If you are struggling to figure out how to prepare for the GMAT at home, you have finally arrived at the right place.
We know what you have been through—too many options and no one to help you decide.
I know you are thinking ….
Should I go for online coaching?
Should I study for GMAT at an offline center or at home?
How much time do I need to give on a daily basis to get my dream GMAT score?
Whom do I ask?
What should I do?
We feel you. Over the last two decades, we have had many students like you who were passionate but needed clarity about where to start their GMAT preparation journey.
So, the first thing we do is – Breathe. Relax!
Okay, now let’s figure it out together.
In this blog, we will follow a straightforward approach. First, we will identify your challenges and then help you figure out how to solve those challenges. We will also give you tips from our experts and students on how to do well on the GMAT while preparing at home.
So, are you ready?
Let’s get you some clarity.
Identify your challenges – Prepare for the GMAT
The first step to clarity is confusion. So it is good that you are confused. Let us identify your potential challenges before you embark on the GMAT prep journey. Please note that we are only discussing the problems here. We will tackle the solutions in the next section.
1. Where do I start with my GMAT prep?
There is just too much material available online. It gets exhausting to go through each of those links, talking about the same thing over and over again without giving any proper advice. But it is a rite of passage for anyone preparing for the GMAT on their own.
Go basic. Use Google, ChatGPT, and Youtube to read everything about GMAT from the comfort of your home.
Create a folder called “GMAT prep” on your desktop and put everything you feel is relevant. It can be anything from articles and success stories to study content like the GMAT prep books, study guides, and practice tests.
Once you’re clear of your “why,” familiarize yourself with the exam format and structure. You can do this by reading the official GMAT Handbook and taking a few sample tests, available online for free.
For ease, we have created a starter kit for the GMAT prep, click here.
2. How do I create a plan?
Now that you know your “why GMAT” and have familiarized yourself with the course content and expectations, the next hurdle is figuring out how to prepare for the GMAT.
Let’s assume you are a student.
Preparing for GMAT as a student
For a student, finding time to prepare for another test along with assignments, college exams, parties, and co-curricular activities is exhausting, to say the least. Right?
You must be wondering, is it even possible?
Well, if you can put your mind to it, everything is possible, just like our student X did. (Insert video testimonial: Arvind)
All you need is to create a plan. We will help you with it. Jump to the section about creating a GMAT prep at home plan.
If you are not a student, you must be a working professional trying to prepare for the GMAT.
Preparing for GMAT as a working professional
With work, bills, budgeting, family, professional relationships, and household responsibilities, you cannot find time to do anything extra. You might be willing but lack time, flexibility, and freedom to study.
Well! “Where there is a will, there is a way” is an adage that still holds.
Let us tell you how your motivation will find its way into your routine.
3. How do I manage my prep with other things?
Even after a solid plan, you might get derailed from your path. You may become stalled on a work project for more than two weeks. Your college exams may take most of your study time. But what is important here is to identify and predict the bottlenecks you might face during the GMAT preparation.
If you know your work schedule will not let you have any time to study, maybe you should not start your GMAT prep at that time or consider it a testing phase. If there is a family function that you must attend, then plan out your schedule accordingly. Make a list of all the challenges you might face during your preparation journey, personally and professionally, and then create a plan based on risks and outcomes.
Remember, the GMAT tests managerial skills more than anything else. Yes, it feels like a lonely battle most of the time. But that is where you have to shine.
Figuring out how to manage your life while preparing for this independent test is a real challenge. Now that we have figured out the problems, let’s dive into how to solve them.
Address your challenges in preparation for the GMAT at home
Even if your best friend or colleagues are not preparing for the GMAT, several people are working towards the same goal. You are not alone. You have to find one or more people on a similar journey.
But the question still stands: where to find them?
|Total GMAT exams||32,425||30,590||26,129||27,445||28,499|
|Candidates younger than 25||11,972||11,669||10,160||10,304||11,552|
|Total score <600||15,067||14,973||12,496||10,569||11,812|
|Total score 600-690||12,447||11,453||10,052||11,087||10,960|
|Total score ≥700||4,911||4,164||3,581||5,789||5,727|
1. Online groups: There are multiple Facebook and LinkedIn groups with people discussing GMAT prep and journey. You can join any one of these groups and start connecting.
2. Through test prep classes: If you are considering joining a test prep company to help with your GMAT, ensure that they give you access to their student community in addition to the faculty. While a good faculty can help you clear your academic doubts, a great community of like-minded individuals will keep you inspired to see through this otherwise lonely test. We at Crackverbal have a thriving WhatsApp community where our students interact with the faculty and each other. So, find an institute that provides you with this feature.
3. Bring in your family: Rope in your family members to become your accountability partners. You can ask your mother to keep a check on your Verbal progress and your sister for Quant. This will ensure your family is aware of your timelines so that one day if an aunty invites you for lunch, they wouldn’t force you to go because you have one section of Quant left to finish. Give them clear guidelines on what to ask you, how to ask about your updates, and when. You wouldn’t want additional pressure.
Now, let’s address your challenges in detail:
Challenge 1: Begin your GMAT Prep
Once you have familiarized yourself with the GMAT format and requirements and taken a few practice tests, you know where you stand.
Ask yourself, do I need a tutor?
Should I take the GMAT course online?
Do I have the time to commute to go to a live class?
Or can I prepare for the GMAT at home?
Let’s identify what works best for you.
- Are you someone who lacks the motivation to prepare on your own?
- Do you learn better through interactive learning?
- Do you like to follow a structured schedule?
If you have answered “yes” for all three, you must go for online live tutoring because that will give you everything you currently lack to prepare for the course. Ensure you take a trial class and engage with the class’s material before officially buying the full package.
If you have answered “no” for any of the three questions, we suggest you start with a self-paced course and prepare on your own. A self paced course will give you the flexibility to plan your prep your way.
Challenge 2: Creating the study plan
Most people don’t know if they should keep their routine and adapt their study plan or build a GMAT plan and then set their routine.
In the first month, give your GMAT prep half an hour. That’s enough. Focus on finding your productive hours and bringing consistency to the half-hour window so that you can keep the momentum. Slowly increase your time limit.
Make sure to set realistic goals and allocate enough time to prepare for the test. It is important to stick to the study plan and make it a priority.
Find your free 7-day customized plan here. We would advise you to stick to this schedule to see the benefits. Expand this plan as much as you can and keep updating it as per your needs and schedule for the month.
Challenge 3: Manage your GMAT prep at home
Your plan to achieve your dream GMAT score while studying at home is all set. All you need to do is execute it, and like the excellent aspirant that you are, you followed the plan until:
- Your boss asked you to go on an impromptu work trip
- Your teacher gave you a group assignment
- Your brother’s marriage got fixed
All these scenarios can throw anyone off track, so you must identify the optimum timeline for your preparation.
Start preparing after talking to your friends, family, or spouse. We understand if you want to keep it private from the world, but find a way to ask them about the prospective nights out, functions, etc., that might happen over the next two to three months. Keep an eye on your professional deadlines.
After all this, always add an extra week to your preparation. There are things we can’t predict, but this extra week will give you a buffer for when “life happens.”
Additionally, identify your mental blockages and note down your triggers. It’s essential for you to stay motivated throughout the journey, so we recommend you make a list of what you like to do when you’re upset, anxious, or angry.
Keep this list close to you, and we assure you that it will come in handy.
Five steps to maximize your GMAT preparation at home
Now, to maximize your GMAT preparation at home after creating your study plan, we recommend you follow these 5 steps:
- Adopt a routine: Regular study and practice are key to maximizing your GMAT preparation. Dedicate a certain amount of time each day or week to your studies and stick to your schedule. Make sure to study at the same time every day or week to signal your brain and activate your muscle memory. Take practice tests and answer practice questions regularly to reinforce your knowledge and identify areas where you need improvement.
- Bring focus to your weak areas: Don’t jump to new concepts every day. Identify the areas where you need improvement and focus your study efforts on those areas. Utilize online resources and practice tests to reinforce your knowledge in these areas.
Remember, it’s not about memorizing but about how to utilize what you already know.
- Clear your social schedule: Set aside your preparation window and don’t veer off from your target. Use your weekends for studying and try to avoid any extended trips or work travel. Studying on and off over a year will be more beneficial and easy than ruthlessly for 10 days before the GMAT.
- Develop a positive mindset: Preparing for the GMAT can be a long and challenging process, but it’s important to stay motivated and focused. Set small goals for yourself along the way and celebrate your achievements. A small brownie after finishing two chapters? Yes, you deserve that!
- Enjoy the process: Find ways to enjoy the process so the journey wouldn’t exhaust you. If you’re struggling with a particular area of the GMAT, don’t be afraid to seek help from a tutor or mentor. Having someone to guide you and provide feedback can be incredibly valuable. It’s okay to ask for help, we all need it:)
Key takeaways – How to prepare for GMAT at home in 2023
Preparing for the GMAT at home requires dedication, discipline, and the right study materials. By following a comprehensive study plan, focusing on your weaknesses, and using online resources, you can achieve your desired GMAT score while studying at home. Remember to practice consistently, stay organized, and stay motivated, and you will be on your way to success on the GMAT.
At Crackverbal, we believe the GMAT is a mini MBA where students identify problems and work on their strengths and weaknesses to bring relevant solutions while maintaining consistency and a timeline.
It’s like doing an internship before doing the real job!
What are you waiting for, then? Start your GMAT prep at home today!