Study Smart for Your Best GMAT

Know the Test and Bring Out the Best of Your Abilities

When it comes to studying for the GMAT exam, there are no magic formulas, no secrets, no tricks—just planning and preparation.

The most important way to prepare is to become familiar with the GMAT exam to know what it measures and what it doesn’t. It is not an achievement test or a test of your knowledge or memory recall; rather, the GMAT exam assesses your reasoning skills—specifically quantitative, verbal, analytical writing, and integrated reasoning. Remember, the GMAT exam was designed to measure the skills you will need to succeed in business school.

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Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Well

The keys to a successful GMAT exam are:

  • Knowing your own skill and ability level, what areas you are good at, and what you still need to master
  • Adjusting your own study habits accordingly
  • Being patient with yourself and the study process
  • Pacing yourself

Of course, the No.1 question most candidates ask is: How much time should I spend studying for the GMAT exam? Frankly, the time you should spend preparing is unique to you, for all the reasons listed above, and not something we can prescribe. We do know how much time others spent this year to prepare for the exam. Using data collected from January to June 2013 from more than 2,500 GMAT test takers, we can see that 52% of test takers spent at least 51 hours prepping for the exam.
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Those who do better on the GMAT exam tend to spend more time studying for it, on average. But there is no cause–and-effect process at work here. Studying 92 hours does not guarantee that you will score in the 600 range.

We advise you to use the information in the charts as a guideline. And be mindful that the times shown in these charts are all self-reported and are only estimates, not a test-taker’s actual study time. The goal is to determine the time and resources YOU need to prepare. Pacing is key. 

This article has been re-published as per the terms of LEAP Partners Program with Official GMAT.

Follow OfficialGMAT on LEAP.

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