GMAT Preparation for Beginners (Focus Edition): What to Study and How

GMAT Focus Edition Preparation Tips

How to Prepare for GMAT Focus Edition (for Beginners)

By applying to some of the top business schools, you will take a significant step toward achieving your career goals. Now, in order to make it through the admissions process, you’ll need a great application. And you won’t be able to do it without a GMAT score. Furthermore, your GMAT score is the most important factor in your MBA application. Here we are providing the GMAT Preparation tips for the beginners.

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Introduction to the GMAT Examination

The GMAT is one of the most widely taken MBA entrance examinations globally, and the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) organises it. It is a test known to assess the analytical and critical thinking abilities of a candidate. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a Computer-Adaptive Test.

Every management aspirant hopes to achieve a high GMAT score that will allow them to apply to some of the best MBA colleges in the world. Also, since the GMAT score carries maximum weight during your MBA application, you need to plan your preparation in an organised way, which will help you achieve your target score. If you’re someone who’s planning to start the GMAT preparation from the scratch, firstly you should be aware of the examination pattern clearly and have a proper GMAT online preparation plan.

Structure of GMAT Focus Edition

The beginners should know the GMAT exam structure to start their preparation in a well-planned manner.

Exam Duration 2 hour 15 minutes, one 10 minute optional break
No. of Sections Three
No. of Questions 64
Mode of GMAT Exam Online (candidates have the option to take at Home or at a Test Centre)
Negative Marking No

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GMAT Focus Edition Exam Pattern & Format

Subject Name No. of questions Points Time Limit
Quantitative Reasoning 21 6-51 (in 1-point increments) 45 Min
Verbal Reasoning 23 6-51 (in 1-point increments) 45 Min
Data Insights 20 6-51 (in 1-point increments) 45 Min

Check out the GMAT Focus Edition Syllabus PDF

How many months are needed for beginners to crack the GMAT Focus Edition Exam?

There’s no magic number for the number of hours or months that one needs to prepare for the exam. If you’re starting your preparation from the scratch, it is recommended to start your GMAT preparation three months before your exam date. GMAT requires since the syllabus is comparatively big. Usually, for those who already have a decent grasp of the fundamentals, a minimum of 1.5 months of time is ample amount of time for preparation.

Candidates must focus on each part individually when preparing for the GMAT exam. Try to devote a set amount of time each day to each portion, which can help keep your mind sharp and retain crucial concepts from each section. Here are a few pointers to help you prepare for the GMAT Exam.

GMAT Focus Edition Tips for Beginners

  • You can start your preparation using the GMAT Official Guide (which includes real GMAT questions, answers, and explanations). So, first, you need to get the GMAT Official Guide (OG). Also, apart from the Official GMAT guide, it’s extremely important that you enroll for an online course for an in depth understanding of the underlying concepts. Enrolling in an online course will guide you through the preparation process and will help plan your prep in an organised way.
  • Before you start your prep, it’s recommended to take a mock test. Start with taking a mock test. This helps you assess where you stand. By analysing the mock test, you will know your strengths and weaknesses. You need a study plan that addresses your weaknesses. And, for the areas that are your strengths, you simply need to practice on a regular basis. Allot more time to your weak areas, without neglecting your strong areas.
  • Please note that the study plan one needs, varies from individual to individual, depending on his/her strengths and weaknesses. You can take this study plan as a reference and create your own study plan.
  • It is also important to start with your target GMAT score in mind. Your target score depends on which B-School you’re aiming for. With that target in mind, one needs to plan his/her preparation accordingly. The GMAT is one of the most widely taken MBA entrance exams.
  • As previously said, prepare for one section at a time. Start with going through the type of questions of each of the sections. Have weekly goals and deadlines for the topics you have to cover.

Check out the PDFs for Ratio & Proportion Formulas, Profit and Loss Formulas.

Preparation Tips: GMAT Focus Edition Quantitative Reasoning

Start a video preparation series so that you can understand each and every concept clearly. Review the basic maths skills. Once you have learned the fundamentals thoroughly, solve a lot of questions. Make notes for the concepts you learned so that when you want to revise a particular topic you don’t have to watch the whole video again. Just by going through the notes, you should be able to understand and revise the entire concept. Do as many problems and questions as you can so that by the end of each concept, you will be able to learn the concept as well as tricks to solve certain problems.

Also, practice simple speed math calculations every day: This will improve your speed while solving the quant questions. Additionally, it is imperative to revise the concepts you learned, on a weekly basis. GMAT preparation time to spend at least 1-2 hours every day in the quants section.

The following is the broad list of topics that come under the math syllabus:

1. Properties Of Integers
2. Fractions
3. Decimals
4. Real Numbers
5. Ratio and Proportions
6. Percentages
7. Powers and Roots of Numbers
8. Descriptive Statistics
9. Counting Methods
10.Discrete Probability
11. Sets
12. Profit and Loss, Discount


1. Simplifying of Algebraic Expressions
2. Equations
3. Solving Linear Equations With One Unknown
4. Solving Two Linear Equations With Two Unknowns
5. Solving Equations by Factoring
6. Solving Quadratic Equations
7. Exponents
8. Inequalities
9. Absolute Value
10. Functions

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Preparation Tips: GMAT Focus Edition Verbal Reasoning Section

When it comes to the GMAT Exam, the Verbal Reasoning section is often considered a very challenging section. The most important skills tested in the verbal section are your reading comprehension abilities, and critical reasoning. Firstly, watch the requisite concept videos to cover the fundamental concepts of all the topics tested in the Verbal Reasoning Section. You can improve your comprehension skills by reading diverse online articles. Allot one hour every day for Reading. Start with reading anything you like, and slowly diversify your reading into various topics.

You can also allot some time for vocabulary every day if your vocab is poor. But, make sure not to spend too much time on that. Your vocabulary automatically improves if you read quality articles every day. Once you’ve learned the fundamental concepts, it’s very important that you practice the RCs, Critical Reasoning questions, and Sentence Correction questions regularly. Spend at least 1-2 hours on the Verbal Reasoning section every day (apart from a regular reading of one hour).

Critical Reasoning: It evaluates the candidates’ ability to construct and analyse arguments and formulate and evaluate a plan of action.

Reading Comprehension: It tests the candidates’ ability to make inferences, comprehend logical linkages between significant points, understand words and sentences, and track the progression of numeric concepts. Aside from that, candidates will be judged on their reading skills, including inference, application, primary idea, supporting the notion, logical structure, and style.

Topics in the Verbal Reasoning section

Critical Reasoning  A short paragraph, less than 100 words, is followed by questions about strengthening or weakening arguments, identifying flaws, and supporting or undermining statements.
Reading Comprehension A reading comprehension (RC) is provided, followed by questions on drawing inferences, understanding the logical relations between main points, identifying supporting ideas, and analysing the logical structure.

Check out the complete GMAT syllabus and Section-wise Preparation Tips

Preparation Tips: GMAT Focus Edition Data Insights Section

The Data Insights component of the GMAT Exam is the most recent addition to the exam’s syllabus. This section evaluates applicants’ ability to analyse and evaluate data in various formats. It assesses the applicants’ ability to evaluate data provided in the form of a graph or table.

Multi-source Reasoning Analysis of data from various sources such as tables, text, graphics + Inference + Relevant Data Determination + Discrepancy Recognition
Table Analysis You should be able to sort, analyse and extract data from the table or spreadsheet.
Graphics Interpretation Extraction of information from Graphics such as Scatter Plot, X/Y Graph, Bar Chart, Pie Chart or Statistical Curve Distribution.
Two-part Analyses Combination of Quant or Verbal or Anyone Alone + Solving Simultaneous Equation + Finding Relationships

It’s All About Time Management

Time management plays a very crucial role in the GMAT Focus Edition exam. While learning the basics, ensure that you stick to your deadlines. Once the fundamentals of each topic are covered, it’s imperative to solve problems in a timed manner. Candidates must take enough tests to build this ability to manage time during the exam. One of the biggest mistakes candidates do while preparing for the GMAT is not taking enough tests. One must remember that giving enough tests during your preparation will help you assess your progress and work on your mistakes.

Take tests frequently (preferably weekly) to assess your progress. Analyse the tests thoroughly, understand your weaknesses, and bridge the gaps in your preparation accordingly. Also, most importantly, while analysing the tests you need to analyse the time you’re spending on each question.

Importance of Peer Learning

Apart from regular preparation, it’s very crucial to have a peer group for during your GMAT preparation. Do Join our Telegram group where you can post and discuss your queries with your peers.

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