GMAT prep: Questions you need to ask yourself!
Starting to prepare for the GMAT may be a spur of a moment decision but it does require some serious thinking before implementation.
Do you know the structure?
Before you begin with the preparation of the GMAT and its several sections, you have to familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam. You may visit http://www.mba.com or http://www.abroadadmission.com/ to find out. You will see the major sections, what is usually asked, variety of questions, mark weightage, duration to be given to each test and so on.
Have you taken the diagnostic test?
It may sound strange but you must take the GMAT test without preparing anything first. GMAT practice tests are available for free and can be taken online or downloaded. A test will let you know where you stand. You can have a very realistic score-wise analysis and this would give you a rough idea of how you are doing in each section. Based on this diagnosis, you can plan your preparation.
What is the score you are targeting?
You need to find out the score you really need to get to your dream business school. For instance, the top 10 schools will require 700; top 20 would want around 680; top 50 would do with 650.Read forums and find out from current students of US b-schools. What scores did they get? How much did they prepare to get that score? This will give you an estimate and you will know what to focus on.
What are your weaknesses?
The entire purpose of taking that diagnostic test was to find out your strengths and weaknesses. You will get one overall score in three digits like 600 and two two-digit scores like 34 and 41. Now analyze how you did in each section. Analyze reasons of your lesser score in certain section. What was the most challenging part? Were you challenged because you are weak in math or English or because you didn’t understand the question? A realistic analysis of weaknesses will go a long in way in steering you in the right direction of preparation.
Do you have a plan?
Before you decide on which website or expert to follow in your GMAT preparation, you need to chalk out a plan for yourself. First, which books you need to prepare. Then what is the duration or expected time needed to prepare for the GMAT. Find out about the process of form filling, fee, date you want to take it etc. Finally, make a calendar of your preparation and stick to it.