Ten things that you need to know about the GMAT

The GMAT exam is attempted by individuals aspiring to do their MBA overseas. Since it is used as a measure by some of the top universities in the world to admit students to their campus it also earns its place as one of the toughest competitive exams as well. Therefore it requires consistent and diligent efforts by each individual to ensure they score good marks. Some of the key aspects to remember about the GMAT exam are listed below.

  • Create the perfect Study plan – Creating a good study plan can prove to be a very effective and beneficial way to begin your GRE preparation. It helps you to track the progress which you have made with the syllabus. Study plans also ensure that you don’t miss out on any important topics or overlook some sections during your preparation. Once you finalize on the date of your GMAT exam you will be aware of how much time you have left and accordingly modify your study plan as per your requirements. Every section of the GMAT needs adequate time to be set aside so that you can prepare for the same productively. Study plans should take into account the amount of study time available to you on a daily basis and you must diligently stick to the same. This will avoid any last minute panic attacks you may have due to inadequate preparation.
  • Invest in good Study Materials – This is a crucial aspect in your GMAT preparation since there are an abundant amount of materials available on the internet. With the development in technology many students have access to a wide range of information on every subject. Unfortunately not all of them are of good quality. It is therefore necessary to do research before selecting the appropriate study materials for your preparation. There are also a lot of helpful apps and online learning programs which have excellent study techniques and the best content available as well.
  • Attempt many mock tests – Mock tests help you in many ways with your preparation for the GMAT exam. First and foremost it assists you to get familiar with the testing conditions of the GMAT (i.e) The adaptive testing pattern (the level of difficulty increases or decreases depending on your performance in the previous section), the marking schemes, the break patterns etc. Once you are acquainted with the test patterns you will become more confident when you are attempting the actual GMAT exam. Mock tests also help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses. When you view the diagnostics of your mock test you will gain a better understanding of which topics you are proficient in and which topics you need to work on. This will aid you to prepare well for the exam and gives you a chance to improve your knowledge on the topics which you are not adept in.
  • The validity of GMAT score – One of the biggest benefits which the GMAT exam provides is that your GMAT scores are valid for a period of 5 years. This gives you the opportunity to attempt the exam immediately after your graduation, gain a few years of experience and then begin your application process to the universities of your preference. You can also spend this time to develop several aspects of your profile like – SOP, LOR, complete any online certifications etc. These are all influential factors which play an important role in the admissions process as the adcom of the universities don’t want to admit candidates who are only academically intelligent.
  • The Registration process for GMAT exam – Registering for the GMAT is a fairly simple and straightforward procedure. You will have to go to the official website for GMAT and click on the “Register for the GMAT exam” link. Next you will have to fill out all your basic details – First Name, Last Name, Email id, Password etc. Once you have created the account you can then proceed to schedule your GMAT exam after selecting the preferred date and test center. Ensure to check if your name is spelled correctly as per any of your government issued IDs. You can use the account to also reschedule the exam in case you require to do so. You will also be able to search for and save school information to your account.
  • Preparation time for the GMAT – The preparation time for the GMAT exam varies for each individual since everyone has a different set of competencies. Hence it is recommended that you begin your preparation at least 2-3 months before your exam date if you are a working professional. You will have to set aside time on a daily basis during the weekdays and a longer period of time over the weekends. It is understandable that it is a difficult task to balance both studying for a competitive exam and working full time at a job. However it is certainly possible and you will have to contribute efforts on a consistent basis. You can also squeeze in valuable prep time during your commute time to the office, break times at work etc.
  • Syllabus for GMAT – The GMAT exam comprises of the following important sections – Verbal Reasoning, Analytical Writing, Quantitative Aptitude and Integrated Reasoning. Each of these sections play a vital role in the exam and hence it is mandatory for you to allocate sufficient time for each of them. The syllabus for each of these sections consists of basic middle and high school concepts. The Quant section evaluates your abilities to solve quant problems and decipher numerical data. Some of the topics under this section are – Problem Solving, Data Sufficiency, Number Systems, Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra, Geometry Concepts. The Verbal aptitude section includes sections under – Modifiers, Verb Tense, Subject Verb Agreement, Pronouns Agreement, Parallelism etc. Integrated Reasoning is aimed at testing an individual’s thinking capability and his prowess on how efficiently and effectively he/she can interpret data. The Analytical Writing section analyzes your essay writing skills, your competencies to think critically and convey your ideas effectively to formulate a constructive assessment.
  • How to send your GMAT scores to universities – You have 2 options to send GMAT scores to universities of your preference. The first is the free option which your GMAT registration fee allows. You can use this option if you have already decided on which universities to apply to and select upto 5 business schools to send your scores to. In the event that you don’t use the free option to send your GMAT scores then you will have to pay an additional fee (Additional Score Report fee) to send your scores to the business schools you want to apply to. The above is valid in case you need to apply to more than 5 schools as well.
  • The duration of the GMAT exam – The GMAT exam is a lengthy one since it contains several topics and one has to spend adequate time on each of the sections. The entire duration of the GMAT is 3 hours and 30 minutes. It also has 2 optional eight minute breaks which may take the total duration of the exam up to 4 hours.
  • Number of attempts for the GMAT exam – Another considerable advantage which the GMAT exam provides is that it does not restrict you to only 1 attempt. You have the option of attempting the exam upto 5 times in a calendar year with a 16 day gap between each attempt. However the total number of attempts for the GMAT exam overall is 8. Therefore it is recommended that you use this option cautiously in case you would like to improve your GMAT scores.