The majority of students who hope to pursue an advanced business degree, such as an MBA, have to take either the GRE or GMAT. While some graduate programs have dropped their standardized testing requirements for applicants altogether, the majority of business schools still ask prospective students to report their scores for one of these exams. In addition, some MBA programs will only accept GMAT scores, not GRE results.
While some MBA hopefuls opt to take the GRE, taking the GMAT will allow you to apply to the widest range of programs. If you confidently have your eyes set on a Master of Business Administration degree, then it’s time to buckle down and start preparing for the GMAT.
Test Questions and Format
According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the GMAT test-makers, the GMAT acts as a predictor of success in a graduate business program and helps applicants stand out from the pack. The exam “measures your critical thinking and reasoning skills, the two most relevant skills to the world’s top graduate business programs.”
Like the GRE, the GMAT is computer-adaptive, meaning the exam adjusts itself in response to your abilities, and questions become more or less difficult accordingly. The GMAT includes the following test sections, which are individually scored:
Unlike the GRE, LSAT, and MCAT, the GMAT allows test-takers to choose the order in which they complete the exam. You can select one of the three following options:
Exam and Application Costs
The cost of taking the GRE varies by country, but in the U.S., you can expect to pay $275 for the exam itself. For each additional score report you order it costs $35.
If you want an enhanced score report, you’ll pay an extra $30. This report can tell you the percentage of questions you answered correctly, rank your performance by question type, identify your strengths and weaknesses, show how you managed your time, and tell you how well you performed on questions based on their difficulty.
Recommendations for Test Prep
On average, applicants spend 100 to 120 hours studying for the GMAT over the span of two to three months. Once you choose from the GMAT test dates for 2020, it’s recommended that you create a study calendar. The GMAT test-makers offer a free eight-week study planner that will help you track your progress, develop a strategy to improve your score and create a plan for the day of the exam.
Mastering the GMAT
To improve your odds of acceptance into an MBA or other professional program, you’ll want to leverage the GMAT to show off your analytical, reasoning, and writing abilities. While not all schools require you to take the exam, reporting your scores is an opportunity to prove your capabilities. To master the GMAT, give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the exam and even take the exam more than once if you aren’t satisfied with your performance.