10 Ways to Beat the GMAT This Year!

Preparing for tests, especially the GMAT, is no easy task! In between filling out MBA applications, applying for college scholarships, and researching the Best Business Schools, you have to carve out several months for GMAT test prep. These free GMAT tips will help you jumpstart your GMAT test prep!

Create an Error Log. An Error Log is a spreadsheet designed to help you track your incorrect questions for later review. Add to it on an ongoing basis. You will want to re-take GMAT practice questions multiple times to make sure you do not get them incorrect a second or third time. This will improve your GMAT score more than you think! Free GMAT Error Logs are available online at GMAT websites such as Beat the GMAT and GMAT Club.

Practice online. The GMAT is an online exam, so to ace the GMAT you will need to become an expert at negotiating between the screen and your scratch pad. GMAT test prep books such as the OG, or those made by Kaplan, Powerscore, and MGMAT are excellent sources of GMAT practice questions, but make sure you also do a significant amount of studying for the GMAT online. Mimic the test-taking environment as best you can as you study. Websites such as Grockit and MGMAT offer six free GMAT practice tests with their membership or purchase of one of their books. Ideal for adjusting to an online format!

Learn your grammar. Success on the SC portion of the GMAT entirely depends on your ability to recognize the most-tested grammatical errors. Use a good English-grammar book or a reputable GMAT online SC resource to review the basics of subject-verb agreement, independent/dependent clauses, and grammatical construction.

Take full-length tests. The GMAT requires a great deal of stamina. Even if you have limited resources, most test-prep companies such as Knewton, MGMAT, Kaplan, etc. offer one free GMAT practice test online.

Understand why you get questions wrong. Some students believe that more questions answered = better scores on the GMAT. Fundamentally, answered a ton of GMAT practice questions will only lead to faster pacing, but without solid strategies and disciplined reviewing, your overall score will not improve. Don’t be a lazy reviewer!

Study in shorter blocks. Don’t burn yourself out as you aim for better GMAT scores. It’s better to study in shorter 2-3 blocks, taking frequent breaks to eat, stretch, and exercise, rather than to park yourself in front of your computer and books for 10 hours at a time. The GMAT takes commitment, but you don’t want to become a GMAT zombie.

Don’t neglect AWA. Read through the free GMAT list of essay topics for each AWA essay provided for free on mba.com. You will want to practice writing at least 3 of each so that you are comfortable with the timing guidelines. Have a template in mind for each GMAT essay and get feedback from other GMAT students.

Take notes as you read RC passages. Keep it short and simple, but make sure to extract and write down the important information in each GMAT passage: topic, scope, author’s tone, function of each paragraph, and main idea. That way you already have predictions for most of the GMAT RC questions and you will save time by not having to constantly re-read the passage.

Use “12TEN” for Data Sufficiency. Instead of writing down ABCDE for the answer choices on your scratch pad. Use the acronym “12TEN” to represent each choice. T = together. E = either. N = neither. This will help you keep straight what each GMAT answer choice means, and allow you to cross off the options quickly and efficiently as you evaluate the statements.

Backsolve and Pick Numbers. Use these GMAT Quant strategies as much as possible on the more difficult GMAT Math practice questions. Remember that there is often more than one way to get the correct answer! Choose the method of least resistance.

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How to Improve Integrated Reasoning Skills

The Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT launched in June 2012 with 4 new question-types, all of which require some solid data analysis skills. Learn how to get an above-average score (a 5+ on the 1-8 scale).

The Integrated Reasoning section was designed to measure test takers’ ability to interpret data from a variety of sources, and to draw meaningful conclusions from this information. It launched in June 2012– so what are the four question types, and what’s the general format? Check out this Learnboard for all the basics first!

Start by reviewing Graphics Interpretation problems with an expert!

In this video lesson Brian Galvin, Director of Academic Programs at Veritas Prep, provides a deep-dive lesson on Graphics Interpretation, reviewing multiple questions.

The Graphics Interpretation section will present you with a piece of data in the form of a graph, Venn diagram, scatter plot, etc. Below will be two statements, each with a missing portion. Fill in the blank with one of four choices presented to you in a drop-down menu.

Check out more tips on improving your skills on Learnist!

10 Ways to Study for the GMAT in Just 30 Days

It’s possible to get a great GMAT score after only 1 month of study, but it requires hard work and discipline. In the middle of applying for scholarships and filling out MBA applications, you’ll need to devote a good amount of time to your GMAT practice as you’ll be cramming what is typically a 2-3 month process into just one! There are excellent GMAT resources online: from free GMAT practice tests to great Test Prep articles. Follow these GMAT study tips to maximize the free GMAT resources for better scores in just one month!

1. Start with the Official Guide. Learn the format, content, and do a general overview of the GMAT test itself using the OG 12th editions. Make sure to go to MBA.com and

2. Study every day, and don’t procrastinate! You will need to be disciplined about your studies. Work backwards from your test date. Don’t cram on the weekends only! With only one month to study, you’ll need to do at least some GMAT every single day.

3. Use MGMAT SC & Powerscore CR to supplement your materials. After the OG, these are two Verbal books that can take your score to the next level.

4. Join Grockit, and Beat the GMAT. These online GMAT sites are vital to building your comfort level with the computer-based format of the GMAT. Practicing in the test-format will only increase your chances of doing well!

5. Study in short, intensive blocks. GMAT study blocks that are too long will ultimately wear you down. Make sure to rotate your study topics often and abide by it, even if you’d like to squeeze in a few more hours. Staying up all night to complete yet another practice test is not always the best choice.

6. Track down success stories to get inspired. If you have a 600 and are eyeing a 700+ score, there are many people out there who have made that leap. Success leaves footprints. Find out what strategies are commonly used by 750+ students, what study plans they keep, and how they build their content-knowledge. Beat the GMAT is an excellent tool for this!

7. Create an Error Log. Re-take quizzes and practice tests from the very beginning of your GMAT studies. Do you find yourself getting the same questions incorrect? This can be a sign that you haven’t learned the content you think you have. Be honest with yourself about what is “sinking in” and what is not. Use an Error Log to assess. You can find many templates online

8. Review all questions. Use the 40/60 rule. 40% of your time should be spent actually answering questions. At minimum, 60% of your time should be spent reviewing.

9. Take at least 1 GMAT practice test per week. Don’t take your practice tests sitting cross-legged on you bed. Utilize your desk and scratch pad as you would on the actual test. Your body needs to adjust to what it feels like to take a 3+ hour test. Because you only have one month to prepare, you should plan to take 4 practice tests, although 6 would be ideal.

10. Use a strategy for each question type. Not only do you have to choose a strategy that works for you, but you have to implement it every time, practicing enough so that is becomes second-hand. Ballet dancers practice a pirouette millions of times, so that when they perform onstage they don’t have to think about it. You want to do the same thing for GMAT.

Learnist: How to Study for the GMAT in 30 Days

GMAT_30daysNeed to cram for the GMAT in only a month? Here’s how to get the most out of 30 days of study-time!

There’s only one “Official Guide,” so whether you have 30 days or 6 months to study, you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy! Learn the format, content, and do a general overview of the GMAT test itself using the OG 13th edition. Make sure to go to MBA.com and take advantage of the official prep material provided there!

Study every day, and don’t procrastinate! You will need to be disciplined about your studies. Work backwards from your test date. Don’t cram on the weekends only! With only one month to study, you’ll need to do at least some GMAT every single day.

If you need a bit more structure, Magoosh offers a free 30 Day Study Schedule that you can amend to your needs.

If you struggle with GMAT Verbal and really can only emphasize one of the three question-types, you’re better off memorizing the tested-concepts for Sentence Correction:

  • Among/Between, As/Like
  • Correlative Constructions
  • Diction
  • Forms of Comparison
  • Fragments and Run-on sentences
  • Grammatical Construction
  • Idioms
  • Logical Predication/Modification
  • Mass/count words
  • Noun-verb agreement
  • Parallelism
  • Passive vs. Active Voice
  • Prepositions
  • Pronouns
  • Rhetorical Construction
  • Verb Form
  • Wordiness/Redundancy

If you can spot these errors, you’re likely to move through the SC questions quickly, and thus you’ll have more time to analyze the Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension passages. Learn more 30-Day Study Tips on Learnist!

Learnist: An Overview of GMAT Integrated Reasoning

The Integrated Reasoning section was designed to measure test takers’ ability to interpret data from a variety of sources, and to draw meaningful conclusions from this information. It launched in June 2012!

To answer IR questions, first understand what the question is asking, then stop and consider which table, graph, chart, or part of the passage provides the relevant information you’ll need to solve for the correct answer. Harder IR questions will require you to use more than one screen or ask you to take information or figures from one screen and apply it to another. Pay attention to the trends in the presented information.

To make the calculations simpler on IR questions, look for ways to use relative math. To do this:

  • Determine which values are relevant to a correct answer
  • Estimate those values whenever possible
  • Calculate values only when the estimates are too close to call
  • Remember that the logical setup for the values is typically the crux of the question, not the calculation itself

Integrated Reasoning scores will range from 1-8, in single-digit intervals, and will not alter the existing Quantitative, Verbal, Total, and Analytic Writing Assessment scores. To get more fact about how to approach IR, check out this Learnboard!