The GMAT (The Graduate Management Admission Test) was developed by the Graduate Management Admission Council (or GMAC) and assesses analytical writing and problem-solving mechanics that are believed to be essential to real-world business management success. You can currently take the GMAT exam in one of 600 test centres around the world, and roughly 250,000 people take the exam every year. The GMAT test adjusts according to your ability to answer questions in a quick and timely manner, so even if you’re successful and well prepared,you’ll have your work cut out for you. No pressure, though.
Know Thy Enemy
The exam itself can be broken down into four different segments, each with their own particular focus, duration, and question types.
- Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
- Integrated Reasoning
The Analytical Writing Assessment consists of merely one answer. Don’t get too comfortable with that idea, though. It’s in the form of a 30-minute essay where you must provide a well-articulated analysis of an argument.
The Integrated Reasoning portion measures your ability to assess vital information from multiple sources and formats properly. It consists of 12 questions that cover graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, multi-source reasoning, and table analysis.
The Quantitative section measures your ability to use the information given in a problem and reason quantitatively. This is the section where some arithmetic knowledge and insight comes to great use, as calculators are not permitted. Ouch! There are 3 questions in this portion.
Finally, the Verbal section is primarily comprised of reading comprehension and critical reasoning questions with the primary focus being to measure your ability to analyse and draw satisfactory conclusions.
Grading of the GMAT Test
Each section offers its own grading scale, but only two actually factor into your overall GMAT score (which range from 200-800, with the average from test takers being somewhere between 400-600). The AWA and Integrated Reasoning sections do not affect the overall score. A breakdown of the scoring scale is provided below.
- AWA- The essay is graded on a scale of 1-6.
- Integrated Reasoning- These 12 questions are graded on a scale of 1-8.
- Quantitative- Graded on a scale of 0-60, GMAC reports scores only between 6 to 51.
- Verbal- Graded on a scale of 0-60 as well, scores below 9 or above 44 are quite rare.
The True Test
While there are no true prerequisites to speak of, a good understanding of the English language and your ability to process comprehensive questions quickly is essential to acing the GMAT exam.
Considering the umbrella of information it broadly covers.There’s one critical area that could help lead to success in every branch of the exam: your ability to quickly read and understand the information and reading passages (particularly vital in the comprehension and essay section). While an amount of English fluency is assumed for the exam, what if you’re from abroad? Business doesn’t just thrive and grow in English countries, after all.
So let’s focus on improving your reading speed, shall we?
Your New Best Friend, Streamlined Note Taking
This may go without saying, but let’s cover it anyway. Do you find yourself overwhelmed and struggling with some notes you feel compelled to take during passages? There’s a subtlety to taking proper notes to these passages.
It’s essential to evaluate what’s important to the question/task at hand. Proper filtration of sufficient data is one of the things this test primarily focuses on, and this is where that school of thought rears its head the most. Reviewing the questions before delving into the content can help you filter through the non-essentials as you go.
When starting on your notes, don’t just rewrite the information as you see it. Focus on what’s important. What is the point of view/argument? Where are the examples? Is it informational or opinionated? Breaking down most of your notes into these basic categories can help you sift through the barrage of information present in the roughly 350-word passages
There’s not really a quick and easy way to completely ace your GMAT, and there are many different solutions and ideas on what to do for prep. There are actually various websites and forums dedicated to helping people study and prep for this exam as much as possible. At the end of the day, however, nothing beats hard work and persistence when it comes to any major test, but knowing a few easy tricks beforehand to help you speed up comprehensively can help you get a major jump start on the meat of the problems ahead.
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