27 May 2008

GMAT Preparation

The admissions to the best B-schools are highly competitive. To get in, one needs a good if not great GMAT score.

A few points to note are
  • A stellar GMAT score won't guarantee admission
  • A poor GMAT score won't guarantee rejection (Or DING)
  • To be safe, your score needs to be in the middle 80 percent range
  • Don't over-stress the importance of GMAT scores. Your essays, recommendations, interviews, and academic and extracurricular records will also play a very important role in evaluation of your application
When to prepare for GMAT
  • Start early - Make sure that you are done by your GMAT by May of year previous to the one when you plan to enter B-school. For example if you plan to enter B-school in Fall of 2010, be done your GMAT by May of 2009
  • Take into account that you may need to give GMAT again.
Resources to use
What to do and when: Everyone has his/her own comfort levels, professional and personal commitments and desires to succeed. You need to do an honest evaluation of how much time you would need to prepare for GMAT. The below suggestion/timeline worked really well for me. I personally think that 2 months is a good time to prepare for GMAT.
  • Take the first practice test from Princeton Review (PR T1). Note your scores. Don't be disappointed if you scores low. Don't be elated if you do well.
  • Start with PR. It is gentle compared to official guide and will give you a good taste of the challenges
  • Finish Princeton review and give the next PR test (PR T2). Note your scores
  • Start the main official guide and Manhattan Sentence Correction book
    • Read and practice each section everyday
    • Keep a log of mistakes that you commit
    • Halfway through the book, give your third PR test
    • Start following the forums on GMAT club. Be helpful. Be respectful.
    • Finish you official guide and take the first GMATPrep test. The results of this test will give you an idea of where you stand.
  • Start the official Maths and verbal book, and essay writing preparations
    • Halfway through them give your fourth Princeton Review test (along with essays section)
  • Finish the books and give your second GMATPrep test (along with essays)
  • Give your GMAT within next 3-5 days. Don't give your GMAT the next day and don't delay more than 5 days.
What not to do
  • Lose patience. GMAT preparation will test you. Keep the faith
  • Try shady online tests claiming to contain questions from actual GMAT
  • Not read/practice everyday