Can the number of hours spent on your preparation determine how well you will score in the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT)? Does preparing in advance help you maximise scores?
Research shows that these factors do, actually, influence a candidate’s performance in the GMAT. Insights from the Graduate Management Admissions Council or GMAC which conducts the GMAT reflect that in 2020, students spent an average number of 80 test preparation hours for GMAT. The participants of the GMAC study included candidates who reported or self-declared or reported their scores.
- According to GMAC, students spent an average number of 80 test preparation hours for the GMAT in 2020. The participants of the GMAC study included candidates who reported or self-declared or reported their scores.
- The study showed a well-established link between the GMAT score and the self-declared prep time by test takers.
- For instance, those who spent about 50 hours preparing, had a self-reported score of less than 500, while those with 700 or a higher score spent about 100 hours.
It showed a well-established link between the GMAT score and the self-declared prep time by test takers. For instance, those who spent about 50 hours preparing, had a self-reported score of less than 500, while those with 700 or a higher score spent about 100 hours. Those with close to 70 prep hours reported a score between 500 and 590 while those with 90 prep hours scored between 600 and 690.
This also helps students or test-takers to ascertain when they should begin planning their prep strategies. The research also highlights that those who begin their prep much earlier end up gathering more total prep hours. Nearly 21% of the respondents said they started prep 10 or more weeks in advance, while another 20% began seven to nine weeks in advance. About 29% started four to six weeks in advance. Nearly half (48%) of students with a 700 above self-reported GMAT score began their groundwork seven or more weeks in advance.
Having said this, the amount of time spent on prep varies from candidate to candidate. You must be familiar with your own comfort level when taking a test like GMAT and your ability to get familiar with its format and structure. Having your target score in mind, using free resources for preparation and identifying weak areas are also necessary.
Creating a customized and realistic timeline based on your own pros and cons will go a long way in your success on the actual test day. With tailored questions as per the test-takers ability due to its computer adaptive nature, most candidates begin with questions with medium difficulty level. Once a test-taker answers correctly, he/she is given a tougher question to tackle but if one is unable to answer, he/she is likely to get a simpler question.
Research by Kaplan, that provides education and training services to colleges and universities globally, suggests that it is important to devise a strategy to “spend two to three months and 100–120 hours reviewing material and practising regularly. Those who score very well spend on average120 hours spread over a few weeks. However, this varies from one person to another.
“Calculating a top scorer’s number of hours at 120 over say 10 weeks, it comes down to 12 hours per week including time spent in classroom sessions and GMAT tutorials. Dividing these hours uniformly, it’s best to study for two to three hours daily, six days a week,” says the research.
The GMAT is a popular test opted by lakhs of candidates globally. While many institutions are making some of the standardized tests optional, latest GMAC research indicates that international candidates view admissions testing favourably.
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