Standardized tests such as the GMAT are one of the only ?standardized? components of the application process ? one that makes it easy to compare one candidate with another. A candidate?s score either raises or lowers the school?s average GMAT score ? and that is something the adcom cares about. Rankings depend on standardized testing, so it is quite difficult to get admitted to a school unless you fall within the band that is considered acceptable.
Excellent packaging overcomes low GMAT scores up to a point, and helps you upgrade the school you can get into. High GMAT scores are also no guarantee of an admission unless you have a well-packaged application.
The GMAT is an exam that you can train for ? up to a point. Taking the exam again will not change your score by much.? But remember, you can shift you score by 200 points from the first cold exam that you take.?? My recommendation, is that before you study anything, take the exam once.? Add 200 to your score, and that is probably about as far as you will end up.
GMAT ? overview:
The Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) is a three hour test that consists of three sections – Analytical Writing Assessment, Quantitative section, and Verbal section
??? 1. Analytical Writing Assessment (2 sections of 30 minutes each)
????? The Analytical Writing Assessment section requires two essays to be written.? Test takers are?? allowed 30 minutes to complete each essay.
?? 2. Quantitative Section (2 sections of 75 minutes each)
????? The Quantitative section contains 37 multiple-choice questions.? There are two types of questions: Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving.
?? 3.? Verbal Section (1 section of 75 minutes)
????? The Verbal Section contains 41 multiple-choice questions of three question types?Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction. Test takers are allowed a maximum of 75 minutes to complete the entire section.
Target scores for the GMAT:
The average score at the world?s top 40 business schools is north of 680.? This is good and bad news.
First the bad news.? If you are below 650 in the GMAT, you?d better have a) a good reason and b) some other academic performances to back up your academic aptitude to negate your GMAT scores.
And the good news:? There is more to your getting in than your GMAT score. Even a GMAT score above 700 won?t guarantee you a spot at a top school. A good GMAT score is above 700, but if you fall below 700, you have some leeway as long as you are above 650. Supplement a 650 score with a strong application ? a solid undergraduate transcript and outstanding work experience. The GMAT is only one part of the application.
There are six pitfalls you should avoid:
?? 1. Do not assume you will do much better on the test day than your highest practice score
?? 2. If your scores start dropping at some point, you are studying too much or too hard.? Take a break for a few days.
?? 3. Write one real test a day if you can afford the time, under real test conditions.
?? 4. You cannot prepare for the GMAT for more than 3 months.? There is not that much to learn.
?? 5. You know your test-taking self best ? be careful about taking other peoples? test-taking tips. There are many tips that people will give you, but you know best how you perform in stressful conditions, and how you react.
?? 6. GMAT is no indication of how well you will do in the business world, so don?t read too much into the scores either way.
Should I repeat the GMAT if I have a low score?
According to GMAC, approximately 21% of GMAT takers repeat the test and typically raise their scores by 29 points. If you are not satisfied with the score, go ahead and repeat it. Business schools tend to only care about the highest score; they don?t average out several attempts on the GMAT.? There is a limit on test-taking. A student cannot take the GMAT more than five times within a 12-month period.
An option here, especially if you don’t have too much time, is to enroll in the online prep courses offered by companies like Princeton Review and Manhattan GMAT.