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“How long do I need to study to achieve the highest possible GMAT score?”
This is quite possibly the most common question we hear from prospective business school students.
Of course, the temptation is to choose a 25-48 hour GMAT bootcamp; a course you can squeeze in between work, family, and other responsibilities. But if you need a truly comprehensive review, and solid exam strategies, will a weekend or two really be enough?
A quick online search will confirm what some test-takers already know: it takes at least 100 prep hours to achieve a GMAT score of 600 or more. So what does 100 hours of GMAT training look like, and is there any real proof that studying longer produces higher scores?
In this post, we get to the bottom of both questions by breaking down the structure and curriculum of a 100 hour GMAT prep course (using Quantum’s program as an example). Then, we’ll take a look at some compelling evidence that proves longer prep truly does enhance GMAT performance.
100 Hour GMAT Prep Dives Deep into the 4 Main Content Areas
What is the most significant difference between a shorter GMAT prep course (under 50 hours) and a 100 hour course? Short courses can cover only general strategies and commonly tested topics. By contrast, 100 hours of training allows for a complete review of virtually every question type and topic, plus a wide range of test-taking strategies. Nothing is left to chance. Here’s a look at what to expect from each 25 hour module of a 100 hour course:
Module 1 – Foundational Math (25hr)
This section focuses on math fundamentals you probably haven’t seen since high school. Students can expect a refresher on key concepts like exponent and root theory, order of operations, lines and angles, and divisibility rules. Then you’ll move on to more challenging concepts and problems in arithmetic, algebra, and geometry—and learn specific strategies for recognizing and approaching a wide selection of foundational math question types.
Module 2 – Intermediate Math (25hr)
This module covers the GMAT’s two main intermediate math topics: data sufficiency and word problems. Many students struggle with data sufficiency because it’s a question format unique to the GMAT. And since 40-50% of all math questions on the exam are related to data sufficiency, much of this module is spent coaching students on the most effective strategies for breaking down and resolving these problems.
Module 3 – Advanced Math (25hr)
The advanced math module delves into statistics, exponents and roots, and integrated reasoning. Statistics is currently the least weighted section of the GMAT, but it’s also the fastest growing. In this section, students learn specialized techniques and tools for tackling permutations and combinations, probability, standard deviation, factorials, and more. Next they cover multiple exponent and root rules, and master some of the most complex and challenging math questions on the entire GMAT. Finally, students are led through the four main integrative reasoning (IR) question types on the exam: table analysis, graphics interpretation, multi-source reasoning, and two-part analysis.
By the end of these 75 hours, you’ve seen, studied, and practiced virtually every math problem the GMAT will throw at you.
Module 4 – Comprehensive Verbal (25hr)
These final 25 hours of prep are spent reviewing and practicing the three main verbal question types on the GMAT: sentence correlation, critical reasoning, and reading comprehension. You’ll learn a standardized technique, process, or approach to each question type, at every level of difficulty. Topics include grammar rules, sentence correction, idioms, and argument theory.
Does Longer GMAT Training = Higher Test Scores?
So it’s clear that a 100 hour GMAT prep course covers a great deal of ground, and in very fine detail. But is there any real proof that studying for longer actually yields a higher GMAT score? Is there an “ideal” study time for this exam? A few years ago, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) set out to answer this question, and turned up some very compelling data.
In 2014, GMAC surveyed 4,271 GMAT test takers about their study habits and score outcomes. They found a distinct correlation between longer GMAT training and higher scores. One hundred or more hours of training consistently yielded scores between 600-700+.
While GMAC emphasizes that each student is unique, and will approach exam prep somewhat differently, it’s hard to ignore the clear link between 100+ study hours and higher scores. To push students over the 100 hour study mark, we often recommend an additional 10 hours of individual tutoring. One-to-one coaching is tremendously helpful for filling any lingering learning gaps and boosting confidence before the exam.
Are you interested in learning more about 100 hour GMAT prep in your area— or need general information about the preparation and test-taking process?
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