The best way to prepare for GMAT would be to stock up with as many mock tests as possible, and start practicing from Day One. The Official GMAT Guide gives you a good idea of the level, but your real practice starts with Manhattan Books for GMAT, Kaplan GMAT Test, TestPrep, etc. Joining classes isn’t a must, but as is the case with every exam, it helps. There are many sample tests which are available online for free. About 2-3 months should be enough preparation time for GMAT, but this is provided you’re able to solve at least one section test a day.
Unlike the old GRE pattern which many of us are familiar with, the GMAT does not place tremendous stress on vocabulary (though it doesn’t hurt to have a good command over word usage). What is far more important, is your grammar. Make sure you are comfortable constructing long sentences which are grammatically correct, and reading through passages which are highly dull and monotonous.
Anyways, we at stupidsid, made sure that a systematic and weekly plan should be put up for a top GMAT score.
Suggested 2-month plan of study:
As for AWA, you NEED to figure out the flow of your essay well before your test date. Enough stress is levied by the universities on your AWA when it comes to GMAT. Unlike GRE, a stereotype 3.0 is not very much recommended. Even though admissions are based on complete profile, a score of 4.0 or above is what universities LOVE to see.
Start reading essays from day one. For those who are accustomed to satisfactory reading (comprehension passages), drafting an essay might turn out to be a cakewalk. Since the type of essay is Argumentative, it is better to read various editorial columns, alongwith watching debates on curent topics. It will help you create a counterview on any essay topic which is what you're supposed to do in AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment).
Brush up all your quant basics. Sit with a CAT funda book (borrowed from a friend, of course), and go through all the formula and fundae. Start reading a newspaper like Economic Times so that you're used to staying awake while reading long, boring, unimportant and seemingly incomprehensible passages.
Pick up one question type at a time, and try mastering it. There is more than enough GMAT practice material available online for free, so you don't need to waste any money on it. While you should undoubtedly spend more time on verbal, DON'T forget that you have to practice quant as well.
Continue the practice, but concentrate on complete sections now. Your aim should be to complete at least one verbal and one quant section every day, along with 3-4 question-type sample / practice tests.
By now you should have collected more than enough GMAT full length practice tests, and ideally solved a couple as well. Review all the mistakes you have made previously, and try correcting them during your full length tests. One a day is more than enough; more would just burn you out.
In a nutshell, all you need is regular and uncompromising practice to crack GMAT.
Just a pointer – don’t take the quant section lightly, even if you’re an engineer who has been topping the CAT for years. There’s every chance that it would throw up a couple of surprises.
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