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How much time should I give myself for GMAT preparation?

Are you planning to write the GMAT or Graduate Management Admission Test?

And is it that you don’t know how to plan your timetable so as to be able to score maximum in this admission test? The objective of writing this post is to help you plan your study schedule in a right manner.

The foremost thing to know is that different students require a different length of time to make adequate preparations for the GMAT. It is because there are a variety of factors involved in this. The recommended amount of time for GMAT preparation may, however, apply to a majority of students.

Given below are different decision-points that will help you choose the right amount of time you need for your GMAT study preparation:

When GMAT is hardly a month away

It is recommended to start your GMAT preparations at least a few months in advance but if that can’t happen in your case and you have no more than 1 month left to write GMAT, you need to set aside minimum 3-4 hours on a daily basis.

To kick-start your preparations, you need to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern and guidelines. Thereafter, you need to draw your study schedule and look for resources- online/ offline study material, practice tests, expert tips and so on.

Recommended Approach for GMAT preparation

The ideal approach to study for GMAT is to spare you two to three months of preparation. By giving yourself a couple of hours every week for a minimum of three months, you get sufficient time at your disposal to master the tips and strategies for writing GMAT test. It even gives you sufficient time to write mock tests and work on your weaker sections. By taking a lot of full-length practice tests, you’ll find yourself confident on the day of the test and this will help you in giving your best performance. Without sufficient preparation, it is common for students to fail in performing at the level that they are actually capable of.

Thus, if you are serious about giving GMAT test your best shot, you must give yourself minimum 2-3 months of time. This time-period will help you prepare your mind in a manner that will even make odds work in favor for you.

Read Also: How to overcome a low GMAT score?

More than six months of GMAT Study Time

The excess of everything is bad. This golden rule even applies to time duration you opt for GMAT preparation. By studying for more than six months ( the threshold level for GMAT preparation according to experts), your performance is bound to go down as the monotony and frustration sets in after continuous study of same things over and again. Six months in itself is more time than it is actually required and you are recommended to take this long only if you find yourself quite far from your target score and need more clarity of concepts and practice sessions.

GMAT is not about one size fits all approach. What works for someone else might not work for you. It’s about making preparations in a manner that suits your aspirations and personality the best. The important thing to know is that while the GMAT score may improve considerably with a lot of practice, there is a limit on how much your score can improve. You must, therefore, be realistic about your goals and the time you give to yourself.

Some Final Words

The right thing to do is to take a practice test and determine the amount of preparation you need to hit your goal score. Thereafter, have a look at your schedule and figure out the number of hours per week you can spare for GMAT preparation. Accordingly, decide the number of months you’ll be requiring for preparation before the exam. The whole process must, however, start well in advance so that there are no application deadlines looming on your head while you’re yet to decide the date of writing GMAT.