5 Pillars of GMAT Preparation

GMAT can be taken five times in a year and a total of six times in a lifetime. A good GMAT score opens many opportunities for you. It is primarily an assessment of your critical thinking abilities. Thinking critically and processing data are crucial to getting a high GMAT score.


Anyone who wishes to apply to a good business school is expected to have a good GMAT score which helps the authorities judge the candidate better.

GMAT is a globally respected and accepted test for its fairness and difficulty. To ace this test, aspirants work on themselves with numerous books and practice papers.


Here are some fundamental tips to help you prepare better and perform your best on GMAT.

1. Choose your books wisely

When preparing for something as big as GMAT, it’s necessary to choose the right set of books to help you improve and teach you new concepts. The key is to know your weaknesses and strengths; for example, if you know you’re good at arithmetic already and don’t need much help in terms of grasping the concepts; then it makes sense to invest in books and materials that’d help you in practicing English language or boosting verbal skills.


Here are some recommended books[1] by aspirants who’ve already aced the GMATs. Be open to such suggestions with the precaution in mind that your requirements might differ from these aspirants, and you only need to buy the materials that match your GMAT requirement.


Sourav Tiwari on quora shared, “I started with Official Guide, finished it in about 7 days. I realized my strengths and weaknesses based on OG, and then used that to improve on my weaknesses. Bought additional books for Verbal and Quant (Princeton Review, Manhattan – don’t remember exactly which ones), and tried to finish about 2–3 books in the next 3 weeks.”


There are numerous kinds of books available in the market that you can check out for your requirements, like Official GMAT sets, Kaplan books, and Manhattan publications. Most of the publications provide hard & soft copies of the preparation material. If you choose the soft format, it becomes important to use an online reading and competitive exam preparation tool to track your reading habits and increase your reading speed and focus.

2. Exceptionalize your language skills

You’ll need your language skills not only in the GMAT but also in the overall admission process. One of four test sections is an essay you’ve to write in a limited period of time. Candidates are required to write an article on any business-related topic.


Books that help you improve your skills are easily available in the market, but you need more feedback on your essays.

Youtuber Heinrich[1], an ex-aspirant of GMAT, expresses that you’re not expected to perform exceptionally well in the essay section of the test. An average or above average score is fine for you to assure the examiners that you hold good English language skills. This is the purpose of this section.


Your language skills will help you in sentence correction questions in the test, which measure your English language proficiency and ability to express an idea clearly, concisely, and grammatically correct.


You’ll also be required to craft or evaluate arguments and formulate a plan of action.


There’s a set of questions related to Reading comprehension questions that measure your ability to understand, analyze, and apply information and concepts presented in written form.


Reading is an ability that’s going to assist you throughout your admission process. helps you build strong and speedy reading skills with our various kinds of programmes[2].

3. Give time a priority

Like any other standardized exam, GMAT too examines the capabilities of its candidates in a limited period of time. It’s suggested to check your problem-solving speed at every stage of your preparation. Speeding up your reading speed becomes vitally important so that you can attempt maximum questions in the shortest possible time.


Keep a clock with you to measure your time when you sit down to practice. Solving mock papers with actual time checks will help. You cannot revisit the questions once you have answered them, so you should avoid hastening up too much and making mistakes. 


GMAT is a 3.5 hours exam with two breaks of 8 minutes. And each section is supposed to be completed in a fixed period [see table above].

Solve the mock tests similarly and work on your speed to complete your test in time.


You will need a tool/software to monitor and improve your reading skills, and COGNIREAD solves this problem for all competitive exam takers. Get the COGNIREAD browser extension today to improve your reading skills and GMAT score.

4. Practice tests in exactly GMAT manner

Many things make a GMAT exam unique: official test-taking centers and a unique question set every time. The difficulty of the next question you face depends on your answer to the previous question. 


Scoring well in a mock test fills you with confidence and determines where your preparations stand. Publishers like Manhattan and GMAT Preparations are known to offer some of the most authentic practice papers in the market.


Free mock tests are available from the official GMAT site (2 Tests Free). Similarly, many top publishers and online MBA portals offer free GMAT practice tests.,,, etc are some of the popular sources.


“After each mock test, check where you lag and what are your common errors in the tests. Before going to the next test, get rid of your errors. After each mock test, analyze the whole test to see the difference between two and among many and pick the practice questions according to the exam requirements.”– Amendeep H Mittal


5. Put GMAT preparation as the No1 priority.

Many aspirants recommend a total dedication to studies while preparing for the GMAT. One might need to cut off from other hobbies to achieve such a state. It seems a rough take to suggest this to a student, but the rising competition and difficulty in scoring well on GMAT prove that you need to be focused absolutely. This cutoff is only for a temporary period, and you will go back to them after your tests.

Remember, this is not a suggestion of total isolation from the rest of the world but only from the activities that can distract you and take a valuable amount of time from your day. Such a cutoff is only healthy and proven to be effective.

Heinrich adds, “I considered it important to isolate myself for at least three weeks before my GMAT, which helped me score above 700 in my exam. It’s a temporary sacrifice I needed to make, and it proved worth it.” [3]