GMAT: how to make training more effective

The two biggest challenges in preparing for the GMAT – especially if you’re preparing on your own – are determining how much time to set aside for class and how to make the most of that time. Today, we’re going to focus on the basic concepts that will help you choose the right path.

How long does it take to prepare for the GMAT?

Obviously, the amount of time it takes to prepare for the test will vary depending on a number of factors. The most important of them are:

  1. How much would you like to improve your score?
  2. How effectively do you use your study time?

Correctly setting the score is a topic for a separate publication.

Let’s say that you have a clear idea of how much you want to get on the GMAT, and are ready to achieve your goal. Take a practice test and determine how many points you are missing. Here’s an estimated time to spend:

 Number of hours = number of missing points x 2

As already mentioned, this is an approximate formula. If your math skills leave much to be desired, and you want to increase your score from 400 to 450, you will need less time, and if you scored 700 and mark at 750, then more. What matters is what you do during this time.

 Increasing efficiency

Some of the tips below may seem obvious, even banal. Yet they work, and I’ve often watched students neglect them.

Determine at what time of day your brain works best, and exercise at this time. You may need to prepare for half an hour at lunch, get up an hour early and study before work, or stay an hour late in the office.

  • Study at the same time every day, including weekends.
  • It’s okay if on some day you can’t work out at the usual time. But be sure to do at least something – even just 15-20 minutes – daily.
  • Prepare in a calm, uncluttered place. Sometimes this is not possible if you take 20 minutes from work or lunch break, but at home it is necessary. The test center is not cluttered, and your workplace should not be filled with different items. A temporary solution may be a Saturday trip to Starbucks, but don’t get used to studying there.
  • Don’t be interrupted. If you have a soul mate or roommate, tell them that you are going to study and for how long, explain that for this period you need silence and solitude. If possible, disconnect your cell phone and Internet connection: after any intervention, it will take you 5-10 minutes to get back into the rut.
  • In the above tips, two themes are clearly traced: the systematic and similarity of daily experience. Try to get into GMAT preparation mode every day at the same time, and the transition to productive activities will be shortened. Remember: the more time you work to improve the result, the higher the score you will get.
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