Anyone interested in pursuing a graduate degree or an MBA will likely have to take the GMAT. GMAT is a standardised test procedure required by thousands of graduate schools at the time of admission. Although the global average GMAT score is 565, roughly one in 10 test takers achieve a 700 or higher score, which falls into the 88th percentile. The U.S. often produces the highest number of test scores with 700 and above.

Like any standardised test, it can be quite challenging to pass without a good score. If you need to take the GMAT for your program, a test prep service may help you increase your chances of a higher score.

What is the GMAT?

GMAT, or the Graduation Management Admissions Test, is a standardised, computer-assessed, multiple-choice exam that many graduate business programs require for applicants. You will need to sit for the exam for about three and a half hours, including breaks. However, you should arrive 30 minutes before the starting time.

The GMAT assesses and measures your mastery in algebra, arithmetic, reasoning, geometry, analysis, and critical thinking. It includes four unique sections:

  • Analytic Writing– The essay section will test your writing skills and analyse the author’s argument within 30 minutes.
  • Integrated Reasoning– You will need to answer reasoning and analysis questions with multiple parts within 30 minutes.
  • Quantitative Assessment– This will test your problem-solving skills and ability to provide informative data within 62 minutes.
  • Verbal Assessment– You will need to go through reading comprehension, correct sentences, and critically evaluate arguments in 65 minutes.

The computer will provide you with medium difficulty questions when you start the GMAT. If you continue to answer correctly, it offers a higher level of difficult questions to estimate your ability. If you continue to answer incorrectly, you will receive less challenging problems, and the computer will calculate a lower capacity. Therefore, your ability level or scoring does not just depend on the questions that you got right or wrong but is also based on the difficulty of questions.

What Programs and Degrees Require It?

Most graduate business programs require students to report scores for either the GMAT or the GRE. Some programs, especially MBA programs, may specifically require applicants to take the GMAT, as it focuses more on business-related skills. Having GMAT scores can push you a step closer to your dream college, and having GMAT prep resources, such as a prep service or program, can provide you with an edge over other applicants.

Other master’s programs that may require GMAT scores (or may except them instead of GRE scores) include:

  • Management
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Actuarial Science
  • HR
  • Economics
  • Hospital Administration
  • Operations Research
  • Industrial Organisational Psychology
  • Corporate Communication

How Can You Prepare for the Exam?

  • Find Out the Average Score– The first thing you will need to do is find out the average GMAT score expected by your university or program so that you can start preparations to meet those goals.
  • Work on a Plan– You should make a plan for studying each day and acquire whatever materials you require for the exam, such as books or online resources.
  • Take Practice Tests– Practice tests can help you determine your strengths and weaknesses regarding the examination. If you find that you’re weak in a specific section, you can work harder on that until you see improvements.
  • Sign Up for the Test– Find out when you need to take the exams and how long until the results are sent to your university or college so that you can meet the admission dates. Moreover, once you determine the test dates, you can start studying.

What Services Can a Prep Program Provide?

If you sign up for a prep program, you will get undivided attention from a tutor that will help you prepare for the GMAT. The tutors may also provide additional practice tests to figure out which sections require more work. Moreover, they will help you improve in those areas and give more feedback to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes in future exams.

Practice is Your Best Friend

Whenever it comes to any standardised test, the more practice you have, the better your chances of scoring well. Just be sure to follow the age-old adage of studying smarter, not harder. Focus on your weaknesses and simulating the test-day requirements, and you’ll set yourself up for success on the exam.