The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), used in admission to MBA and other graduate management programs, has spawned several myths about its nature and purpose. Some consider it to be a business test or a math test or intelligence test that could be dealt with hardly a month’s studying.
The first among these myths is that GMAT is a business test. However, according to a report in Qs TopMBA.com, there is no need for test takers to have in-depth knowledge of business concepts. The questions in the computer-based test are in the nature of riddles and brain teasers to measure the analytical and critical reasoning capabilities of the candidates.
For instance, in the reading comprehension section, you may be required to explain the primary purpose of a given para and also to extract and analyse key data. The trick here is for the candidate to familiarise themselves with some of the fundamental formulas and learn to use them to solve the problems stated in the questions.
If you answer the first question correctly, the computer will usually give you a harder question. If you answer the first question incorrectly, your next question will be easier.
The second one is the GMAT being a Math test. Instead of weighty problems in trigonometry or calculus, the quantitative section would test your basic skills at the high school level as well as analytical and critical thinking.
The third myth is about it being an IQ test, which it is not. Just like any other exam, you have to draw up a strategy, time schedule and devote much effort and time in preparations.
The fourth myth is that you need only about a month to prepare for the test. On the contrary, it is fairly difficult and the earlier you start preparations, the better it would be.
Now that the myths and misconceptions have been cleared, we have to focus on developing a real-time strategy to ensure maximum scores.
Each of the four sections of the GMAT test is timed, so pacing yourself is essential. Some of the questions may be more difficult and it would be unwise to linger over them for longer than necessary.
Even while practising for the test, try to mimic the test-taking conditions as much as possible and also attempt questions slightly higher than your current level.
The GMAT Exam has four separately timed sections. You will have the opportunity to take two optional eight-minute breaks during the exam. The Analytical Writing Assessment has one question to be attempted in 30 minutes with a score range of 0-6 (in 0.5-point increments).
Integrated Reasoning has 12 questions to be attempted in 30 minutes. It comprises Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning and Two-part Analysis with a score range of 1-8 (in 1-point increments).
Quantitative Reasoning comprising Data Sufficiency & Problem Solving has 31 questions to be done in 62 minutes with a score range of 6-51 (in 1-point increments)
Verbal Reasoning comprising Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction has 36 questions to be done in 65 minutes. The score range is 6-51 (in 1-point increments).
At the test centre, you have the flexibility to choose any of the three options—(1) Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal; (2) Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment; (3) Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections of the GMAT are computer-adaptive, meaning the difficulty of the test tailors itself in real-time to your ability level. This feature allows the exam to assess your potential with a higher degree of precision and deliver scores that business schools trust.
The first question you receive in either the Verbal or Quantitative sections will be of medium difficulty. As you answer each question, the computer scores your answer and uses it as well as your responses to any preceding question to select the next question.
If you answer the first question correctly, the computer will usually give you a harder question. If you answer the first question incorrectly, your next question will be easier. This process continues until you complete the section, using responses to all previously answered questions, at which point the computer will have an accurate assessment of your ability in that subject.
You will not be able to skip, return to, or change your answers to questions. This is because the computer uses your response to each question to select the next one.