How to Ace the GMAT

Each year, thousands of new college graduates and professionals strive to advance their careers by pursuing a graduate degree in business. Top universities want to attract the best students, so competition for admission is keen. A key component for acceptance to the school of your choice is a high score on the Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT. To find out how to ace the GMAT, follow these guidelines.


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    Understand the GMAT. The GMAT is a computer-adaptive exam comprised of 3 distinct sections: verbal, quantitative and analytical writing.
    • Verbal section: This portion of evaluates reading comprehension, critical thinking and correcting sentence structure. There are 41 questions in the GMAT verbal section. You will have 75 minutes to complete it.
    • Quantitative section: This part of the GMAT covers basic arithmetic, including fundamental algebra and geometry, and the ability use quantitative reasoning to solve problems. This part of the GMAT contains 37 questions and must be completed within 75 minutes.
    • Analytical-writing section: This section requires you to write 2 essays in 60 minutes. One emphasizes the ability to analyze an issue. The second requires analysis of an argument. This section tests your ability to clearly state and defend a point, and question the strength of a positional piece.
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    Study for the GMAT. There are many effective GMAT study aids available, including practice tests. All can help you prepare for the GMAT and achieve a high score, enabling you to enroll in the graduate school of your choice. Some of the most popular, effective methods of preparing for the GMAT are:
    • Books and DVDs: Many professionals who must make special efforts to find time to prepare for the test opt for books or DVDs as GMAT study aids. Most are comprehensive, but some focus on a specific section of the GMAT. This can be helpful to people who have difficulty with a particular facet of the test material.
    • Classroom courses: This option is ideal for people who have the time to attend. Instructors provide personal attention to students, helping students bolster their test-taking skills and improve in areas where they're having difficulty. Many expect students to take several GMAT practice exams to prepare for the actual test.
    • Online programs: Online instruction blends the structure of the classroom setting with the flexibility of working at your own pace, on your schedule. Many include course materials and have an online coach available 24 hours a day. Online courses also can help you prepare for the tricky format of the computer-adaptive GMAT.
    • Tutoring: For people having serious problems understanding any portion of the GMAT, one-on-one tutoring is often an excellent study option. An experienced teacher can diagnose and address your particular weakness and help you conquer the challenge.
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    Register to take the GMAT. It is important to consider the application deadlines of the graduate schools you're interested in when registering for the GMAT. Make sure you allow enough time for the test to be graded and the results forwarded to schools you applied to. Think about other factors when registering for the GMAT.
    • You must pay a fee in order to take the GMAT.
    • The GMAT is administered at test centers on weekdays and Saturdays. Apply early for weekend dates, as they tend to fill up quickly.
    • If you're unsatisfied with the score you earned on the GMAT, you can retake the test 1 time per month and no more than 5 times per 12-month period.
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    Take the GMAT. By acquainting yourself with what the test-day atmosphere will be like, you are less apt to be distracted. You will be expected to follow test regulations when you appear at the testing center. They include:
    • Check-in: When you arrive at the test center, you will need to produce a valid ID to the test administrator. You also must sign in and have your photograph taken.
    • Test: The exam takes about 4 hours to complete and includes 2 optional break periods. It begins when you sit at your computer station. You are not allowed to speak to anyone other than the test administrator during testing. The use of any item that could be construed as a testing aid is strictly prohibited.
    • Completion: When you're done with the test, complete the optional demographics section, if desired.


  • It takes about 4 weeks for your test results to be forwarded to designated universities.
  • Most instructors encourage students to take as many GMAT practice exams as possible, to familiarize themselves with the types of questions they'll be answering on the GMAT.

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Categories: Tests and Exams