If you are applying to an MBA or other business management program, chances are you will be taking the GMAT as part of your application process. Your potential school will use the scores on the GMAT, along with other information provided on your application to decide on admittance into a graduate program. Obviously, you’d like to get the best score possible. Here are some things to think about as you get closer to the test.
Test Prep is important: There are resources available to you from a variety of sources that can help you prepare for the GMAT. There are also practice tests, which mimic the types of questions that will be on the actual GMAT, as well as the format and structure of the test itself. A practice test is a good way to measure what your score would likely be if you took the test now, and gives insight in to the areas of the test that could use a bit more preparation. The more you prepare, the more confident you will be as you go into the GMAT, and the better your score will be.
Brush up on your math skill and your grammar: Remember that you are not allowed to use a calculator during the GMAT. It’s a good idea to review your math, geometry, and problem-solving skills prior to taking the test. You can take a practice test to determine exactly what math skills you need to hone. Part of the verbal section will be evaluating and correcting sentences. Brushing up on your grammar can help your accuracy and allow you to move more quickly through these questions.
When taking the GMAT, keep an eye on the time and read the directions fully. Each section of the GMAT is timed. Some questions will take you longer than others. As you begin each section, a clock will pop up on your computer screen that will let you know your remaining time. This can help you keep a proper pace throughout the test. Likewise, reading directions carefully and fully can help you avoid errors, or going back to re-do sections that may have been done incorrectly.
Use your test-taking skills. The GMAT allows you to skip questions and return to them. You can skip questions that you don’t understand or are unsure of and go back to them later. It can be helpful, in multiple choice questions, to read all of the answers first before beginning to solve the problem. Often one or more possible answer can be eliminated right away if it is obviously wrong, getting you closer to the actual answer. When completing the analytical writing section, remember that you will have 30 minutes to complete your answer. Use whatever essay construction skills typically work best for you – outlining, webbing, brainstorming – start writing the actual essay only when you have a good idea of what to say. This helps you organize your writing into the proper structure of introduction and thesis statement, body of supporting information, and conclusion.
Review the structure of the test prior to test day: Understanding the structure of the test and the format in which the test will be administered will help avoid any confusion on test day and make taking the test a lot less stressful. One of the best ways to really understand the test before test day is to take several practice tests.