How long does it take to study for the GMAT?
This question is different for everyone, but let’s be honest – this is a difficult and very important exam. Don’t you want to put your best foot forward?
For someone who already has a strong background in the verbal and the quant section 2-3 months is the right number. For example, I took a diagnostic before cracking any material and got a 650. After 3 months of study, I raised that score to a 770.
Very frequently I see people wanting to take 3 or 4 weeks to study for the GMAT when they have large gaps in their understanding of the fundamentals. This is not like a normal exam where you can cram in a bunch of facts and to okay. You need to be able to reason through information that can be difficult to comprehend for even the most experienced grammamarian or quant jockey.
For individuals who do not know all the parts of speech, have English as their second language, or cannot remember basic mathematical computations, the time frame for this exam is much longer. Depending on the gaps in your information, 3 – 6 months is a much more reasonable time frame when considering how long to take to study for the GMAT. The early going will be spent on remembering how to just to the fundamentals (you have to walk before you can run), and then you will enter into exam prep.
The real key is to be honest about your skill set. A good place for you to see how ready you are is to take the diagnostic in the Official Guide.