This is probably the first question which every candidate wants to know as to how much preparation time is required for the GMAT. Well the answer to this question cannot be generalized as every candidate level of critical (reading, writing, and reasoning) skills are different. However, we at GMAT Gladiator have made a rough approximation through our years of experience that for every point improvement on the GMAT, one hour of effective GMAT preparation and not mundane preparation is required. It means someone willing to improve his score from 500 to 600 will at least require 100 hours of effective GMAT prep including the self study under the guidance of an expert GMAT tutor.
We at GMAT Gladiator offer only one-on-one online and in-person classes for GMAT. We don’t offer group classes because of this very reason that every candidate preparing for the GMAT has a different level of critical skills, which are indispensable ingredients to succeed on the GMAT. Each individual has unique strengths and weaknesses. The most important thing for a tutor or guide is to identify the gaps a candidate has and to work upon them slowly and steadily because both the gaps and the grasping power of each child is different, which cannot be identified in group classes. Identifying the weak spots and working upon them steadily to be converted into strengths is by far the most important thing required for a GMAT prep and that’s the reason we don’t do group classes, as we want to be sincere to our profession and one approach does not fits all policy. For us, money is not the only criterion, but imparting and imbibing valuable education to each person is our prime focus. We also believe that every person has the potential though it just needs to be identified, nurtured, and polished. We have even tutored candidates which saw a rise from 300 levels to 740 levels. We don’t boast that it was only because of us but also because of the sincere effort and determined focus of the candidate.
The following factors will help you to gauge the time frame required for an individual to prepare for the GMAT exam:
- Baseline score VS Target score
The baseline score is the score obtained by giving a sample mock test on the official GMAC site without even an hour of preparation. This will let you know, where you stand currently. The next thing is to determine the target score you want to achieve by going through the cut-offs in the various colleges you seek admission to. As stated earlier the difference between the target score and the baseline score will roughly indicate the amount of hours that need to be put in for the GMAT preparation phase including the self study under the guidance of an expert GMAT tutor.
- Grasping Power and its Implementation:
As the grasping power of each individual is unique, better grasping power significantly reduces the time required for GMAT preparation. However, along with the grasping power, the application of the same is equally important for the GMAT prep. It means you might be aware of the concept but are unable to decipher where to apply it, when a question based on a concept actually appears. This is where your GMAT tutor experience counts as he will be able to identify where you actually lack (concepts or application of concept).
- Dedicated time for GMAT Prep:
Another factor that is really important for identifying the ideal time frame for the GMAT is what are your occupancies along with the GMAT prep? Some candidates take a sabbatical from their workplace to prepare for the GMAT, whereas others give it along with their jobs or business in parallel. Since a human mind can only be productive and efficient for a certain time limit during the day. It greatly matters whether you are focusing your energy only for the GMAT prep or have some other engagements also. Also your current physical health and mental status also play a vital role to determine the hours required for the GMAT prep phase.
- Consistent Studying:
If you are disciplined and stick to a particular routine during your GMAT prep, that will result in faster learning thereby reducing the hours invested for the preparation. However, some candidates due to their organizational and family commitments take multiple breaks during their GMAT prep which increases the numbers of hours required for their GMAT prep as you have to brush up what has already been learnt so far.
- Ability to adapt:
As GMAT is the test of your critical skills (reading, writing, and reasoning) which you have learned and have been developing throughout your life. So, GMAT prep time is greatly dependent on your ability to adapt to the paradigm shift required in your thought process to attempt the GMAT questions with the right approach.
You need to think from the perspective of examiner as to why the particular question appeared on the GMAT. Some candidates take more time as compared to others for a paradigm shift in their approach.
- English as first language:
If English is your first language, you definitely gain an upper hand as far as the verbal prep time is concerned. However, if that’s not the case, you will have to spend a lot of extra time and effort as learning the fundamentals and rules of a new language can be a cumbersome and slow task. If you are a voracious reader, that will certainly help on the overall verbal section on the GMAT whether that be critical reasoning, sentence correction, and especially the Reading comprehension section. You might not have to worry about the “Idioms” as you can get it right just by looking at the same with the critical reading concepts developed over time with the reading habit. However, a person who is not a voracious reader will have to spend a lot of time going through the idioms and their usage as there are no specific rules for the same. One has to increasing his reading and assimilation speed as that’s the key for acing the RC section on the GMAT.
Our point of view – GMAT can be aced, but that surely requires the guidance of top GMAT instructors, which can effectively make a difference in your GMAT prep.