I’ve talked to some people who have been trying to take their GMAT exams, but they either couldn’t get their work in by the testing date, or they had a hard time finding a study partner at any of the local community colleges that would help them. I think the most important thing is that you have to find an effective way to take the GMAT. There are many ways to study for the GMAT. Some of the ways include tutoring with a tutor, taking practice tests, taking the GMAT online, taking practice tests at home, doing multiple-choice questions, answering practice questions in front of a mirror, listening to taped recordings, taking a simulated GMAT exam, taking a simulated test in a hall, taking an actual GMAT exam, and reading books on the GMAT.
I think the main problem with the GMAT test dates is that they are set long in advance. Many people try and prep courses as soon as the prices go down. But then they find out that the courses that they really want to take have all but been taken out of the budget. They can’t take the classes, or they have to take a test with no real guidance, which will make the test worthless. Don’t be discouraged if you get yourself into this situation; just take a look around and you’ll see that there are many courses and books out there that are still being offered at reduced prices.
The best way to prepare for any type of test is to practice. You don’t need to devote a lot of time to studying, but you do need to devote some time to practicing. There are a number of ways you can go about practicing. One way is to actually take the GMAT test, although this may not sound like a good idea when you’re trying to get ready for the real thing. But, if you can take a practice test beforehand and then gauge your strengths, weaknesses, and strategy before you go to the real thing, you’ll be able to use this time to study more thoroughly for your GMAT exams.
Another way is to spend a little time planning what you’re going to study. For example, if you’re focusing on the verbal section, then you need to know what strategies and tactics you’ll employ for answering questions about this material. Likewise, if you’re focusing on the written section, then you need to know what research materials you’ll use to prepare for the exam. Both kinds of studying can give you an advantage, and you can take advantage of them both by preparing in advance.
Another key strategy for taking the GMAT is to practice taking the actual exam. Although this sounds a little silly, it can actually be an effective strategy. By taking practice tests, you’ll get an excellent feel for how the test works and can build confidence before you even take it.
Finally, you should be prepared to spend a great deal of time studying for each section of the test. Unless you know what you’re doing, chances are you’ll spend way too much time studying for Analytical writing or Test design than you need to. The reason is that most of the questions are going to be multiple-choice. When this happens, it’s usually obvious which answer you should select. However, you might spend an hour reading one essay only to realize that you didn’t really understand what the author was saying. By knowing which section you need to focus on most, you’ll be able to spend a lot less time studying for it.
In summary, you can’t really depend upon GMAT test dates to help you succeed. There are certainly lots of ways that you can succeed, but just knowing when you have access to test dates is definitely not one of them. If you really want to succeed, you need to study hard and practice a lot. When you do that, you’ll find that you don’t have to rely so heavily on test dates and instead will be able to maximize your learning by focusing on practice.