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Preparing for the GMAT exam is essential for business professionals aiming to gain admission into top-tier business schools. Achieving a high score on the GMAT opens doors to high-quality business education and lucrative career prospects.
Whether you are an aspiring MBA candidate or pursuing other business-related programs, understanding the nuances of the GMAT and how to optimize your preparation will significantly enhance your chances of success. In this article, we are going to learn about GMAT test preparation for business professionals.
GMAT is a standardized test like other tests such as GRE, SAT, CAT, etc. The GMAT exam is used by business schools worldwide for admissions to their MBA programs, MiM programs, and PhD in management programs. So, if you are applying for any business-related course, a GMAT exam is super useful from that perspective.
If we talk about the exam format, there are 4 sections: verbal section or English, Mathematics, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing assessment.
The verbal section consists of reading comprehension, sentence correction, and critical reasoning-type questions. The mathematics section consists of simple things like arithmetic, and algebra, etc. integrated reasoning section consists of English and math skills. The analytical writing section requires you to write an essay in response to a given argument. You must critically analyze the argument, identify its logical flaws or assumptions, and provide a well-structured and coherent response.
At the end of the exam, you are given a score out of 800, and if you are getting more than 700 or 720 plus, it is considered a pretty good score.
Structure of the GMAT exam
|Sections||No. of questions||Marks||Time|
|Analytical Writing||1||0-6||30 Minutes|
|Integrated Reasoning||12||1-8||30 Minutes|
|Verbal Reasoning||36||6-51||65 Minutes|
|Quantitative Reasoning||31||6-51||62 Minutes|
Why should you take the GMAT test?
The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) exam is designed for business schools. So if you take the GMAT exam and if you are only applying for MBA programs, it certainly carries more weight.
It is essential to get an excellent score to get into top business schools. The first advantage of scoring good marks on the GMAT exam allows you to get admission into top business schools, and the second advantage is that if you have a high score on the GMAT exam, you are likely to get more scholarships.
You need to understand that when you are applying for MBA programs or PhD programs abroad, they look for a wide range of things, such as GMAT scores. They will take a look at your essays or applications and your interview. If you reach the final stage, then they will combine everything and then take the decision accordingly. So even if you have a 780 or 800 in the GMAT exam, there is no guarantee that you will get admission into top business schools like Stanford, Harvard, or INSEAD. On the flip side, if you scored between 680 to 690, you might get into all of these schools.
Steps to prepare for the GMAT test
- If you are a business professional, make sure to block out the window for 3 to 6 months. This period should be uninterrupted because if you study for a month and then take a break for ten days before returning to your studies, it can lead to a loss of momentum and a decrease in energy. So this is why you should prepare without any interruption.
- Give at least 2 to 3 hours per day for the next 60 to 90 days, and give 4 to 5 hours on weekends. Allocate your study time wisely, covering all aspects of the GMAT exam. This level of commitment ensures that you have ample time to cover all the necessary topics, review concepts, practice questions, and familiarize yourself with the exam format.
- Prepare continuously on all aspects of your GMAT. For example, if you look at the GMAT structure, you can see that GMAT verbal has certain subsections to it, like reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction. So you should be practising all these every single day. In this way, you will increase your speed of preparation and overall performance.
- You should be using GMAT-relevant material. These resources include official GMAT preparation guides, practice questions, and online resources. Some GMAT preparation books are Kaplan’s GMAT Prep Plus 2022-2023, GMAT Official Guide 2022 Bundle, and Manhattan Prep’s All the GMAT Bundle, 7th Edition. These materials are tailored to the exam’s format and content, providing you with the most relevant and effective preparation.
- You should be extremely analytical. Subjects like English and Math tests are taken to test out your analytical and critical thinking skills on this test. Focus on improving these skills by thoroughly analyzing questions, identifying patterns, and employing logical reasoning. If you make mistakes, use them as learning opportunities to enhance your analytical abilities.
- Practice mock tests. The more you practice, the more you will speed up your response time. Regularly practice with GMAT mock tests to simulate the exam environment and enhance your familiarity with the format and timing. Mock tests allow you to gauge your performance, identify areas of improvement, and develop strategies to manage your time effectively.
- The GMAT exam is crucial for business professionals seeking admission to top business schools, providing opportunities for high-quality education and lucrative career prospects.
- The GMAT consists of four sections: verbal (reading comprehension, sentence correction, critical reasoning), mathematics (arithmetic, algebra), integrated reasoning (English and math skills), and analytical writing (essay response).
- Choose the GMAT over the GRE if you’re primarily applying for business-related courses.
- A high GMAT score does not guarantee admission to top schools, while a lower score does not necessarily disqualify you. Admissions decisions consider a holistic view of your profile.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I give GMAT or GRE?
If you are applying for business-related courses, you should give the GMAT test over GRE. On the other hand, if you are applying for a wide range of courses such as the MPP course and at the same time you also want to apply for an MBA course, then opt for taking the GRE test.
2. My GMAT score is 760, will I get admission into INSEAD or Stanford?
You might or might not get admission into INSEAD or Stanford. Admissions decisions at these prestigious institutions are based on multiple factors, including your GMAT score, academic background, work experience, essays, recommendations, and interview performance. So, just on your GMAT score, your admission into these universities cannot be guaranteed.
3. How long is the GMAT score valid for?
The GMAT score is valid for five years from the date you took the exam. After five years, the score expires and cannot be reported to schools or used for admission purposes.