Section of the GMAT
Pursuing a graduate business degree is a satisfying experience, and the GMAT exam (Graduate Management Admission Test) is part of the process. This three-hour exam tests on analytical writing, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and integrated reasoning.

The massive amount of information included, paired with the time constraints and the pressure of admission into a stellar MBA program, makes the GMAT a difficult test to crack. However, knowledge is power, and the right amount and method of preparation will help you succeed.
General Advice

The real trick to successfully cracking the GMAT is to become an expert in all the areas that are tested in each section. Regardless of the unit you’re prepping for, the following advice will help you feel confident, study efficiently, and head to the test center ready to succeed.

● Use High-quality Study Aids–

There is a wealth of test preparation resources available on the market, but you should remember that not all resources are created equal. To best prepare for the GMAT exam, invest in official GMAT training materials. There are free options online; however, authorized test prep companies create training materials with real questions from the previous exams and use the same GMAT scoring algorithm.

● Mimic Actual Testing Conditions–

By stimulating the actual test experience, you will get an idea about the test format, frequently tested concepts, timing, and so on. Alongside boosting your confidence, this will help you figure out your weaknesses and work on areas that require improvement.

● Remove Distractions–

While studying, it is easy to be distracted by social media notifications, text messages, or to-do lists. The fix is relatively straightforward—pay attention to the task at hand for as long as you can. Recognize when your mind wanders and bring your focus back to the task at hand. Also, remove all distractions from around you and choose a relatively calm space to prepare. Additionally, consider building a study plan and sticking to it.

Studying for Each Section

1. Analytical Writing

The Analytical Writing (AWA) section of the GMAT measures your ability to think critically and communicate your ideas through an English essay. Here are a few tips to prepare for this section that contains a single 30-minute writing task—Analysis of An Argument.

● Remain Objective–

Under this session, you are to write a critique of the provided argument. Including your opinions will make the analysis subjective, which is not the point of analytical writing. Ensure your critique is an objective criticism of the argument given in the prompt.

● Focus on Finding Flaws in the Argument–

The GMAT AWA argument includes a conclusion and pieces of evidence. An assumption should bridge the gaps between the elements of evidence and the conclusion. You should learn to identify multiple premises that are logical and supported by evidence.

● Keep a Formal Tone–

Practice how to write in a formal, confident tone. Once you have dissected the argument and are presenting your findings, say what you have to by using strong language.

2. Integrated Reasoning

The Integrated Reasoning section tests your data analysis skills. Data is presented in tables, charts, short paragraphs, and graphs, with various answer formats. Alongside getting yourself familiarized with studying graphs and charts, here are some tips that will help you make sense of the information provided.

● Treat it Like an Open-book Test–

To solve the data provided, all you should do is know where to look. Understand what the question asks and look for the table, chart, graph, or passage that provides relevant information.

● Pay Attention to Units–

Pay special attention to units—does the question deal with seconds, minutes, or hours? Is one graph representing months while the other represents a year? Units may change, and you might have to do simple conversions.

● Focus on the Data–

Closely analyze the trends in the given information. Check to see what generalizations are possible and if the remaining data corroborate or contradict them.

3. Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section tests your ability to solve quantitative problems, reason mathematically, and interpret graphic layouts. Here are a few tips that will help you immensely during your preparations.

● Remember That Beginning Questions are Weighed More Heavily–

The questions at the beginning of a test will have a more significant impact on your score. Moving through the beginning of the math section quickly can spell disaster and might result in careless mistakes that significantly affect your score.

● Understand What You’re Being Asked–

Remember always to follow directions. Even if you know the drill, understand that the test writers want to trick smart students into missing the answer.

● Round When Decimals Are Overwhelming–

When you are overwhelmed by decimals and signs, it is easy to make mistakes. Since this section is multiple-choice, ballparking the figures to a rough approximate will help make calculations easy and avoid mistakes. 

● Learn to Identify (and Avoid) “Catchy” Answers–

Almost all multiple-choice questions will have trap answers. Such answers will catch your eye for one reason, making the problem appear easier than it actually is. Remember that such choices are a trap and finish the problem as you would otherwise.

4. Verbal Reasoning

The GMAT Verbal section is specially designed to measure your command of standard written English, your ability to read critically, and your skills in analyzing arguments.

● Move Fast on Short Questions to Leave Time for Longer Ones–

Time is of the essence when you are attending the GMAT. Sentence correction questions vary in length and complexity. Move faster on the shorter questions so you will have enough time to attend to the more difficult ones. Don’t spend too much time on one question.

● Pay Attention to the Author’s Tone and Opinion–

Instead of memorizing the information, try to get an idea about the general topic, the author's tone, and the purpose of the passage. This will help you automatically identify the point of the passage, and in turn, move easily through the reading comprehension questions.

Prepare Right for the GMAT

The GMAT exam is not your typical IQ test, a simple English skills test, or a mathematical competency. The exam takes simple concepts and forces you to apply them creatively—leveraging your critical thinking skills and logic under time pressure. In fact, the GMAT exam question formats are unique, and you might take some time to get used to it.

So, regardless of how well you have done in school, you should prepare for the GMAT exam. Adopting a student mindset and frame of reference is extremely important.