Considering that the 2- months and 3-month preparation plans for GMAT can leave a student with hardly any time to breathe, the 6-month plan gives the student plenty of time to prepare for the test. This is also one of the highly recommended plans because of the fact that the GMAT is a skill based test and not a memory based one. By following the 6 month study plan, you will have ample time to learn the concepts and put them to practice in the mock tests, which can be taken with ample gap in between to see the strategies to use. But the student should also remember that just because time is aplenty, it should not be frittered away in revisiting the old concepts that the student is already familiar with or spent away reading through unnecessary articles online. Instead the use of time must be optimized in learning the “not-so-familiar concepts and on reworking the difficult questions. Of course, who would not want to get a score above 700 on the test??
The 6 month GMAT study plan will well-work for you if you are someone,
- who does not want to compromise on their work schedule, and is thus compelled to work for 9 hours a day and has personal commitments such as family, children and / or is freelancing
- who is not conversant with the basic concepts and feels the need to learn right from the basics
- who is aware that the deadline for application is 6 months away and has planned his admissions calendar well in advance with the aim of meeting the deadline for fear of losing a year.
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As discussed above, this plan is ideally suitable for students who are still in college or for working professionals who have more than 8 years of work experience. This is because students usually juggle between a lot of other activities and people with more than 8 years of work experience usually find it difficult to orient themselves to books and a regular study schedule. If you intend to write the GMAT after 6 months, then you will have to set aside 1-2 hrs every day to imbibe the concepts right from the basics. You should be able to incorporate this preparation time in your schedule without affecting your work schedule and other regular commitments.
According to the 6 month GMAT study plan, you would be expected to dedicate a sum total of 250 hours for your preparation, which would include 150 hours spent on learning the concepts right from the basics and 100 hours in which you would practice what you assimilated on the mock tests. Consistent practice will not only help you retain the concepts better but will also improve your proficiency level in the test. Hence if you miss preparation even on a single day this might prove difficult to compensate.
It is therefore suggested that you begin with the most difficult concept to gain familiarity with it. Spending a lot of time with difficult concepts not only breeds contempt but also reduces the exam-day stress of solving such questions as you would be more mentally prepared. You should also chart out a plan to cover questions in which you are weak. This will enhance your prospects of getting more answers right.
The GMAT exam comprises of 4 main sections :
- Analytical Writing
- Integrated Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Verbal Reasoning
The syllabus although it consists of basic concepts which you are likely to have studied in your middle school or high school still requires you to dedicate adequate time so that you are well versed with the concepts. When you begin your preparation it is good to keep in mind some of the below practices :
- Attempt sufficient Mock exams. This will give you a clear idea about the pattern of the questions generally asked in the exam and you will also be accustomed to the adaptive testing methods. Another key advantage you gain is that you will be aware of how much time to dedicate to each section so that you can complete the exam within the time limit.
- Invest in good quality study materials. This certainly includes the Official Guide by GMAC who are the creators of the exam and hence you will find questions which have actually appeared in the exam in earlier years. You have Official guides specific for each section (Quant and Verbal).
- Ensure to dedicate adequate time on topics you are not familiar with and also practice sufficient questions so that you are acquainted with all of the concepts.
- For the verbal section you can practice with questions on all of the topics like – Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning.
- Every week set yourself realistic and achievable targets so that you are able to accomplish them.
- You can go through essays which have been scored high in the exam over previous years so that you get an idea about how your essay has to be structured for the AWA section.
- Towards the end of your preparation, review over all the topics which you have studied so far, revisit the concepts you have had trouble with so that you are confident about the same.
- Take part in online forums where you can interact with candidates who have already attempted the exam. This will give you better insights on how to approach the exam.
If you are not going to start preparation right from the basics and are unable to find time to dedicate for your preparation, then this is not the right plan for you. GMAT preparation entails commitment and dedication and if this cannot be provided with the whole exercise is futile. It is also easy to lose track in such long term plans simply because of the lack of motivation in not seeing immediate results.
For someone who is aware of the deadlines for application, you should be able to allocate time for the GMAT preparation and plan the entire application calendar ahead. This would involve setting apart 2 hrs every day to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts and progressing to working on the difficult or the advanced questions. You should also take the mock tests periodically to assess your performances and to ensure that you are on the right track. If you feel that your performance on the tests is not up to your expectations, you should extend your preparation time by another month or 2 and write the GMAT. It is better to take the Test when you are more confident of getting a good score!
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