GMAT Preparation

Categories : GMAT Preparation

Studying for GMAT While WorkingIt would have been nice if you could take a break from your work and devote yourself fully into GMAT preparation. Unfortunately, lot of us don't have that luxury. If you have found balancing GMAT prep and your work schedule a near impossible task, don't worry! Our 6 Step plan will help you cross this hurdle:

1. Start with a realistic plan

First you should know where you stand. Start with a full-length GMAT practice CAT under test-like conditions to get a realistic assessment of your skills. The result of your diagnostic should be used to evaluate and better understand your strengths and weaknesses.

The diagnostic will also give you a better idea of how much time you’ll need to set aside for GMAT prep (this also depends on how many hours/week of study time you’ll be able to squeeze in around your work schedule). If you’re only looking to increase your score a few points, you may only need a month or so of prep work. If you’re looking for a bigger gain, don’t worry — it’s definitely possible, but it might take you a bit longer to get there.


Categories : GMAT Preparation

GMAT Performance Learning GoalsSetting 700+ performance goal for your GMAT exam is essential. However, studies by Gary P. Latham, Gerard Seijts and Dan Crim on The Effects of Learning Goal Difficulty Level and Cognitive Ability on Performance show that when the participants are focused on higher learning goals than higher performance goals the potential to reach their goals is higher. This is true only in the initial stages of the learning process.

When you are in the initial stages of GMAT prep, setting higher GMAT score goals will motivate you to start the process, but that does not guarantee a higher performance. A motivational self-talk to do your best in the initial stages of preparation (First 1.5 months in a 3 Month Schedule) will result in better performance than setting concrete goals. Why do we experience a contradiction when statistics have proved that concrete goals improve our performance?

Knowledge Acquisition

The contradiction arises when we consider the knowledge level of the test taker...

Categories : GMAT Preparation

Block vs Interleaving GMAT PreparationWhen a GMAT test taker is lagging behind in Sentence Correction, what they do? They pick a question type, say Subject-Verb agreement, and drill through 10-15 questions on the same topic, hoping that the concentrated effort to tackle one question type would give them the fundamental learning lessons to solve similar questions in the future. This technique works in most GMAT sections but for the crucial performance differentiators: Sentence Correction and Problem Solving, this technique is a hindrance.

Interleaving – A Better Alternative?

What if you mix and match, and try three question types in one 20-minute GMAT study session? Bob Bjork, who studies interleaving, demonstrated this with an experiment where he used art to demonstrate our ability to remember and connect the dots. One group of participants were shown a set of painting from the same artists in consecutive sessions with each session marking the transition from one artist to the other while for the other participants a mix of painting from various artists were shown in one session. By the end of the experiment, the participants were asked to identify the artist based on the images that...

Categories : GMAT Preparation

GMAT Preparation MotivationGMAT Preparation can last anywhere between 3 and 5 months (GMAT Retake) and your attitude during the preparation can influence the results. We have heard first-hand account of GMAT Prep going completely wrong.

Case 1: Bombing on GMAT Day

This is an all-common phenomenon seen among GMAT test takers, even among the best-prepared students. It can be nerves, overconfidence, poor time management, someone near your desk annoyingly typing during the AWA section (this is actually an account that we heard recently) or several other factors.

You should read GMAT Test Day Tips to learn how to handle the test day.

Case 2: Too Many Study Materials

When you start your GMAT Prep, you are tempted to cover every possible GMAT study material: the retired question, forum questions, official GMAT questions, and Questions from Kaplan, Manhattan or ...

Categories : GMAT Preparation

Goal Setting for GMAT Preparation MotivationMotivation is the key to sustain GMAT preparation for 3-months to 5 months. The standards that you set for goals influence motivation. Jessica M. Nicklin & Kevin J. Williams have covered the correlation between goal setting and motivation in their paper: Self-Regulation of Goals and Performance: Effects of Discrepancy Feedback, Regulatory Focus, and Self-Efficacy

Discrepancy Production & Reduction

MBA Aspirants start goal setting with GMAT Preparation, most likely with a target score. They take the diagnostic test and receive the first feedback. Based on the feedback (the test score), aspirants follow either the discrepancy production or the reduction process.

With Discrepancy production, test takers set goals that are higher than the test score in the diagnostic test while with discrepancy reduction test takers reduce the target score to match with the previous performance. Reducing the target creates positive reaffirmation, but the process is flawed as the test takers are selling themselves short of...

Categories : GMAT Preparation

20 Minute Learning GMAT SessionsYou might argue that when you are in the zone, no distraction - external or internal would derail your GMAT preparation. For such lengthy span of attention, taking breaks would be the last thing on your mind. But for other daily GMAT Study sessions, 20 minutes sessions would be helpful, and produce the best results.

A recent report by Josh Davis, Maite J. Balda, and David Rock summarizes the studies conducted on attention, and learning optimization. According to the report, two findings solidify the belief in short-chunks of attention:

1) Attention has limits of only 20 minutes
2) Multitasking is inefficient

The part of our brain that enables single-minded focus is energy hungry. It is fighting external stimuli – sound, light, smell, and human interruption, along with internal thoughts, and impulses. The maximum time limit on fighting a strong internal & external stimulus is 20 minutes.
Beyond that, we not fully engaged.

Psychological journals have documented the Cognitive cost of multitasking. Technology has a role to play in inhibiting our ability to concentrate long-hours. Computers have evolved from a time-sharing behemoth machines to pocket sized tools...

Categories : GMAT Preparation

GMAT Practice Quality vs QuantityAfter getting Business School research right, the next important step for an MBA Aspirant is GMAT Preparation. For 1-Month, 3-Month, or 2-Week GMAT study plan, practice sessions are an integral part of the preparation. But most aspirants are driven by two motivations: mastery or 700+ score. You might argue that the goal behind each motivation is the same, but depending on the motivation that you choose, the results can vary.


The focus for MBA aspirants with this motivation is to improve accuracy every day, and reach 100% accuracy by the end of the preparation schedule. There is nothing wrong in such an aspiration but you will be surprised to learn that aspirants with ‘Mastery’ mentality tend to repeat similar problem types several times. Even after understanding the fundamentals, the test taker will repeat problems from various data sources, official and unofficial, just to prove that he is capable of handling problems from a particular topic. Practice sessions become an ego battle on...

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