How to Prepare for the GMAT & GMAT Preparation Tips for a full-time MBA in 2023

Prep a GMAT study plan, improve your GMAT Score & prepare for GMAT with a Tutor so that you crack the exam when you take the GMAT

By Jessica Sanneal


Many UK universities use the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) as a screening tool to determine whether applicants are qualified for postgraduate management and business degree programmes. The universities that will review your application will depend on how well you perform on the GMAT, so it’s critical that you know how to prepare.


This manual explains the essential knowledge you need to have and how to approach GMAT preparation. A private GMAT tutor can help you plan your time efficiently to prepare online for the GMAT exam, Online tutors have assisted students in gaining admission to prestigious institutions such as London Business School, London School of Economics, Imperial College, Oxford University, and many others. Contact a team of online GMAT tutors today if you require more assistance with your university application and achieving your target score. 90% of students who take the GMAT exam online and work with a GMAT tutor are accepted into the top MBA programmes in the UK and around the world.

Why is it important to take the GMAT?

The GMAT is a standardized test that provides a more consistent basis for comparison among applicants with a variety of academic and professional backgrounds and aids universities and business schools in evaluating your academic potential. Business schools can learn more about your work ethic from your GMAT score because it is one aspect of the application process that you can influence by working hard and preparing well.


For these reasons, top universities and business schools frequently require the GMAT as a prerequisite. It is critical to work toward the highest possible score in order to demonstrate your dedication to your intended field and make you stand out among many other competitive applicants from the start.

What is included in the GMAT?

The GMAT is meant to test your critical thinking abilities, even though it does test your knowledge of grammar and quantitative concepts (such as mathematics, algebra, statistics, and geometry). It evaluates your capacity for logical thought, problem-solving under time constraints, and analysis and evaluation of verbal and quantitative data.


The duration of the GMAT is just over three hours (3 hours and 7 minutes, to be precise). If necessary, you may also choose to take two 8-minute breaks. Each of the four sections that make up the total amount of time is mentioned below.

Prepare for GMAT exam day- Number of GMAT questions - Time allocated- Section description to help your GMAT study plan

The official GMAT format is based on four sections; Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal

Quantitative reasoning

31 multiple-choice questions

62 minutes


This section tests your general knowledge of arithmetic, basic algebra and basic geometry. Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving are the two question types that make up the non-calculator section.


One question and two statements of data make up a Data Sufficiency question. You must decide whether the statements contain enough information to address the question.


One question and five answer options make up a problem-solving question. Identifying the question’s purpose and avoiding answer traps are both necessary for problem-solving questions, which test your mathematical knowledge and abilities.

Gmat Verbal reasoning

36 multiple-choice questions

65 minutes


The grammar, logic and your ability to respond to verbal questions about a reading passage are all tested in this section.


Three different question types are included in this section: reading comprehension, critical thinking, and correction of sentence.


To answer questions about reading comprehension, you must first read a passage about a specific topic and answer three to four questions about it. The passage in a critical reasoning question will also be a written argument, and you will need to respond to one multiple-choice question about it.


Finally, sentences with parts (or all) underlined are presented to you in sentence correction questions. The next step is to choose from the available multiple-choice answers the best rendition of the highlighted portion of the sentence.

Integrated reasoning

12 multiple-choice questions

30 minutes


Your ability to draw conclusions from data presented in various charts, graphs, and tables will be tested in this section. The four types of questions in this section—Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, and Two-Part Analysis—all allow for the use of calculators.


Multi-Source Reasoning questions assess your capacity to carefully examine sources of data, including tables, graphics, and text passages, in order to provide answers to multiple questions.


Your ability to organise and analyse a data table (comparable to a spreadsheet) to identify which information is pertinent and/or satisfies certain criteria will be tested by table analysis questions.


Your capacity to interpret data presented in a graph is evaluated by questions on graphics interpretation. Your capacity to resolve to challenge quantitative and/or verbal problems is assessed by two-part analysis questions.

Analytical Writing Assessment (ASA)

1 essay topic

30 minutes


This section requires you to write an analysis of a business or general interest argument. Since only your analytical writing abilities will be evaluated, you don’t need to be an authority on the topic of the essay.

Which order do you need to take the GMAT sections in?

When it comes to deciding which order to take the GMAT in, you have three options. They are as follows:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal
  • Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

The order is entirely up to you, and there is no right or wrong way to complete the GMAT. However, we have found that students gain a high GMAT score when they choose an order that begins with their weakest section and progresses to their strongest sections.

Which universities require the GMAT for MBA?

For MBA courses and some other postgraduate-level courses in business, management, and finance, the majority of universities and business schools require applicants to take the GMAT. UK’s top ten business and management schools are listed below, along with the average GMAT score at each institution.


Ranking  University  Average/minimum GMAT score


1 London Business School 708 (av)

2 University of Cambridge 687 (av)

3 University of Oxford 690 (av)

4 London School of Economics (LSE) 680 (av)

5 University of Warwick 650 (av)

6 Imperial College London 600 (min)

7 University of Manchester 600 (min)

8 City, University of London 653 (av)

9 Lancaster University 580 (min)

10 University of Leeds 600 (min)

How is the GMAT marked after test day?

GMAT converts your quantitative and verbal raw scores into an overall score that ranges from 200 (lowest) to 800. (highest). Between 400 and 800 is the range where two thirds of test-takers fall. Additionally, you receive individual verbal and quantitative test scores, with each score ranging from 0 to 60. In these sections, the majority of test-takers score between 8 and 51.


Additionally, you will receive separate scores for the sections of analytical writing and integrated reasoning, which range from 1 to 8. (between 0 and 6). Two readers—a human and a computer—rate the Analytical Writing Assessment, and the two results are averaged and rounded to the nearest half point. Your Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning scores do not factor into your final GMAT score.

What is a good GMAT score on exam day?

A “good” GMAT score is relative and depends on your current aptitude and the benchmark score of the business school or university of your choice. You can use the average GMAT score of those who were admitted to your preferred programme as a guide for what a good score for you would be. On occasion, universities publish their most recent grade point average online (many are also included in the table above).


The majority of top universities and business schools in the UK look for GMAT scores above 650, with many of them averaging scores over 700. (such as London Business School and LSE). The average GMAT score of the best business schools in the US is frequently even higher, exceeding 700 for institutions like the University of Pennsylvania (705) and the University of Columbia (727), UCLA (719), and Duke University (732).


In general, a score that is in the top half of all scores received (600+) may be regarded as good. The percentile rankings for scores ranging from 800 to 200 are displayed in the table below.

Score Percentile ranking


800 99%

750 98%

700 87%

650 70%

600 50%

550 34%

500 22%

450 13%

400 8%

350 4%

300 2%

250 1%

200 0%


Online GMAT experts have accumulated knowledge over many years of support regarding what score is most likely to land you an offer for the best programmes in the UK. Contact our team right away to learn more about how we can assist you.

When is the GMAT taken?

The GMAT can be taken remotely online or in a testing centre. You can take the GMAT at almost any time or day of the year if you take the exam online. You must reserve a specific date and time if you would prefer to take the exam in a testing facility.


You should carefully plan your GMAT schedule so that you allow enough time for both preparation and the submission of your course application(s). It is advised to work backwards from the preferred program’s application deadline; ideally, you should have your GMAT results at hand at least three months before submitting your application.

Where is the GMAT taken?

The GMAT can be taken either online or at a nearby testing centre. There are more than 530 GMAT testing locations worldwide; use the GMAT website to locate the one that is most convenient for you.

How much does the GMAT cost?

You must pay a fee to take the GMAT in the UK. The GMAT costs £250 if you’re taking the exam in a testing facility. You will have to pay £275 to take the GMAT online. If you have to cancel your test, you might not get all of your money back, depending on how much notice you give.

5 tips on preparation for GMAT or How To Ace The GMAT!

1. Find out when to apply and give yourself plenty of time.

Even though you can take the GMAT whenever you want, it’s crucial to give yourself plenty of time for preparing the test because your GMAT score will determine which colleges and business schools you stand a chance of getting into. We advise planning a study schedule that considers your application process backwards from the deadline for your preferred courses, allowing at least three months between taking the GMAT and submitting your application.

2. Learn and practise each section individually as part of your study schedule

The GMAT has five distinct sections, each of which demands a different set of abilities. Finding your strengths and weaknesses is a great way to start, and to make sure you are ready for every component to maximise your overall score is to practise each section separately. Create a study plan for each section separately with allocated study times.

GMAT preparation tips - the best way to prepare for the GMAT

Quantitative Reasoning

Since business schools frequently consider both your overall score and your GMAT Quant Reasoning score when deciding who to offer places to, this section is arguably the most crucial to perform well on. Therefore, you should strive to achieve the highest score possible in this section while preparing for the test.


It’s crucial to practise your mental math skills; remember that GMAT does not allow the use of a calculator for this portion of the GMAT. Mental math will not only help you answer more difficult questions, but it will also help you save time.


Visual literacy, or the capacity to quickly and accurately read symbols, charts, and tables, is another ability to hone in preparation for the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GMAT. In this section of the GMAT, you might also come across unconventional mathematical notations, so it’s critical that you have good visual literacy and the ability to keep your composure under pressure. Give yourself ample time to prepare for this section.

Verbal Reasoning

You must be familiar with a number of English grammatical conventions in order to pass the GMAT's Verbal Reasoning section. Many of these, even if only subconsciously, you probably already know, but some are less obvious. To avoid losing points in the verbal section of the test, which is particularly difficult for GMAT test takers, it is a good idea to practise these kinds of exercises, especially for quantitative and verbal reasoning.


Develop study habits of reading from reliable sources as another fantastic way to get ready for the Verbal Reasoning section (particularly if you are a non-native English speaker). Knowing how to read, comprehend, and interpret passages written in this style will be easier if you are familiar with the “sophisticated” English used in publications like The Economist, National Geographic, and Business Standard.


The ultimate goal of your preparation should be to create solid conceptual and technical foundations through self study for the entire spectrum of verbal topics you might encounter.

Integrated Reasoning

Although business schools don’t typically focus on this section, it is still crucial to achieve the highest score possible.


The GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section requires students to analyse data and interpret information presented in a variety of formats; visual literacy is also crucial. You will need to prepare the four categories of IR problems: Multi-Source Reasoning (MSR), Table Analysis, Graphical Interpretation, and Two-Part Analysis as you get ready for this section.

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

You are required to write your own essay based on a topic or argument in this section, which is the least structured of the GMAT. To increase your score, there are still many guidelines you should abide by.


You’ll be required by the AWA to write a critique of an argument that has been made to you. Your assessors will be looking for strictly analytical writing, so it is crucial that you write your answer objectively and refrain from expressing your personal opinions. Additionally, your AWA essay should be written in a formal, assured style that clearly, succinctly, and persuasively communicates your findings.


In order to improve your analytical skills for the GMAT, it’s crucial to practise writing essays of the same kind during your personal study.


Top tip: Despite not counting toward your overall GMAT score, the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) and Integrated Reasoning sections are still significant parts of the test, so you should prepare for them. All of your GMAT test results will be sent to universities and business schools, and some admissions committees will read and, in addition to your quant and verbal reasoning sections, evaluate these areas of the test.


The AWA essay, in particular, can be used to evaluate the calibre of your ideas and your capacity to organise, develop, and express those ideas under time constraints because it is frequently the only written component that your admissions panel receives that is written under test conditions.

3. Know what score you’re aiming for

Even for the top 10 universities and business schools, the average score of applicants varies greatly, as the table in the section above demonstrates. For example, the typical GMAT score for London Business School is 708, whereas the typical score for Oxford and Cambridge is somewhere around 690.


It’s critical to understand not only the score you want to achieve but also the steps necessary to ace the GMAT and get your best score. Before starting your study, we advise you to take a practice test to help you pinpoint the specific areas that require improvement and create a successful strategy. A knowledgeable GMAT tutor can also assist you in determining where you stand right now and how to best concentrate your efforts in the weeks and months prior to your GMAT exam.


Top tip: The average score of accepted applicants is frequently higher than that of UK business schools if you are applying to a top business school in the US. The average score at the University of Pennsylvania, for instance, is 732, which is higher than the score attained by 98% of test takers. Consider this when deciding which courses to apply for, and make sure you have the tools you need (such as reputable GMAT verbal tutors) to help you prepare well.

4. Take practice questions tests under timed conditions.

The GMAT does not give you a lot of time. In fact, the exam is specifically created to test your thinking and, rather than your familiarity with the subject matter, consider your ability to solve problems under time constraints, and it even calls for a certain amount of “heuristic guessing” (an approach to problem-solving using a calculated guess based on prior experiences) in order to get a near-perfect score. Many test takers spend too much time on one section. With this in mind, making the most of the limited time you do have is essential, and studying with timed practice exams is the best strategy to finish the test on time.