The Graduate Management Admission Test, alternatively known as the GMAT, is a computer-based exam, designed to measure skills crucial for the study of management, with an emphasis on critical thinking and reasoning ability. Colleges with graduate-level management programs, most commonly business schools with MBA programs — use GMAT test scores to compare applicants and make admissions decisions.
Since GMAT is an international exam (offered in 114 countries) with objective assessment criteria, it tends to speculate academic success better any other than any other scheme or test like undergraduate grade point average (GPA), which can vary based on a school’s policies and course curriculum. Admission committees are aware of this fact. Hence, GMAT test scores are assigned high weightage while making decisions regarding admissions in their courses. As a result, the right GMAT preparation strategy is an important factor in ensuring your selection in one of the 7000 MBA and Masters Program offered across more than 2300 schools that require or accept GMAT scores from applicants. In particular, 90% of new MBA admissions decisions are made using a GMAT score, so the GMAT exam is especially important for aspiring MBA students.
Things to Know Before You Start the Preparation for GMAT
- GMAT scores are valid for five years-You will receive official scores within twenty days of the exam, and it will be valid for five years. This is important for planning when to take your GMAT. If you already have a specific school and program in mind, you will need to schedule your test based on the deadlines the school has specified. However, if you are still unsure about when you will be applying to schools, you need to keep in mind the validity period.
- No pass or Fail policy- GMAT is not a pass or fail exam. The score you need depends on the school and program you are applying to. Most business schools will indicate the range or exact score that they accept. Setting a goal for yourself with the required score in mind will help you while you prepare for the exam using different diagnostic and practice tests or whatever tools work best for you.
- When to start your preparation- Start your GMAT exam process at least six months before your test results are due. Most test takers report a minimum eight-week study timeline is ideal if you are somewhat familiar with the underlying GMAT exam content. But, you are the best judge of how much time you need to prepare.
- Learn about and practice all parts of the GMAT exam-first learn about how the exam is structured. Begin your test prep by taking a free, full-length GMAT mock test series to set a benchmark. By understanding the exam format, duration, and content in each of the four sections, you’ll be ahead of the curve when you begin working on your study plan.
- Set a realistic GMAT study schedule- Explore the GMAT study material. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses to know how much you need to work in each section. Set your priorities right and make realistic targets. Make a schedule that suits your lifestyle. “If you’re honest with yourself about the amount of time that you have to study, then you’re more likely to meet your goals.”
- Review and Revise- Keep on revising what you learn as it will help you to remember better. Review your progress by writing full GMAT mock tests. Take a GMAT mock test series so you can have a taste of real exam like situation before the actual exam.
- Analyze- Once you have taken GMAT mock test series, it is important to spend time on analyzing the GMAT Mock test. Try to analyze where you got your question wrong. “Your practice is more valuable when you take the time to review each wrong answer, understand what attracted you to that answer, and most importantly, work through the process to know how to approach it the next time.”
- Stress management- The hardest part is regulating your stress. The best way to do that is to maintaining a schedule and working on it. If you worked through some quality revision every day it was easier to calm my nerves.