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# What is the Optimum Time to Prepare for the GMAT?

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Optimus Prep Instructor
Joined: 15 Jan 2014
Posts: 362

Kudos [?]: 42 [0], given: 24

What is the Optimum Time to Prepare for the GMAT? [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2016, 10:03
What is the Optimum Time to Prepare for the GMAT?

Finally you have decided to make the next move in your career by deciding to earn a MBA degree. Congrats! The next step is to take the GMAT. You have researched all about it, know about the sections and the question types that are tested, but what you do not know is “How much time will it take to prepare for the GMAT?”

This is a common question from all the students who start preparing for the GMAT. There are a variety of answers that are available, with the most popular ones being:

It depends on your current ability

The longer you prepare the better it is

Still, you do not get anything concrete to tell you actually how many months/hours you need to put in to prepare for the GMAT. If you want a number, we would say anything between 8 – 12 weeks with approximately 15-18 hours/week and a few off days.

But this calculation is not so simple. You need to consider the following factors when creating a study plan:

1) What is your target score? Make a list of the B-Schools that interest you. Do not just list down the schools based on the ranking tables. Make sure that the schools that you choose fit your specific goals, needs and interest. Once you have the list, try to find out the average/median scores of the schools. This data can be easily found out from the class profile of the schools. Pick the one which has the highest score and set it as your target score.

2) How much do you need to prepare? Once you have determined your target score, the next step is to find out your current standing. The best way to do it is to take a full length mock CAT including the AWA and the IR sections. There are various mock CATs available in the market that closely mimic the GMAT, but the best results are obtained from the GMAT Prep CATs. You can download 2 free CATs from mba.com. Make sure to go through the structure of the test before you sit for a mock CAT. This would tell you how far you need to go.

3) What are your strength and weaknesses? Once you have taken the test, you should know the areas that need more focus. Try to give more time to your weak areas. The first bifurcation should be based on the Sections: Quants and Verbal and then you can dig deep by going into the subsections such as PS, DS for Quants and CR, RC and SC for the Verbal section.

4) What can be your latest test date? Determine the test date by planning backwards. Typically you would want to leave 1 – 2 months for application process and 1 month for a retake in case things do not go well. This brings us to a gap of 3 months between your GMAT date and the application deadline. For instance you have your B-School deadline in October then make sure that you have your first tryst with the GMAT no later than July.

5) What is your schedule? Are you working full time? Do you have the flexibility to study on the weekdays? Can you take mock CATs on the weekends? Basis on these aspects, try to figure out how much time you can devote. We ideally feel that 1.5 – 2 hour on a weekday and 4 hours on the weekends should be enough to keep you on track to achieve your target score. If you can take out this much time, good. If you cannot, do not fret much. You can adjust your time schedule accordingly. Fewer time each day would mean that your preparation will last longer.
However, please note that do not try to put in more hours than required. If you are putting in 5 – 6 hours a day continuously, it would mean the following things:

You will face a burn out soon and will have to stop your preparation.

There is a high chance that out of those 5 hours, the last 1.5 – 2 hours will not be fruitful.

If for any reasons, you have less than a month to prepare for the GMAT, first of all you need to understand that it is not the ideal time frame needed for GMAT preparation. In such case, you might have to put in longer hours with sustained focus each day.

If you have even less time available with you, then 1) Either you are gifted or 2) You are not taking the test seriously. If you fall in the first category, then all the best, but if you fall in the second category, do not expect a miracle. The GMAT requires intensive preparation and it would not be wise to take it unprepared. This is the first step towards your MBA and there is no reason you should not take is seriously. Make sure you put in the effort required and prepare well.

This is a general overview of how long you should plan on studying for the GMAT. We recommend a 3 months study schedule whether with a preparatory course or with a book. If you are facing any other problem in making a study schedule for your preparation, write to us and we will be glad to help!

All the best!

_________________

# Cassandra Wolff

Customer Support

Special Offer: \$80-100/hr. Online Private Tutoring
GMAT On Demand Course \$299
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Kudos [?]: 42 [0], given: 24

Intern
Joined: 20 Dec 2014
Posts: 30

Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 3

What is the Optimum Time to Prepare for the GMAT? [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2016, 09:02
Hello,

Background:
Economics student with undergrad and masters. I just registered and will have my GMAT on Sept 14, so a bit over 6 weeks left. I plan to study full time in this period - 6 days a week (no school, no job). My target is 730+. Non native speaker.
I didn't prepare at all for GMAT. I prepared for MBB consulting recruiting in the last 3 months and was successful with that. (not sure if it helps)

I took 2 test:
1. November '15 The Economist: 610 Q47 V28
2. July '16 GMATPrep Official Test 1: 630 Q44 V33.

Do you think 6 weeks are enough to use OptimusPrep for a target of 720? I see there are 5500 questions so most probably i will be able to cover ~50-60% of them. How long would it take to ma to go through the class? Should I postpone my exam?

Thanks!

Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 3

Optimus Prep Instructor
Joined: 06 Nov 2014
Posts: 1887

Kudos [?]: 497 [0], given: 23

Re: What is the Optimum Time to Prepare for the GMAT? [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2016, 07:06
Stn wrote:
Hello,

Background:
Economics student with undergrad and masters. I just registered and will have my GMAT on Sept 14, so a bit over 6 weeks left. I plan to study full time in this period - 6 days a week (no school, no job). My target is 730+. Non native speaker.
I didn't prepare at all for GMAT. I prepared for MBB consulting recruiting in the last 3 months and was successful with that. (not sure if it helps)

I took 2 test:
1. November '15 The Economist: 610 Q47 V28
2. July '16 GMATPrep Official Test 1: 630 Q44 V33.

Do you think 6 weeks are enough to use OptimusPrep for a target of 720? I see there are 5500 questions so most probably i will be able to cover ~50-60% of them. How long would it take to ma to go through the class? Should I postpone my exam?

Thanks!

Hi Stn,

I hope you made the right decision and chose our course.
I am sorry for the late reply. Let me know if you need any help.
_________________

# Janielle Williams

Customer Support

Special Offer: \$80-100/hr. Online Private Tutoring
GMAT On Demand Course \$299
Free Online Trial Hour

Kudos [?]: 497 [0], given: 23

Intern
Joined: 20 Dec 2014
Posts: 30

Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 3

Re: What is the Optimum Time to Prepare for the GMAT? [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2016, 05:28
Hello Janielle,

I did buy it. Unfortunately I am disappointed with some aspects of it (poor customer service, i have some tickets that are 20+ days overdue; found some problems with mistaken answers/explanations; some mistakes in the text of problems: eg. triangle instead of parallelogram; some questions repeating in test while it should not be the case)

This course would be much better without those things.

Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 3

Optimus Prep Instructor
Joined: 06 Nov 2014
Posts: 1887

Kudos [?]: 497 [0], given: 23

Re: What is the Optimum Time to Prepare for the GMAT? [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2016, 17:25
Stn wrote:
Hello Janielle,

I did buy it. Unfortunately I am disappointed with some aspects of it (poor customer service, i have some tickets that are 20+ days overdue; found some problems with mistaken answers/explanations; some mistakes in the text of problems: eg. triangle instead of parallelogram; some questions repeating in test while it should not be the case)

This course would be much better without those things.

Sorry for the inconvenience and that is uncommon from our team
.Thanks a lot for the feedback. I will certainly get the case checked.
_________________

# Janielle Williams

Customer Support

Special Offer: \$80-100/hr. Online Private Tutoring
GMAT On Demand Course \$299
Free Online Trial Hour

Kudos [?]: 497 [0], given: 23

Re: What is the Optimum Time to Prepare for the GMAT?   [#permalink] 24 Aug 2016, 17:25
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