GMAT, known as the Graduate Management Admission Test, plays a massive role in business schools’ applications. Admission committees tend to look at their applicants’ GMAT scores to see if they can fit into that unique group of students they are seeking to accept in their Colleges or Universities.
The Admission committees want to be very sure if the applicant can handle the coursework and be successful. Getting a score lower than the School requirement does not have to mean an automatic rejection, but higher scores can always help and increase your chances of getting accepted by a School.
Along with your previous GPA and academic result, the GMAT gives admission committees an idea of the difficulty and hard work you can endure. Of course, it just forms one part of your application. The admission staff members remind the candidates that they look at the applicant’s whole and never make a decision based on one particular merit.
Important Things You Need to Know About GMAT
So, increasing your GMAT scores becomes the main priority. We also understand this. Studying and preparing for GMAT takes a lot of time and effort, and then investing your time, money, and these efforts into choosing the ideal B-School for you is a pretty big decision. But before you read further, the first thing you should do is to look at the syllabus.
The GMAT is a Computer Adaptive based exam. It means that according to the answer to your previous question (correct or incorrect), you will get the next question. If you correctly answer the first question, the next question you will get is usually more rigid than the previous question.
But if you incorrectly answer the first question, the next question you get is comparatively more straightforward than the first. The GMAT Exam has four separate, timed sections, which will be later discussed in one of the points. To sincerely prepare for your GMAT Exam 2021, these are some essential tips you should keep in mind:
Develop A Study Plan And Create A Learning Diary
Applications of business schools have many parts, and the last thing one wants is to mix up all those while doing their GMAT preparation in a very tight schedule. To avoid this unnecessary pressure, you should prepare six months to one year to flexibly prepare for the exams by studying and solving practice tests.
One should maintain a disciplined schedule and use this time wisely by committing to a study plan. When you establish a GMAT study plan, talk to your graduate school alumni and students and consult with them. They have once been in your states and can provide you with helpful and healthy advice on where to start from and how to succeed. Also, know the type of program you are applying for and accordingly focus your energy.
While preparing for GMAT, the number of concepts you would come across is finite. An excellent method to reduce and improve your blank areas is to keep and maintain a learning diary. It conveys that one should jot down the unknown preparation questions or the questions that took too long to solve and try to solve them correctly by understanding the concept behind them. If you follow this routine seriously, you can see your weaknesses’ list reducing in no time.
Know The Correct Exam Pattern For GMAT
Before we get further into the study plan, it is better to know the correct structure of the GMAT exam. Let us now talk about the four main sections of a GMAT question paper in a bit of detail:
- Analytical Writing Assessment or the AWA section: This section measures your critical thinking skills and communicates your ideas.
- Integrated Reasoning or the IR section: This section measures how you analyse data and interpret information displayed in different formats.
- Quantitative Reasoning or the Quant section: This section helps you measure your mathematical reasoning skills, solve problems, and analyse graphic data.
- Verbal Reasoning or the Verbal section: This section analyses and evaluates your reading and comprehension skills, editing abilities, and whether you can be clear with your written arguments.
You should further educate yourself on the duration, the number of questions, and scoring for each section so that you can plan accordingly.
Identify Your Weak Points And Try To Overcome Them Gradually
You should always know your weakest points from the GMAT tests. However, it becomes a more significant mistake to focus too much time on a single weakness because one can also forget the GMAT knowledge quickly and easily. An excellent way to avoid this is by setting a certain base level of preparation questions from every category to solve each day.
Add additional questions from that part where you have to level up your knowledge, and the time should be kept in mind as well. And this is how you can overcome your weaknesses without losing focus on the other concepts.
Practice And Master Educated Guessing
A suitable method of dealing with GMAT questions which you are not entirely sure of can be answered by educated guessing. In this method, you eliminate the options which you sure are wrong. After you are quickly done eliminating those two or three incorrect options, you can now finally guess a choice out of the rest. Do not try solving questions by this method unless you are very sure about the wrong answer (or answers).
Try To Outrun The GMAT Score That You Targeted Initially
You are your competitor. You should always start by preparing with a mindset of achieving a higher score than required. Even though you don’t necessarily need a score above 500-600 in your GMAT exams for a specific business school, it is preferable to overshoot during your preparation so that you can safely reach your targeted score.
You should target at least 50 marks higher than your required score. It is pretty standard for the aspirants to score 30 marks, more or less depending on their mental and physical state on their examination day.
Try Resolving GMAT Prep Tests That You Have Solved Before
You can find a lot of GMAT prep tests from a lot of websites and companies. A good part about prep tests by the better of these websites or companies is that most of these follow the adaptive question algorithm like the preliminary test. Therefore this is an excellent way for using the same prep test multiple times and the main reason is, as you improve, your questions will be different. Thus, redoing a prep test uncovers you to a greater variety of questions.
Do Not Overrate The Results Of Your GMAT Prep Tests
The prep tests that are available on the official GMAT website are said to be very helpful by many sources. It is, of course, true, but you should not overestimate the results you get from these prep tests because they are not the actual test results. Use them as a source of motivation but do not consider yourself exam-ready just because you have reached your targeted score.
Try To Think More Conceptually
In your school and college, you have learned to memorise answers by taking notes from lectures and previous exams. The GMAT here checks your ability to apply knowledge instead of checking your ability to mug up and recollect answers. But providing different variations of a single problem, GMAT tries to check its aspirants’ concepts rather than just testing a specific rule or process to solve a particular problem.
Keeping A Proper Track Of Time Is Also An Essential Factor
You have to learn to pace yourself and adequately manage time because you have a limited time to solve the GMAT test. One major problem faced by most people is that they realise they are not preparing well until it’s too late.
Once you are informed of the exam pattern, the type of questions, and most of the concepts, start timing yourself to avoid running short of time in the hall. The exam’s total duration is three hours and seven minutes for four sections, and with a proper track of time, you can easily ace this exam.
Choose The Books To Study From Very Wisely
Lastly, it is crucial to choose the correct books from where you wish to study. For performing well in the GMAT exam, the graduate management admissions council releases an official record of their version every year. It is called the GMAT Official Guide, and this book is revered by GMAT aspirants around the globe. However, the book is known to have primarily easy and intermediate-level questions. Some other books that one can follow for GMAT preparations are :
- Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guide Set
- PowerScore Verbal Trilogy Bible
- Kaplan GMAT Complete 2020
- Veritas Prep Complete GMAT Course
Now that you’ve read the entire article, you probably are pretty serious about GMAT. If that is the case, then start gearing up for the exams and get done with your preparations as soon as possible. This could be your only chance to get admission into your dream B-School, so leave no stones unturned and start preparing for it now.