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Everything You Wanted to Know About the GMAT

Posted on Mar 06, 2018
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The GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) is a standardized test required by all applicants who want to study in an MBA program abroad. The board that conducts this test is called GMAC (Graduate Management Admissions Council)

What Are the Sections in the GMAT?

The GMAT is tested in English, and consists of the following four separately timed sections:
1. 2 Analytical Writing tasks (AW)
2. Quantitative section
3. Verbal section

The AW section is always first, followed by Quantitative and then Verbal. An optional break of 8 minutes is allowed before and after the Quantitative Section.

The Analytical Writing Assessment
The Analytical Writing Assessment Section on the GMAT contains one essay prompt that you’ll have 30 minutes to complete this section.

You’ll be given an argument, and you must evaluate its strengths and weaknesses in an essay. You aren’t giving your own opinion on the issue, you’re instead discussing the given opinion, what its shortcomings are, and how it could be improved.

Integrated Reasoning

This section contains 12 questions. The Integrated Reasoning question also tests quantitative skills. This section contains 4 question types:
a.graphics interpretation,
b.two-part analysis,
c.table analysis, and
d.multi-source reasoning.

“A good way to tackle the GMAT is to keep practicing regularly for at least 4 months prior to the exam date.”

Each of these parts test how well you analyze and interpret data to solve complex problems. Here you have to interpret information presented in graphics, text, and numbers, and synthesize information for multiple sources to solve complex problems. You are also required to find and analyze relationships in information to solve problems.

Many of these problems are complex and have multiple parts, and you have to answer every part of the question correctly in order to be awarded any points, which can make them more challenging.

The Quantitative section
Within the Quantitative section there are two types of questions: Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency.

Problem Solving: For Problem Solving questions, you may have to solve equations, interpret graphs, evaluate data, or a combination of the three. They’re similar to many other standardized math problems you’ve done.

Data Sufficiency: Data Sufficiency problems (which make up about 14-16 of the 37 Quantitative questions) are more unusual. For these problems, you’ll be given a question followed by two statements. You’ll have to decide if one, both, either, or neither statement is sufficient enough to answer the question. (For these questions, you don’t need to solve the problem that you’re given, you just need to decide if you have enough information to do so.)

The Verbal section

The Verbal section of the GMAT has 41 questions that test your ability to understand written material, evaluate arguments on different topics, and identify and correct errors in written material.

The questions are categorized as under:

Reading Comprehension: For these questions, there will be a passage to read and then several questions on that passage. The questions will often ask you to draw conclusions from the passage or analyze an argument that was made.

Critical Reading: Critical Reading questions begin with a short passage, usually 2-3 sentences long. A question then follows the passage that requires you to analyze and apply information from the passage. These questions are similar to Reading Comprehension questions, except the passages are shorter, and they sometimes contain data you’ll have to analyze to answer the question.

Sentence Correction: These questions will have a sentence, part or all of which is underlined. Under the sentence will be five ways of wording the underlined portion, with the first option repeating the original phrase. You’ll choose which option you think is correct. These questions test your grammar and proper communication skills.

The Purpose of the Test

The GMAT is at test that examines the readiness of a prospective graduate student for graduate level work, and is seen as a predictive factor for future success in graduate school. It is designed to assess your ability in reading, writing, English, and Math skills. You’ll also be assessed on your analytical, quantitative reasoning and verbal skills. The test itself is split into four parts; Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and a verbal section.

How to Crack the GMAT to Get a High Score

1. Make a Study Plan and Stick to It
The key to success in a GMAT is consistent preparation. You cannot expect to score well in the GMAT or for that matter any test without adequate preparation. A good way to tackle the GMAT is to keep practicing regularly for at least 4 months prior to the exam date. To be able to crack any test, you need to be highly familiar with all of its contents. First of all, get a good hang of the exam, paper pattern, syllabus, and the like. The more you know about the test, the easier it will get to nail a top score!

2. Understanding the GMAT Exam Format and Pattern

It is better to understand everything about GMAT exam before taking admission for GMAT coaching. Read up, take mock tests, solve quizzes and puzzles that help you orient your thoughts towards the GMAT. Once you understand exam fundamentals, pinpoint the score that you’d like to achieve.

3. Take a Mock Test Every Once a Week

Mock tests will help you build your skills in a real exam setting. It is important to solve as many mock tests as you can before going in for the actual test.

4. Have Trust in Yourself
Don’t be over ambitious, but also make sure to not let go of your targets easily. Your goals should be realistic, attainable, but not a low-hanging fruit. If you lack a good grasp on fundamentals, work on them. However, even after working hard, you don’t enjoy or perform well in a certain section, don’t beat yourself up for that. There are many other areas you can maximize your score and get a good ranking.

5. GMAT is a Marathon that Tests Your Stamina

Be prepared for a long, and arduous journey of test preparation. More than skill, you require stamina to follow through your GMAT objectives. Don’t let your performance fall through the cracks because you lost the steam.

6. Practice! Practice! Practice!

Nothing works like magic other than practice. Think of a violinist who holds a violin for the first time. Or a dancer trying to dance on her toes. It’s only practice that separates the good from the excellent. If you want to be above par, be ready to invest hours of practice. Practice will pay you rich dividends.

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