GMAT how long to study
Posted on
17
Feb 2022

How Long Should You Study For The GMAT

So you want to go to business school. An MBA is an elite degree which not everyone can successfully achieve. The fact that you want to go on this journey means that you are a high achiever and willing to better yourself academically and professionally. We here at ApexGMAT are in the business of helping people achieve an elite GMAT score. We often work with clients who are unsure where to begin their preparation and for how long to study for the GMAT. For those GMAT test-takers we recommend the following: 

    • Establish your goal ahead of time
    • Be aware of your personal and private schedule
    • Structure your plan
    • Follow through 

Before figuring out how long you should study for the GMAT, we recommend getting acquainted with the exam and learning the best practices for studying

Know your Goal

Before you can know how long to study for the GMAT, you need to know your ultimate goal. Why do you want to earn an MBA and What impact will your MBA have on your future goals professionally and personally. Your GMAT and MBA goals can have a huge impact on your GMAT prep. For example, if you are hoping to attend a top business school, work at a top consultancy firm, and make 6-figures a year, then your GMAT prep plan will look different from someone who is earning an MBA to achieve a promotion at their current place of work.

For starters, if you want to earn a top MBA there is a good chance that you are aiming for a 700+ GMAT score. This will mean more hours spent studying and perhaps hiring a private GMAT tutor to get you closer to your goal. Regardless of what your goals are, you still need to establish a GMAT prep plan that works with your professional and personal schedule. 

Know your schedule

Do you have a family? Are you currently a student? Are you working full-time? Whatever is happening in your life outside of your GMAT prep will hugely impact how much time you can devote to your GMAT study plan. We recommend a 3-month study plan, however, you may need to expand or shrink this plan depending on what is happening in your life. If you are busy beyond a 9-5 work schedule, then it would be best to begin studying for the GMAT beyond 3-months. This will give you more hours to commit yourself to the GMAT study process. If you are a student, or only working part-time, then you likely have more time to commit to studying for the GMAT. Reflect on where your life is at the moment and establish your prep schedule around that. 

Structure your GMAT plan

Step one to structuring your GMAT prep plan is to figure out what day you will take the exam. Do not schedule the exam towards the end of the application deadline to your MBA program of choice. Rather, give yourself at least a few weeks of flexibility where you can retake the exam if necessary. Once you establish what day you want to take the exam, you then count back by three months. Of course, give or take a month or two depending on how busy your life is at the moment. After counting backwards from the date of your exam, you can establish your plan structure. Grab a calendar and write in the weeks, days, and hours that you plan on studying. 

Execute your GMAT plan 

So, you know how long to study for the GMAT. You have your test day. You have structured your plan. Now, you need to execute your plan. Your GMAT test day will come whether you are ready or not. It is important that you stick to your study plan if you want to succeed on test day. Regardless of your study plan, be sure to make time for stress-relief and personal activities. Studying for the GMAT should not take up 100% of your time, in fact, if you allow the GMAT study process to consume you, it will most likely hinder your ability to excel on the test. 

So, how long should you study for the GMAT? 

While 3 months is a good benchmark for most test-takers, it is not perfect for everyone. Consider your other responsibilities and what is expected of you during this time. Make room for your GMAT studying but don’t let the process consume you. Be ready to make mistakes and be prepared for needing a retake. Consider everything that can ‘go wrong’ during the GMAT process and prepare for these scenarios. The GMAT study process from beginning to end should last as long as you need it to. If you are interested in professional help during your GMAT prep, we offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with a top-scoring instructor.

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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GMAT How to Prepare
Posted on
15
Feb 2022

How To Prepare For The GMAT – Best Practices

1. Introducing the GMAT

When beginning your GMAT journey, the first step you need to do is figure out why you are taking the GMAT and what your future MBA goals are. If you are hoping to attend a top-tier Business School, like Harvard, this will make your GMAT preparation different compared to a goal of attending a part-time, online MBA program. Keep in mind that effort will still need to be given no matter which program you decide to apply to. Regardless of your ultimate goal, it is important to have your final goal in mind before laying out your GMAT preparation plan. So, once you have established why you are taking the exam, next is creating a plan of how to prepare for the GMAT.

2. Know the GMAT inside and out

One of the first things you want to do is to get comfortable with the GMAT exam and its structures. The GMAT is split up into four sections: 

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) → to measure your critical thinking and communication skills
  2. Integrated Reasoning → to measure your data analysis skills
  3. Quantitative Reasoning → to measure your ability to draw conclusions from present data
  4. Verbal Reasoning → to measure your reading, evaluation, and correction skills in standard English 

By splitting up the GMAT into its four main sections, you can begin your preparation process more fluidly. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses in each of these sections and dedicate yourself to strengthening your weaknesses and solidifying your strengths. In order to know where you stand with the GMAT, we always suggest taking a practice exam before beginning to prepare. This will give you a baseline knowledge of where you stand with each section of the exam. 

3. Lay out a 3-month GMAT study plan

GMAT 3 Month Study PlanIdeally, you give yourself 3-months to study for the exam. We have created a 3-month study plan which can be used by most test-takers when beginning their GMAT journey. Ultimately, giving yourself 3-months means you have room to get to know every aspect of the exam. Give yourself less than 3-months and you will be hindering your chances of success. We suggest finding the date of your GMAT exam (giving yourself an extra week or two for a retake – just in case) and counting backwards by 3 months. Then, mark your calendar in the following way: 

During your study plan, it is important that you make time for stress relief. Do not let the GMAT preparation process consume you. Being stressed will do you no favors in the long run and could even negatively impact your overall GMAT score

4. It’s okay to ask for help

Believe it or not, we expect successful GMAT test takers to have asked for help during their journey. Whether it is from their friends or family or even hiring a private GMAT tutor, many people who achieve a 700+ GMAT score do so because they have had some sort of help. Even asking a previous GMAT test taker how to prepare for the GMAT can be a huge help! A private GMAT tutor, for example, can help you achieve GMAT success by working with you in a myriad of ways.

Whether it is by helping you to strengthen your weaknesses or fortifying your strengths, a good GMAT tutor will be able to recognize where you need help and how best to help you. Make sure that, if you need help you don’t wait until the last minute to ask for it. Be ready to ask for help as soon as you begin your studies. 

5. Be confident and remember your goal

It is common practice for people who take the GMAT to question their rationale for undertaking such a journey. The GMAT is not supposed to be an easy exam (if it was easy, then everyone would do it!). But you are one of those select few who choose to go down this difficult path. We suggest surrounding yourself with a strong support network. Stress reduction is also hugely important during this journey, be careful not to get burned out too soon as this can ultimately hinder your GMAT exam process. 

Final Thoughts

We here at Apex know the difficulty of figuring out how to prepare for the GMAT exam. We work with clients from a variety of different backgrounds and tutor them to GMAT success. Whether you are about to begin your GMAT journey or are already two months in, we are in the business of helping anyone who wants to achieve an elite GMAT score. We offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with one of our top-scoring instructors. 

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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700+ GMAT score
Posted on
07
Dec 2021

Is it possible to get a 700 on GMAT by self-study?

Those of you who are preparing for the GMAT have probably come across the price tag of a private tutor. You are not alone if the cost is a bit off-putting. Too often those put off by the price of a private GMAT tutor attempt to achieve a 700+ score on their own. Some are successful. Many more are not. There is more to achieving a 700+ than what meets the eye. 

We here at Apex have helped dozens of clients achieve a 700+ on the GMAT. All of whom realized during their prep that the only way to achieve their goal is with help. Asking for help is a noble thing to do and, more often than not, those highly successful individuals you see attend a top-ten B-school didn’t go it alone. They had help. Often, in the form of a private tutor. 

But we are not here to convince you that a private tutor is the be-all and end-all to GMAT studying. In this article, we break down whether you are one of those few who are able to achieve a 700+ GMAT score without the support of a private tutor. 

  • YES, you can! But…

To answer your question. Yes. It is possible to achieve a 700+ on the GMAT without hiring a private GMAT tutor. But just because one can doesn’t necessarily mean one should. What do we mean by this? Well, studying – as you are well aware – is stressful. Attempting to ‘go it alone’ is even more stressful. 

Let’s assume you study 10 hours a week, and you notice practice exam after practice exam that you are not surpassing a 650 or 660. Sure, you can bump up the amount of hours you are studying, but this might just turn into a waste of time. You see, studying doesn’t always come down to the amount of hours you put into it. Achieving success on the GMAT is highly dependent on your testing strategy. A strategy that even an extra 5 hours of studying won’t help you fix. 

  • Your testing strategy is EVERYTHING. 

The testing strategy you choose to adopt is the one that can make, or break, your GMAT goal. If you are determined to ‘go it alone’ and not hire a private GMAT tutor, then watch videos where professionals can help break down different types of test-taking strategies.

Here, for example, Mike explains where test-takers go wrong when it comes to studying for the GMAT quantitative portion. While this strategy might suit some, it doesn’t fit everyone. This is where a private tutor comes into play, they are able to work with your strengths and weaknesses and find a strategy that is best for you. For many of our clients attempting to surpass the 700 mark, getting an objective and professional perspective is what pushes them towards their goal. 

  • The Pros and Cons.

Weigh out the pros and cons. Studying, if you do it right, is time-consuming. GMAT private tutors, if you choose a good one, are pricey. And while a private tutor may not reduce your studying time to 0.5 hours a week, what they can do is guide you towards your goal without having you waste your precious time. An excellent one-on-one GMAT instructor has a keen eye, and is able to notice where you might be struggling – or excelling – without you ever knowing it. And while a private tutor may be pricey, at the end of the day achieving your goal of a 700+ GMAT score will pay back the cost of a private tutor 10-fold. Don’t believe us? Getting a high GMAT score can open doorways to top B-schools and even future professional opportunities.  

  • It comes down to Statistics. 

Still wondering whether you can achieve a 700+ GMAT score on your own? Take a look at some of the GMAT percentiles from 2020. Only about 20% of the test takers achieve a 700+ score. And the majority of them utilize help in some form or another. We have found very few individuals who are able to achieve a 700+ purely on their own. And while it is possible, sometimes skill isn’t the only factor at play for achieving a 700+. 

As we talked about earlier, strategy plays a huge factor in your abilities as does looking at things from a fresh perspective. If achieving a 700+ on the GMAT was easy, well, then everyone would do it! But it is difficult for a reason. B-Schools want to be sure that their students are up for the challenge of an MBA. And just like you won’t go through business school all alone, why expect to go through the GMAT studying experience all by yourself as well? 

Apex’s Approach to 700+ GMAT Score 

We here at ApexGMAT pride ourselves on helping clients achieve a GMAT score above a 700+. We often get clients coming to us who have found themselves plateauing around the 660 mark after attempting a 700+ on their own. We are able to develop a strategy with them. Keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses. And because all of our tutors have scored above a 770 on the GMAT and have years of tutoring experience behind them, we are well equipped to help any type of learner. 

If you are interested in speaking with one of our GMAT tutors, you can sign-up for a complimentary, 30-minute, consultation call. You can also learn more from our past clients who were able to achieve their 700+ score with us!

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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Best GMAT prep resources
Posted on
30
Nov 2021

Best GMAT Prep Resources 2021

A simple web search on the internet will provide you with a plethora of information on how to begin your GMAT journey. However, it is important to know that before actually sitting down to study, you must choose the right and most effective resources to prepare for the test and perform as well as possible. Moreover, as nowadays one can find tons of GMAT resources and books online, it is quite challenging to sift through those which are worth trying – and to avoid those which will just give you headaches.

GMAT Prep Books 2021

Of course, we have to start with the books. There are various GMAT prep books on the market, but there are some criteria which you can use to pick the ones that will suit your skills, goals, and the time you want to invest in your GMAT prep. 

4 Things to look out for when purchasing a GMAT prep book! 

1. It should include algorithms 

A good GMAT book should walk you, step-by-step, through problems. It should show, not tell, you how to tackle specific problems. You can then decide which strategy is the most optimal for you. If you are using a GMAT prep book which doesn’t include a good explanation of a strategy or tactic needed to solve the problem, it’s better if you look for other options.

2. GMAT Practice Problems

Seeing how a problem is solved makes the reader think that everything is easy. However, you start to really learn when you yourself solve problems and exercises from scratch. This is why you need to constantly search for books which provide you with tons of GMAT practice questions and answers to them. This is so that later on you can check the solution paths yourself and keep track of your problem-solving progress. 

3. Check the Reviews

You are definitely not the only one who’s preparing for the GMAT test and is using resources to do so. It is always a good idea to try and find some reviews and feedback on a specific GMAT prep book you are planning to use, in order to understand how much it actually helped other test-takers achieve their GMAT target scores. Obviously, reviews can be subjective and very individual. However, you will still have some understanding of the overall quality of the book and its potential to help you get a stellar score on the GMAT exam.

4. Latest Versions

Always search for books that are constantly updated and go for the latest one. Although the main procedure and concept of the GMAT test have not changed a lot, some details or types of problems can be modified, so it is important to use the latest versions of GMAT books in order to not get behind on the latest updates and changes of the test.

GMAT Online Preparation Courses 2021

You may ace the GMAT by using a variety of tools such as books, online courses, forums, and other internet resources. GMAT books and online GMAT courses are the two most popular ways to prepare for the GMAT exam. However, if we try to compare the online courses with GMAT books, the former one is definitely much more efficient and effective, and here are some reasons why. 

1. You spend less time

For every 10-point increase on the GMAT, you’ll require 7 hours of preparation if you use a data-driven online resource. Approximately the same result is obtained by studying from books, which takes 12 hours. Here is when one-on-one tutoring can become very handy and effective.

2. It’s much easier to concentrate

Audio-video materials, most of the time, are more engaging to those who use them. Thus they tend to be more successful than text-based content. Because it’s simpler to concentrate, you’ll just need half as many revisions to obtain a higher proficiency level. As a consequence, you will learn more in less time.

3. Finally, the GMAT is an ONLINE exam

Because the GMAT exam is taken on a computer device it is preferable to practice on a computer during your preparation. If you solely prepare with GMAT prep books, you’ll have to switch to preparing on a computer, which will eat into your valuable preparation time. As a result, you may utilize this time to improve your GMAT ability and time management skills.

Final Thoughts on Best GMAT Prep Resources

All in all, GMAT preparation courses are in many ways more efficient and can get you the score you aim for. However, it is also very important to pick courses and tutors that are trustworthy, professional, and knowledgeable. Apex GMAT, which offers the most comprehensive GMAT preparation on the market, is a good choice to consider. You can contact us and start your GMAT journey with us.

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How to study for your GMAT retake
Posted on
28
Sep 2021

How To Study For Your GMAT Retake – GMAT Preparation Strategies

By: ApexGMAT
Contributor: Dana Coggio
Date: September 28, 2021

You’ve studied countless hours, canceled plans with numerous friends, and even changed your diet and caffeine consumption to fuel your brain as best as possible. And yet, after all that, your final score result is just a 650. Not bad, but also not perfect. This score can get you into most Business School programs, but can it get you into that elite ‘top’ school you are aiming for? If you have the resume and top-notch essay responses to back up your GMAT score, then you may feel comfortable applying to your dream Business School with that score.

But what if you are still unsure? Is it worth spending the hundreds of dollars, and continuing the stringent study plan you had just spent months trudging through to try again? Perhaps a second attempt means you will bump up your score to a 700+, or maybe your second attempt will land you with a score of equal or – gulp – lesser value! After going through the cost-benefit analysis of such an undertaking, you may have decided on the undertaking of retaking the GMAT.

But how do you study for the GMAT the second time to guarantee a higher score? You are not alone in asking this question, and, unfortunately, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer or study plan that can guarantee a higher score and make the retake worthwhile financially and timewise. However, there are some things you can begin doing now which can help you embark on your GMAT retake journey.

Book the retake sooner rather than later

Deciding on ‘when’ to retake the GMAT can have a huge effect on your ability to succeed in the test. We suggest booking the retake sooner rather than later. This will help set a definite timeline of how long you must study and how you can expect to structure the coming weeks. Additionally, don’t wait months to retake the GMAT. Once you have decided that you will retake the exam, be sure to schedule it a couple of weeks after the last test you took. While it may seem to be a time crunch, this is because you are not starting from scratch when studying for your retake. You already have a whole host of wealth stuck in your head! It will hang around for a few weeks, requiring only brief reviews and refreshers to keep the knowledge up to date.

Focus on your weaknesses

So, you have taken your first GMAT test. You now know how you test under time pressure, and you can adjust your studying accordingly. Did you find that you struggled with the time constraints? We suggest focusing on different studying methods which will help you feel more comfortable under the time constraints. During the test you may realize that you did not study enough for certain quantitative-type questions, or your GMAT vocabulary was lacking. In this case, spend time before your retake focusing on the areas you found most challenging. By no means does this mean ‘ignoring’ your strengths, rather, spend the most time on your weaknesses, being sure to set aside a few hours a week to review and rehash the parts of the exam you feel most comfortable with.

Consult with your network

Whether you recognize it or not, the people around you are important to your mental health and wellbeing. Because studying for the GMAT is a mentally draining venture, relying on your network can help you get through the most difficult aspects of studying for the GMAT. As you already experienced over the last few months of studying, an effective student may opt for moments of quiet study rather than social events with friends and family. This doesn’t change your second time around taking the test.

However, your friends and family may be disappointed to hear that you are extending your absences from events further to study for your second round. It is important, then, to confer with them. Let them know what you are doing and why. Perhaps someone in your network had a similar experience and they can offer you advice and tips on how to rock your second round. Additionally, do not be shy to let them know how you are feeling and how they can best support you during your studying. This can help alleviate any further stress you may accumulate during the time you sequester away over the books.

Get a private tutor

It may seem obvious but hiring a private tutor who specializes in the GMAT can help push you to the next level. Often, your struggles with the GMAT can be alleviated by the unique perspectives and solution paths a private tutor can give you. Our GMAT tutors at ApexGMAT specialize in working with students who want to achieve an elite score and are looking to develop the skills to do just that. We invite all interested potential clients to sign-up HERE for a complimentary consultation call where we can discuss your GMAT and Business School goals. Our tutors are happy to work with an array of clients. Whether it is their first or fifth time taking the GMAT and whether they have 6 months to prepare or just a few weeks, we can work within your time frame and skill level to help you achieve your goals.

 

Finally, deciding to retake the GMAT means countless more hours of hard work. Deciding whether it is worth it is up to you. However, being prepared for the process of retaking the GMAT can help alleviate the stress of the decision.

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