Master the GMAT: Test Preparation – what do I need?

Published: 19 April 2010 | by Thomas Graf

What is a good GMAT preparation? Are preparatory courses worth the investment or should you learn from books solely? What are the actual steps to master the GMAT? This article provides you with some important information on this.

Master the GMAT with preparation courses

There are several offers for preparation courses for the GMAT. These mostly extend over a whole weekend and often cost up to 800 US Dollars. Others are held during the week or on an individually tailored base. The question whether they pay off can not generally be answered as it may depend on your learning type.It is a fact that most courses consist of candidates with varying degrees of previous knowledge. Thus there are often problems to respond to individual needs. On the whole, however, a GMAT course offers a good introduction into the GMAT preparation for those who’d rather study in class than do private studies.

Click here to find:

more info on the format and timing of the GMAT

a GMAT mini quiz to see how many questions you get right

practicing sample questions

and the Free GMATPrep® software

Do GMAT prep courses replace books?

The often emerging presumption that such a course presents the complete GMAT preparations is wrong. You can only achieve a good GMAT score through persistent practise. By familiarising and getting acquainted with the GMAT-world you will learn more and more what the makers of the test expect. Furthermore you train your language related sensitiveness and fast mental arithmetic. Thus a GMAT preparation course can’t in any way replace a persistent private study.

  • Master the GMAT Tip: GMAT courses held at universities: A hint at this point: Some universities offer GMAT preparation courses free of charge or GMAT info sessions for applicants. Information about this can be found on the websites of the universities.

GMAT prep books are a must

While you can do without a course to the best of one’s knowledge sufficient preparation reading is all the more important if you want to master the GMAT. There are many books which explain the main features of the test as well as mathematical and linguistic-logical concepts and train of thoughts. Besides they have a multitude of exercises available through which you should work through consistently. Not all books are error-free therefore you should not worry if there are discrepancies in the solution in some cases.

Towards the GMAT test date:

  • Dates for the test are scarce goodsIf you can estimate when you want to take the GMAT you should try to agree on a date soon, because depending on the test location it takes several weeks until you get a free time slot in the test centre. Furthermore the number of test centres is decreasing in some countries and they are reducing their opening times.
  • A "date" with a testThe participation for the GMAT costs 250 US Dollars worldwide. The easiest way to agree on a date for the test is to go online onto It is also possible to arrange this by phone; you will find the phone numbers for the countries in question on the named internet page as well.
  • Liability can save you cashIt is also possible to postpone or cancel your GMAT appointment on the website or with a phone call. However you should consider that this is not free of charge. If you change your appointment up to seven days in advance you have to pay a rescheduling fee of 50 US Dollars on top of the fee for the test. If you want to change the date less than seven days in advance you have to pay the full amount for your old appointment as well as for your new one.
  • Illness doesn’t countIf you want to cancel a GMAT appointment completely you will get a cancellation refund of 80 US Dollars – but only if you cancel it with seven days notice if you want to cancel on short notice you won’t get any refund at all. Especially in very severe cases of illness this is very annoying and is therefore criticised by many candidates.

By Thomas Graf