Things to do Before GMAT Testing Day

College education in the U.S. is a demanding experience—as many as 40 percent of undergrad students drop out. That’s on top of the 8 percent dropouts in high school. As you near the day when you will have your bachelor’s degree in your hands, you have every reason to feel proud.

But things now get even more serious. You now have to start thinking about graduate school if you haven’t already done so. Getting into grad school is not easy. Most streams thoroughly test your preparedness before admitting you. 

For those seeking a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), the test concerned is the Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT. As many as 2,300 business schools in America use GMAT scores to decide upon admissions. Not surprisingly, almost every MBA aspirant in America takes the GMAT.

If you are an MBA aspirant, you probably would have registered for the GMAT and plan to take the test soon. If you haven’t yet registered, do so at the earliest feasible so that you have sufficient time for your scores to be reported to the schools you wish to apply to. Conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the GMAT is a challenging exam that presses candidates with original questions on multiple fronts in a limited amount of time. 

Over 200,000 candidates take the exam every year, and less than 10 percent score 700 or more out of a maximum 800 points. You need to brush up your test-taking skills. Most GMAT takers spend over 100 hours in preparation—studying and taking practice tests.

A Quick GMAT Refresher

The GMAT is a multiple-choice test that lasts 3 hours and 30 minutes, including two optional breaks. The test consists of four sections: 

Analytical Writing Assessment (30 minutes/1 question), Integrated Reasoning (30 minutes/12 questions), Quantitative Reasoning (62 minutes/31 questions), and Verbal Reasoning (65 minutes/36 questions). The questions are designed to gauge your business management aptitude reliably.

Two of the sections are Computer Adaptive Tests (CATs): Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. These sections use a computer algorithm to tune questions to the ability of the candidate in real-time. A correct answer is followed by a harder question, while an easier question follows up an incorrect answer. Your final score is determined by the difficulty level of the complete route you took.

Know Your Testing Location

You can find a list of test locations on the official website. The exam is administered on a computer. This means that you will be taking the exam online and not on paper. Your test ticket will have the location of your testing site. If you need any further information, you can ask test administrators at your site for assistance.

Preparing for the GMAT

You probably already have a list of universities that you want to apply to. That means you also have an idea about the score you are aiming for. Many business schools will grant admission with a GMAT score of 680. Most will readily accept a score of 700. But top schools like Stanford demand nothing less than 720, and even then, you cannot be sure of admission.

With an idea of the score you are aiming for, it is time to kick off your GMAT preparation. Find all the resources and material you think are most helpful, and start studying rigorously. Take regular practice tests to track your progress. 

When you take a practice test, analyze your scores to identify which sections you are weak in. Focus more on those sections. If self-study does not overcome your deficiencies, consider enrolling in a prep course. Also, keep an eye on GMAT test dates. You want to take the exam when you are fully prepared and confident of doing well.

Get Comfortable Before You Take the Exam

A common mistake GMAT candidates commit is burning themselves out in the last few days before the exam. Stressing yourself close to test day is known to affect your GMAT scores adversely. So avoid cramming or difficult practice sessions when your test date is just around the corner.

The last couple of days before the exam are ideally reserved for sleep and relaxation. You should feel fresh when you walk into your GMAT test site. A fresh, relaxed mind helps you tackle GMAT’s challenges with a higher chance of success. If you finally get the score you are looking for, all is well. If not, there is no reason to feel overly disheartened—you will know which sections to focus on for your next attempt.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.