GMAT Exam preparation


How to Prepare for GMAT?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a global exam conducted as an entrance test for students seeking admission in B-schools to pursue Business Management programs. Cracking the GMAT exam allows students access to 2300 colleges and 7000 business study programs. But cracking GMAT requires much efforts and hard as well as smart work. The syllabus of the GMAT is drafted to test the skills and proficiency of the students in understanding complex business and math topics. Additionally, English proficiency is tested to assess the students’ language skills and ability to understand the lessons. So to ace all these sections, students require 3 to 6 months preparation with complete dedication.

GMAT Preparation Time

As we said earlier, the average preparation time a student needs is maximum 6 months to be confidently ready for the exam. The average preparation time is 6 months because each section should be attended as business schools give importance to all the sections and allot an average mark for each. Six months is not necessary; therefore, students can do it within 2 to 3 months, given the essential practice and efforts. But whichever may be the time they take, and they need to, first of all, create a study plan and stick to it rigorously.

Let us determine the time period according to the marks students scored -

  • 500 or lower - the exact time to prepare to reach 700+ is 5-9 months.
  • Between 500 and 600 - the exact time to reach 700+ is 3-6 months.
  • Between 600 and 650 - the exact time to reach 700+ is 1-3 months.

GMAT Preparation Tips (Section Wise)

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment

The first section is the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). The first section of the exam has a unique paragraph or essay of about 350 words. In this section, students must read the essay and write their understanding or criticism. The essay will be of general or more business-related. The section is given to analyse the students’ ability to express their viewpoints in a clear and understanding manner.

Tips to ace the AWA section

  • Start with practising your writing skills. Choose a topic from the internet, understand its subject and reframe it in your own words. Then, try to find the main theme of the passage and come up with a suitable title for the essay.
  • Add an introduction, body of the passage and conclusion.
  • Try to be precise with the statements that support your opinion.
  • Express your individuality while writing the essay.
  • Review the passage once you are done and rectify the errors, if there are any.
  • Refer to the many AWA templates given by GMAC.
  • Refer to the frequently asked AWA topics and write your version of them.
  • Refer to many topics for AWA online as well. Broaden your thought process by having an analytical approach while framing your sentences.
  • Read articles related to business management and corporate trends from around the world using the INshorts app.
  • Read Hindu editorial, which has a sea of articles highlighting a particular issue.
  • Review the studied topics and methods as well and make a list of the common do’s that can be used as an answer model.
  • Start practising on new topics following the argumentative approach.
  1. Integrated Reasoning

This is the second section of the GMAT exam which requires students to analyse and interpret the information presented in multiple formats. Integrated Reasoning is the toughest section of the GMAT exam. Questions are largely categorised into Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation and Two-Part Analysis.

Tips to ace the Integrated Reasoning section

  • Study each case study in-depth and concentrate on building accuracy.
  • Understand the basics of reasoning concepts.
  • Familiarize yourself more with crossword puzzles, boatload, etc., to enhance your analytical thinking and calculative instincts.
  • In the multi-reasoning section, note down the important points from all the tabs and compile them to get the answer.
  • Note down the important data elements of each question before solving it.
  • For table analysis questions, directly refer to the table provided. It has direct information for the questions.
  • Cultivate the habit of reading while solving the questions.
  • Understand the information provided in the question correctly.
  • For graphic interpretation questions, read the answer options first.
  • Note down the values of the x-axis and y-axis before including them in your calculation.
  • Utilize the computer calculator to save time and get accuracy.
  1. Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative Reasoning is the third section of the exam. This section assesses the problem-solving ability of the students through complex math topics. This section is usually grouped into two types - Problem-Solving and Data Sufficiency. Topics generally asked are Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Word problems.

Tips to ace the Quantitative Reasoning section

  • Brush up on your 8 to 10 math properly.
  • Concentrate on the basics of all the quant topics, namely algebra, arithmetic and mensuration.
  • Learn by heart all the important identities and corollaries related to imperative topics and prepare a cheat sheet for them.
  • Memorize the important formulas and practice more the calculations.
  • Since there will be no keyboard usage for this section, keep it aside and use the space for hand calculations.
  • Cover all the “Concept review” questions before heading to actual exercises.
  • Practice more to learn how to eliminate wrong answers.
  • Concentrate on building accuracy.
  • Study properly the diagrams, graphs and table-based questions where pictorial representatives are enough to solve a question.
  • Take the mock test. Attend one mock paper per week to record your progress.
  1. Verbal Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning is the fourth and final section of the exam to analyse the students' English proficiency. The section is categorised into three question formats: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction.

Tips to ace the Verbal Reasoning section


Reading Comprehension

Critical Reasoning

Sentence Correction


Focus on essays related to scientific facts, social science, business, etc., which have questions based on the conclusion.

Concentrate on the passage pattern. Complex passages have easy questions, and easy passages have complex interference-based or contradicting the main idea type of questions.

Focus on spotting the errors and correcting the sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence.


Adopt the habit of reading slowly. Comprehend the passage and visualise the incidents as you read.

For “strengthen” or “weaken” the argument questions, understand which option will either support or negate the question. Go with that option.

Practice the process of eliminating the options which change the overall sentence.


Focus on the author’s tone and subject of the passage.

For an answer, based on the conclusion, choose the option that highlights the central theme of the passage.

Compare the answer options to know the strengthening argument and weakening argument.


Deploy methods like educated guessing or process of elimination to find the right answer.

Confirm that your answer has a logical extension to the given argument.

Cultivate the habit of reading newspapers, newsletters, journals, periodicals, etc., to widen your vocabulary, sentence type understanding and grammar.


Notice the answer options before reading the passage.

Do regular mock practices.

Ensure you know at least 500 difficult words, phrases and idioms.

GMAT Preparation Strategy

GMAT preparation is a must, and students should create a study plan as soon as they decide to sit for the GMAT exam. Freshers attending the exam for the first time must take at least six months to prepare. Since the exam is a test of all the skills such as math, verbal english, analytical thinking, critical thinking and quant, it takes a lot of time to understand these topics and prepare for the exam. Students should at least allot 2 to 3 hours daily for the GMAT preparation. And it is impossible to practice all the sections in one day. So, allot a week or two for one section and thus develop your habit of rigorously planning and preparing for the exam.

Study Plan

  • Create a GMAT Study plan as early as possible.
  • Understand the test sections and practice hard and smart for each section.
  • Choose your GMAT prep materials wisely.
  • Find your GMAT weaknesses and work on them.
  • Try to develop the time management habit and include it as part of your prep plan.
  • Don’t get stuck on a GMAT question.
  • Learn to eliminate the wrong answers by reading and understanding the question.
  • Practice Visual Literacy during GMAT prep.
  • Develop your mental math as part of your study plan.
  • Widen your limits with advanced questions.

GMAT Study Material 2023

Free Online GMAT Study Material

  • examPAL -
  • Kaplan GMAT Test Prep -
  • The Economist GMAT Tutor -
  • Veritas Prep’s Mobile App -  Google Play
  • Prep4GMAT -  Google Play
  • GMAT Prep Now

  • GMAT Official Guide 2022 Bundle
  • Manhattan Prep’s “All the GMAT Bundle, 7th Edition”.
  • Kaplan’s “GMAT Prep Plus 2022-2023”.
  • Mometrix’s “GMAT Prep Book 2022-2023”.
  • GMAT Official Advanced Questions.
Top GMAT Quantitative Books

  • Manhattan Prep’s “GMAT Foundations of Math, 7th Edition”.
  • Manhattan Prep’s “GMAT Advanced Quant, 3rd Edition”.
  • Kaplan’s “GMAT Math Workbook, 10th Edition.
Top GMAT Verbal Books

  • PowerScore’s “GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible, 2021 Edition”.
  • Manhattan Prep’s “GMAT Foundations of Verbal, 7th Edition”.
  • The Critical Reader: The Complete GMAT Sentence Correction Guide”.
Top GMAT Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Books

  • Manhattan Prep’s “GMAT Integrated Reasoning and Essay, 7th Edition”.
  • Manhattan Review’s “GMAT Analytical Writing Guide, 6th Edition”.