Preparing for the GMAT after a break

Preparation for the GMAT exam is an arduous task since it is one of the most demanding competitive exams. It is even more important that you spend sufficient time preparing for the exam as the GMAT scores are used as one of the measures for admitting candidates in some of the top B-schools in the world.

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How to Prepare for the GMAT after a break

We will delve a bit further about preparing for the GMAT exam after you have already attempted the exam once. There are certain situations when an individual in spite of attempting the GMAT exam once is unable to pursue his MBA immediately after that. There are many reasons which could be behind this, some of the most common ones are:

Failing to achieve high/satisfactory scores:

It is very common to see many students who write the GMAT exam and fail to score in the range which they were expecting due to lack of preparation or because of the difficulty levels of the exam or insufficient time to complete the entire exam. When such a situation arises the candidates generally tend to give up on their entire aspiration to pursue an MBA.

Career Change:

Some students when attempting the GMAT exam have definite ideas about which direction they would like their career to progress after completing their MBA degree. However, in certain cases there is an unexpected change either with their current career or with their future plans. In such scenarios the candidate even after attempting the exam may decide to put their MBA plans on hold due to a new development with their career plans.

Financial Issues:

Although this reason may not seem much prevalent due to the various funding options available for MBA aspirants it still contributes to being one of the reasons why candidates don’t opt to pursue their MBA degree. There may be situations when individuals may have applied for an educational loan and the same wouldn’t have been approved on time causing them to halt their MBA dreams. Or if they are self financing their studies they may have realised that the expenses are too high and therefore would have had to opt out of pursuing their MBA.

The above reasons have been responsible for a section of individuals who are unable to pursue their MBA degree on their first attempt of the GMAT. However since the GMAT offers an advantage of being able to attempt the exam up to 5 times in a single year and 8 times overall. This has benefited many students to rekindle their hopes of pursuing an MBA degree. In the event that you are preparing for the GMAT after a break then there are several factors you need to remember so that this venture is successful for you.

Firstly since you have already attempted the GMAT exam you would already be familiar with the exam patterns and syllabus for GMAT. You will be able to brush up with the fundamental concepts in the Quantitative, Verbal and Integrated Reasoning sections of the exam quickly. Before you proceed with your preparation for the exam you will have to do a check if there have been any new changes or updates in the GMAT exam which have been introduced by GMAC. If there has been a long gap between your previous attempt and your current attempt it is wise to first be conscious of the updates that have been incorporated in the exam. This way you will not miss out on any important information regarding the GMAT exam.

Initially, you can attempt mock tests to help you in identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Mock tests help you self analyze and check for errors and mistakes which you generally make. The creators of the GMAT exam have a few patterns which they use to deceive the candidates into making mistakes. As you have already written the exam once you will know that GMAT uses adaptive testing methods, a technique where the difficulty of the next section depends on your performance in the previous sections. Mock tests help you to identify such methods and to tackle the same in a better manner. Always ensure to be wary of certain seemingly simple questions which are bound to have some details which tend to be overlooked. To avoid such issues it is important to read the entire question and interpret it quickly so that you don’t misunderstand what is being asked. If there are certain obvious answers in the options given in the questions then it is mostly present only to mislead you. Another common mistake which students make is due to incorrect assumptions made because of reading the questions too quickly. The GMAT is basically aimed at evaluating your abilities to solve questions in the Quant section efficiently, your aptitude in the Verbal section including vocabulary knowledge and your skills at interpreting data from the information given in the Integrated Reasoning section. Its primary aim is not to test your knowledge on the content in each of the sections. The GMAT score communicates to the admissions committee about the competencies of the students to solve questions in each section with precision and within the stipulated time. Now you can proceed to prepare study plans for your preparation for the exam depending upon your requirements. A good study plan can prove to be extremely effective with your preparation since it helps you track the progress which you have made and also ensures that you don’t miss out on any important topics in the syllabus of the exam. It is especially beneficial for working professionals who may not be able to spend a large amount of time on a daily basis for the preparation. There are many customized study plans depending upon the time available to each candidate for preparation. If you feel you can learn concepts quickly then you could go for an intensive 1 or 2 month study plan. On the other hand if you require more time to learn each in a detailed manner then you could opt for the 6 month study plan as per your convenience.

Finally, remember that the time gap between your attempts is definitely beneficial since you would have accumulated more work experience which is highly valued with the admissions committee. Most of the top B-schools prefer candidates with more years of experience over freshers.

BYJU’S will be glad to help you in your GMAT preparation journey. You can ask for any assistance related to GMAT and MBA from us by calling us at +918884544444. You can write to us at gmat@byjus.com.