GMAT Strategies for Success
GMAT is the short form of Graduate Management Admission Test and it is a test that every student who wishes to enter business school at a graduate level, has to undertake. This test includes tests in Verbal, Analytical and Math. The higher your scores are in each of these tests, the better your chances will be of gaining admission into the graduate business programs that you apply to.
What GMAT tests, basically tests you is in the abilities that you have developed over the years and also on your ability to think critically. Passing these tests requires continuous studying and sharpening of skills in each of these individual tests. You will be given 30 minutes for analytical, 75 for the verbal and 75 minutes for the quantitative.
The general score range for GMAT is 200 to 800. A score of 600 is considered to be good, but if you wish to get into top schools your score must be 700 and above. Here is a look at some tips (for preparation as well as the actually paper), that can help you through with this challenging aptitude test:
- Most people, who have to take the GMAT, actually have not taken a test in a long time. The first step to preparing for GMAT is finding where you stand in your existing skills in Verbal and Math. You can do this by taking a free practice test offered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), on their website. This way you can find out your base score and then can build up from there to the score you need to reach.
- Make a list of the business programs that you wish to apply to. You need to score as much as is expected to get into a particular college. There are business schools which will expect you to get a higher score. So, if gaining admission to a demanding program is your choice, be prepared to work to get the necessary score.
- Find out about all effective sources of learning. This could be Guides, CD’s, Audio Tapes, Online Classes, and Regular Classes. Choose a combination of resources like for example, CD’s and regular classes and make a schedule to learn through them.
- If you are strong in a particular area of the test, but need to improve on another, allot time accordingly for learning. Learn everyday. This will make you more mentally prepared to take the test. If you learn one day and then leave off for two days and then start on the fourth day, you are not doing any effective learning.
- Use guides to bring yourself up to a good skill level and then enroll into a course. You will find yourself better adjusting to the course and you can follow the instructions as you have mentally gone through some of the things they cover through the guide. This gives you more self-confidence in handling the GMAT test.
- As the saying goes, timing is everything. Know how much of time is allotted for each section in the test, through your practice tests and complete the section inside the time frame allotted. Practice to do this, so that you don’t spend more time than necessary, on a particular section.
- Ensure to practice reading all lines in the question before you begin attempting. Most often the problem is that people don’t read all the lines, especially when they find a question similar to what they have already attempted in their practice sessions. They rush through a question, losing valuable marks because they want to get through the paper quick enough. Fast completion is not the aim here, the aim is maximizing your score. So, read question thoroughly before answering.
- The questions at the beginning of the paper are really important so, answer them correctly. Practice to get these questions right and you can be sure that your scores will enhance.
- Do not leave any questions unanswered in the actual paper. You won’t score a negative for wrong answer, but you will be penalized when you leave as question unanswered.
- Now comes the tough part – handling the questions, you don’t know answers for, in the test. The best way to tackle this is through a process of elimination. Eliminate those answers which do not fit the question and you are left with two or even one right choice.
Most often the problem with those taking the GMAT test is that they get nervous before the test or don’t sleep the night before. Avoid any stress before you take the test. Remember this is a test that is going to judge you on various skill levels, so you need to attend it with a clear and focused mind, so that you can clear through it easily.
And one last piece of advice – take as many practice tests as you can (the week before the exam, be prepared to take 3 or more). This strategy will provide you with the self-confidence and familiarity you will need to achieve your top score and overcome nervousness.