’s benefit. Please take my advice with a pinch of salt as it is purely my opinion.
I believe that preparing for the GMAT is a three-part exercise – 1. Assessing your strengths and weaknesses, 2. Maximising your RoI w.r.t your score, and 3. Giving the exam. Let me elaborate on each of them in detail in the text that follows.
Assessing your strengths and weaknesses: This simply comes down to giving a couple of mock tests before you start your preparation. I strongly recommend GMATPrep for this as it is as close to the actual exam in terms of difficulty and format as possible. You could also take other mock tests freely available from sources on the internet which give detailed break up of your weaknesses such as Kaplan’s Free GMAT Test here. Whatever your test might be, that objective must be to figure out areas that need most work.
Maximising your RoI: Now that you have identified areas that require most of your efforts, its time to focus on them and nail them. Not all sources of preparation are good for everything. I felt that while Kaplan was pretty good for the quantitative and AWA sections, it was sorely inadequate for the verbal section (where Manhattan guides were extremely useful). That said, the most important sources for preparation are the Official GMAT guides of course.
Now that you are preparing well, it is always a great practice to see how much you have progressed. I believe that nailing the GMAT is all about adequate practice. Keep giving as many tests as you can. Some of the free resources I felt were incredibly useful were: VeritasPrep and the Economist GMAT Tutor. Take as many full length tests as you can so that you have an intuition about the time and format.
Exam Day: All you have to do is to remember all the work you put in and stay calm. If you are feeling that that exam is getting harder, it only means that you are doing well. Be cognizant of the time left and the questions left to be answered at all times. You will have a greater penalty for not attempting than getting some questions wrong.
Well, that about sums about the generic advice I can give on this topic. However, if you feel that I could help you with something specific, feel free to reach out to me or a leave a comment below.