GMAT Basics: What You Need to Know about this Test

If you are planning to pursue an MBA, one of the documents you are required to submit to the business school you are enrolling to is your GMAT test results. The Graduate Management Admission Test is a standardized exam that assesses your competencies and overall abilities and helps gauge your chances of success as an MBA student.

Taking this exam can be intimating and nerve-racking for many, so here is some basic and useful information on the GMATs.

What it is

The GMAT is your entrance exam to a master’s of business administration program. However, it is not like the usual entrance tests that you take in other programs that you just have to pass to be enrolled to the program.

Your GMAT score will influence your application to graduate business programs, but how much it will effect your overall application depends on the business school/s you want to apply to. There are those which specify the minimum score you must obtain in the exam. All of them look at submitted documents, including undergraduate transcripts and recommendation letters, when determining which candidates will be admitted to the program.

The GMAT has three sections: analytical writing, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. The analytical writing portion will test your critical thinking and communication skills, while the verbal reasoning portion will measure your reading comprehension and sentence correction skills. Lastly, the qualitative reasoning part will test your number skills. A typical applicant will get a score between zero and six in the analytical writing section, while he may get something between 0 and 60 for the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections.

How to register

The first step is to register. It is now simple to register for GMAT because you can do so online. However, it is important that you register early for you to have a slot in the testing center near you. Take note that there are testing centers that have very limited seating.

The test typically costs $250. This amount can make you hesitant to take the test, but consider it an investment. Plus, agreeing to pay this fee is one way to confirm if you really are ready to pursue an MBA.

How to prepare for it

The GMAT will take you one step closer to your MBA degree, so better prepare for it seriously. One way to get ready for it is to gather free study resources. There are different review kits and practice tests that you can find online, and the study aids available in local libraries are just as helpful.

Aside from these study materials, you can also take a preparatory course for it. Getting a private tutor or enrolling in online or teacher-led courses can also help you get a good score in the GMAT. Balance your time in self-reviewing and attending preparatory courses. Study hard but still prepare to be surprised on the day of the test itself. No matter how many practice test sheets you have, no single item in the GMAT is predictable.

If all your efforts in preparing for the GMAT fail, you don’t have to worry too much. You can take it again. But of course, if you can pass it on your first take, the closer you are to earning that MBA degree.

Mary Grace Ramos-Espiel is a teacher and contributor to She plans to go to MBA school after she finishes her graduate studies in Education.

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