Test Preparation – GMAT

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is established and managed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Admissions officers make use of the GMAT to evaluate academic ability. In fact, ETS data has proven that GMAT scores are reliably good, though imperfect, predictors of academic achievement in the first year of business school. GMAT scores are also employed by admissions committees as a useful guide in evaluating the credentials of applicants from broadly varying backgrounds. As such, it is crucial to have a good test preparation for the GMAT and get as high as you can.

Standardized = Predictable

The test itself assesses general verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing abilities. It does not assess business skills nor specific subject knowledge. The GMAT is a standardized test. Standardized tests by definition are predictable. Having an idea of the format and structure of the test and employing certain strategies to tackle them can considerably increase score levels. In a nutshell, targeted groundwork is the key to success on the GMAT.

Taking the Test – Test Preparation (GMAT)

There are a lot of test locations and you are recommended to check the GMAT website for additional information about venues of testing and how to book a test appointment, you can find all those details at


The GMAT comprises of three sections, each with a subscore that contributes to your total score:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment
  2. Quantitative
  3. Verbal

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The analytical writing section has two 30-minute typewritten essays. The topics tested are: Analysis of an issue and analysis of an argument.


This section takes 75 minutes and has a maximum of 37 multiple-choice questions. Questions include data sufficiency and problem-solving, on topics like algebra, arithmetic, and geometry.


The verbal section will take 75 minutes and has a maximum of 41 multiple-choice questions. Question types include sentence correction, reading comprehension, and critical reasoning on topics like speed reading, grammar, and analytical reasoning.

GMAT Tips – Test Preparation

In the first half of the Quantitative and Verbal Sections:

  1. Double-check your work to catch any sloppy mistakes.
  2. If you get the first few right, expect a very tough question early on.
  3. Don’t worry if you can’t answer an early question (even the first one).
  4. Don’t over-invest. Some questions yield to brute force, some don’t.

In the second half of the Quantitative and Verbal Sections:

  1. You should feel challenged.
  2. Strategic guessing is ultra-important. Be willing to cut your losses.
  3. Take quick stabs whenever a question looks too time-consuming.
  4. Manage your time so you don’t have to guess randomly on the last 10-15 questions.
  5. Missing any one question won’t hurt your score (much), but missing a string of questions will.
  6. Assume the last questions are scored.
  7. You will be penalized heavily for not finishing the section.

Scoring on the GMAT

You will receive four scores on the GMAT:

  1. An overall score, ranging from 200 to 800.
  2. A math subscore, ranging from 0 to 60.
  3. A verbal subscore, ranging from 0 to 60.
  4. A score for the Analytical Writing Assessment, ranging from 0 to 6.

Your GMAT test score is valid for five years, so it is worth any preparation you give to it.

Percentile Rank

Each of the aforementioned scores is accompanied by percentile rank. The percentile rank emphasizes what percentage of test-takers scored lower than you on the test. The higher your percentile rank, the better you did in the test. For instance, if you get a percentile rank of 56, you performed better than 56 percent of test-takers. This figure tells business schools precisely where you fall with respect to other applicants who took the GMAT.

The Essay

Each essay is given a separate score on a 0-6 scale by two different assessors – a human and a computer called the “e-rater”. These grades are allotted holistically, taking into consideration all aspects of writing style, content, and grammar.

If the two grades for an essay correspond, that score will be given. If the two scores are significantly different, then a third-grader, a person, will review the essay to determine its grade. Furthermore, business schools may obtain copies of your typewritten essays.

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