Fiona, a part-time account manager, has registered for the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) exam and hopes to get a high score in order to get into an MBA program at a top school.

Fiona doesn't know what GMAT exam preparation strategies to use to help her study.

Illustration of young woman sitting at her desk working on her laptop


Fiona can successfully complete the GMAT exam with a "can do" attitude, a positive mindset, and by applying learning preparation strategies.

1. Get to know the GMAT Structure

Worried about the GMAT? Get to know the format and contents.

  • covers four subject sections which are time-scored

  • takes approximately 3.5 hours to complete

  • scores are allocated for subjects within each section

Learn how the GMAT exam is scored.

Text graphic organizer describing the topics contained within the four sections of the GMAT Exam Structure

2. Take a GMAT Diagnostics Test

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Decide what you need to help you develop a strategic study preparation plan.

Take a free GMAT Diagnostic Test to:

  • measure your abilities & gauge your motivation

  • identify which subjects are your strengths & weaknesses

  • compare your test score to your GMAT target score

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Use your Diagnostics Test results to identify your:

  • goals for completing the GMAT

  • learning style

  • learning preferences

Choose the study method and materials that work best for you.

  • self-study with the GMAT Official Guidebook

  • attend live classes in person or online

  • work one-on-one with a private tutor

  • use a self-paced GMAT course

  • use free GMAT preparation apps

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What information will help Fiona decide how to prepare for studying? Select all that apply.

3. Create a Study Plan

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Develop your study plan with your GMAT target score and exam date in mind.

  • add your study plan to your calendar with target dates

  • decide which sections & subjects will be your main focus

  • allocate weekly/monthly time slots for specific subjects & tests

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Fiona's GMAT preparation study plan

Fiona decides she needs 3 months to prepare, a total of 120 hours. She'll alternate weeks studying. Here's what her plan looks like:

  • 2 hours each day, 5 times a week, weekends off (10 hours)

  • 3 hours each day, 5 times a week, and 5 hours on weekends (20 hours)

4. Practice Key Study Principles

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You can apply key principles of deliberate practice to your GMAT prep!

1. Time-focused concentration

  • focus intensively in 30-minute intervals

  • build up extended time-focused study habits

  • get comfortable performing under time pressure

  • build endurance to track & manage your progress

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2. Microlearning techniques

  • work systematically & methodically through sections

  • break down sections into bite size chunks

  • learn each component before moving to the next step

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3. Visualization systems

  • learn to read graphs, charts, tables & symbols

  • create a visualization system to identify graphs, charts, & symbols

  • apply visualization techniques for quick recall & interpretation

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4. Mental math techniques

  • create a system for math, algebra, & geometry concepts

  • practice basic arithmetic & equations in your head

  • apply these concepts & terminology to solve problems

Get immediate feedback from your class teacher or tutor!

Review skipped questions and wrong answers, and address anything you don't understand.

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⚡Knowledge Quiz

Fiona has finished some practice test questions in the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT. She needed to evaluate data trends shown on a pie chart and line graph.

Math and chart data analysis are not Fiona's strong subjects. She had to skip several questions because she didn't know the answers.


Which practice principles would help Fiona improve her math and chart analysis skills? Select all that apply.

5. Complete Mock Test Simulations

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Sit and complete a full 4-hour practice test approximately every three weeks that simulates real exam conditions.

As you move through the GMAT test questions:

  • keep track of time, don’t get stuck on a question, & move on

  • answer all questions to avoid deductions from your total score

  • apply visual literacy & mental math techniques to save time

  • push your limits & attempt hard questions

Check out these Free GMAT Practice Tests

6. Get Ready for Test Day

Plan a few days ahead for exam day. Whether you're taking the GMAT online or at a test center, you'll want to avoid any last minute logistical or technical hiccups.

Get any additional information about the test. Learn about the registration documents that you must have before you can log on and take the GMAT exam.

GMAT Online

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GMAT Test Center

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Take Action

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