The GMAT exam score is recognized worldwide in more than 1700 universities and 3000 business schools for 7000+ management programs. Students from across the globe opt for the GMAT and to obtain admission to an esteemed B-school of their choice. Every year, several Indian GMAT aspirants worry about their exam and wish for some magical advice to make the process easier and less stressful. If you understand and remember these three important points related to the GMAT, your B-school journey will become smoother and simpler. 

Read on to know the three things every average Indian GMAT aspirant must follow.

3 Points to Keep in Mind

As an Indian GMAT aspirant wanting to secure admission to an esteemed management institution or university, you should bear in mind the following points:

  1. Allocating Practicable Preparation Time Is the Key to Success

You need not start preparing for the GMAT exam too soon in your life. Unlike other competitive exams such as CAT, JEE or GATE, where candidates start studying very early (for instance, alongside their school or graduate studies), the GMAT exam preparation time is shorter. 

As per GMAC statistics and recommendation, nearly three to four months of strategic and consistent preparation are all that you require to crack this exam. Even if you are a young professional with strict work deadlines, devoting at least 2-3 hours daily for six days a week can help you get a 680+ score in the exam. You require a calculated weekly study plan to learn the fundamental and advanced concepts and be able to solve the practice questions and mock tests. 

The short GMAT preparation time is due to the limited number of topics that you need to study. The syllabus is highly standardized and focuses more on the strategy than on the content, that is, not on how much you know but on how well you apply what you already know to real-time situations. The four sections of the exam assess a wide range of your capabilities and skill sets, such as critical thinking, analytical writing, logical reasoning (verbal, quantitative and integrated), problem-solving, data analysis or interpretation and reading comprehension skills. The GMAT syllabus is finely curated to develop and test these skills. It also gauges your aptitude for pursuing management education. The more you practice the concepts, the better your skills will be. Thus, a few months (and not years) of rigorous preparation can help you ace GMAT.

  1. Grammar Is Easier 

The grammar section of the GMAT study program isn’t as hard as you think it is. The Verbal section tests you on the following seven grammar rules that we all studied in elementary school. 

  • Nouns, Pronouns and Adjectives
  • Verbs and Tenses
  • Idioms
  • Pronoun Agreement
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Modifiers
  • Parallelism

You need to precisely apply these rules while presenting the answers for  the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section, and Sentence Correction (SC) question type in the Verbal section.

The key to acing the AWA section is to refine your writing skills. Follow a structured approach while attempting this section and conform to conventional grammar syntax. As for the SC, it is strategic thinking, and not the grammar itself, that makes this section challenging for candidates. But it is not as complex as it may seem. You need to accurately comprehend the sentence and apply standard English grammar rules to select the answer that best complies with these rules. Think strategically and determine whether your chosen option looks perfect, as in, whether it rectifies the error of the original sentence and yet retains its actual meaning. Hence, a good grasp of elementary grammar is all you need to crack the Verbal section.

  1. Do Not Get Bogged Down By The GMAT Cut-Off Scores

Practically speaking, there are no stringent cut-offs for GMAT scores. Scoring in the range of 200-700 is not hard. If your score is anywhere around the global weighted average score, you have no reason to worry. You can still grab a seat at a reputed university. If you aspire to study abroad, then a score between 650 and 700 can boost your chances.

B-schools make the admission decision based on a multitude of factors.  The GMAT score is only one part of their selection and assessment criteria. Performance in the Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI) rounds carry significant weightage. Diversity (cultural and gender), extempore, past academic performance (graduation and class 10/12 scores), remarkable professional experience, and active participation in extracurricular activities are your added advantages. Hence, if you have performed exceptionally well in the WAT, GD and PI rounds, or have an impressive academic profile or work experience, then even an average or below-average score can get you a seat at one of the top-notch B-schools. These schools give importance to each of these elements and holistically evaluate your profile. Thus, apart from focusing on improving your GMAT score, work on developing your overall profile to make it more multi-dimensional and well-rounded.

The admission panel views all your previously accepted GMAT scores. Also, they value the overall GMAT score and the individual scores of each section (specifically the verbal and quantitative sections). Thus, aim for a balanced scorecard to impress the members of any admissions committee. You can consider the option of re-taking the GMAT test to achieve a higher score.

Each MBA school follows a unique set of selection criteria and GMAT score parameters. Just because your GMAT score does not fall in the acceptable range of your target school does not imply that other B-schools will not accept your score. The last few years have witnessed a surge in B-schools in India that consider GMAT scores during the admission process. Hence, instead of fretting over not getting a seat at the top-notch B-schools, you should explore opportunities in the other schools. Indian GMAT aspirants can find a list of these schools here.

In a Nutshell

Allocating reasonable preparation time, revising basic grammar concepts and not being scared of the GMAT cut-off scores in India are the three things every GMAT aspirant must take note of. If you keep these points in mind, you will be able to go through your preparation process comfortably and put your best foot forward in the exam.

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