GMAT: Myth & Reality


The Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT), a major prerequisite for admission to top business schools and management institutes, has over the decades, spawned several myths enough to confuse or scare away prospective test takers. How much of it is true or false?

QS Top MBA has listed seven myths about GMAT to clear some popular misconceptions and reveal the essential features that make it stand apart from other standardised tests in form and content.

  1. GMAT as an Intelligence Test

While GMAT requires a certain amount of critical and analytical reasoning skills, it is in no way a final measurement of anyone’s intelligence.

GMAT demands a high standard for verbal and quantitative skills from candidates and needs time for preparation. Your scores could improve significantly with an effective study plan and competent instruction.

  1. GMAT is a Business Test

GMAT is not a test of business concepts. As a candidate, you are only expected to simplify the problems to the bare essentials and demonstrate common sense for which no business knowledge is needed. In other words, it only assesses how much of attention you pay to the details while working through a series of riddles and brainteasers. This test calls for use of logic and reason rather than memorised content.

While the math is limited to the high-school level, quantitative problems are primarily about applying common-sense principles.

  1. GMAT Needs All Correct Answers

While your aim should be try to answer as many questions as possible, you should also remember that the penalty for leaving questions unanswered is more than for wrong answers. Thus, time management is essential so that you are able to answer all questions, even if you have to guess some of the answers.

While difficult questions would have more weight than easier ones, you may end up spending the time needed to solve three easy questions on just one difficult one.

Do keep in mind that the ultimate objective is to score as high as you can. Thus speed is as important as accuracy.

  1. GMAT preparations in just one month

There are no short-cuts. GMAT needs full scale preparations for at least two to three months. Then only you could hope for substantial score improvements.

ALSO READ: How To Tackle CATs For GMAT

Being a skills test and with skill development taking place over a period of time, just one month is not enough. Those who score 700 or more say they worked around 200 hours over a period of four to six months.

  1. Concentrate Only on Hard Questions

Yet another bad idea since the larger the number of questions you attempt, the better are your chances of improving the score. During practice sessions, you could gradually step up the difficulty level slightly above your current capability.

  1. Low GMAT Scores Affect Admission Chances

Not true as top business schools take into consideration only the applicant’s highest GMAT score, not the average. It is also common for most of the applicants to have taken the test twice or thrice before getting the necessary scores.

  1. An Easy Question Means Wrong Answer for Previous Question

While the difficulty level of verbal and quantitative problems is determined by answers to the previous questions, Forumyou need not worry about it during the test. Instead, the focus should be answering the question in front of you correctly. GMAT is sophisticated enough to reveal your true score level at the end.

Some experimental questions are for research purposes and may not follow this particular pattern. Also some of the questions that you find easy may be difficult for others. (Image Courtesy: LinkedIn)


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