The Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT is a computer adaptive test designed for prospective business graduates. The test comprises several segmented assessments for graduate management programs like MBA.
The test is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council or GMAC. It was first introduced in 1953 with 9 of the leading business schools in the USA. Since then, the GMAT has been the standard for MBA entrance examination in over 114 countries and 2700 business schools across the globe.
Naturally, the assessment process of GMAT is rigorous. However, a planned preparation can easily help a test taker ace the assessment.
Why is GMAT Important?
The obvious reason is the standardized nature of the test. GMAT has emerged as an entrance criterion to ivy league MBA programs across the USA, Canada, and different European countries.
The test comprises analytics, writing, verbal, comprehensive skills, and quantitative skills. GMAT aims to assess the analytical and problem-solving skills of a test taker by incorporating data, logic, and critical reasoning.
GMAT is not an absolute criterion to get into a business school for post-graduation. However, there is a strong correlation between the GPA in post-graduation programs and the GMAT scores. As a result, leading business schools tend to provide a strong weight to the GMAT scores while considering admission opportunities.
Best Resources for GMAT Preparation
The entire GMAT exam is 3 hours and 7 minutes long. The assessment test is divided into four sections; those are verbal, analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, and quantitative.
Analytical Writing Assessment
The analytical writing assessment is 30 minutes long writing test on analysis of an argument. A test taker needs to understand the presented argument and write a critique on it. To ensure proper assessment, the essay is judged by an independent assessor from GMAC and a computer-based marking system. The essay score ranges between 1 to 6 where 6 is the highest achievable denomination.
The key to acing AWA is all about practice and going through sample responses. GMAT Club has over 100 AWA solutions on different arguments. These will help a test taker to better understand the approach and response pattern. Platinum GMAT also has some sample essays. E-GMAT lists 50 plus arguments for self-practice. Manhattan Review also has a comprehensive list of sample prompts and practice opportunities. To practice AWA, head over to 800 Score. The website has a free real-time mock test opportunity for the test takers.
Integrated Reasoning Section
The integrated reasoning checks the ability of the test taker to interpret different data presented from a different source and find a correlation among them. The section consists of 12 questions in total. The 12 questions fall under each of – table analysis, graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, and multi-source reasoning.
Varsity Tutor has a free practice test module covering all the parts of the assessment. Here a test taker can assess their proficiency in a mock exam scenario. Veritas Prep outlines a number of sample questions with solutions for each of the parts. A test taker can easily take an idea and understand the question pattern. GMAT Practice Questions also has a good number of resources. The guided practice modules will give a detailed idea regarding correct interpretation and correlation. Prep Scholar has over 200 sample questions and answers to aid in the practice as well.
The quantitative section is considered as one of the hardest sections in the GMAT test schedule. As a result, this particular section requires extra attention and care to get by. The main aim of this section is to assess whether the test taker can reason quantitatively, interpret different data as well as show proficiency in using the provided information correctly.
The quantitative section requires proficiency in certain algebra, arithmetic as well as knowledge of geometry. The scoring ranges between 0 to 60 and the test-taker have to complete the calculation by hand.
Target Test Prep has several study materials for the quantitative section. There are also math questions with shortcuts and formulas to better prepare for the test. GMAT Club also has a comprehensive review of the quantitative section. The GMAT Advanced Quant has over 250 practice problems with complete test preparation guidelines. The book can be found on Amazon as a paperback as well as an e-book.
Varsity Tutor has a free math practice portal that can be used for mock math exams. The success in this section depends on the ability of the test taker to solve problems as quickly as possible. As a result, there is no alternative to practice. Wizako has several question banks for the GMAT quant. It can be a great resource for practicing.
The verbal section comes as the last assessment criteria for GMAT. The section is divided into 3 parts – critical reasoning, reading comprehension, and sentence correction. Each section has 5 questions which are marked on a cumulative point between 0 to 60.
The verbal section is the assessment of a test taker’s ability to analyze any given scenario and come to a definitive conclusion regarding the same.
Magoosh blog has a definitive guideline on how to ace the verbal section. Since the verbal section is also heavily dependent on practice, Manhattan Review has a host of practice questions. Similar practice questions are available at Varsity Tutor as well. But perhaps the most comprehensive practice module is available at Test Guide. There are over 500 questions covering all three verbal topics. It also comes with sample answers. And all of these free online GMAT resources can be accessed free of cost. For some more resources and guidelines, check out Beat the GMAT website.
Universities don’t really outline how much weight GMAT carries. But considering the nature of the test and high relevancy with the academic modules, it is safe to assume that it is significant. The standardized nature makes it easy to use this one score to apply to any business school of choice. Moreover, GMAC allows the validity of the score for 5 years which gives the test taker ample time to make informed higher studies decisions.
Source: United News of Bangladesh