The right approach!
Case A: An undergrad student.
This is the best time to take the test. Although, average age of GMAT test taker is more than GRE-folks, it is still recommended to take it at early age.
A college student can get good resources from the library, he has peers, friends who can study together, keep track & motivate.
The life after graduation is quite miserable, plane and lonely. (believe me!)
Jack could have decided to take GMAT on December, joined some quality forum boards- gained some mixed opinions and knowledge-networked with other fellow GMAT students & MBA aspirants. By Feb-March Jack could have taken the GMAT test successfully.
Case B: Person has all free time, nothing else to do but to study for GMAT.
Jack could have got ‘max’ out of it (out of this period). He really doesn’t have to join any tuition of preparation classes. As he could have done it all alone, with stable mind of course.
Jack has plenty of material and online resources such as forums and blogs. The key is to get to know what suits you out of the materials available. Most of People (Jacks!) say that they need as much material as they can get.
No!. It is a wrong approach. Yes, you can review every material available, but then you have to decide what suits you.
There are certainly loads of resources and hard/ soft material available. And each material has its own style; each tutor has her own style of approaching to the plan ( what it’s called the strategy) or particular problem. Each unit/ coaching class / tutor has his/her own strategy. You have to decide which strategy works for you. A visit to library to compare and review books from GMAT coaching institutes can help you decide which ‘brand’ suits you. (e.g Kaplan vs Princeton vs ManhattanGMAT etc.)
Its not about getting the maximum material available but about getting the maximum out of the material available.
Case C: Balancing work and study
This is very crucial! We have loads of similar cases here.
Jack has full time job. He hardly finds time to check with his parents or his old friends. Jack lives comfortable life (read: earning money) and focus on GMAT in this case, goes fading.
In order to avoid this:
Jack should learn to love his GMAT journey first. May be he should keep a blog or do some other inspirational stuff.
He can join a preparation classes. reputed or may be third grade; it doesnt matter as long as it is making Jack’s GMAT journey stimulating. Caution: the above statement is valid only if Jack has other good quality material (read- Official guides) available.
It is very important for Jack to keep his GMAT interest alive. May be he should network with other GMAT aspirants and meet on weekends. Such tiny things can help Jack stay alive. No matter how hectic your life is, you can always find some time for your favorite activities.
If Jack is successful in keeping his GMAT interest alive the rest things become “cake walk”.
Indulge in GMAT related forums- get addicted. No harm, if you find the zeal to study at age of 29. Being addicted is sometimes beneficial. 😉
I think I have provided three vital scenarios ( cases I mean). However if you, readers find new case feel free to discuss it here or on some forums boards
where I am available.