GMAT Preparation 2023: Tips, Book, Study Material

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Updated on
October 17, 2023

Conducted by GMAC, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a global MBA entrance exam. GMAT is designed to help B-schools evaluate a candidate’s ability to do well in an MBA program. Many Indian candidates aspire to ace this “computer adaptive test” to get admission into top global MBA and Masters in Management (MiM) degree from a leading Business School in the USA. Besides, many top B-schools in India also accept GMAT scores for 1-year MBA programs, 2 year programs and Executive MBA programs.

 

GMAT Preparation for GMAT 2023 and for newly launched shorter GMAT Focus Edition 2024 is  little different with the changes in number of sections and questions, exam time duration and scoring pattern. GMAC, the GMAT and GMAT focus edition exam conducting body recommends 8 weeks as ideal preparation time for present format of GMAT exam and 6 weeks preparation time for GMAT Focus Edition. Apart from various GMAT coachings available for GMAT preparation, there are official GMAT guides and mock tests also available for GMAT exam preparation. In this article we will cover in detail the GMAT preparation strategy and useful sources to ace GMAT test in India.

 

The recent GMAC Prospective Student Survey of more than 3,600 GMAT test takers has revealed that 62% of test takers begin their preparation four or more weeks ahead of their exam date. Those who began their preparation earlier accumulate more total preparation hours. Those who studied more, were able to score higher. For example, 60 hours or more preparation, yielded scores of 500 or higher.  The GMAT™ practice questions from past exams, custom practice sets, performance gauging helped the students to perform much better in GMAT.

 

The GMAT is administered by Pearson VUE under the guidance of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a US headquartered organization. Pearson VUE organizes the test in India throughout the year at Test Centers as well as Online Test which can be taken from the convenience of home or any other private location. Besides, from the next year, GMAC is making many aspirant friendly changes in GMAT exam and has restructured and renamed it as GMAT Exam Focus Edition. Read the Table of Contents below to understand the GMAT preparation strategy with GMAT exam pattern and syllabus; GMAT Preparation Tips; Best GMAT coaching and GMAT study material and more . 

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Table of Contents

  1. GMAT 2023 & GMAT Focus Edition 2024 Preparation: Check & Compare the Exam Pattern
  2. GMAT 2023 Preparation Tips: Section-Wise
  3. GMAT Focus Edition 2024 Preparation Tips
  4. GMAT Preparation 2023: Plan & Strategy
  5. GMAT Preparation Tips: Overall & Section wise
  6. GMAT Study Material 2023: Best Books for GMAT Preparation
  7. Best Websites for GMAT Preparation Online
  8. GMAT Preparation for Indian Students: Best Recommended GMAT Coaching Institutes
  9. GMAT Vs CAT: Difficulty level, Pattern, Cost
  10. B-schools accepting GMAT vs CAT
  11. Difference in Exam Pattern between GMAT vs CAT
  12. B-School wise GMAT Scores
  13. GMAT to Change as GMAT Exam Focus Edition in 2024

GMAT 2023 & GMAT Focus Edition 2024 Preparation: Check & Compare Exam Pattern
While the present GMAT 2023 exam duration is 3 hours 7 minutes excluding two 8-minute breaks, both of which are optional, the GMAT Focus Edition exam to be launched in 2024, has duration of 2 hours 15 minutes with 10 minute optional break. Presently, the exam has four sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment; in 2024 with the launch of focus edition, GMAT exam will have only 3 sections namely Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and Data Insights with many changes. Key highlights of GMAT paper structure are as shared below:

Particulars of Changes in GMAT Vs GMAT Exam Focus Edition
GMAT
GMAT Exam Focus Edition
Total Sections
4
3
Total Questions
80
64
Sectional Individual Time Limit
QR-62 Minutes; VR- 65 Minutes; IR-30 Minutes; AWA-30 minutes
45 Minutes for each of the three sections
Name of Sections with number of questions
Quantitative Reasoning-31
Verbal Reasoning-36
Integrated Reasoning-12
Analytical Writing Assessment-1
Quantitative Reasoning- 21 Qs
Verbal Reasoning – 23 Qs  
Data Insights – 20 Qs
New Sections/Topics Introduced or Removed
No Change
Section Introduced:
1. Data Insights
Data Sufficiency to be Part of Data Insights
Sections Removed:
1. AWA Removed
2. IR Removed
3. Sentence Correction removed from the Verbal Reasoning
4. Data Sufficiency no longer to be a part of QR Section and will form a part of Data Insights (DI)
Exam Duration
3 hrs 7 minutes
2 hrs 15 minutes
Breaks Allowed During the Exam
Two Optional Breaks of 8 Minutes Each
One Option Break of 10 Minutes
Sections Responsible for GMAT Score Calculation
2 Sections; Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning
All the 3 Sections; Quantitative Reasoning; Verbal Reasoning; Data Insights
Type of Questions
QR-MCQs
VR-MCQs
IR- MCQs & Multiple Answer Qs
AWA-Descriptive
 
QR- MCQs
VR-MCQs
Data Insights-MCQs
Scoring Pattern
200-800
205-805
GMAT Exam Taking Experience
Less Flexibility
Free to choose the order of different GMAT sections; Facility of Bookmark and Review as many questions as Test Takers want; Facility to Change up to 3 answers per section
Changes in GMAT Exam Syllabus & Pattern
QR: Problem Solving + Data Sufficiency
VR: SC + CR + RC
IR
AWA
No AWA Syllabus as it is removed
No Sentence Correction in VR
Syllabus for Data Sufficiency shifted to Data Insights section – new section introduced
No IR Syllabus as section is removed
Availability of GMAT Exam Preparation & Study Material
Available in Plenty
Official GMAT Exam Focus Edition Guide released on June 6, 2023
Procuring Enhanced Score Report (ESR)
Need to spend US$ 30 for extra purchase
Included; No additional cost
Free Sending of Score Reports to preferred B-schools accepting GMAT
To 5 Programs/B-schools without any charges in 48 hours of receiving the Official Score Report on mba.com
To 5 Programs/B-schools without any charges in 48 hours of receiving the Official Score Report on mba.com
Availability of GMAT Test Appointment Date
For CBT at Test Centre
7 days a week (In case of holiday at test centre, will not be available
Online from Home: Round the clock
For CBT at Test Centre
7 days a week (In case of holiday at test centre, will not be available
Online from Home: Round the clock
Number of GMAT Attempts Allowed
8 attempts in a lifetime
5 attempts in a 12-month period with a gap of 16 calendar days
8 attempts in a lifetime
5 attempts in a 12-month period with a gap of 16 calendar days
Validity of GMAT Scores
5 Years
5 Years

Business schools worldwide use GMAT scores as part of their admissions process to evaluate applicants' academic abilities and potential for success in graduate business programs.

 

1.1 GMAT Exam 2023: Sectional Composition & Score Range
The present GMAT exam is designed to test skills that are highly important to business and management programs. GMAT sectional composition is as below:

 Section
Time Limit / Number of Questions
Sectional GMAT Exam Syllabus & Pattern 2023-Type of Questions
Score Range 05-30
Analytical Writing Assessment
30 minutes
1 question
Analysis of an Argument
0-6 (in 0.5-point increments)
Integrated Reasoning (IR)
30 minutes
12 questions
Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis
1-8 (in 1-point increments)
Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
62 minutes
31 questions
Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving
6-51 (in 1-point increments)
Verbal Reasoning (VR)
65 minutes
36 questions
Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction
6-51 (in 1-point increments)

2. GMAT 2023 Preparation Tips: Section-Wise
Let’s understand the Section wise Preparation tips for GMAT 2023 exam as it will help to improve the GMAT preparation

 

2.1 Section-1: Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
The Quantitative Reasoning section of GMAT evaluates the candidates on foundational mathematical skills, basic knowledge of elementary concepts, and the capability to apply logic quantitatively, solve quantitative aptitude problems, and the ability to interpret graphical and tabular data. The main areas tested in this section are:

 

Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency. These are the two basic varieties of questions, which the questions of this section may be categorized into. Both test the candidate on the following skills:

  • Arithmetic
  • Elementary algebra
  • Common concepts of geometry

Problem-Solving Questions
This variety is designed to test:

  • Foundational mathematical aptitude skills
  • Knowledge of basic mathematical concepts
  • The ability to apply logic to solve quantitative problems

Data-Sufficiency Questions
This variety is designed to evaluate the capability to:

  • Observe and analyze a quantitative aptitude problem
  • Identify what pieces of data are relevant and which ones aren’t
  • Find out the exact time to start solving, once it’s established that enough information is given

2.2 Section-2: Verbal Reasoning
The Verbal section of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) evaluates the candidates on their ability to:

  • Read and try to make sense of the written material
  • Reason and evaluate the arguments provided in the problem
  • Properly edit the provided written material to adhere to standard English

The questions in this section may be categorized into the following: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction. Here is a detailed description of each one of these:

 

Reading Comprehension Questions There are passages, which are typically 300-400 words in length. The topics range from economics, politics, philosophy, to knowledge-based ones like biological and material sciences, or even current affairs. Though, no special knowledge of the subject is required to solve the questions. The problems are typically inference based, and even test the application of the information provided in the passage, which is helped by candidate’s understanding of the writer. Sometimes, direct vocabulary-based questions are also presented. By understanding the statements of the passage, the test taker also becomes adept at answering questions which discuss about the strength and weakness of arguments presented.

 

Critical Reasoning Questions This category basically tests the ability to observe and evaluate and analyze the arguments presented, and subsequently come up with a suitable plan of action. Again, as is the case with Reading Comprehension type, no prior knowledge of any subject matter is required. This section evaluates the capability to reason effectively in the areas of:

  • Construction of Argument
  • Evaluation of Argument
  • Formulating and constructively measuring a plan of action.

Sentence Correction Questions This type typically asks the candidate to determine the choice, which best describes the main idea or the relationship. Knowledge of grammar is required intensely here. This section tests the two main areas of language proficiency: Correct expression and Effective expression.

 

2.3 Section-3: Integrated Reasoning: This section assesses the practical skillset that are required both by the B-schools and the working corporates. It comprises of data-based question sets, which ask the candidate to observe, critically analyze, and then interpret the data given in various forms like tables, bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts etc.

 

In a way, the knowledge gained while studying for VR and QR sections, is used to solve questions of this section. The test taker needs to develop the basic acumen to allow him to segregate necessary data from the not so necessary data. The answer choices are also different here. They might have drop-down lists to choose from, or even have multiple correct answers.  

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There are four basic question types:

  • Two-part analysis: This type may have lengthy statements followed by small tables, and it asks the candidate to choose 2 options out of the given 5 or 6.
  • Multi-source critical reasoning: The data is provided in multiple tabs, usually three, which one may navigate among individually. A little quantitative knowledge may also be required to solve.
  • Graphical Interpretation: Various forms of graphs may be presented and one must be adept to analyze them, and then proceed to answer the two questions of which the choices are provided in a drop-down format.
  • Table analysis: Data in the tabular format is given, followed with 3 questions, with 2 answer options each. Sifting through the data is a skill required here.

2.4 Section-4: Analytical Writing Assessment
The Analytical Writing Assessment of the GMAT evaluates the ability to “think critically and to communicate the thought process clearly”. It comprises of a 30-minute essay-writing task on Analysis of an Issue/Analysis of an Argument. Both the issue and the argument may be from topics of general interest, ranging from current affairs, business, to science or even sports. Please note no specific knowledge of any subject areas is required. This is only to evaluate the capability to critically analyze any given topic.

 

3. GMAT Focus Edition 2024 Preparation Tips
While you will not have any AWA section in GMAT Focus Edition, the new section ‘Data Insights’ has been introduced in GMAT Focus Edition taking out Data Sufficiency, Integrated Reasoning from other sections. Your section wise preparation for GMAT focus edition will require attention on following:

 

3.1 Section-1 Quantitative Reasoning Preparation

  • This section no longer contains Data Sufficiency questions.
  • This section measures your algebraic and arithmetic foundational knowledge and how you apply this knowledge to solve problems.
  • The section is composed of 21 Problem Solving questions.
  • The questions in this section would require some knowledge of arithmetic and elementary algebra. Answering these questions correctly relies on logic and analytical skills, and not only on the underlying math skills
  • You cannot use a calculator while working on this section.

3.2 Section-2: Verbal Reasoning Preparation

  • This section no longer contains Sentence Correction (SC) questions
  • This section measures your ability to read and comprehend written material and to reason and evaluate arguments
  • VR in GMAT Focus Edition is composed of 23 Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions
  • Reading Comprehension questions measure your ability to understand words and statements, understand logical relationships between significant points, draw inferences, and follow the development of quantitative concepts
  • Specifically, the following reading skills will be tested: main idea, supporting idea, inference, application, logical structure, and style.
  • Critical Reasoning questions measure your ability to make arguments, evaluate arguments, and formulate or evaluate a plan of action
  • Critical Reasoning questions are based on a short reading passage of fewer than 100 words
  • The short text comes with a question that asks you which of the five answer options strengthens or weakens an argument, tells why the argument is flawed, or strongly supports or damages the argument
  • You will not need specialized knowledge of the subject matter to answer the questions.

3.3 Section-3: Data Insights Preparation

  • The Data Insights section measures candidates’ ability to analyze and interpret data and apply it to real-world business scenarios
  • With the GMAT™ Exam - Focus Edition’s updated test design, Data Insights leverages Integrated Reasoning and Data Sufficiency question types to measure a newly calibrated digital and data literacy dimension—one of the most relevant and in-demand skills in business today  
  • GMAT Focus Edition Data Insights section is composed of 20 questions that ask you to assess how multiple sources and types of information – including graphic, numeric, and verbal – relate to one another and can be leveraged to make informed decisions
  • Questions may require math, data analysis, verbal reasoning, or all three
  • You can use an on-screen calculator while working on this section.

The question types you'll find on this section are:

  • Data Sufficiency: Measures your ability to analyze a quantitative problem, recognize which data is relevant, and determine at what point there is enough data to solve the problem.
  • Multi-Source Reasoning: Measures your ability to examine data from multiple sources including text passages, tables, graphics, or some combination of the three—and to analyze each source of data carefully to answer multiple questions. Some questions will require you to recognize discrepancies among different sources of data, while others will ask you to draw inferences, or require you to determine whether data is relevant
  • Table Analysis: Measures your ability to sort and analyze a table of data, similar to a spreadsheet, in order to determine what information is relevant or meets certain conditions
  • Graphics Interpretation: Measures your ability to interpret the information presented in a graph or other graphical image (scatter plot, x/y graph, bar chart, pie chart, or statistical curve distribution) to discern relationships, and make inferences
  • Two-Part Analysis: Measures your ability to solve complex problems. They could be quantitative, verbal, or some combination of both. The format is intentionally versatile to cover a wide range of content. Your ability to evaluate trade-offs, solve simultaneous equations, and discern relationships between two entities is measured.

4. GMAT Preparation 2023: Plan & Strategy
Before we talk about study plan and GMAT study material, you should be clear about what is your GMAT goal? A good GMAT score is 700+, from a total of 800. But if you want to get into IVY League B-schools like Harvard Business School, Chicago Booth, Wharton etc…then you must target 740+. You can achieve this with a 12-weeks of GMAT study plan. Check the Study Tips to Prepare for the GMAT Exam 2023 from experts and our suggested GMAT Preparation plan as below:

 

Week-1

  • The ‘What’: Make yourself familiar with the exam pattern and structure.
  • The ‘How’: Research about the exam from GMAT website mba.com. Use the free GMAT Official Guide and the GMAT Official Starter Kit. Learn the basic GMAT preparation tips to prepare well, and ideally attempt one of the two free Practice Exams.

Weeks 2 and 3
This would be the time that the candidate should ideally devote to the initial foundational practice of the different topics across all sections.

  • The ‘What’: Practice more and accordingly revise the study plan.
  • The ‘How’: Solve and attempt the first 1/3 of the practice questions in every section of the Official Guide. Also, determine your strong and weak points and devise a strategy for the coming two weeks in detail. Involve yourself into engaging in the continuous process of betterment as far as question-solving approaches are concerned.

Weeks 4 and 5
You should dedicate Week 4 & 5 to a continuous review and evaluation of the progress made through study plans and also through test scores.

  • The ‘What’: Evaluate the progress, both individually and also preferably through your mentor.
  • The ‘How’: Create and manage question sets based on the particular category and level of difficulty and practice accordingly. Attempt the second free Practice Exam. Analyze the exam result and apply any necessary changes in the study plan accordingly.

Weeks 6 and 7
These weeks would be crucial to the overall score improvement as it is here that the candidate should finally start inculcating the ‘time factor’, while solving chapter-based questions, and also section-based questions.

  • The ‘What’: Time management is the key, so focus on the same.
  • The ‘How’: In order to fulfill the objective of this week, start using a timer while solving individual questions and also practice tests. Try and create your own version of practice tests from the GMAT Official Guide, and also time them properly.

Weeks 8 and 9
Now you should be dedicated ideally to evaluate the time constraint based solving of section-wise and test-wise questions, and hence reviewing the study plan accordingly, if necessary.

  • The ‘What’: Assess the progress, especially after the proposed time constraints.
  • The ‘How’: Continue testing yourself with the timed practice tests and start to focus the learning in the specific areas identified through the analysis of tests. Attempt one more mock exam, preferably the Practice exam-3 from the Official Kit, and then adjust the further 2-week plan accordingly.

Week-10

  • The ‘What’: Start to build your confidence as you start to move towards the end of the preparation phase.
  • The ‘How’: Analyze the questions in the attempted practice tests, especially the wrongly attempted ones. Utilize the 90 practice questions available in the Official Starter Kit and extra questions as available in the Official Guide.

Week-11

  • The ‘What’: Evaluate your preparation and readiness.
  • The ‘How’: It’s now time to attempt another practice test, preferably the Practice exam-4 of the Official Kit. Review and analyze the test to bring out the strength areas and the weak areas clearly. Go through the GMAT Handbook to know what to expect at the test center.

Week-12

  • The ‘What’: Check your preparedness level for D-Day.
  • The ‘How’: Visit and review the difficult questions and their detailed answer explanations once again. Devise a final strategy that focuses more on strengths. Make sure that all necessary items are ready at least a day in advance and also take proper rest before the D-Day.

5. GMAT Preparation Tips: Overall & Section wise
It's important to note that the GMAT exam does not require in-depth knowledge of specific subjects like business or economics. Instead, it assesses your ability to reason, analyze information, and solve problems. Familiarizing yourself with the question formats and practicing with sample questions and official GMAT materials will help you prepare effectively for each section. Below are shared the GMAT 2023 Preparation Tips section wise:

 

5.1 GMAT Integrated Reasoning Preparation Tips
Preparing for the GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) section requires strong understanding of the question types and effective strategies. Below is shared a comprehensive guide on how to prepare for each type of question in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section:

 

Preparation for Multi-Source Reasoning (MSR):

  • Understand the structure: MSR questions present information from multiple sources (e.g., tables, graphs, text) and require you to analyze and draw conclusions.
  • Practice data synthesis: Learn to extract relevant information from different sources and integrate it to answer the question.
  • Develop critical thinking skills: Focus on identifying key relationships, patterns, and trends across the sources to arrive at the correct answer.

Preparation for Table Analysis:

  • Familiarize yourself with different table formats: Practice interpreting and analyzing data presented in tables, such as sorting, filtering, and calculating percentages.
  • Identify trends and patterns: Learn to recognize trends, outliers, and relationships within the table data.
  • Time management: Develop strategies to quickly scan and comprehend the table information to answer questions efficiently.

Graphics Interpretation:

  • Understand the visual representation: Interpret charts, graphs, and diagrams to identify trends, comparisons, and relationships.
  • Practice data extraction: Learn to extract specific data points or relationships from the graphical representation.
  • Use estimation and approximation: Develop skills to estimate values or proportions based on visual cues rather than precise calculations.

Two-Part Analysis:

  • Recognize the relationship: Identify the relationship between the two parts of the question and how they interact.
  • Evaluate options systematically: Consider each answer choice by testing different scenarios or using logical reasoning to determine the correct response.
  • Time management: Allocate sufficient time for each part while considering the overall time limit for the section.

To effectively prepare for the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section, consider the following general tips:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the question formats: Understand the structure and requirements of each question type by practicing sample questions from official GMAT preparation materials or reputable test prep resources.
  2. Practice time management: Integrated Reasoning has 12 questions to be completed in 30 minutes, so develop strategies to efficiently allocate time for each question. Aim for accuracy and pacing during practice sessions.
  3. Review answer explanations: After attempting practice questions, thoroughly review the explanations to understand the reasoning behind correct and incorrect answers. This will help you identify areas for improvement and develop better strategies.
  4. Develop data interpretation skills: Work on enhancing your ability to extract relevant information from different sources, analyze it, and draw logical conclusions. This involves practicing with real-world data and refining your data interpretation techniques.
  5. Take practice tests: Simulate the actual GMAT experience by taking full-length practice tests. This will help you assess your progress, build stamina, and identify areas that need further improvement.
  6. Utilize study resources: Make use of GMAT prep materials, such as official guides, online courses, and practice books, to reinforce your understanding of Integrated Reasoning concepts and practice more questions.

Remember that regular practice, consistent effort, and a strategic approach are key to mastering the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT.

 

5.2 Preparation Tips for Quantitative Reasoning Section 
To effectively prepare for the different types of questions asked in the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section, follow these strategies for each question type:

 

Problem Solving Questions:

  • Understand the question: Read the question carefully, identify the information provided, and determine what is being asked.
  • Identify the appropriate approach: Determine the most efficient method to solve the problem based on the given information and the available answer choices.
  • Solve systematically: Break down the problem into smaller steps and solve it methodically. Double-check your calculations and ensure you answer the question that was asked.
  • Practice a variety of problems: Practice solving different types of problem-solving questions, including those related to arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data interpretation.

Data Sufficiency Questions:
Understand the question format: Familiarize yourself with the structure of data sufficiency questions, which provide a question followed by two statements.

  • Evaluate each statement individually: Determine the sufficiency of each statement to answer the question independently. Analyze the given information and avoid making any assumptions beyond what is provided.
  • Combine the statements: Determine if both statements together are sufficient to answer the question. Avoid solving the question unless necessary.
  • Use the answer choices effectively: Use the answer choices to guide your analysis. Eliminate options based on the sufficiency of the statements.
  • Practice data sufficiency questions: Develop familiarity with the different types of data sufficiency questions and practice identifying the sufficiency of each statement.

Word Problems and Applied Mathematics:

  • Translate word problems into equations: Break down the word problem into equations or mathematical expressions. Identify the variables, relationships, and constraints.
  • Understand real-life scenarios: Relate the problem to a real-life scenario to better grasp the context and apply the appropriate mathematical concepts.
  • Apply problem-solving techniques: Utilize problem-solving strategies such as drawing diagrams, making assumptions, using logic, and solving step-by-step.
  • Practice word problems across various topics: Work on a wide range of word problems involving topics like ratios, percentages, probability, rate-time-distance, and mixtures.

Geometry Questions:

  • Review geometry principles and formulas: Refresh your knowledge of basic geometry principles, such as angles, triangles, circles, polygons, and volume formulas.
  • Visualize geometric figures: Practice visualizing and manipulating geometric figures in your mind. Draw diagrams when necessary to aid in problem-solving.
  • Apply geometric properties: Recognize geometric properties and relationships to solve problems related to angles, areas, volumes, and similarity.
  • Practice geometry questions: Solve a variety of geometry questions to strengthen your understanding and problem-solving skills in this area.

Remember to practice regularly, review your mistakes, and analyze your weak areas to focus on improvement.

 

5.3 Preparation Tips for Verbal Reasoning Section
To effectively prepare for the different types of questions asked in the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section, follow these strategies for each question type:

 

Reading Comprehension:

  • Improve reading skills: Enhance your reading speed and comprehension by regularly reading articles, essays, and academic passages.
  • Identify the main idea: Focus on understanding the main idea, purpose, and tone of the passage.
  • Pay attention to structure and organization: Notice the passage's structure, transitions between paragraphs, and the author's logic and argumentation.
  • Practice active reading: Highlight or take notes on important details, key arguments, and supporting evidence while reading passages.
  • Practice answering questions: Solve a variety of reading comprehension questions to strengthen your ability to identify main ideas, make inferences, and answer specific questions based on the passage.

Sentence Correction:

  • Brush up on grammar rules: Review grammar rules and concepts, such as subject-verb agreement, verb tense, parallelism, pronoun usage, modifiers, and idiomatic expressions.
  • Develop an ear for correct English: Train yourself to identify grammatically correct and incorrect sentence structures.
  • Focus on meaning: Understand the intended meaning of the sentence and how different choices impact clarity, conciseness, and logical flow.
  • Eliminate answer choices systematically: Use process of elimination to identify grammatically incorrect or awkward options.
  • Practice sentence correction questions: Solve a variety of sentence correction questions to reinforce your understanding of grammar rules and sentence construction.

Critical Reasoning:

  • Understand argument structure: Analyze the structure of arguments, including premises, evidence, assumptions, and conclusions.
  • Identify the question type: Recognize the type of critical reasoning question being asked, such as strengthen, weaken, assumption, inference, or evaluate the argument.
  • Identify key elements: Pay attention to words or phrases that indicate the author's stance, logical flaws, or evidence.
  • Evaluate answer choices: Carefully evaluate each answer choice, eliminating options that do not directly address the question or weaken/strengthen the argument.
  • Practice critical reasoning questions: Solve a variety of critical reasoning questions to sharpen your analytical skills and ability to evaluate arguments.

Regular practice and exposure to a variety of passages, questions, and essays will help you become familiar with the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section and improve your performance. Utilize official GMAT practice materials, online resources, and practice tests to simulate the exam environment and become comfortable with the question formats. Analyze your mistakes, focus on areas of weakness, and actively work on improving your reading comprehension, grammar, critical thinking, and writing skills.

 

5.4 Preparation tips for Analytical Writing Assessment Section

  • Understand the essay structure: Familiarize yourself with the structure of analytical writing essays, which include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  • Practice brainstorming and outlining: Spend time brainstorming ideas, organizing your thoughts, and creating an outline before writing the essay.
  • Develop strong arguments: Craft clear, concise, and well-supported arguments using relevant examples and evidence.
  • Practice time management: Write practice essays within the time limit to develop your ability to express ideas effectively under time pressure.
  • Seek feedback: Share your essays with others or seek feedback from experts to improve your writing skills.

6. GMAT Study Material 2023: Best Books for GMAT Preparation
Different experts would recommend different material and reference books for the GMAT preparation 2023, so here’s a complete list of the best GMAT preparation books and GMAT study material which will guide you to the best possible scores, some are exam specific, while some others are section-specific:

  • Three eBooks: GMAT Official Guide, Verbal Review, and Quantitative Review (2022 Edition costs you $81.99 which is close to Rs.6600/-) This is the official GMAT preparation guide
  • GMAT™ Official Guide 2022: ebook & Online Question Bank (2022 edition costs US$47.99 which is close to Rs.3900/-. This is also the official GMAT preparation book
  • GMAT Prep Plus 2023, by Kaplan (this book set has no. of full-length practice tests
  • GMAT™ Official Guide Verbal Review 2022: ebook & Online Question Bank (2022 edition costs US$20.99 which is close to Rs.1700/-. This is also the official GMAT preparation book
  • GMAT Official Guide Quant Review 2022:ebook & Online Question Bank (2022 edition costs US$20.99 which is close to Rs.1700/-. This is also the official GMAT preparation book

7. Best Websites for GMAT Preparation Online
Apart from MBAUniverse.com you can follow these websites for GMAT preparation online:

  • MBA.com

This is the official website of the GMAT exam. That itself says enough about this website, as it gives access to all the official material, be it the Official Guide, or the Official kit which has the 2 free Practice exams, and 4 other Official Practice exams.

  • GMAT Club

GMAT Club has a unique format. Instead of just presenting a common structure and questions, they encourage aspirants to interact with former MBA students. They have Global Moderators (volunteers), Current Students, Alumni and GMAT Experts that can provide free help and advice to all members.

  • Manhattan Prep

They have on offer, a plethora of interactive video courses and also live classes conducted by GMAT instructors and an option of private tutoring if one desires for a one-on-one personalized attention

  • Beat the GMAT

This is more of a social media networking website of GMAT aspirants. It is used more as a forum where suggestions and pieces of advice by fellow applicants, admission officers at schools, faculty members and consultants.

  • Kaplan

This website thrives and markets itself as an in-person program provider, which in a way means that lecture delivery, doubt solving and all in class discussions happen live, and are conducted by Kaplan Certified Trainers at LogIQuest.

 

8. GMAT Preparation for Indian Students: Best Recommended GMAT Coaching Institutes
Though it is not required to have any external coaching for GMAT preparation 2023 and to crack the GMAT, but still, if any aspirant feels the need, below is a list of the top educators across India (both offline and online) that have been known to provide quality education with best GMAT preparation material and hence quality results over the years:

  • Jamboree

Online Intensive Course: 16,000/-

Comprehensive course: 22,000/-

  • TIME 

Course: 10,000/-

Superior Course: 20,000/-

Elite Course: 25,000/-

Correspondence Course:20,000/-

  • IVY-GMAT  

     Classroom course:26,000/- 

     Online: 30,000/-

  • CL Educate Pvt. Ltd.

GMAT verbal: 55.000/-,

GMAT Test Prep: 50,000/-,

GMAT Bridge: 30,000/-

  • Princeton Review

Self-Paced Course: 30,000/-

Ultimate Live Online: 58,000/-

Workshop: 25,000/-

  • Veritas Prep

Self-Study: 55,000/-

Live Class: 1,12,000/-

  • Manhattan Prep

       Interact GMAT course: 45,000/-

Live GMAT course: 1,08,000/-

 

9. GMAT Vs CAT: Difficulty level, Pattern, Cost
CAT is a popular exam in India taken by almost all students who want to apply for MBA program in India. So, before you start your GMAT preparation, you may be wondering how do GMAT and CAT compare? While the two exams have similar sections, and a very similar syllabus, there are many differences in pattern, costing, and difficulty levels across sections. Let’s look at a detailed comparative analysis under the following few headers:

 

9.1 Difficulty Level: The overall difficulty level of the GMAT is lower than that of CAT. The first factor contributing to this difference is the syllabus. While the syllabus for CAT isn’t as properly defined as that of the GMAT, this makes the GMAT preparation much more comfortable for any test taker. The Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation (LRDI_ section of the CAT has been the toughest nut to crack over the past few years, while its counterpart in the GMAT, i.e. the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section is much simpler on logic. The Quantitative Ability (QA) section of CAT is way trickier than the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) section of the GMAT, as the questions in the latter are pretty straight forward, while the former tests not just the concept, but also the application. It is the area of Verbal Reasoning, which has always been the most difficult for the average Indian test taker in the GMAT, as it requires high vocabulary, and also tests the candidate’s grammar skills, unlike the CAT.

 

9.2 Exam Fee: GMAT exam is more expensive than CAT, XAT, SNAP, and NMAT taken together! GMAT exam fee is US $275, which is approximately Rs. 22,000. This is much above CAT (Rs 2300) or XAT (Rs 2000).

 

9.3 Computer-Adaptive exam Vs Computer-Based exam: The GMAT is a “question-adaptive” test. This is an indicator that the difficulty level of the candidate’s next question depends on the performance in the previous question. Thus, the GMAT is a test of capability as it continuously adapts and reviews the test to the candidate’s ability level. The test usually begins with a question of medium difficulty level, if one answers this question correctly; the next question is of a slightly higher difficulty level. Hence, there is no option to review or edit the answers or to skip a question. CAT, on the other hand, is a non-adaptive computer-based test and focuses on accuracy more than capability. Here, as percentile scores are reported, a candidate’s relative performance with respect to the other test takers is of value, rather than their own test score. Reviewing the answers before ending a section is possible. Also, an on-screen calculator is provided. There is also a one-fourth negative marking for wrong answers.

 

10. B-schools accepting GMAT vs CAT: Common Admission Test (CAT) and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are both entrance tests accepted by top business schools in India including IIMs. The basic difference between GMAT and CAT is that while CAT is a national level entrance exam, GMAT is a more widely present global exam accepted by over 2000+ business schools & 7000 management programs worldwide. Here is a quick guide to help you select the right MBA Exam.

Your preferred MBA destination
Duration of MBA you prefer
The Right Exam
USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Singapore or other MBA Abroad destinations
1 Year or 2 Year
GMAT or GRE
India
1 Year MBA from ISB, IIMs, SPJIMR, XLRI, MDI
GMAT
India
2 Year MBA from IIMs and all Top 100 B-schools, accept XLRI, NMIMS and Symbiosis
CAT

11. Difference in Exam Pattern between GMAT vs CAT
The basic differences can be categorized as given in the following table:

Parameter
GMAT
CAT
Sections
4 Sections
  • Quantitative Reasoning,
  • Verbal Reasoning,
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Analytical Writing
3 Sections
  • Verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning (DILR)
  • Quantitative Ability (QA)
No. Of Questions/Time limit
80 Questions in total
·QR – 31 Questions / 62 Minutes
·VR – 36 Questions / 65 Minutes
·IR – 12 Questions / 30 Minutes
·AWA – 1 Question / 30 Minutes
66 Questions in total
·VARC – 24 Questions / 40 minutes
·DILR – 20 Questions / 40 minutes
·QA – 22 Questions / 40 minutes
 
Adaptiveness
Computer Adaptive
Computer Based
Score validity
5 years
1 year
No. Of Attempts
Maximum 5 attempts in a year (Minimum 16 days between consecutive attempts)
Lifetime Limit of 8 attempts overall
Can be attempted only once every year.
No limit on the number of attempts.
 

12. B-School wise GMAT Scores
So before you start working on GMAT preparation, there is a guide to set your goals.

 

12.1 GMAT scores for Top 10 US MBA programs:

Institute
GMAT Score
Penn (Wharton)
732
 Harvard Business School
730
 Stanford GSB
734
 Chicago (Booth)
730
 Northwestern (Kellogg)
730
 MIT (Sloan)
727
 Dartmouth (Tuck)
723
 Columbia
727
 UC-Berkeley (Haas)
725
 Yale SOM
720 (median)

12.2 GMAT Scores at Top One-Year MBA Programs in India:

Institute
Program
 Average GMAT Score
ISB Hyderabad/Mohali
POST GRADUATE PROGRAMME IN MANAGEMENT (PGP)
710/708
IIM Ahmedabad
PGPX-Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives (PGPX): One Year Full Time Executive MBA
710/720
IIM Bangalore
Executive Post Graduate Programme (EPGP) - One Year Full Time Executive MBA
705
XLRI Jamshedpur
PGDM (General Management) - 15 Months Programme
700
SPJIMR
PGPM - 15 Months Programme
660
Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai
PGPM- 15 Months Programme
600

13. GMAT to Change as GMAT Exam Focus Edition in 2024
The current version of the GMAT™ exam will continue to be available until early next year and will change to GMAT Exam Focus Edition in 2024 with more flexibility, shorter duration, three sections instead of present four sections with the score of all the 3 sections taken into account for score and percentile calculation. The registration for the GMAT Exam Focus Edition begins on August 29, 2023 and the first GMAT exam focus edition will be conducted from October 2023.

 

We hope this article on GMAT preparation was helpful. Read more about GMAT on these links: GMAT Exam

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