Preparing for the GMAT exam is a long and arduous journey, but one that is well worth the effort in the end.

The Graduate Management Admission Test, or the GMAT for short, is a computer-adaptive multiple-choice test used as a parameter of aptitude for applications to graduate business programs around the world. A management degree at the master’s level (a Master of Business Administration, or an MBA) is one of the most popular graduate programs chosen by students, and pursuing it has a whole gamut of benefits once you complete the course.

Candidates with an MBA degree tend to have better career opportunities and get offered higher salaries. The professional connections built over the course of your program is sure to prove beneficial at later points in your life, and the holistic skill set you will acquire will help develop your intellect and personality to amplify your competencies such that you may even choose to start your own business, rather than be an employee.

If you aspire to complete an MBA degree, it is likely that you will have to take the GMAT exam to secure admission. If so, you are in the right place – CareerLabs can help you prepare for the GMAT comfortably and easily so that you can perform to the best of your ability and improve your chances of securing admission to your dream business school.

Ease GMAT Preparation with CareerLabs

CareerLabs offers an internet-based training program that is guaranteed to prepare you for your GMAT exam from the comfort of your own home. The CareerLabs online learning program is a tablet-based and online streaming study plan through which you can have access to mentors, mock exams, question banks, and more.

Phase 1 of the two-phase program offered by CareerLabs features 150 hours of comprehensive content about GMAT preparation, 60 hours of content dedicated to GMAT basics, and over 3500 practice questions at all levels of difficulty. Phase 2 offers over 700 practice questions and 40 hours of live online webinars, in addition to 20 sessions of 2 hours each, and access to classes by certified mentors and subject matter experts. With a single touch or tap, you can have all the GMAT preparation material you need at your fingertips, through the CareerLabs GMAT training program.

GMAT Preparation: An Overview

The GMAT has four sections with a varying number of questions. Below you will find a table listing the sections, each question type within the section, the number of questions, the time you have to complete a given section, and the lowest and highest score possible.

The duration of the GMAT exam is 3 hours and 30 minutes including the two 8-minute optional breaks.

Section Question Types Number of Questions Time given to complete section Score possible
Quantitative Reasoning Data Sufficiency 31 MCQ 62 mins 0 – 60
Problem-Solving
Verbal Reasoning Sentence   Correction 36 MCQ 65 mins 0 – 60
Critical Reasoning
Reading Comprehension
Analytical Writing Assessment 1 essay question 30 mins 0.0 – 6.0 with intervals of 0.5
Integrated Reasoning Two-Part Analysis 12 MCQ 30 mins 1 – 8 with intervals of 1
Multi-Source Reasoning
Graphic Interpretation
Table Analysis

A point to note is that you will be able to choose the order in which you want to attempt the sections during the GMAT exam.

Now, let us go through a brief overview of each section in the GMAT exam.

Quantitative Reasoning

The mathematical section of the GMAT, the Quant section will measure your ability to reason mathematically and interpret graphical data. You will be expected to use logic and analytical reasoning to solve the problems, recognize which data you have been provided with is relevant to the problem, and whether the data provided is sufficient to solve it.

Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal section of the GMAT tests your ability to read and comprehend sentences in standard English, and your knowledge of basic grammar rules. For the reading comprehension type of questions, you will be given a passage, after reading which you will be expected to answer questions pertaining to it. The critical reasoning question type measures your ability to make and critique arguments, and you will be given a brief reading passage for this as well. The sentence correction type of questions, perhaps the most intimidating type of GMAT question, measures your ability to construct and detect a structurally and grammatically sound sentence in standard English, and to alter it suitably if it is not correctly constructed.

Analytical Writing Assessment

The Analytical Writing Assessment or AWA section has only one question: an essay type question for which you will be given 30 minutes. This is scored based on both an algorithm and a human evaluator, and aims to test your writing skills and typically includes general topics related to business. You will be expected to write a developed and well-thought-out argument, so make sure that you leave yourself enough time to proofread your work before the thirty minutes are up.

Integrated Reasoning

This is the most recent addition to the GMAT, and it aims to test your ability to comprehend and solve problems with a large amount of data. There are four types of questions in this section. Each type presents big chunks of data in different formats to measure your skill at interpreting data in the most important forms you can expect to receive data in at the modern workplace, or even at your business school.

When Is The Right Time to Start Preparing?

The GMAT exam requires a lot of preparation to crack, so it is likely that you are wondering just how and where to begin preparing for this important examination. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • The best place to start is to create a timeline from the point that you begin to start your study, to the final date of application at your chosen universities. Most candidates take six months to a year to prepare for the exam, but it is absolutely possible to plan out your preparation for only eight or twelve weeks as well.
  • Assess your level of preparedness and familiarity with the subjects to know what is the right amount of time you should give to each section and topic.
  • Make sure to pick a GMAT date that works for you alongside all the other tasks you will definitely have to complete, such as writing your college essay, compiling a portfolio if required, preparing your resume, et cetera.
  • If you think you might need to take the exam again, make sure you budget some time for a reattempt.

Study Tips for your GMAT preparation

There are some GMAT best practices you should consider following when preparing for the GMAT exam.

  • Find the right resources to aid you in your preparation. There is a great variety of high quality resources available, from reputable GMAT online classes to GMAT books that are designed to help you with various aspects of your exam preparation.
  • Time management is one of the most important things you can imbibe into your lifestyle. This will help you during your preparation as well as in the exam. It is important to remember that a lot depends on your ability to solve the questions quickly and correctly during the actual examination.
  • Create strategies that will help you maximise the number of questions you are able to solve, such as a set amount of time after which you move on to the next question, if you are unable to solve the previous one.
  • Work on improving your visual literacy skills. The GMAT exam uses a lot of symbols and tables, and other visual devices in its questions. If you are able to master how to read visual data, you will be able to do well on the exam.
  • Make sure you schedule time for mock tests in your study plan. These will help you identify your level of preparation, and understand your strengths and weaknesses, so that you can modify your future study plan accordingly and in line with your new insights.

Conclusion

The GMAT exam is not difficult to crack with the right preparation and resources. Choose CareerLabs for a stress-free and convenient GMAT journey, and a fantastic GMAT score to help you secure admission to a B-school of your choice.

FAQs

Q: When do I start preparing for the GMAT?

Your GMAT preparation solely depends on your exam date and on your pace. Hence, the preparation process can vary from person to person. Some take 6 or more months to prepare whereas some take only about 8 to 10 weeks to prepare.

Q: Should I set a target score for myself? 

Yes, it would be extremely beneficial to set a target GMAT score, as you can draft a productive study plan around it. Additionally, once you complete the exam at the test center, you will receive your scores immediately and you will have two minutes to either accept it or reject it. With a target score in mind, it will be easier to make this choice. 

Q: Can I retake the GMAT? 

Yes, you can retake the GMAT. However, you have to wait for 16 days after your first attempt and you can only take the GMAT five times within an academic year.