When deciding on the best GMAT prep method for you, consider your individual strengths, weaknesses, and study style, as well as your budget and time constraints. In this article, I’ll help you decide how to prepare for the GMAT in the most effective way for you. I’ll also go over what you should look for when comparing GMAT preparation methods.
How Do You Pick the Best GMAT Preparation Method for You?
The best GMAT test prep method is the one that works best for you and your specific requirements. Which one is best for you is determined by a number of factors, all of which you should consider when developing your GMAT study plan.
Let’s go over them one by one.
- Make a Goal
How detailed and comprehensive do you require your GMAT prep method to be? How much time should you devote to GMAT preparation, and how intensely should you prepare? Of course, how much you need or want your GMAT score to improve is a factor.
- Learning Mode
Do you learn best one-on-one, alone, or in a group setting? Are you a visual or auditory learner? Do you perform better when you have a lot of uninterrupted time to study or when you study in short bursts? Do you learn more from reading in-depth explanations of skills, or do short drills and exercises suffice when it comes to correcting your mistakes?
These are the questions you should be asking yourself as you select a GMAT prep method. A GMAT prep method that works perfectly well for another applicant will not produce the same results for you if it is not a good fit for how you process information.
How much time do you have to devote to GMAT preparation? It is critical to be realistic about what you can achieve in the time you have available for studying, and to choose your GMAT prep method accordingly.
If you have three months the standard amount of time to spend on GMAT prep because it allows you to establish a regular study schedule but isn’t too long and doesn’t put you at risk of losing focus you’ll want to be efficient and targeted in your study sessions. You should schedule ten hours of study time per week. In a three to four month period, any of the four main types of GMAT prep could work well.
Of course, your GMAT prep budget will influence which method you select. If you’re on a tight budget, a private tutor is probably not the best option because experienced GMAT tutors are expensive. Prep classes and online programmes are less expensive than most private tutors, but more expensive than a self-study programme using prep books and online resources.
4 GMAT Prep Options
There are four main GMAT prep options: taking a GMAT prep class, enrolling in an online GMAT prep programme, hiring a private tutor, or studying on your own.
Let’s go over each one, including its benefits and drawbacks, as well as why you might choose or avoid it as your primary prep method.
Method 1: GMAT Prep Class
A live or online GMAT prep class typically includes instruction from a GMAT format expert. The best GMAT prep course will typically include a number of practice tests as well as weekly lessons, quizzes, and drills. Normally, you will be asked to complete homework in between classes so that you can prepare both in and out of class.
Method 2: Online Courses
Online GMAT prep programs, which can follow a set schedule or allow you to set your own pace, typically begin with a diagnostic test that assesses your strengths and weaknesses. They typically include a variety of practice questions of varying difficulty, regular progress assessments, and full-length computerized adaptive practice tests. They may or may not include GMAT content and format lessons.
Pros: Online GMAT prep programs, like prep courses, are structured and motivating. The best GMAT preparation courses are also adaptable and customizable, adjusting to your progress as you go. They can also quickly and precisely identify your specific weaknesses, so you won’t waste time learning general GMAT information.
You can also avoid human error by using the best online GMAT prep programs. An online program, unlike a tutor or prep course instructor, is less likely to make a mistake or spend too much time on something that does not directly benefit you.
Online programs are also less expensive than GMAT tutors and prep classes on average.
Cons: Obviously, online GMAT preparation programs lack some “human” component. Because they are frequently automated, if you enjoy and benefit from interactions with teachers and other students, you may struggle to stay motivated in an online GMAT prep program.
Method 3: Tutoring
You can create a customized study plan with an online or in-person private tutor based on your target GMAT score, prospective business schools, and your strengths and weaknesses.
Method 4: Self Study
GMAT self-study entails making your own rules. GMAT prep books, foundational skill reviews, online resources, and anything else you require can be included in your self-study.