How to Prepare for GMAT Examination
Everyone wants to be the top shot of a big company, there are many who dream, but there are only a few who choose to work towards it, who choose a goal and then work their hardest to achieve it.
One such stepping stone in this path to success and this path to management is the GMAT. GMAT, standing for Graduate Management Admission Test, is an admission test conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council located in Virginia, U.S.A.
Basically, testing students worldwide on the skills of aptitude, logical reasoning, verbal skills, data interpretation, this computer adaptive test is one of the first and foremost requirement to get admission in any top shot business college in the world.
Its scores are accepted by over more than ten thousand business programs around the world.
Although many colleges also accept GRE (i.e. Graduate record examination) scores, this test has remained the preferred unanimous choice of the top business schools worldwide.
Even though there are no specific eligibility criteria for appearing in the GMAT examination, business colleges do have their own criteria for admissions.
What makes the preparation of GMAT tougher and different from most other examinations is that apart from regular preparation you also have to make a proper strategy for the examination.
One unique point is that the GMAT scores are officially sent to the colleges, and at one time, you can only send your scores to five different colleges which you have to nominate beforehand, so apart from regular syllabus issues, even before you have appeared for the examination, you need to look up various business schools and choose your priorities.
Next, comes the selection of the date on which individual wishes to give the examination. Unlike other examinations which occur on specific dates, GMAT examination takes place year round, i.e. one can give the examination at any day of the year, and this relaxation is both a boon and a bane in disguise. While you have the liberty to schedule your examination as you are comfortable, it creates a false sense of security in your mind, that you still have too much time left, which has led to the downfall of many students.
According to experts, the best time to schedule the GMAT examination is about one month before your application deadline, so that while your scores appear fresh, you still have enough time to work on those grueling college applications and essays.
The format of GMAT, even though described, is not an exact specific one. According to the official GRE website, www.mba.com, GMAT consists of four different sections, namely, analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, quantitative aptitude and verbal reasoning.
All of these are considered equally important in this 3 hours and 30 minutes examination and each section need to be prepared exclusively.
While some colleges look only for the total score of the candidate, others look for individual scores and have minimum cut-off criteria for each section. So it is important to work thoroughly over each section.
Another factor that makes the preparation of GMAT tougher is that it is not your regular pen and paper based test, rather it is a computer adaptive test, wherein questions come on screen and the user has to type or click the answer depending upon each section. It is better to get a thorough idea of the layout and format beforehand so that you are at ease while giving the examination.
The most important thing to take care about is that you cannot switch between sections, once a section has been started, you can only move to another section when the time for this section is completed. So it proves beneficial to know which your strong and weak areas are and to think about the order or manner in which one wishes to attempt the sections in the actual test.
The test organizers have provided for a free of cost official preparation app for the students, which is thoroughly recommended as you remain well updated with all the latest information. This app also contains around 90 mock GMAT test papers, which can be taken for practice to stimulate the computer based conditions which will be present at the time of actual examination. This GMAT application can be downloaded from the official website only i.e. www.mba.com.
The analytical writing assessment consists of one article or analysis of argument which is to be completed in thirty minutes. This section is developed to check your critical thinking and your ability to analyze about an idea.
Best preparation tips include being aware of the current affairs and recent policy changes, if you are aware of a topic, then all of it simply comes down to the presentation of your ideas and thoughts. Being clean with grammar and practicing writing so as to complete within the stipulated time will help one excel this section. Using jargon i.e. Technical terms wherever possible, gives an edge to your piece.
Hot topics should be identified from the latest sample papers and should be practiced. This section basically comes down to how much practice or problem solving you have done in your preparation time.
Last but surely not the least section consists of verbal skills like sentence completion, reading comprehension, passages etc. This section consists of forty-one questions to be completed in seventy-five minutes.
This section is developed to check your programming skills. Simply focusing on the perfect use of grammar i.e. use of tenses, verbs, and nouns will help you sail through most of this section. Spellings of various words should also be noticed keenly during the preparation phase.
Comprehension must be given special attention as critical information needs to be separated from the not so useful information quickly. Doing quality GMAT English level passages through various different books and internet sources will help.
All sample paper passages of the official app should also be attempted with utmost dedication, and all scores must be scrutinized keenly to identify weak and strong areas.
Apart from going through the regular preparations, one should also focus on various things, such as being in the right state of mind while giving the examination, proper time management and stress management.
Doing simple meditation and yoga techniques help in keeping a calm and cool mind which helps perform more efficiently on the D-day.
No specific section should be given priority and the minimum cut-off scores, as well as acceptance criteria of the colleges being applied to, should also be looked after with great care.
Reading success stories of various individuals and talking to the seniors who have taken the examination themselves can be a great way to overcome jitters and examination blues and perform to the best of your ability and put the first step right in your aim to study at the best business schools in the world