There are a lot of students who dream of doing their post-graduation abroad. The reason might be to get exposure, settle in the country or the college/University is the best one and will directly affect your salary. Whatever the reason might be, what is common for all aspirants of GMAT is that they have to give the same test and score good marks to be able to get into their dream college/University. The questions that should pop in any aspirant’s mind are when should I start preparing for the test, how much time will it take for me to prepare for GMAT and when should I give the test. This blog will answer all these questions for you. Just make sure you read the entire blog till the end.

We have basically divided the aspirants into 3 main groups-

  1. The group which requires around 3 months of preparation
  2. The group that requires around 6 months of preparation
  3. The group that requires around 12 months of preparation

Let us talk about all these groups one by one

  First of all,, let us consider the group that would require around 3 months of preparation for clearing GMAT with a good score. This is the group of aspirants which already has good hold over English language. This will save them a lot of time which they will otherwise spend on preparing for Analytical Writing Assessment and Verbal sections of the test.  If a person has good hold over English language he can cover these topics in just a month. And with the remaining time of 2 months he can give due attention to Integrated Reasoning and Aptitude. Even in these two sections the one that requires more practice is the quantitative one. The integrated reasoning section would require comparatively less practice. But when we talk of 3 months preparation to prepare for the exam it means rigorous hard work. Spend around 4 hours every day preparing for GMAT.

Now many might ask, where the preparation plan is, telling me how many days should I give to which topic? We won’t provide one on purpose because it is best you create your own preparation plan. You know it better than us that which topics you are weak at and you should plan your study plan accordingly.

The second group is the group which would require 6 months to prepare for GMAT. This group of aspirants has to do nothing different from the group stated above. This group of aspirants can be subdivided into 2 types, the ones who are not at all good at aptitude or the ones who do not have enough time to give for preparation every day.

If you think 2 months are just not sufficient for you to study and ace the GMAT test, do not worry because there are  a lot of aspirants facing the same problem. But as the old saying goes, ‘Practice makes a man perfect’. Just keep on practicing more and more and focus on the areas you where you lack and you should require no more than 6 months to ace the GMAT.

There is also a possibility that you are an officer goer and don’t get much time every day to prepare for GMAT. In this case you can devote around 2 hours every day to prepare for GMAT. But one pro tip for you guys is that, make sure these 2 hours are before you go to office (early in the morning) and not after office hours. The simple reason is that your mind is fresh in the morning and can easily learn concepts. A long day at work will only leave you tired and you won’t be able to concentrate and might as well get irritated trying to solve questions.

The third and the last group is the one that requires around 12 months of preparation. You must be wondering, who requires 12 months of preparation for GMAT. I know you must have read thousands of articles telling you how you can ace at GMAT with just 2 months or at times even 1 month of preparation. But what every aspirant needs to understand is that, not every person has the same amount of knowledge. The article which tells that you need just 2 months to clear GMAT pre-assumes that you know a lot of things already. But in India the major problem people face when giving the GMAT is the lack of English proficiency. And trust me, no matter how many article out there claim that you can magically improve you improve your English proficiency in a month or two, you cannot. The GMAT does not ask for mugged up answers. It tests your knowledge of the language. So, if you are amongst the lot whose English proficiency is low, just know that you will have to work a little harder than the others. These 12 months of preparation won’t be all study and no fun. Watch English web series, read newspapers, watch English news channels and most importantly practice writing. And don’t write on a plane paper. Write on Microsoft word as you see a zigzag underlining wherever you are grammatically incorrect. Keep writing and over time you will improve your proficiency. The aptitude and Integral Reasoning section will require just as much time to prepare for you guys as the other aspirants. It is just English proficiency you need to give a little more attention to.

Now you must have figured out which group of aspirants you belong to. Now you need to know some basic things about the test which will help you in preparing for GMAT.

Study material-

There are a number of publishers providing different books for GMAT preparation. But there is one set of books you must buy and buy before buying any other book or set of books. This set of books is The Official GMAT Guide. This is the official question bank of GMAT questions from the past year questions and is published by GMAT conducting authority. After you solve all the questions from The Official GMAT Guide, you can purchase other books to prepare better. Also, you can get a lot of free resources online for preparation.

Structure of GMAT –

SectionTime (in minutes)Number of questionsScore Range
Analytical Writing Assessment30Essay on 1 topic0-6
Integrated Reasoning30121-8

When should you start preparing for the test and when should you give the test?

You might be amongst the lot which plans on doing their post-graduation right after completing their under-graduation or you might take a few years job experience before sitting for GMAT.

If you wish to do your post-graduation right after your under-graduation you should start preparing latest by the 2nd last year of your under-graduation. It is best to give an attempt well in advance before your under-graduation ends. It gives you a chance to attempt for GMAT once again before your under-graduation ends and you can improve your score.

However, if you think of taking job experience before you apply for post-graduation you should start preparing latest by the last year of your under-graduation. The reason why you should start preparing during your college life and not after you start working is the reason that not many people are able to  take out enough time for preparing for GMAT and early preparation will help you score better as you will have to just brush up concepts before you actually give the test. Also, in this case as well try to give the test well in advance before the date you plan on leaving your job as it will leave you with another attempt to score better.

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