GMAT Study Plan: How to prepare a Schedule for working professionals

by Naveen Kumar July 12, 2024 236

How to prepare for GMAT while working | GMAT Study Plan for working professionals

One of the biggest questions asked by the GMAT aspirants who are working professionals is how to prepare for the GMAT while working. A majority of the candidates who prepare for the GMAT exam are working professionals. So in this article, we will see how to prepare for GMAT while working, how to manage time, how to prepare for GMAT with a full-time job, the best GMAT study plan for working professionals in detail.

Working professionals have to take care of a lot of additional responsibilities apart from preparing for the GMAT. Since work consumes a major part of the day, carving out time to prepare for the GMAT becomes a daunting task. It is recommended to prepare for GMAT online. Enrolling in an online GMAT course will be of great help to learn the concepts clearly, and crack the GMAT while doing a job.

If you're preparing for the GMAT, firstly you should be aware of the examination pattern clearly and have a proper GMAT online preparation plan.

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Taking FREE GMAT tests during the weekends will help a great deal in keeping track of your preparation. Also, going through the exam pattern of the GMAT will help to understand the nature of the questions that appear in the exam. So, before we look at the detailed Study Plan to crack GMAT, let's take a look at the GMAT Syllabus, the structure, and format of the GMAT exam:

Structure of GMAT Examination

The following is a structure of the GMAT Exam:

Exam Duration3 hours and 7 minutes, plus two optional 8-minute breaks
No. of SectionsFour
No. of Questions80
Mode of GMAT ExamOnline (candidates have the option to take at Home or at a Test Centre)
Negative MarkingNo

GMAT Exam Pattern & Format

Subject NameNo. of questionsPointsTime Limit
Quantitative Reasoning316-51 (in 1-point increments)62 Min
Verbal Reasoning366-51 (in 1-point increments)65 Min
Integrated Reasoning121-8 (in 1-point increments)30 Min
Analytical Writing Assessment010-6 (in 0.5-point increments)30 Min
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GMAT Study Plan for working professionals - How to prepare for GMAT while working/doing a job?

How to study for the GMAT while working? GMAT aspirants must follow the below tips and timetable, to prepare for GMAT while working.

GMAT Preparation plan for working professionals:

1. How to Draft a GMAT study plan:

  • Managing the time available efficiently is the key to cracking GMAT for a working professional. Cracking GMAT is not a tough job if one can manage time efficiently.
  • While preparing for GMAT with job, it's very essential to take a structured GMAT online preparation program. Also, gather all the requisite study material for GMAT, and all the GMAT notes for preparation before you start your self-study preparation plan.

  • The time frame required to have a decent grasp of the concepts tested varies from person to person.
  • People who are working should try to allocate 2 hours every day and 4-5 hours over the weekends. So, allocating 18-20 hours a week for GMAT can be a good prep strategy.
  • One must draft a GMAT Study Plan depending on his/her strengths and weaknesses. Also, taking free GMAT online topic tests will help the candidates in gauging their strengths and weaknesses.
  • For example - If you're weak in the GMAT Quant section, you can spend 2-3 days during the weekdays covering the quant concepts. And the remaining two days on the Verbal.
  • It is also recommended that you allow enough time for REVISION. Make sure you revise the concepts regularly, at least once a week. Otherwise, all the time you spent learning will go in vain.
  • The key thing to realise while drafting the right GMAT Studyplan is that your study plan depends on these following factors: Your exam date, Your target college deadlines, Your ability to grasp the concepts, Your weak areas, etc.
  • Also, Draft a study plan depending on the time you can allocate each day. Drafting the right study plan based on one's needs is the key to crack the GMAT Exam.
  • Have a monthly study plan and also a weekly study plan.
  • After drafting the plan, try to follow it in a very disciplined manner. Stick to the plan and avoid procrastinating.

2. Schedule your exam once you made a self-study plan

Make sure to schedule your GMAT examination at the right time. You risk missing an admission cycle if you are unable to take the test at your selected time. When registering for the exam, you should take into account the admission cycles of the colleges you’ve chosen. Also, have a backup exam date for a re-attempt (retaking the GMAT exam), in case your first attempt doesn't go well.

3. Start with your target GMAT score in mind

It is 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. Aspirants must achieve a score of at least 650 (out of 800) in the GMAT exam to gain admission to the top B-schools. With the appropriate planning and strategic approach to exam preparation, you can achieve a GMAT score of above 650 or 700+

4. Avoid Distractions

  • Allocate a specific time for GMAT preparation every day.
  • Experiment with studying at various hours and choose the time that suits you the best. Also, prepare well during the time allotted for studying.
  • You can choose to study for 2-3 hrs in the morningor 2-3 hrs in the evening after your work. And 5-6 hours over the weekends.
  • Avoid getting distracted during the preparation time.
  • Apart from regular practice, allocate an hour every day to learn the new concepts. It is recommended to sit for at least 1 hour at a stretch, to make your learning more effective.
  • Being disciplined with the preparation process can bring great rewards in return.
  • As GMAT Verbal is quite challenging to many aspirants, aspirants must develop a habit of reading. Also, allocating an hour a day is better than not doing anything for a week and then preparing for 7 hours at stretch on a single day.
  • Don't give in to temptations. Set your priorities right till the GMAT exam day.
  • Take breaks during your GMAT preparation, to tackle the exam pressure. But avoid resorting to things that demand you to take out some time every day.

5. Use the Commute Time:

Try to use the commute time to read some articles and revise the concepts. As the time available is limited, try to put the leisure time available to good use.

How many months are needed to crack the GMAT Exam for working professionals?

How long to study for GMAT to score a 700 or 730+ in GMAT? This is a frequent question asked by a lot of GMAT aspirants. There’s no magic number for the number of hours or months that one needs to prepare for the GMAT exam. If you’re a working professional starting your preparation from the scratch, it is recommended to start your GMAT preparation six months before your exam date. Usually, for those who already have a decent grasp of the fundamentals, a minimum of 2-3 months of time is recommended for preparation. The number of months to crack the GMAT for experienced professionals thus depends on the person.

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.

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We can broadly classify the GMAT preparation into Two main phases

1.The first phase is to learn the basics well. Aspirants must avoid rushing through the basics. Also, the focus of the aspirants must be to gain conceptual clarity during this phase. Therefore, aspirants must avoid premature moves like going through shortcuts before having a sound understanding of the basics. If the scores in a section are bad, it's important to develop the fundamentals on those topics.

The next step is to solve a lot of problems so that solving problems become a part of muscle memory. Aspirants cannot waste time trying to decode the template problems in the actual exam. Therefore, aspirants must try to solve a large number of problems to reinforce the concepts they have learnt earlier. The number of days you allot for each topic depends on whether the topic is your strength or weakness. If you have two hours a day during the weekdays for your preparation, then you can allocate one and a half-hour for your weak area, half an hour to your strong area.

2.In the second phase, it is imperative to take mocks and perfect test-taking skills. Aspirants must take more mock tests and learn from their mistakes. Mocks help you identify where you are going wrong. This will, in turn, help you work on the gaps so that you can fill them.

Do not wait until the completion of the syllabus to give a mock. You can start giving mocks simultaneously while you are preparing.

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Daily routine for GMAT while working/doing job

A daily GMAT study plan / time-table can be as follows (the timings vary from person to person):

Practice Quant / Verbal for 1 hour in the morning.

Read 1-2 articles while traveling to work.

Practice a few mental calculations in your free time in the office (to improve calculation speed).

After work time, take a small break to refresh yourself. Then, can practice for 1-2 hours depending on the time available.

Overall try to allocate around 2-3 hours for preparation during the weekdays, and more time on weekends. Make sure to allot enough time to your weak areas.

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

One Month before GMAT: Preparation plan

  • Allocate at least 5-6 hours on the weekends for GMAT preparation.
  • Take enough GMAT mock tests.
  • Analyze the mock after taking it. Note down the mistakes you make often and work on them.
  • Revise the notes every now and then to ensure that you do not repeat such mistakes on the day of the exam.
  • Spend the time on the weekdays practicing mixed questions and working on your mistakes and weak areas.
  • Try to improve your performance with each passing mock.
  • GMAT is a Computer-Adaptive Test and one cannot skip the questions nor go back to previous questions during a section - Hence, time management becomes very crucial while taking the test.
  • During mocks, it is advisable to try out the different orders of the paper (Quant first, Verbal next (or) Verbal first and Quant next, etc.) and come out with the order that suits you the best.
  • GMAT is about good accuracy and speed during the exam. First, try to focus on accuracy and with more and more practice, the speed will improve over time.
  • Candidates can give one mock per week, or one mock in every two weeks. Analyse the mock immediately after the test.
  • In between the mock days, REVISE the concepts, Revisit the videos of weak concepts if needed, learn from mistakes of previous mocks.
  • As far as the Strategy during the GMAT exam is concerned: One must know his/her stronger suite in each section (Verbal and Quant) and make sure that less time is spent solving them such that sufficient time is left for the rest of the questions in that particular section. For example: If SC is your strong suit, it is advisable to spend about a minute or a minute and a half on SC questions and give more time to RC and CR questions.

One Week before GMAT

  • Candidates can take 1-2 mocks in the last week.
  • During the final phase of your preparation, revise the basics thoroughly.
  • If possible, try to take a week off from work to avoid any last-minute assignments.
  • Stop taking mocks 2 to 3 days before the test and try to take the exam with a cool head.

Important points to keep in mind when preparing for GMAT

Having a peer group: It’s important to have a good peer group during your preparation. It keeps you motivated, and it will also be helpful in discussing various concepts, test-taking tips, etc. You can join our Telegram group for GMAT Aspirants here, where you can post and discuss your GMAT preparation and MBA college admission-related queries with your peers and exam experts.

Prepare yourself mentally. Cracking GMAT requires discipline, and (especially once you start taking mocks) there can be a lot of fluctuations during your preparation, in mock scores etc. There will be good days, there will be bad days. The key is to stay motivated during this period. Make sure not to get overly stressed, it’s important to take breaks during your preparation.

Allot some time for your hobby. Try to focus on your overall personal growth during your preparation. This will also be helpful during your interviews.

We hope that this article would have helped you know how to prepare for GMAT while working. For more useful articles, try reading GMAT Preparation plan for beginners and section-wise preparation tips for GMAT.

If you are starting your GMAT preparation from scratch, you should definitely checkout the GMATPOINT