Listed below are several tips to help you with preparing yourself for the GMAT and making sure that you are able to achieve your best personal score.

Get Started Early

It's never a good idea to wait until the end and start cramming; you should begin your initial preparation at least two month's away from your exam and depending on just how much preparation you need, consider starting 3 - 4 months prior to your test date. 

Create a Study Schedule and Stick With It

Once you've gotten on track with your preparation plans and have an idea of what the GMAT consists of (what materials it covers, your knowledge gaps, etc.), you can then begin formulating a study plan, figuring out what means you'll use for studying and for how long. Some people will be able to study on their own, while others may want to take a class to help guide them. Still others may want to purchase preparation material (such as the Official Guide for GMAT Review books or materials from 800score which offers practice questions, tests and 24-hour tutor support) to help them with their GMAT preparation.

Regardless, the majority of people will want to have a minimum of two months for the practice phase. During this time, you'll want to create a schedule, whether it's for going to a prep class or blocking out a few hours for self study. You'll probably want to do three hours for one to two days during the week as well as a long session on the weekend.  How you come up with your schedule is up to you as everyone has different needs, however once you create a study schedule, make sure to follow through and have enough discipline to stick to it. 

When studying you should also make sure to simulate the environment as much as possible which means don't listen to music or have the TV on in the background while studying. Try to find a place that's quite and where you can concentrate so that you get the most out of the ours that you spend studying. 

Focus on Problem Areas

After you've studied for a bit, you'll now want to begin taking a couple of practice exams to get an idea of what score you could expect to get if you were to take the actual GMAT. You'll find out which areas you are weak on and will therefore want to focus on down the final home stretch. This is where a GMAT tutor or prep course like the ones from 800score can really help you. Don’t like data sufficiency? Using a tutor or prep course will help with tackling these specific problems if you don't feel up to the task yourself. 

Relax and Be Confident

Now you're getting down to the final stretch and with three to four weeks prior to your test date, you should be feeling pretty relaxed. At this point, you should have prepared yourself thoroughly, practicing thousands of problems and taking at least a few practice tests. At this point you should have a pretty good idea of where you stand; it's at this point that you really want to focus on any last areas that you might be struggling in. 

Make sure to get plenty of rest, eat healthy and do activities that let you burn off any extra stress so that when it's time for the exam you're not mentally exhausted.

Don’t Cram

Cramming works for a very select few (and let's face it, for those that it does work for, they aren't taking the months out to prepare for the exam). If you've studied diligently, then there's no need for you to cram the day before the test. In fact, you don't want to do anything test related. Just relax and get a good night's rest knowing that you've done everything you can. Staying up all night to cram will leave you feeling exhausted the day of the exam which will do more harm than any benefit you would get from that last minute cram session.  Just get to bed and think positive thoughts about you doing well the next day.


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