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How Long Does It Take to Prepare for the GMAT Exam?

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Yocket Editorial Team
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The GMAT or Graduate Management Admission Test is taken by students who wish to study MBA abroad. Most business schools require you to submit a GMAT score as a part of the application process. If you want to secure admission to MBA institutes, a good GMAT score is required. But the GMAT Preparation journey can be both exciting and daunting.  Do you know? Time management is critical in achieving your targeted GMAT score. Proper planning and efficient time allocation of study hours can impact your performance on this exam. It is important to allocate your time judiciously to achieve good scores in the GMAT exam.

So, are you ready to prepare for the GMAT examination? Yocket is here to guide you every step of the way. Start your journey towards admission to MBA colleges abroad with a GMAT score! We will help you prepare for the GMAT examination and find the best university! Explore Yocket Premium to learn more about services.

Table of Contents

About GMAT Exam

The GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test, is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and serves as a key for ambitious individuals seeking entry into top-tier business and management programs worldwide. A good GMAT score can be your key to top prestigious institutions, opening various opportunities. GMAC has also introduced a new version of the GMAT exam, called GMAT Focus Edition.

GMAT assesses your overall academic preparedness for business and management, it delves deeper, focusing on the specific skills crucial for thriving in these fields. To successfully understand the complexities of business, you need strong language skills, strategic problem-solving abilities, and a logical mindset. These are the cornerstones of the GMAT’s structure and syllabus.

How Long Does GMAT Prep Take?

Remember, studying for the GMAT takes time. Plan to spend about two to three months and 100–120 hours reviewing material and practicing regularly. The top scorers on the GMAT spend 120+ hours, on average, studying for Test Day over a period of time. The length of each study session will vary based on your specific situation; however, most students aim for sessions between one and three hours in a sitting.

If you take the average 120 hours of studying for a top scorer and divide that over the course of the average ten weeks of studying, you get approximately 12 hours per week. This includes time spent in class sessions and tutoring sessions for the GMAT. If you spread those hours equally, it’s best to do about two to three hours per day, six days per week and to take one day off per week.

Suggested: How Difficult is GMAT to Crack? Is GMAT Tough?

Why Create a Study Plan for GMAT Preparation?

A personalized GMAT study plan can significantly reduce preparation time by up to 40+ hours for short-term students and close application deadlines. If you have enough time for GMAT preparation, a study plan can increase your scores by 50 points compared to studying without a plan. This not only boosts chances of admission to top colleges but also aids in securing scholarships and fellowships for MBA.

Factors that Determine GMAT Preparation Time

To estimate GMAT preparation time, it's crucial to understand the factors affecting preparation and have quantifiable answers to the three questions.

  • What is your current preparation level?
  • What is your target GMAT score?
  • Which resources will you use for GMAT preparation?

GMAT Preparation Time Allocation

The below-mentioned nine steps can help you achieve your desired GMAT Scores.

  1. Take a full-length test (3 hours 30 minutes), using reliable resources but avoid official mocks initially.

  2. Develop concepts through a reliable GMAT course (4-6 weeks). Take free trials before finalizing a course.

  3. Practice regularly (4 weeks) using a reliable GMAT course.

  4. Take one full-length test every 10 days (3 hours 30 minutes each) from a reliable test series, but avoid too many private test series.

  5. Periodically revise the concepts (1 day per 15 days) using the GMAT course opted for, as GMAT concepts take time and revision matters.

  6. Analyze mistakes (1 day per 15 days) using the GMAT course opted for, as mistakes are learning opportunities.

  7. Solve all 3 official guides (2-3 weeks): The latest Official Guide, Math Review, and Verbal Review. Buy the "Question Pack" if extra official questions are needed.

  8. Revise and consolidate your prep (1 week) using the GMAT course and official guides, re-attempting previously incorrect questions.

  9. Take official mock tests (3 hours 30 minutes each) from GMAT Prep on MBA.com. Buy "Exam Pack-1 and 2" if extra official mocks are needed.

GMAT Preparation Time Calculation

The time required for GMAT preparation can be calculated using the formula: 

Ways to Measure Your Progress while Following the Study Plan

To ensure a satisfactory GMAT score, tracking your progress towards your target score is important. There are two methods to track your progress: 

  • Cementing quizzes
  • Mock tests

Cementing quizzes

Cementing quizzes are designed to ensure proper practice after completing a course, testing knowledge and application of concepts across medium and hard questions. They act as mini mocks, evaluating you in one subsection, such as Geometry, Algebra, etc. To estimate your progress quickly, use cementing quizzes to reduce preparation time. A consistent 70%+ in Medium Cementing quizzes and a consistent 55%+ in Hard Cementing quizzes indicate a proven ability in the 55th and 70th percentile respectively. 

Mock tests

The GMAC offers two free mock tests and four for $130 (currently $108). These tests are recommended for the final phase of your preparation journey. It is essential to extract the maximum information and data from your quiz.

Suggested: How to Crack GMAT Exam in First Attempt?

GMAT 30 Days Study Plan: For First-Time Test Takers

To begin with your GMAT preparation, start with a diagnostic test to understand your strengths.

Week

Action Plan

Week 1

  • Take a Mock test

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Do Practice

Week 2

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

Week 3

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

  • Time yourself

Week 4

  • Take 3 Mock tests

  • Refer to Official Guides

  • Work on accuracy and time

GMAT 30 Days Study Plan: For Test Re-Takers

If you are attempting to retake it means you are not satisfied with your GMAT scores and want to improve your score. You can analyze your performance by getting the GMAT Enhanced Score Report.

Week

Action Plan

Week 1

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

Week 2

  • Take 3 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

  • Time Yourself

Week 3

  • Take 3 Mock tests

  • Maintain perfect accuracy and time

  • Revise the concepts

Week 4

  • Take 4 Mock tests

  • Refer to Official Guides

  • Work on accuracy and time

  • Revise the Concepts

GMAT 60 Days Study Plan: For First-Time Test Takers

To begin with your GMAT preparation, start with a diagnostic test to understand your strengths.

Week

Action Plan

Week 1

  • Take a Mock test

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Develop concepts

Week 2

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Develop and Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

Week 3

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Develop and Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

Week 4

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Develop and Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

  • Develop your speed in solving questions

Week 5

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

  • Develop your speed

Week 6

  • Take 3 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Get Speed and accuracy

Week 7

  • Take 3 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Refer to Official Guides

  • Balance accuracy and time

Week 8

  • Take a mock test

  • Refer to Official guides

  • Analyze mistakes

  • Keep yourself Calm

GMAT 60 Days Study Plan: For Test Re-Takers

If you are attempting to retake it means you are not satisfied with your GMAT scores and want to improve your score. You can analyze your performance by getting the GMAT Enhanced Score Report.

Week

Action Plan

Week 1

  • Take a Mock test

  • Analyze the mistakes in the test

  • Develop concepts

Week 2

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Develop and Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

Week 3

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

Week 4

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Develop your speed in solving questions

Week 5

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

  • Develop your speed

Week 6

  • Take 3 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Get Speed and accuracy

Week 7

  • Take 3 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Refer to Official Guides

  • Balance accuracy and time

Week 8

  • Take a mock test

  • Refer to Official guides

  • Analyze mistakes

  • Keep yourself Calm

GMAT 90 Days Study Plan: For First-Time Test Takers

To begin with your GMAT preparation, start with a diagnostic test to understand your strengths.

Week

Action Plan

Week 1

  • Take a Mock test

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Develop concepts

Week 2 to Week 4

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Develop and Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

Week 5 to Week 7

  • Take 3 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Develop and Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

  • Develop your speed in solving questions

Week 8 to Week 10

  • Take 4 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Develop and Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

  • Develop your speed in solving questions

Week 11

  • Take 3 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Balance accuracy and time

Week 12

  • Take 3 mock test

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Refer to Official guides

  • Balance accuracy and time

  • Keep yourself Calm

GMAT 90 Days Study Plan: For Test Re-Takers

If you are attempting to retake it means you are not satisfied with your GMAT scores and want to improve your score. You can analyze your performance by getting the GMAT Enhanced Score Report.

Week

Action Plan

Week 1

  • Take a Mock test

  • Analyze the mistakes in the test

  • Develop concepts

Week 2 to Week 4

  • Take 2 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Develop and Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

Week 5 to Week 7

  • Take 3 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Develop and Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

  • Develop your speed in solving questions

Week 8 to Week 10

  • Take 4 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Develop and Revise the concepts

  • Try to get accuracy in your answers

  • Develop your speed in solving questions

Week 11

  • Take 3 Mock tests

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Balance accuracy and time

Week 12

  • Take 3 mock test

  • Analyze mistakes in the test

  • Revise the concepts

  • Refer to Official guides

  • Balance accuracy and time

  • Keep yourself Calm

Suggested: Difference Between IELTS vs GMAT

Ideal GMAT Prep Time Country Wise

The below table shows the average preparation time taken by test takers countrywide.

Country

Week

 

Less than 1 week

1 to 3 weeks

4 to 6 weeks

7 to 9 weeks

More than 10 weeks

Average GMAT Prep hours

East & Southeast Asia

7%

29%

32%

14%

13%

100 hours

Canada

6%

26%

33%

1%

12%

75 hours

Central & South Africa

7%

21%

29%

26%

18%

90 hours

Europe

8%

26%

30%

19%

13%

80 hours

Latin America

6%

19%

23%

21%

25%

100 hours

Middle East/ Africa

12%

28%

23%

13%

15%

60 hours

USA

10%

22%

28%

17%

16%

50 hours

Conclusion

The GMAT preparation journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Making a well-structured study plan based on your strengths, limitations, and target score is critical. Whether you're a first-time test taker or a seasoned retaker, dedicating enough time, utilizing trusted resources, and constantly practicing with mock exams are the keys to GMAT success. GMAT not only assesses your academic abilities but also your determination and perseverance. 

Yocket is here to help you in this exciting journey by providing valuable insights into how to prepare for the GMAT exam. we will answer all your questions about job opportunities, career prospects, and scholarships. Sign up for Yocket Premium and get personalized guidance on your path to success.

FAQ's on GMAT Preparation Time

Is 3 months enough for GMAT?

How many months to get 700 GMAT?

Is 1 year enough for GMAT?

What factors influence the duration of GMAT preparation?

What resources should I use to practice for the GMAT during the final phase of my preparation?

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