The Best GMAT Preparation Strategy (2021) for effective learning.

GMAT preparation is important for those who plan to take the exam in 2021. So, here we will share information on “how to prepare for GMAT 2021?”. The test is available in online home-based mode and can be taken 5 times a year with a gap of 16 days in between two attempts.

The exam runs around 7,000 programs around the globe and has 600 test centers in 114 countries. The test is taken by candidates willing to study MBA abroad and in India. Hence, it is of utmost importance to have a good GMAT preparation strategy.

The exam will measure an aspirant’s skill based on verbal, quantitative, integrated, and analytical questioning aptitude. In today’s article, we will narrate about how to prepare for GMAT and will start with the GMAT exam pattern, registration process, eligibility criteria, fee payment process, and so on, which will help you for preparation.

GMAT 2021 Latest Updates

  • Due to this COVID-19 outbreak, the GMAT exam has been suspended in many locations for safety purposes.
  • The GMAT exam fees for an online test is USD 250.
  • The online test will be of 3 hours approx.
  • The general exam duration is of 3 hours and 7 minutes
  • In 2020, till 31st December, students can schedule their online exam.
  • The GMAT Official Guide Series 2021 is available on the official website.
  • From the 2014 surveyed data by KAPLAN, 44% increment has done in an organization for preferring professionals with GMAT score.

What is the GMAT exam?

Knowing about the exam is important for starting GMAT preparation. Every year, the exam is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) to choose candidates who may bring changes in the business world through their analytical skills. There are no specific GMAT dates to take the exam, the dates are dependent on your registration.

Candidates who will be appearing for the exam in 2021, will be asked to attempt 80 questions in a fixed time of 3hrs 7 minutes. GMAT exam fees for both offline and online tests will cost near about 18,366 rupees, i.e. USD 250.

What is the purpose of GMAT?

Before planning GMAT preparation, let’s know it’s purpose first. Pursuing MBA from top business colleges is highly profitable for return on investment. ROI is calculated over the percentage of annual salary to the total expense for the MBA. The ROI rate is high in abroad business colleges.

Stanford has the highest ROI, i.e. 289% and London has the lowest ROI, i.e. 94%. 12% interest should be charged for seven years if entire tuition fees are considered a loan, then the amount may be USD 1380.

Usually, candidates, from all over the world, appear for the exam to take admissions in the top business colleges. Besides the MBA, a GMAT score is also mandatory for Doctoral degrees. 

According to the research, 62% of male and 69.2% of female applicants choose to join business courses whereas the rest of the candidates looked for business masters or doctorate courses in 2018. Since 2015, women prefer pursuing a business career.

GMAT Preparation

Why Apply for GMAT?

The GMAT exam is known as the best predictor exam for management education all over the world. According to the given graph, it is seen that the number of examinees decreased by about 10,000 globally.

But, the number of candidates increased by nearly 3000 in India. In the last three years, the number of male candidates, as well as female candidates, has decreased globally.

But in India, the number of female candidates increased, whereas the number of male candidates has reduced. And in 2018, there is the highest number of female candidates from India appearing in the test.  

GMAT Preparation


GMAT Preparation Strategy 2021: Registration, Exam Pattern, Eligibility

A candidate can do GMAT Registration at any time of the year. Candidates should register on a preparation basis. It is advised for students to know the registration process before starting the GMAT preparation in 2021.

Candidates should follow the instructions to register. The registration is completed in three different ways as support.

  1. Online.
  2. Offline (fees via post).
  3. Postal Mail.

GMAT Exam Pattern 2021

Candidates should know about the GMAT Exam Pattern for preparation. Four sections of GMAT Preparation 2021 are as follows:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment: The AWA section examines an applicant on how well he can communicate and think critically. This section includes 1 question (30 mins).
  2. Integrated Reasoning: The IR section tests how well an applicant analyses a plethora of data for evaluating information and represents it in multiple formats. It consists of 12 questions (30 mins).
  3. Quantitative Reasoning: Quant section measures how well an applicant concludes problems by using his analytical skills and reasoning. It includes 31 questions (62 mins).
  4. Verbal Reasoning: VR tests an applicant on how well he can read and understands the written material and evaluate it. This section includes 36 questions (65 mins).
  5. The sequence of the various sections of the exam can be arranged as per the choice of the applicant. One will be offered 2 minutes to select the sequence.
  6. The GMAT pattern for the online exam will have 3 sections – Verbal, Quantitative, Verbal, and IR. The duration of the exam is of 3 hours approx.

GMAT Preparation 2021: Eligibility

Before knowing “how to prepare for GMAT?”, you should know about the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria required for the exam are as follows.

  • Students should have a fundamental educational qualification from a registered college or university.
  • Candidates should be 18 years old to sit in the exam. If you are below 18 years, then you can take this exam with your guardian’s permission with a no-objection letter.
  • A student can appear only five times a year and eight times in their lifetime.
  • Candidates can appear for the GMAT exam 2021 after a gap of 16 days after the first held exam.
  • No specific working experience is required, but the top business colleges prefer 3 – 4 years of professional experience.

GMAT Exam Fees Payment

The fee of GMAT is set at USD 250 i.e. INR 18,416. For rescheduling the dates 7 days before the exam, one needs to pay USD 50. If a candidate cancels the exam before 7 days, he/she is also charged a number of USD 80. Candidates can pay their GMAT exam fees via both online and offline mode.

GMAT Preparation 2021: Preparation Tips, Books, GMAT score

“How to prepare for GMAT?” is an important question for applicants. Students who aim to take the exam must follow strict plans for preparations. GMAT preparation tips consist of how an applicant can strategically plan for the exam.

For better preparation, candidates can solve practice papers as well as previous year’s questions. GMAT preparation tips are stated as follows.

  • Learning new shortcuts or tricks for calculations in the quant section is not enough; the candidate needs to implement that in his exam for better performance.
  • An applicant should make a diary for noting down essential questions and solutions.
  • Practicing of previous year’s GMAT question paper is vital.
  • It is advised to write down all strengths and weaknesses in the diary that are required during preparation.
  • Candidates should make an exponential timetable for rapid practice in solving problems when the GMAT exams are nearby.
  • Always attempt those questions which you are sure of. It can push your score towards your aim for a possible minimum score that can be achieved easily.
  • Focus on all the sections during your preparation.
  • If you do not know the answer, guessing is the only option left then.
  • Never gratify to make your weaknesses into your strengths. Because a few candidates are only good in all aspects.
  • Candidates should focus on their time management skills. Without it, the student may face a lot of difficulties to manage time and attempt each of the questions.
  • Make a routine to take at least one mock test every week to improve your management skill according to time.

GMAT Preparation – Dont’s

  • One should not spend time adjusting to the computer system. 
  • While taking mock tests, never focus on how much you are scoring.  

GMAT Preparation Materials

GMATPrep® Software: This is a free application for those students who have registered on the official website of the exam. This application will use the similar technology used in the official exam and hence can be a perfect platform for demo test. 

The software includes 90 free questions – 45 (Verbal), 30 (Quantitative), and 15 (Integrated Reasoning) for GMAT preparation. Click here to download the application for free.

GMAT Official Guide series 2021 – It is a guide series available on the official website which includes 181 questions on QR, VR & IR.

GMAT Preparation 2021: Best Books for GMAT Preparation

These three GMAT books must buy before you start the preparation for GMAT.

  1. The Official Guide for GMAT Review Book (Latest Edition)
  2. Kaplan GMAT Premier (Latest Edition)
  3. GMAT Sentence Correction Strategy Guide Book (By Manhattan GMAT)

But, you have to keep in mind that the best books for GMAT preparation mean nothing without execution. Besides these three books, there are also some best GMAT  books that are based on a particular topic like quantitative, verbal, etc.

Best books for GMAT preparation: Top Quantitative Ability books:

  1. The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review – This book has several GMAT sample questions that may go beyond the primary GMAT Official Guide book.
  2. Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook – Some candidates have found this guide book as a good one to get the basics.

Best books for GMAT preparation: Top verbal reasoning books:

  1. The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review – This verbal guide is an excellent work initiated by the GMAC authorities.
  2. Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction Strategy Guide – Sentence correction is a weak zone for most applicants. The Manhattan SC guide helps to improve sentence correction. That’s why it has been a favorite guide among both Indian and International MBA applicants.
  3. Kaplan GMAT Verbal Workbook – Like Kaplan’s quantitative guide, this book also tries to go beyond the basics questions. This book is a good option for folks who want to understand various verbal sections and learn the strategies to tackle that.

GMAT Preparation 2021: Score Analysis

According to the survey of GMAC, it is found that most engineers in India prefer taking the GMAT test as compared to global students. Having strong data sufficiency and problem-solving methods, engineers prefer GMAT preparation and exams.

Globally, the percentage of candidates appearing for the exam is shown in the below chart.

GMAT Preparation

  • Analyzing the chart, it is seen that the number of business and commerce background students prefer GMAT preparation all over the world.
  • After that, engineering background candidates hold the second position in the leaderboard of pursuing the exam.

The educational background of Indian students applying for this exam is different, compared to global students.

In India, Engineers hold the top position in GMAT preparation. Having mathematical skills, the engineers perform the best. After that, students, belonging to business and commerce backgrounds, obtain a good GMAT score.

GMAC runs a survey on a wide background of students who appeared in the exam for the last five years. The graph below represents the outcome.

GMAT Preparation

Analyzing the graph, we can say that the total number of GMAT applicants increased by 6.5% whereas the number of women applicants increased by 10.5% in five years. Along with the applicant’s number, the score also increases in the last five years is an interesting fact.

  • The number of students obtaining less than 600 is increased by 5%.
  • The number of aspirants securing between 600 to 690 is increased by 7.8%.
  • The number of achievers scoring more than 700 is increased by 8.1%.

GMAT Score – Mean Score

While continuing with the GMAT preparation, candidates should know about the mean score from the year 2014 to 2018. From the above data chart, it is clear that the applicant must score above 700 to take admissions in the best business colleges of the USA or UK.

How is the GMAT Score calculated?

Aspirants will be scored on a constant pre-defined scale that includes only GMAT scores for the Quantitative and the Verbal section. AWA and IR are included to measure the analytical aptitude of the applicant. The GMAT Scorecard includes the following.

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (0 – 6)
  • Integrated Reasoning (1 – 8)
  • GMAT Score (Quantitative: 6 – 51)
  • Verbal Reasoning (6 – 51)

GMAT Preparation: Result

The candidates will receive the GMAT Score card immediately after completing the exam, and they can download that non-official scorecard. But, the AWA score will not be shared. Refer here to know more about this. 

Applicants will get an option either for accepting or rejecting the Scorecard. To know more about canceling or rejecting the GMAT score, check here. After the acceptance, candidates will receive a scorecard along with an AWA score within 20 days of the GMAT exam. 

GMAT Preparation: Score Validity

  • The GMAT score is valid for up to 5 years.
  • Candidates can use the score for getting admission to MBA.
  • Many recruitment companies also look out for the GMAT score for providing jobs.
  • A candidate can retake the GMAT exam if he/she is unsatisfied with the score.

So, this is all for now. We have shared in-depth information on GMAT Preparation tips. Finally, if you like our content, please share this post within your circle and help them to gain knowledge about GMAT Preparation. If you want to know anything, then feel free to comment below.


Frequently Asked Questions-

1) What are the GMAT Dates in 2021?

There are no specific GMAT dates to take the exam. It is based on when you register.

2) For how long a GMAT score is valid?

Your GMAT score is valid for 5 years

3) Is revising GMAT question paper important?

Yes, one must arrange GMAT question papers and start practicing them.

4) What is important before starting GMAT preparation?

One must know the eligibility and GMAT exam pattern before registering and start preparing.

5) How to prepare for GMAT exam?

Online resources are available to answer the question. Practice GMAT question papers, start early at least 6 months before registering, do not miss any topics, manage time, and take mock tests during the final hours. Please refer to our detailed guide to initiate an effective preparation.

6) How many times one can take the exam in a year?

It can be taken 5 times within a gap of 16 days between two attempts.

7) What is the GMAT exam fees?

It is USD 250 for both online and general mode. Detailed breakup is shared in the blog.

8) What is the GMAT exam pattern for online test?

The GMAT exam pattern for online test mode – Verbal, Quantitative, Verbal, and Integrated Reasoning

9) When will I receive a GMAT scorecard?

Within 20 days. The score of the one line test will be available within 7 business days.

10) What is the duration of GMAT Online Test?

The online test will take 3 hours approx.

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