10 Do’s and Don’ts When Preparing for the GMAT

Student girl studying in business school

Some helpful GMAT tips

If you’re headed for business school, you may be planning to take the GMAT. This exam is a broad-based test of skills you will use as a manager in business – communication and analytical skills, and your ability to reason, make decisions and solve problems. Preparing well for an exam like the GMAT takes time and a plan. Here are a few tips to consider as you plan your GMAT study program:


  • Set a minimum score goal that you focus on throughout your preparation – what school do you want to attend? What’s their GMAT score requirement?  What’s your practice GMAT score?  What’s the gap?
  • Plan your study time budget and schedule accordingly. We recommend 80-120 hours total, including instruction, practice exams and individual study time, if you’re looking to improve your score into the 600-700 range, depending on your starting points gap.
  • Find out your weak areas with a starting practice exam, and focus hard on building or rebuilding rusty skills in those areas.
  • Take multiple GMAT practice tests to measure your progress along the way and refocus your follow-on study time.
  • Pay attention to your test pace – when taking practice tests, be sure you are working fast enough to answer all the questions on the test but not so fast you are stressed and making unnecessary errors.  Teach yourself to budget appropriate time and know when to speed up or move on.


  • Wait til the last minute to prepare. Test prep, especially on broad skills-based exam like the GMAT, is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Study haphazardly or skip study sessions – you will lose knowledge, time and momentum. Set aside a regular schedule and stick to your study routine.  Your knowledge retention will improve, as will your ability to focus on the task at hand.
  • Ignore your strong areas – review those areas lightly and test yourself, so you are comfortable with test format, speed and types of questions and won’t get hung up on those things on test day.
  • Assume the Integrated Reasoning section is just about analyzing numbers – It’s a dense inflow of complex information to which you need to quickly apply reasoning, strategy and analytical skills. Practice!
  • Use your score if you don’t like it. You’re allowed to cancel your score and take the GMAT as many times as it takes to reach your personal goal.

Z Prep!’s GMAT tutoring program helps students and working professionals get a good study plan in place to be ready for the exam and improve their GMAT test score. For more information, contact Z Prep! today.