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GMAT Prep – The 3 Different Methods for GMAT Prep

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Tips to crack GMAT!

The GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test), as the name suggests, is a test of your logic and application (aptitude) abilities in addition to subject knowledge. Time management is an additional important skill one would need to develop in order to crack the GMAT. Depending on your aptitude and comfort level, you can choose a study option that permits getting your desired GMAT score. Hence, here we are producing before you, three different methods for GMAT Prep.

Self-study for GMAT Prep

Regardless of whether you opt for online/offline prep and preparatory assistance, you will spend a significant amount of time self-studying. This would be particularly true for students based in towns and cities where classroom preparation is not available. Also, the same holds true when the quality of preparatory services is low. If the thought of self-study worries you, fear not, there are numerous benefits.

Advantages:

  • Create your own study plan. Coaching authorities normally plan their teaching only to address “needs” of a large group of students. By self-studying, you can prepare and follow a study plan that will address your specific needs.
  • Learn at your own pace. Most students go through a group study. But, instead of moving at the pace of your peers, you must prefer your own one. Soon you will find that without that pressure you will be able to maintain your focus
  • Learn as per your schedule – another downside to coaching classes. Whether the classes are online or in an actual classroom the agony is that they have fixed schedules. This may not work for you if you prefer a quiet early morning hour or a late night study time.
  • While Jamboree strongly advises that students only use official GMAC material, to maximize your self-study efforts, understand your needs and make informed decisions before investing in other GMAT books.

Tips:

  • If you’re a beginner, invest in books specifically for beginners. Taking on challenges unpreparedly will produce dismal results, which will affect your motivation.
  • As intermediate or advanced students, books that offer you a challenge would help strengthen your skills and help you feel “ready.”

The valuable tips!

  • If you’ve prepared for the GMAT before but find that you struggle in a specific area, instead of investing in the whole GMAT book bundle as offered by GMAC, it is prudent to buy only the book that will help you with the area with which you struggle.
  • In addition to the above, the book bundle you opt for should:
  • Be updated as per the recent changes in the GMAT
  • Allow for realistic practice and contain a rigorous content review
  • Follow the specific style followed during the GMAT
  • Contain comprehensive explanations for why answers are correct
  • Include full-length test(s) as it helps build your stamina
  • Offer Computer-based tests to augment your preparation
  • Offer test-taking strategies as these improve your ability to save time and help you get the correct answer quickly

Disadvantages:

  • Because of the flexible schedule, students often feel no obligation to study. Continuity during GMAT prep is a must.
  • No sense of competition; since there is no way of comparing your progress with that of other prospective examination takers, students don’t feel “pushed” to explore their limits. This is particularly true for GMAT test takers since the difficulty level of the exam is dependent on your performance in previous questions.

Tip: Find a study partner or enlist the assistance of a zealous friend who will help you maintain consistency and help motivate you during your study.

Classroom Coaching for GMAT Prep

For the purpose of this discussion, classroom study will cover both online and offline options.

Advantages:

While many of us are confident of our learning strategies and we are comfortable with our methodologies, it is prudent to remember that the GMAT requires time-saving techniques and strategies to score higher in sections such as Verbal and AWA. This kind of advice can only be provided by experts. Enrolling in coaching classes will thus prove beneficial in the long run.

Another point to remember is that simply knowing why a particular answer is correct is insufficient. The GMAT tests an examination takers “foundational knowledge.” As such it is equally important to understand why a particular answer was incorrect. This understanding will help you quickly asses and select correct answers. While many books give lengthy explanations for why certain answers are correct or incorrect, these explanations may be too simplistic or confusing to understand. An expert will help you navigate through such situations with ease.

Other advantages of GMAT classroom prep:

  • Stay abreast with recent GMAT questions and GMAT trends
  • Interaction with peers helps students to get valuable information regarding university applications, admissions process, and deadlines
  • The sense of competition tends to spur students to challenge their limits and go beyond their comfort zones, and more often than not, this yields better results.
  • Getting information about the GMAT test taking experiences of their classmates. This is invaluable information that one can use to prepare for the test day.

Disadvantages:

  • Self-motivation and discipline are required to follow through with online classes and assignments. This applies to participation in message boards and discussion forums provided by online training programs as well.

Possible disadvantages of self study!

  • Since assignments are usually self-evaluated, there is no pressure to do well.
  • No sense of competition in online GMAT preparation.

Tip: Maximize your chances by selecting the correct classroom training program. The best program will offer extended post-class assistance to their students in the form of on-site libraries, GMAT computer test bank, university application assistance, etc.

Hybrid GMAT Prep

As the name suggests, hybrid Graduate Management Aptitude Test prep would include both, a certain degree of self-study and classroom assistance – be it online or offline. This kind of preparation usually yields the best results as the disadvantages of self-study or classroom preparation are circumvented. Further, the merits of self-study and classroom complement each other thus giving examination takers a huge advantage.

Regardless of which study method you opt for, remind yourself that the stigmas associated with “coaching” classes during school-years do not apply to competitive examinations. This is not a test that determines how skilled you are when it comes to rote learning. More importantly, as a working professional, you will face challenges and that there is no shame in seeking assistance.

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By Arathi Anand

Arathi Anand has 12 years? experience in GMAT, GRE & SAT Prep coaching. She currently heads the Writing team at Jamb...more

Arathi Anand has 12 years? experience in GMAT, GRE & SAT Prep coaching. She currently heads the Writing team at Jamboree Education. less

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