5 Steps to Revitalize a Struggling GMAT Prep Routine

Studying for the GMAT can be difficult, but it does not have to be impossible! If you have been struggling to stick to your study plan, don’t worry. Here are five steps to help you revitalize your GMAT prep routine:

1. Take a practice test

Did you complete a diagnostic exam when you first started reviewing for the GMAT? Consider sitting for a new GMAT practice test now. Determine your comfort with the exam material, as well as what you must focus on next. Familiarize yourself with the length of the test (including its breaks) and with the different types of questions in each section. Taking the GMAT requires endurance and academic skill. If possible, complete an official computer-based exam via GMAC. This will provide you with the most accurate simulation of the test day experience. 

2. Determine your current strengths and weaknesses

You may have started your prep routine as a Quantitative expert, but perhaps Data Sufficiency has begun to give you pause. Conversely, you may have believed that Verbal questions were your forte, but now you fight your way through Critical Reasoning problems. Again, examine where you are today. Begin with your strengths. Use them as a confidence booster – a reminder that you have the skills necessary for a strong GMAT score. Then move on to your weaknesses. Decide whether you can improve them on your own, or if you need a GMAT tutor or study partner. Do not be afraid to ask for help!

3. Schedule your GMAT exam

This is a key component of your prep routine. Dates fill quickly, so plan well in advance. Gauge how long you will need to review, and determine the latest date you can submit your GMAT score(s) to business schools. Pick both an early date and a later date in case you must sit for the test again. Often, having a specific exam date (or two) can revitalize a flagging study plan in and of itself—especially if you overestimated your prep time! Here are some tips on how to improve your GMAT score.

4. Commit your plan to paper

Construct a concrete study schedule and adhere to it. Your GMAT prep routine should include official materials from GMAC, which will ensure that you are reviewing with questions from previous GMAT exams. Additionally, to help you stay true to your commitment, tell your family and friends about your plan. Letting other people know how important this test is to you will reinforce the place that studying must have in your life. Here are a few daily activities that can improve your GMAT skills!

5. Remember your goal

In most cases, the GMAT is the first step toward admission to business school. Sometimes that dream can seem too large to fathom. However, you can make your goal feel more tangible in a number of ways. Contact the admissions offices of the schools to which you are applying. Schedule a campus tour at each institution. Speak with students who have gone through the application process and who are currently taking classes at the schools you would like to attend. Find MBA alumni in your area from those programs, and ask them about their experiences. Communicating with real people who have lived through the business school admissions process—including the GMAT—will make this grand feat seem a bit more manageable. These are 3 GMAT strategies you learned while in college.

By utilizing these five steps, you can revitalize your struggling GMAT prep routine. You may have been discouraged by the process before, but today is a new day. Take one step at a time. Soon enough, you will be on your way to achieving the success you desire—both on the exam and throughout the MBA process as a whole.