Studying for a good GMAT score

Increasing your GMAT score may seem impossible, but in fact it is quite feasible if you make a clear plan and stick with it. Just remember to approach your studying methodically and to keep all your “study appointments” with yourself. Even if your goal score is a great deal higher than your diagnostic results, don’t worry: with some hard work, it is possible to see dramatic GMAT score increases.

5 tips for increasing your GMAT score

1. Strategize

For every 10 points that you wish to improve on the GMAT, you should study at least 1 hour/week for at least a month. (For example, if you want to obtain a 650, and you are currently scoring a 600, you should study 5 hours a week for a month.) In terms of study materials, you can check out free GMAT resources online, purchase the Official GMAT Review book, and/or enroll in a class. To maximize your chance of scoring well, enroll in Knewton GMAT, the industry leader for adaptive online learning. The advantage of this class is that it adapts to your specific strengths and weaknesses, so that you can improve your score efficiently. Knewton understands that many MBA applicants are busy with 60+ hour work-weeks, so classes are flexible. At $690, classes are cost-effective, so you don’t have to spend anywhere close to $1400 (industry standard) to obtain world-class, cutting-edge test-prep.

2. Get ahead of the game

If you want to improve your skills in areas such as Reading Comprehension or Data Sufficiency (which by nature, require a more nebulous skill set), begin studying early to see a dramatic result on test day. You can learn tips and tricks to help increase your score efficiently, but these strategies are most effective when combined with long-term study. To improve your verbal score, for instance, it may help to read high-caliber journals and publications such as the New Yorker, Businessweek, The Economist, and the Atlantic Monthly. It may also help to understand the specific nature of your weakness; if you have trouble reading science passages, for instance, you should practice reading scientific journals. To improve your quantitative ability, begin by re-familiarizing yourself with fundamentals such as number properties, basic geometry, arithmetic, and algebra. You may not see results immediately, but short-cuts (which are almost necessary if you want to complete the entire exam) often involve a familiarity with numbers that can be cultivated over a long period.

3. Assess yourself often

You don’t need to take several CATs back-to-back in a day. But once or twice every week is not a bad idea. Make sure to take the exam under the appropriate conditions (don’t allow yourself to “cheat”) and to get an accurate assessment of your ability. You’ll make the best study plan for yourself when you really understand your own performance.

4. Pinpoint your weaknesses

Make sure you are not studying for the “sake of studying.” Focus on your weaknesses (while retaining your strengths) to see the most efficient score improvement. Remember that a little discomfort is a sign you are challenging yourself and making progress!

5. Re-strategize if necessary

If you are not seeing the score improvements you’re hoping for, consider trying a slightly different study tactic. This may involve signing up for a test-prep course, seeking outside help, or making your study experience more social. Remember to factor timing and pacing into your study regime, as well. The key is that you adjust your habits to reflect your specific performance abilities.

above image from english106