Top 5 GMAT Study Tips from Former Students:
We often ask GMAT students who are nearing the end of their Kaplan course if they have any recommendations or advice for incoming students. Although not all of you are or will be Kaplan students, the GMAT study tips we most commonly hear from our students apply to everyone on the road to Test Day.
Read about the most important GMAT studying strategies below—and take them to heart, especially given that these insights come from people who have been there.
Top 5 GMAT study tips from your fellow business school applicants
- Don’t underestimate practice test time. Getting through a completed practice test requires commitment. Set aside at least as much time as it took you to take it to go back over it.
- Make flashcards. You should be reviewing flashcards from day one. Although much of the GMAT requires critical thinking, there’s still a lot to memorize.
- Attend every class. Things happen, of course, but don’t let avoidable situations keep you from going to class. Working on your own time via on-demand, online lessons can be a great option. However, it’s much better to learn in class with other students and the teacher. (Note: If you aren’t in a test prep class, treat your scheduled time to study the exact same way—don’t skip it.)
- Ask questions. Never be afraid or hesitate to ask about anything. If no one is around you at the time a question arises or you don’t want to interrupt your “groove” with a Google search, then jot it down and find the answer later.
- Keep up with your homework. There is inevitably going to be more homework than you think, and when you fall behind, it’s really difficult to catch up. For those not in a class, you will be assigning yourself homework. You’ll make lists that include items like “Take a practice test,” “Practice passage mapping for reading comprehension,” or “Memorize all triangle properties.” The same rule applies—don’t fall behind.
Learn from time-tested Test Day wisdom
Quite simply, we couldn’t agree more. Intensive GMAT study is a long, arduous road. Doing well on Test Day is not going to happen without a lot of hard work and study time.
As folks walk into the Kaplan classroom, we like to find out how their studies are coming along. It always pains us to hear such responses as: “Too busy this week,” “I went to a Brewers game,” or, “Yeah, I really need to get on it, but … ”
It pains us because we’ve seen it so many times before, and we know exactly what’s going to happen: At some point, as Test Day draws near, it will dawn on these procrastinators that they are not yet ready and still have a lot of ground to cover in their GMAT studying. They’ll hear their Kaplan instructor’s voice echoing in their head, “I understand that the GMAT isn’t the only thing you have going on, but you really need to set aside the time to study … you really need to set aside the time … you really need to set aside the time … ”
You really need to set aside the time to study
Schedule it, be hard-nosed about it. Follow the GMAT study tips above. Simply walking into a classroom or picking up a book now and then isn’t good enough. You have to do the work, and there’s a lot of work to do.
We’re here to help. To start planning your GMAT study strategy, check out Kaplan’s test prep course options.