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Updated: Apr 27, 2021

From the moment I started my prep to the moment I received my GMAT score I learnt a lot of things and would like to share them with everyone so that they don’t have to face the same questions and uncertainties that I did.

1. It's not absolutely necessary to join a coaching institute

First of all, I'd wish to say that you simply don’t necessarily get to join a professional coaching institute to organize for the GMAT. All you would like is self-discipline, dedication, and the right materials. Coaching classes charges somewhere around 25,000INR-40,000INR and I really don't find them so important.

You can find tons of useful material and helpful people on forums like Beat The GMAT or GMAT Club but you'll need to search for those that match your specific requirement. Also, it's worthwhile to invest in the GMAT Official Guides, they're really helpful.

2. Feel free to ignore the earlier tip

If you have even the slightest apprehension that you might need professional help to manage your preparation then go ahead and take it as it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Just don’t do the classic mistake of believing that your GMAT tutor will somehow magically get you your desired score. The onus for that still falls on you and you alone.

For the rest of the article, I’ll focus on tips for self-study.

3. Start with the GMAT Quantitative Section

As we Indians are generally good at maths, I would suggest that you start your preparation with the GMAT Quant topics.

It will help you to get in the habit of studying while boosting your confidence at the same time.

4. Take up GMAT Verbal prep next

After you manage to get a decent accuracy level (say 80%) in the quant section give way to GMAT verbal topics.

Now verbal, as far as I can tell from my experience and from that of my friends’, requires comparatively a lot more effort as we are generally not subject to this tricky a test of our command over the English language.

5. Provide special attention to Critical Reasoning (CR) and Reading Comprehension (RC)

For Critical Reasoning (CR) & Reading Comprehension (RC) I would suggest that you go through some solved examples and read up on the basic rules as this will give you a basic idea.

After this practice as many questions as possible and understand from your mistakes (Official Guides are good for this purpose).

Once you begin getting a hang of the essential concept of every argument or passage you'll be ready to answer the questions fairly accurately.

Sentence Correction (SC) however, requires a more tedious approach. You need to first read and understand the basic grammatical rules such as verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, idiomatic expressions, parallelism, modifiers etc.

Once you are done with this I suggest that you solve some basic SC questions; after this start learning about the nuances of grammar such as when to use which & when to use that or what is the difference between because & due to.

Once you are done with this, solve a lot of tough (700-800 level) SC questions; by doing so you will be able to practice what you have learnt and improved your accuracy.

6. Take Mock Tests

After you’ve tackled tips 1 through 5, give 1 or 2 mocks; I would recommend the GMATPrep mocks as they are the most accurate, although the quantitative questions on them tend to be a bit easier than the quant on the actual GMAT.

Do not take the score of this mock very seriously, review your mistakes and identify the topics that you simply aren't comfortable with.

Also do not waste time on trying to decode the scoring pattern; as a rule of thumb, aim for an accuracy of 90% on both the quant and the verbal sections to get a 750 or above.

7. Time to take on quant and verbal head on

Now start practising quant and verbal questions simultaneously. Do as many questions as possible and give mocks in quick succession after this (say 1 mock in a gap of 2-3 days).

This will allow you to get used to the actual test environment and at the same time give you adequate opportunity to review your mistakes and work on them.

Meanwhile, keep an eye fixed on the available dates and slots because the popular centres are generally short on them.

8. When to register for the GMAT exam

If you're scoring around your target score then book your GMAT for the earliest date available (okay, maybe not the earliest but don't delay unnecessarily).

In case you feel that your scores are not up to the mark then don’t get disheartened rather put in more effort.

9. The day before the exam

On the night before the day of your GMAT make sure that you have all the documents and materials that you will need and have a good night’s sleep.

On the day of the exam do not solve a lot of questions just a few to get you in the groove.

10. Realise that you can’t control it all Finally, before you start your exam relax, take a deep breath, and ask the almighty for his blessings because no matter how much effort you have put in; to score a truly spectacular score you need a small amount of luck. #gmat#mim#mba

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