How to Prepare for GMAT:

When to give for a SY/SE student

Since most of the courses B.Com, BFM, BAF, BBI etc. are three year programmes, we suggest students pursuing such courses, to start their preparations for the GMAT from the second year.

Engineering students are in a different situation. Their course lasts for four years and by the third year most core subjects are covered. Hence, engineering students are recommended to start preparing for the GMAT from the third year of their engineering.

What study materials to use

The market is littered with a lot of study material. But you need to make an informed decision and take a call based on what kind of study material suits your style of prep the most.

· GMAC GMAT Official Guide Bundle

· Manhattan Prep Complete GMAT Strategy Guide Set

· Kaplan GMAT Prep Plus

· GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible

· Ace the GMAT by Brandon Royal

· The GMAT Roadmap

are some recommended guides.

We at Studysid want to make sure you are well informed and fully equipped to give the GMAT, here are some more blogs to help you along the way.

Everything you need to know about GMAT Click here

How to get 750 in GMAT tips and tricks Click here

Study Plan

Before making a decision on how to organise your preparation take note of how much time you have on your hands and how many hours a day you can devote to preparation.

The most efficient way to crack tough exams like GMAT, is to prepare a study plan and strictly adhere to it. Now how is one to make a study plan?

The GMAT exam has four sections, divide your study time in such a way that each day you cover all the four parts. We strongly recommend you all to spend at least 8 hours on a daily basis.

Give weaker sections specialised attention during your preparation, but also do not steal any attention from the sections you feel strong with.

Set time based quantified objectives to control your activity, and make sure these objectives are realistic!

We also bring you a sample study plan so that you can make changes accordingly and then hit the bullseye.


Top coaching classes in Mumbai

Following is the list of top coaching classes in Mumbai:

· Jamboree Education Pvt Ltd

· Inspirus

· Mitul Gada Associates

· Geebee Education

· IMS Learning Resources Pvt Ltd

Average coaching class fees for GMAT preparation in Mumbai varies from 30,000 to 50,000 INR.

Top coaching classes in Pune

Following is the list of top coaching classes in Pune:

· T.I.M.E.

· Achievers Point Pune

· Jamboree Education Pvt Ltd

· IMS Learning Resources Pvt Ltd

· Western Academy

· PTS Education

· Global Education Consultancy Services

Average coaching class fees for GMAT preparation in Mumbai varies from 30,000 to 40,000 INR. An additional cost will be charged by various classes/Counselors for Counseling & University applications. This cost varies between Rs 20,000 to Rs 75,000 additionally.

Online preparation

Numerous online courses, communities, websites and platforms are available for GMAT preparation. Just like the commonly available modules via internet are provided by them. Although they do come with a lot of disadvantages, namely, lack of personal attention, and inability for redressal of queries.

Self-study as an option

Self-study is a formidable option for a student. If you are really dedicated and can discipline yourself, then there are thousands of tutors and courses are available online to help you prepare. This option, is obviously a very convenient and cheap one but will require a whole lot of research to gather the best study material available & the determination to follow a Study pattern. However if you find yourself to be distracted by every Instagram comment & notification on your phone then we would advise you to join a class not only for the focus but also for the ability to learn time management techniques for these time based competitive exams.

In many cases it is also seen that the institutes teach the same questions in the same pattern to all the batches. Internet guided self study can expose you to a broader gamut of questions and conceptual explanations.

Last-minute preparation tips

Last minute preparations plays a vital role as the next day is the day of the exam day and how much relaxed you are before the judgment day is important. Some last-minute tips to help you are :

· Don’t overload yourself with anything before the exam day.

· Don’t try to revise each and everything and only focus on the important points.

· Complete your revision early.

· Have a light dinner and take a proper sleep to wake up fresh the next day.

Exam day tips

Do not let overconfidence get the better of you. Often on the date of the examination , well-prepared students are seen to commit silly mistakes which result in them being disappointed with their results. Whereas those students who are cautious yet confident, are seen to be more successful.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for GMAT

Do’s -

· Wake up early, have a light and good breakfast.

· Plan your route accordingly and reach the exam center half an hour before your reporting time to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.

· Don’t forget to keep all the required documents with you such as admit card and photo id (Passport is recommended).

· Be optimistic and solve the questions with calmness.

· On the exam day, a scratchpad is provided for rough work or solving English comprehension problems. Put it to use instead of solving problems in your head.

· During the exam, use the given breaks properly by having some light refreshments and a good amount of water.

Don’ts -

· No electronic device is permitted at the exam center so don’t keep anything with you other than the asked documents.

· Don’t study anything which is new topic or new concept on the exam day.

· Don’t let any specific questions make you go out of your track as you can cover it up with other questions and scoring sections.

Average GMAT percentile for few top business schools are as follows-
Business School Average GMAT percentile
Stanford University 96-97%
Harvard University 96%
University of Pennsylvania 96%
Yale University 96%
University of Chicago 94-96%
Columbia University 91-94%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 91-94%
University of Virginia 89-91%
University of Michigan 89-91%
New York University 94%
Alternative Exams

The most known alternative of GMAT exam is GRE exam. The reason the GRE exam is an alternative of the GMAT is that it offers admissions in foreign schools for a wide variety of courses as compared to GMAT exam which offers admissions for MBA program.

Executive Assessment Test which aid applications to Executive MBA programs.

IE Global Admission Test, IESE exam are some other options to look out for if you aren’t looking to give the Gmat specifically.

Build your profile!

A well rounded profile is essential to apply to any of the top schools.

Various aspects of a well rounded profile.

· Exceptional academic performance is the very step to building a good profile.

· Work experience- Schools like to see what work experience you have and what value you have added at organisations in the past. Make sure you are proactive at your workplace and solve tangible problems.

· Contribute towards the community to help others by social activities such as teaching in backward areas, and volunteering for NGOs etc.

· Get a command on at least one new language (other than your mother tongue and English). If possible language spoken in that particular country where your university is located.

· Extra curricular activities, exceptional achievements in this area are a game changer! Try being a part of some clubs such as Entrepreneurship clubs, or consultancy clubs. It will associate you with great leadership skills.

Top 10 colleges + cutoffs
S. No. MBA Colleges/B-Schools Cut-off
1 Stanford Business School, US 757
2 Harvard Graduate School of Business, US 738
3 The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania 734
4 London Business School, UK 732
5 MIT Sloan School of Management, US 730
6 INSEAD Paris 715
7 HEC Paris 709
8 University of Chicago Booth School of Business, US 729
9 IE Business School, Spain 711
10 Columbia Business School, US 710


A well rounded profile is essential to apply to any of the top schools.

Since education overseas is costly, scholarships can help students pay for tuition. Students with high GMAT scores are open to receiving scholarships from a lot of private and public organisations . Though GMAT score is not enough to earn this scholarship in itself, it is one of the most crucial factors in a well rounded profile. Usually these B-schools or the organizations provide scholarships on the basis of various parameters such as-

· Exceptional academic performance is the very step to building a good profile.

· Work experience- Schools like to see what work experience you have and what value you have added at organisations in the past. Make sure you are proactive at your workplace and solve tangible problems.

· Contribute towards the community to help others by social activities such as teaching in backward areas, and volunteering for NGOs etc.

· Get a command on at least one new language (other than your mother tongue and English). If possible language spoken in that particular country where your university is located.

· Extra curricular activities, exceptional achievements in this area are a game changer! Try being a part of some clubs such as Entrepreneurship clubs, or consultancy clubs. It will associate you with great leadership skills.

  • GMAT Score
  • GPAs
  • Letter of Recommendations
  • Involvement in extracurricular and social activities

About average score at the applied university holds a good chance of getting the scholarships. There is no specified score or criteria by any of the B-school for providing scholarships.

Placements & jobs after respective degrees.

Placements vary from university to university. Lucrative jobs like Financial Analysts, Management Consultants are offered to the business graduates after their completion. Average annual package offered after MBA from a top global business school ranges from US$ 100,000 to US$ 150,000. So obviously it is an ocean of opportunities with handsome salary packages. And still if you want to add more to your skill sets than you can take various courses as per your interest.

Topper case studies.

Case Study 1- Here is a case study of a 790 GMAT scorer who completed his bachelor’s degree in engineering-

“I have completed my computer engineering degree and an MBA from India and have close to 5 years of experience in software development (pre-MBA) and consulting (post-MBA). I had taken coaching for CAT during the final year of my engineering studies.

Even though I did not end up scoring too well on CAT (around 89th percentile) that year due to lack of self-preparation, it set up a good foundation for me to take it up again later. That is exactly what I did – after getting a couple of years of IT experience under my belt, I decided to have a go at it again.

This time I did not take up coaching but instead used the notes and preparation material from my earlier experience to study on my own. I also signed up for the mock CAT test series which helped me immensely in terms of identifying my weak areas and developing a test-taking strategy. The result was that this time I was able to crack the exam with a 99+ percentile.

Given this background, I was confident that cracking the GMAT would not be a major challenge. It is a well-known fact that CAT is a much more difficult exam than GMAT, both in terms of content and time constraints. Hence, taking up coaching for GMAT never crossed my mind.

My 2-month GMAT study plan

The first thing I did was to take one of the official GMAT mock tests to get a sense of what I was dealing with. I got a score of 760 which further boosted my confidence. I decided to give myself two months to go through the official guide and develop a concrete strategy to ensure that this score was not a one-off event.

I spent roughly one week on each topic in the official guide and get a fair idea of the type of questions asked, though I have to admit that I ended up doing most of the studying on weekends due to my hectic work schedule on weekdays.

Also, I had identified that data sufficiency was one of my weak areas and so I spent relatively more time on that area.

After covering each topic in the guide (other than IR and AWA), I decided that it was time to take the second mock test. I scored a 770 on that one, which gave me the confidence that I can consistently score high.

However, I did notice that I was finding it hard to maintain my focus throughout the duration of the exam. I figured that I had no major issues with the content at this point and just needed to practice sitting through the 3.5 hours without letting my mind go astray.

So I decided to take another official mock test (this one was not free) to train my mind a day before the exam. I am aware that it is generally advised not to strain yourself too much so close to the exam, but I felt that it was important for me to get absolutely comfortable with the format of the exam. I scored a 770 on this one as well.

I took a mock test around the same time of the day as the actual test to keep my focus laser-sharp. After the test, I relaxed for the rest of the day and made sure that I got a good night’s sleep before the big day.

When I saw that I had scored a 790, I was ecstatic. It felt great knowing that my strategy had fallen into place very well and that my performance had peaked at the perfect time.

Case Study 2- When I started college I heard that quite a few of my seniors were studying for or pursuing an MBA.

Frankly at that point I did not understand why people pursued an MBA or its relevance but as I interacted with seniors and asked them about their decision to go for an MBA I realized that why an MBA is important for the career path that I hope to take up.

I decided to take the GMAT by the end of my second i.e. pre-final year in college as it is valid for 5 years and gives me the option of applying to programs now as well as after working for a couple of years.

I started reading up about the GMAT and from the very beginning I decided that I want to score 750+. I talked to some of my seniors who had given the GMAT and one of them who had scored a 770 particularly inspired me and helped me out.

I started my preparation from the last week of January 2016 with the aim to give the GMAT by March-end as I would have to start preparing for my semester exams from April and wouldn’t get time then but due to certain circumstances (college events, issue with my passport) I was unable to do so.

I prepared from the end of January till the end of March and gave 2 GMATPrep mocks in between scoring a 680 & 730 respectively. Not so good scores given my target, nevertheless after this I had to take a break from GMAT as I started preparing for my semester exams.

My semester exams ended on 19th May and from the very next day I resumed my preparation for the GMAT. After preparing continuously for around 10 days I gave another GMATPrep mock scoring a 760.

Now I was very happy as you would guess but somewhere I was not convinced as I felt that my accuracy was not up to the mark. I continued my preparation and gave 3 mocks on the way scoring 760, 760, and 770 respectively; the last one coming a day before my actual GMAT. Here’s how I designed my study plan.

My GMAT Study Plan

a) Understanding the GMAT exam format and pattern
When I started my prep the first thing I did was understand the basic structure of the GMAT; the sections, the duration, the number of questions, the scoring mechanism, and so on. I would suggest that you do the same as it provides you a perspective as to what you are dealing with exactly.

b) Attacking GMAT Quant first
After this I started working on my basic Quant concepts. For an initial overview I would suggest that you go through the explanations of different topics that are given in the Official Guide. After this you can switch to a more extensive guide such as Kaplan or a Manhattan; however, this is not necessary, you could scout various GMAT forums for notes, which are generally condensed versions of the rules given in these guides.

c) Using the Official Guide to set the foundation
After I was done with the concepts I solved the Official Guides under time constraints. I checked my answers and reviewed my mistakes. I had the main Official Guide and the Verbal Official Guide; now that I think about it, investing in the Quant Official Guide might have been a good idea and would probably have helped me get a Q50 (the score I had expected in Quant) on the actual GMAT.

d) Moving on to the Verbal section
Now I started working on the Verbal section. I started my preparation by thoroughly going through the Manhattan Guides. At this point I would like to say that though the Manhattan Guides are good and provide you with a lot of relevant information (especially in the case of CR & RC); they should only be done if you have the time and are willing to put in the effort required to go through them and understand them.

e) Taking the first practice test
After completing the Manhattan Guides, which took me about 45 days, I started practicing from the OGs. I solved the questions, checked my answers, and reviewed my mistakes.
The next thing I did was give a GMATPrep mock test; I scored a 680 (this was during the last days of February) on that and was not really happy as I wanted a 700+ but I did not get disheartened and analyzed my weak spots.

f) Online GMAT prep material
At this time I came across this offer from E-GMAT that granted me access some 300-400 questions from their Verbal question bank for 20-25 days.
After giving my 1st mock I realize that I need to improve my Verbal score and so I made full use of this opportunity, solving over 200 verbal questions in sets of 41 questions at a time under timed conditions.

g) Time for another round of testing
Practicing these questions and reviewing my mistakes really helped me as I scored a 730 in the next GMATPrep mock that I gave, which was almost a month after my previous one.
My Quant score also improved although I had not really practiced quant during this period and I attribute the same to better time management on my part.

h) Dealing with personal issues
With the beginning of April my preparation slowed down a bit as I had to deal with some issues; namely my Passport, my internals, and my habit of procrastinating things.
I just did a few questions from the resources that I had downloaded from the internet and acquired from my seniors, including a set of PDFs titled ‘700-800 Level Questions’.
Now I got a soft-copy of these from a senior but I believe that you can find them on GMAT Club and other GMAT Forums. Also be sure to download the answer key when you download the PDF files.

i) College exams vs GMAT prep
It was in mid-April that my GMAT Preparation really took a hit and ultimately stopped as my semester exams were approaching and I had to prepare for the same.
After my semester exams got over (the date was 19th May) I resumed my GMAT Preparation. By the way, my performance in my semester exams had been sub-par so I was a bit disappointed with myself.

j) Back yet again to the OG
The first thing I did after I resumed my preparation, was that I solved the Official Guides once again. I was satisfied with my performance on the Verbal section as I was answering questions with over 90% accuracy.
However, I was not quite satisfied with my performance on the Quant section as although I was managing a 90% accuracy in the PS questions, my accuracy in the DS questions was a little over 85%.

k) Getting closer to the target score
I gave a GMATPrep mock after this and scored a 760. I was happy but not convinced as I had barely managed a 75% accuracy on the Quant section and an 80% accuracy on the Verbal section.
I started looking for resources that could help me out with SC as that was the topic I was having issues with. I found a couple of notes (in PDF format) on GMAT Club and downloaded them. These notes helped me understand the nitty-gritty of grammar and clarified the doubts that I had.
For Quant I did some questions that I found on the Internet. I also practiced IR at this time, solving the questions given in the OGs and the GMATPrep software.
For AWA all I did was read up some sample AWA essays on the internet and practice writing them on my own.

l) Analyzing mistakes to improve the accuracy
I gave my next mock almost a week after my previous one and again scored a 760 but this time my accuracy had improved even though my score hadn’t and that baffled me but I did not think much about it and kept on with my preparation.
I went through my mistakes and selectively practiced some topics that I felt I was weak at such as geometry.

m) More GMAT practice exams
2-3 days after this, I ordered the GMATPrep Exam Pack 1 for $50 (for 2 mocks). It was costly but I had no other viable option. I gave a mock from the newly bought exam pack and again scored a 760. Now at this point I was truly baffled because I only answered 2 questions incorrectly on the Verbal section and yet managed only a V44 while 3 incorrect answers on the Quant section meant that I got a Q50, which I felt was a fair score. I also felt that the questions on the quant section were easier than the ones on the other mocks but did not pay much attention to it; though now I wish I had as the quant questions on the actual GMAT were tougher than the ones I had encountered on the GMATPrep mocks and they rattled me to the core when I was giving the actual GMAT. n) Saving the best practice test for the last I had purposely saved a GMATPrep mock that I gave on the day before my actual GMAT. I scored a 770 on this mock and was quite happy, though I still felt that the Quant was easy on this mock as well and that my Verbal score had capped at V44. I devoted the remainder of my time to review my scores and as many mistakes as possible from my previous mocks. I felt confident that I would probably manage a 750-760 (though I hoped for a 790) on the actual GMAT along with an IR score of 6+ (though I hoped for an 8 as I had scored consecutive 8s in my last 3 mocks) and a 4.5 – 5.5 (though I hoped for a 6) on the AWA. In spite of all this, I still felt some nervousness & uneasiness, which I would continue to feel till I finally had the Unofficial Report, with a 780 printed on it, in my hands.

Statistics -

Here are some facts we thought might be of interest to you!

· Around 2 to 2.5 lakhs appear in GMAT exam each year.

· According to a study, only 21% of the applicants prepare for more than 100 hours to give their best in the exam.

· Nearly 65% of applicants apply for MBA, 30% for other master’s degree and 5% for doctorate degree via GMAT exam.

· Only 7% of students score more than 700 marks after preparing for more than 100 hours.

· Globally, the median score in GMAT was 550 marks in the year 2014.


Not only resources and teaching platforms are available on the internet. Hundreds and thousands of communities are also available for the GMAT aspirants. On these communities, students discuss their problems and help each other. Facebook has communities like QS-Leap, GMAT Club, Manhattan prep GMAT whereas popular YouTube Channels for GMAT preparations include Byjus, OfficialGMAT, Rav Singh CetKing and many more. Other than this highly visited websites such as Beat the GMAT, Veritas Prep, Jagranjosh, Kaplan etc. are there.

Some whatsapp groups you can join:

Click here to join group 1

Click here to join group 2

Want to pay less fees? Earn a Scholarship!
Scholarship illustration

Give a test to earn assured scholarships of ₹7,000 - ₹50,000 at any coaching class.

© 2020 Studysid. All rights reserved.