GMAT tips by Akhil Garg

akgargThe strategy to excel at GMAT will differ from person to person depending on individual’s strengths and weaknesses. At beginning of the preparation, a candidate should carefully evaluate his strong and weak areas by taking official GMAT Prep test.  Upon identifying the weak areas, candidates should make targeted efforts to work on the weak areas.

I found below resources to be good while doing my preparation for GMAT:

Quantitative section:

Questions in The Official Guide for GMAT Review and Manhattan test series cover the types of questions usually asked in GMAT. One of the common problems that I have noticed with my engineering background friends is that they become overconfident in this section and sometimes spend more than 10 minutes over a single question, and miss answering last few questions. Remember that GMAT penalizes you a lot for unanswered questions. You should make it a point not to spend more than 3-4 minutes over a problem if you are stuck. Many times you will find that you can easily discard 2-3 wrong choices, and as per the law of probability you stand a good chance of hitting correct answer.

Verbal section:

Sentence Correction – Many of the non-native English speakers find sentence correction section particularly challenging. But the good part is GMAT doesn’t test the whole gamut of Grammar rules. If you master few frequently tested rules, then you should be all set. Manhattan GMAT verbal guide has explained these frequently tested rules well. For practice, I found Official GMAT Guide, Manhattan test series and Kaplan GMAT 800: Advanced Prep for Advanced Students (Perfect Score Series) useful. It is also very much important that you read the explanations even if you get the questions correct. Many times an incorrect choice has more than one error. You may not be able to identify all the errors while solving the question, so reading explanations helps a lot.

Critical Reasoning – In the theory portion, Kaplan 800 has clearly explained different type of critical reasoning questions. For practice, Kaplan 800, Official GMAT Guide and Manhattan test series questions are good.

Reading Comprehension – I think practice from Official GMAT Guide and Manhattan test series questions should be sufficient.

Another good source of learning is Manhattan GMAT forum. Instructor Ron Purewal has explained few concepts very well in the discussion.

After all the preparation, the next hurdle is to convert the hard work into a good score. Try to write 5-10 GMAT tests. One of the challenges is to find good GMAT like tests. I found Manhattan GMAT tests are good proxy for GMAT tests.  Remember not to skip AWA section as it prepares you to slog for around 4 hours.

Good luck!

Akhil Garg
From India
GMAT Score 750 (Year 2010)
MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, Class of 2013

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