How to Approach the GMAT

A beginner’s guide to GMAT Materials:

The first thing any MBA aspirant should do is visit official MBA/GMAT site …spend some 2-3 hours there. (or even 2-3 days!) & read as much as you can. The information published there is unbiased, genuine, authentic, eye-opener & myth-breaker.

Then you should download a sim CAT GMAT test available there: name is GMAT Prep; it’s of ~25MB size.

The site mba.com will help you understand: what’s GMAT in general terms, its significance, its structure and the way company conducts the test worldwide.

(I will not go into GMAT structure in detail since that’s not the purpose of this article. Let’s focus on resources/study materials for GMAT! )

You’ll obviously need some books to prepare for GMAT. GMAC, the organisation that sets GMAT test, published three books recently, known as official guides.

They are:  (Follow the link to read reviews about these books)

  1. The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition
  2. The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review
  3. The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review

they are nicknamed as orange, purple and green guides respectively. (Note that the article first published in early 2007/late 2006; today OG 12th edition & 2nd edition of Verbal & Math guides are available You can check the detailed review in my GMAT books review page.)

Official guide 11th edition is THE book you should start with and end your preparation.

You should trust these guides along with GMATPrep software (mentioned in 2nd para).

Although these guides and a simulation software for CAT (computer adaptive test) are fantastic for the practice problems, they don’t provide study strategies…

In short: when it comes to problems solving in practice sessions, nothing beats above mentioned materials. But for strategies and tactics (read shortcuts! ) you need to look for some extra materials.

Other books I would recommend:

(I’ll write an article exclusively for recommended books some time soon.) By the way, these books offer good strategies to attack GMAT; they’ll show you how to approach each section and each problem individually.

But then for taking the test in one go you need to have a patience, faith and stamina. & for that, you need to take as many GMAT simulation tests/ CATs as possible.

[Note: Do not rush and sign up for just any sim CATs available on would wide web.]

Following are the GMAT prep companies you should trust: Reason : they have done enough research to come near to the real GMAT test… (still they are not as near as GMAT Prep or POWER Prep)

[Note that I am not talking about GMAT coaching institutes but the online resources for practice tests ]

  • mba.com (nearest possible)
  • manhattangmat.com (?near? quant tough)
  • 800score.com (easier)
  • kaptest.com (tough)
  • pricetonreview.com (neutral)

They offer good Sim GMAT tests.

Note that I have not mentioned about other books or other sites for practice tests which simplymeans they are NOT worth your time & money. Caution: This has exception of Veritas Prep. I haven’t had chance to review their products.

Now let’s have some non-brand materials,

Materials those are freely available on cyberspace and have no copyright issues.

BeattheGMAT’s flashcard (best flashcards you could get )

Grammar Notes:

Sahil’s Grammar Notes

Spidey’s Sentence Correction Notes & some more docs such as Rajat-nda’s notes.

You will get above documents anywhere online, just search around on GMAT related forums. The reason why I am so selective in mentioning about the resources is, people just take any darn test or soft copies of books available on internet just to end up in pracitsing non-GMAT questions.

Therefore I am with trusted and reputable resources. I insist…

DONT WASTE YOUR TIME IN STUDYING AND PRACTISING WRONG SETS OF PROBLEMS.

…still if you want more practice problems then download thousand series by scoretop

  • 1000 SC
  • 1000 CR
  • 3000 RC

Again, these documents are available freely everywhere on internet. Note that documents do not have explanations to the problems. You will have to join some GMAT realated online forums to discuss those problems. I am not pro-1000 series doc as such but I feel these documents are one of a kind. You’ll never get such a great no. of questions compiled in a single document and that too absolutely free!

[OK! After some time getting into GMAT prepeparation/studying environment, you should start realising the easy methods to solve the problems, you should be able to discover some shortcuts. Key is you should examine the strategies that are discussed in prep books and use them according to your needs & study-style.] If you see these signs you know that you’re going in the right direction. All the best 🙂

Post GMAT course for getting admission into MBA programs

While prepping for GMAT you should also be aware of the b-schools you want to apply. You must have a long term plan & You should do some research on the b-schools that suits your long term goal.

For such informations you have b-schools’ own web-sites which give all information about MBA programs you desire/along with plenty of other good sites:

Dave’s MBA Journey

Hjort’s b-school corner from GMAT Club Forums :

There are MBA admission consultants, ready to give you free advice & assessment. Check them out!

Accepted.com

ClearAdmit

Stacy Blackman Co. blog

Above blogs update several times a week; keep tab on all these site & be informed. I think that’s enough for now. Feel free to comment. & yes, subscribe, spread the word! for world peace!

PS: If you like this article, you might like to take a look at this one too: GMAT in a month: strategy.

44 thoughts on “How to Approach the GMAT

  1. Balaji.P.B

    Hi, Interesting blog. I have included a link to your blog in mine. I hope it is okay with you. Thanks for sharing the info.

    Reply
  2. Ajay

    Hi Aim,Thanks :-)Can you please tell me what’s the difference between Kaplan premier and Kaplan Compressive.I mean how these two books differ from each other in their content

    Reply
  3. Johny Cage

    Dear Ajay,sorry for replying late.“comprehensive book” is my comment on the “Kaplan premier program book”.Both are not different books. There’s just ONE book!Thanks

    Reply
  4. Johny CAGE

    Editor’s note: From the sources of 800score.com, Their tests are actually harder than the real GMAT test. (this is 800score.com officials opinion by the way)Source: MBA Podcaster Interview

    Reply
  5. Johny CAGE

    Are you the owner of fregmattest.net?I cannot commit anything as I am not preparing for the GMAT these days but I’ll definitely check the site out.All the best!

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Strategy for GMAT : study under a month. : beating GMAT beyond

  7. Johny Cage

    @Brian,
    Thanks for pointing it out.
    it’s the problem from other end, they changed the site structure at mba.com and did not redirect their earlier urls intelligently… therefore we are facing page not found message.

    Anyways. I’ll add new link for GMAT Prep….

    Reply
  8. Sarsij

    Hi!
    Thanks for such an amazing information.
    I am actually planning to follow whatever you have written here…need to appear for GMAT as soon as possible.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  9. ahila

    im just getting started with gmat prep.. dint know whr to start n how…
    ur article has really helped me… i now know enough to get a good start… thanks a lot!! 🙂

    Reply
  10. Arvind

    dat ws really helpfulll….very useful infoo…thxxx a lott!!!wud apreciate more infoo if ne with u….thxx once again

    Reply
  11. Pragyan

    the information is realy very useful.
    i was trying to get the 1000 SC, 1000 CR and 3000 RC stuff
    but the scoretop site seems to be shut down.
    Is there any other source for this?

    Would it be possible for you to mail it to me, if you have it.

    Reply
  12. Arvind

    Thanks for theinfo, i was just wondering where to start from

    Thanks a ton!

    BTW how much u scored in GMAT ( pardon my ignorance)

    Reply
  13. Sathya

    I am Beginner of GMAT..
    Grt Information..
    For sentence correction section should i through basic subject-verb aggrement,pronouns,adjectives..
    Where should i start from.
    Is that ok,if i practice on the rules provided in GMAT study materials for sentence correction.
    I feel this section difficult.

    Thanks in advance….

    Reply
  14. Sathya

    Can u kindly let me know,from where i have to start..
    Should i start from identifying subject-verb aggrement..etc etc..
    Identifying Adverbs,Adjectives,pronouns ….
    Kindly update..

    Reply
  15. Sathya

    Please let me know,what basic knowledge is required to start with working on sentence correction section in GMAT…

    Kindly update,

    Reply
  16. Debakalpa

    hey can u plz send me the link where 100 series pdf is available.. i will like ur feedback on the Gmat course of top gmat coaching..(www.topgmatcoaching.com).
    thank u in advance

    Reply
  17. GMAT Practice Test

    is there any website that has the solutions to the 2 practice tests with detailed explanations to the questions? Also is there any website that offers free practice questions and detailed solutions that are categorized by topics on the GMAT such as inqualitites? Thanks

    Reply
  18. DannyP

    Really insightful post. You definitely know what you are talking about. I have a GMAT blog myself, but your advice is definitely spot on.

    Reply
  19. Nicholas

    I see you share interesting stuff here,
    you can earn some additional cash, your blog has big potential, for
    the monetizing method, just search in google – K2 advices how to monetize a website

    Reply
  20. EduGaps

    Hi, the software that you have mentioned in 2nd paragraph is not there anymore. Can you please find a new one, where students can have free texts for GATE.

    Reply

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