How to Start GMAT Preparation

I’m getting a lot of messages on how to start GMAT preparation. So here’s a common post to answer all those queries. If you have any specific doubts, feel free to comment below.

  1. First things first, take a mock even before you start any prep. Reason for this? This is the best way to understand the intricacies of the test and to gauge your current level. You will also get a fair idea on which topics/section you need to focus on first. You can take any of the Manhattan/Veritas/Kaplan free mocks.

2. Post this, start working on concepts. According to me, the best book for GMAT concepts is the Manhattan series. The only drawback of these is that there are not too many practice questions. Keep a fixed time every day to work on concepts and make sure that your base is strong before jumping into tougher questions. You may also use Veritas if you have it or any other coaching material you may have.

3. Once you are done with the concepts, start practicing questions from the Official Guide. Anything after GMAT Official Guide 15 is fine as there will not be too many changes. Maintain a notebook/excel sheet for tracking the number of questions done and whether you have answered it correctly or incorrectly. You can only analyze what you measure and hence don’t neglect this step.

4. Once you are done with all questions from the Official Guide (PS + DS + SC + RC + CR), review the log that you have maintained and go through the ones that you have answered incorrectly. This is to make sure that any concept that you had not known earlier is now set in your mind.

5. Beyond this, it’s simply a matter of taking mocks, analyzing your performance in the mocks and working on the weak areas. In case you feel, there is one area where you are inconsistently underperforming, you can look at a different reference book for that particular topic. Lather-rinse-repeat and you will find your mock scores slowly but surely creeping upwards.

6. Personally, I love the GMAT as an exam because of its logical approach. There is always a logic about why you solve a question in a particular way. This is what you have to strive for. If you look at the solution of a particular question, try and understand why it is being solved in a particular way and how you will find a similar question if it is asked in the future.

7. Quality of prep > Quantity of prep. Solving 100 questions or taking 20 mocks will not matter one bit if you don’t put in the effort to analyze your thought process. So make sure that you devote enough time for this.

I guess this should help in kick starting your GMAT Prep. As I have mentioned, feel free to comment any doubts that you may have.