Hi Spatel1992,
So you have come to the right place! just starting out with the GMAT, you should first
familiarize yourself with the GMAT and then take an
official GMAT practice exam. Your experience taking that test will give you a good idea of what to expect on the GMAT, and the results will serve as a baseline GMAT score. Once you see how far you are from your score goal, you can more easily predict for how long you may need to study. I also wrote a detailed article about
how long to study for the GMAT, which you may find helpful.
After completing your initial practice test, you will need to devise a solid preparation plan. Since you’re starting from scratch, you should follow a study plan that allows you to learn linearly, so that you can slowly build mastery of one GMAT topic prior to moving on to the next. Within each topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced concepts. Following such a plan will allow you to methodically build your GMAT quant and verbal skills and ensure that no stone is left unturned. Let me expand on this idea further.
For example, if you are learning about Number Properties, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type.
Many students want to know how long they’ll need to study for the GMAT. This is an important yet challenging question. Students come from different walks of life and educational backgrounds, and have different skill levels and GMAT score goals. Furthermore, students have varying levels of work, family, and personal commitments, rates of learning, and access to quality GMAT prep materials. Still, you do need to start with a tentative schedule, so in this article I’ll provide some guidance regarding how long you might expect to study. Let’s start with the motivational advice and then delve into some practical advice.
When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.
As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently address your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.
Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.
So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.
In order to follow the path described above, you may consider using a self-study course, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the
best quant courses.
You also may find it helpful to read the following article about
How To Increase Your GMAT Quant Score.
Feel free to reach out with further questions.
Good luck!
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