How to prepare for an online GMAT exam: Tips and strategies

By Edvoy• Last updated: Jun 16, 2023
How to prepare for an online GMAT exam: Tips and strategies
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Taking an online version of the GMAT is becoming increasingly popular due to its convenience and flexibility. However, it presents a different set of challenges compared to taking the test in person.

This guide will provide guidance on how to prepare for an online GMAT exam, including what materials are needed, key tips and strategies for success, and common mistakes to avoid.

Materials needed for an online GMAT exam

For an online GMAT exam, gathering the necessary materials in advance is important. The following materials should be secured to have a successful experience:

1. A reliable internet connection

A good, reliable internet connection is important for taking an online GMAT exam, as a slow connection can interrupt the exam and cause problems. So, you may need a connection with a minimum bandwidth of 1.5 Mbps.

A strong internet connection allows for smooth navigation between questions as well as quick loading times so that you can focus more on the content rather than waiting for pages to load.

2. Computer or laptop

GMAT exams can be taken on both Macs and PCs, but you will need a machine that meets the minimum system requirements of the exam. This includes having a processor with 1.4 GHz or higher, 4 GB RAM, and 2 GB free disk space.

Additionally, using a larger screen size helps reduce eyestrain and improves overall comfort throughout the duration of the test.

3. GMAT software

You should have The GMAT Official Guide software installed on your computer. It will provide users with the necessary tools to prepare for the exam. It contains all the features of the paper-based exam and is designed to help you practice, review and prepare for the exam.

4. Calculator

You can either use a physical calculator or a virtual calculator that is part of the GMAT software. A scientific calculator with basic functions such as trigonometric calculations, logarithmic calculations and square root operations will come in handy when solving numerical problems.

5. Scratch paper

Having scratch papers on hand to jot down notes and equations while taking the GMAT can help solve some difficult questions. Make sure you have enough scrap paper as it is not allowed to take breaks during the test, so it’s important to minimize distractions as much as possible.

6. Pen or pencil

A pen or pencil is required to complete the multiple-choice questions on the exam. It is also helpful for taking notes and doing any calculations that may be necessary.

7. ID

You will need to have a valid form of identification to take the exam. This could be a driver's license, passport, or other government-issued ID. It is important to have a valid ID to ensure that the person taking the test is the person registered for the exam.

8. Quiet environment

You will need to find a quiet and distraction-free environment to take the exam. It is important to find a quiet space to focus and ensure no outside noise or distractions disrupt the exam.

Suggested GMAT vs IELTS

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Tips and strategies to prepare for an online GMAT exam

Here are some tips and strategies to help you effectively prepare for an online GMAT exam

1. Create a schedule

The key to success in any exam is proper planning and scheduling. It is important to create an effective study plan for an online GMAT exam and stick to it. You should decide how many hours per day or week you want to devote to studying based on your goals and available time.

It is also important to create a timeline that outlines when you will do specific topics, how long you will spend on each topic, and when you will take practice tests.

2. Get familiar with the exam format

You must familiarize yourself with the format of the GMAT so that you know what to expect during your exam. Do some research about how many sections there are, how long each section is, whether there will be multiple choice or essay questions, and any other details relevant to the structure of the test. Knowing this information ahead of time will allow you to plan accordingly and reduce stress on exam day.

Additionally, make sure you understand what types of questions may be asked in each section so that you can plan your answer strategy.

3. Prepare for the test environment

The GMAT exam is administered online and requires a strong understanding of the test environment and its features. Therefore, before taking the exam, you should become familiar with the online interface, practice navigating it, and understand the timing structure of the exam.

You should also practice answering questions with the same time limits as the actual exam

4. Utilize study resources

Many study materials are available for the GMAT exam, including practice tests, study guides, and online courses. Therefore, it is important to identify the resources that best meet your needs and take full advantage of them.

It is also important to find an online GMAT tutor who can help you with any areas of difficulty and provide personalized feedback. This will help you identify areas where you need to focus your studies and will help maximize your score.

5. Know Your weaknesses

Knowing your weaknesses is another important tip for preparing for an online GMAT exam. Take some practice tests to identify which topics or types of questions you need more practice on. This will help you focus on your studies and ensure you are adequately prepared.

6. Get adequate rest before exam day

One of the most important tips for preparing for an online GMAT exam is ensuring you get plenty of rest the night before. A lack of sleep can negatively impact your performance, so make sure to get enough rest to maximize your score on the exam.

Additionally, make sure to eat a healthy breakfast on exam day, as this can help provide you with the energy and focus needed to perform well.

Common mistakes to avoid when preparing for an online GMAT exam

When preparing for an online GMAT exam, it is important to avoid a few common mistakes to ensure success. Here are the 5 most common mistakes people make when preparing for their GMAT:

1. Not studying enough

One of the most common mistakes in preparing for an online GMAT exam is not studying enough. It is essential to dedicate sufficient time to studying and reviewing the material to prepare for the exam. Failing to do so can be detrimental to your performance on the exam.

2. Unfamiliar with the format

The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test, meaning the questions and difficulty level will adjust based on your responses. It is important to understand the exam format and how the computer-adaptive system works so that you can answer questions correctly and maximize your score.

3. Skipping practice tests

Taking practice exams is one of the most effective ways to prepare for an online GMAT exam. Practice tests can help you understand the format and types of questions, as well as help you identify areas for improvement.

4. Poor time management

The GMAT is a timed exam, and it is important to know exactly how much time you have to answer each question. Make sure to practice with a timer to get used to the pace of the exam and learn how to manage your time effectively.

5. Not taking notes

Taking notes during the exam is a great way to help you remember the material and keep track of your progress. This can be especially helpful when taking an online exam, as it is easy to become distracted. Make sure you have a system for taking notes during the exam and reviewing them afterwards.


Preparing for an online GMAT exam requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Therefore, creating a study plan that fits your schedule and using various tips and strategies is important. Taking practice exams, reviewing the material, breaking down complex questions, and eliminating wrong answers are all important strategies that can help you prepare for the test. You can do well on the GMAT with the right attitude and preparation.

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Frequently asked questions

1. What common mistakes to avoid when preparing for an online GMAT exam?

Some common mistakes to avoid when preparing for an online GMAT exam are not studying enough, being unfamiliar with the format, skipping practice tests, poor time management, and not taking notes.

2. What materials are needed for an online GMAT exam?

You will need a reliable internet connection, computer or laptop, GMAT software, calculator, scratch paper, pen or pencil, ID, and a quiet environment for an online GMAT exam.

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