Preparing for & Taking the GMAT Test

gmat testIf you are interested in applying for admission to an MBA program, one of the documents you will need to submit to the university with your application is the result of your GMAT test (Graduate Management Admission Test). Unlike an exam you would take in a specific course, the GMAT test measures your overall abilities and is used to help determine whether you would be a successful MBA student.

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The GMAT test is made up of three sections:

  • Analytical Writing
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning

The analytical writing portion of the GMAT test is made up of two exercises. Each one is scored independently and the average of the two is used to determine the official mark for that portion of the test. The average person taking the test will score somewhere between 0 and 6 in this section.

The verbal and quantitative test scores on the GMAT test can range from 0-60. The method of scoring these parts of the test can be compared between individuals.

How Test GMAT Test Scores are Used

Doing well on the GMAT test is an indication to the Admissions Committee of whether you can handle the coursework of a first-year MBA program. Some schools set a minimum test score which applicants must obtain to be considered, but each one also looks at undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation and other materials when determining who will be accepted into the program.

Writing the GMAT is not the same thing as taking a test on a subject you have been studying in school, but that doesn’t mean you can walk in cold and expect to do well. If you want to get a high score on the test and impress the Admissions Committee that you would be a stellar candidate for a school’s program, you need to spend some time doing some prep work.

Get Ready for the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment

The analytical writing assessment portion of the GMAT test is designed to measure your critical thinking ability and communication skills. When you write this portion of the test, you will be asked to write an essay analyzing an argument and another one where you are asked to analyze an issue. You will need to prepare and write your analysis in 30 minutes for each essay.

A list of topics being used for the GMAT analytical writing test is available online. If you are not familiar with any of them, take the time to conduct some research to bring yourself up to speed. Then test your ability to gather your thoughts and present them in a logical manner in the time you will be alloted by setting a timer and writing some test essays.

Practice for the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning Test

The GMAT Quantitative Reasoning test will test your knowledge of math concepts you would have studied in high school. Make a point of brushing up on the following before you write the test:

  • Algebra
  • Arithmetic
  • Averages
  • Decimals
  • Factoring
  • Fractions
  • Geometry

A second part of the Quantitative Reasoning portion of the test involves solving math problems. Review mathematical formulas and refresh your memory about how to approach a problem logically. You will be expected to read a problem and choose between two statements to indicate which one explains how to solve it correctly.

Prepare for the GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section

The GMAT Verbal test is made up of three parts. You will be asked to answer questions designed to measure your sentence correction skills, reading comprehension and critical reasoning abilities. Only 75 minutes is alloted to complete these three parts of the test.

To prepare for the Verbal Reasoning part of the GMAT, find a practice test online and study it carefully. Review grammar rules and sentence structure to make sure you are up to speed on these two language elements. You will also want to take steps to improve your vocabulary by making a point of reading a variety of materials before you take the test. Instead of skimming over words you aren’t familiar with, stop and look them up to add to the number of words you are familiar with.

Tips for Taking the GMAT Test

If you have reviewed the material and done some practice tests, writing the GMAT test will be a much easier process for you. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep and eat something on the day of the test. Give yourself sufficient time to get to the testing center and to find the room on the day of the exam.

Even though each section of the test will be timed, make a point of reading each question carefully. If you are answering multiple choice questions, be aware that there may be more than one answer which looks as though it may be correct and you will need to choose the best one and move on.

When writing the essay portion of the GMAT test, list the points you want to make first. Then flesh each one out in more detail in subsequent paragraphs. Remember that you only have a limited time to express your ideas, so try not to get bogged down when providing your supporting arguments.

To do well on the GMAT test , you will need to take the time to plan your approach to writing this test. Take advantage of online resources available to you and familiarize yourself with how the GMAT test is structured to give yourself the best chance to showcase your abilities.

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