10 questions to ask your GMAT tutor

Exam: Test Prep GMAT Test - Graduate Management Admission Test: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Quantitative section, Verbal section

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is the most widely accepted and recognised standardised test across the world for admissions into business and management programs. With a history of 60 years, GMAT continues to be an entrance for the many into the top business schools with its wide acceptance in over 6,000 management programs globally. However, GMAT has gained this stand among the various other standardised tests due to its credibility of being legitimacy and relevance in assessing the knowledge and skills required for a candidate to be a management student. Thus, hard work with an effective plan and focus is the only way and there are no other shortcuts to succeed in the GMAT exam.

A GMAT test-taker may have various queries in mind before starting or during the preparation relating to content, preparation plan, the preparation tests and finally, taking the actual test. Following is ten of those important questions that a candidate may have for taking up the GMAT exam:

1.  What to Study?

The content of the exam is the first thing that the test taker should know before planning for the preparations for the GMAT exam.  GMAT is a three and a half hour test testing the knowledge and skills of a test taker in four areas including Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative section and Verbal section.

2.  What are the best sources for preparation?

The best source for preparation for GMAT is the official guides from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). GMAT Prep which is free practice test software that can be downloaded is also a good preparation source as it also uses the GMAT algorithm, and also has retired GMAT problems that are not featured in the official guides. Although GMAC sources are the best, third party preparation resources can also be used by measuring its relevance to the GMAT content. 

3.  How to start with the GMAT preparations?

Before starting the preparations, it is very important for every candidate to analyse their strength and weaknesses in relation to three aspects including method of study, comfort in taking up a standardised test and content of the exam. Analysing the strengths and weaknesses in these three areas helps a candidate to choose the best suited study method (classroom, private tutor or group study), more thoroughness in preparations in case they tend to underperform in standardised tests which require swiftness in thoughts and effective time management, and finally, focusing more on the weak content areas.

4.  How to plan an effective preparation time table?

The effectiveness of a preparation time table depends on the strengths and weaknesses of individuals. This requires identifying the amount of time required by a candidate for primary studying and review. An ideal preparation time table must allot time for primary studying, taking up simulation tests to analyse the strong and weaker content areas, work on the weaknesses by revising the concepts and doing more practice questions, take up the simulation tests again to determine the progress in reducing the weaknesses, and finally, only concentrating on taking simulation test for focusing on developing strategies for sections and time management.

5.  How to make optimum utilisation of simulation tests?

To make the most out of the simulation test, a candidate should effectively use the problem list and test metrics provided by the simulation tests. The problem list can be used to identify trends in the correct and incorrect answers, classify them based on the time spent on them and plan strategies to pace the test consistently. The test metrics is best tool to identify the strengths and weaknesses in each content area and further sorting down the weaknesses by section, specific concepts and question type and analyse for a pattern to improve.

6.  How to take up the Analytical Writing Assessment section? 

The Analytical Writing Assessment consists of an argumentative topic for which the test taker is expected to analyse and reason the argument in writing. In this section, test takers must be careful of not writing their own opinion about the topic but to write an analysis of the given topic.

7.  What are the question types in the Integrated Reasoning section?

The Integrated Reasoning section consists of four types of questions including graphics interpretation, table analysis, multi-source reasoning and two-two part analysis.The main point to be considered while taking up the Integrated Reasoning section is that answer options of one question is relevant only for solving that question and there is provision to back to a question or change any answer.

8.  How to strategize solving Quantitative section?

The Quantitative section consists of two types of questions including problem solving and data sufficiency. The tip to for problem solving questions is to look at the answer options before starting to solve the problem. Most of the test takers find data sufficiency questions tricky. The strategy to do a data sufficiency question correctly is to always double check for any hidden information in other options after a test taker thinks he/she has reached the answer option.

9.  How to score well in the Verbal Section?

The Verbal section comprises of three types of questions including sentence correction, reading comprehension, and critical reasoning. The tips to effectively take up this section is to carefully read the passage in the reading comprehension questions and focus on logical meaning to reach at the right answer for the critical reasoning and sentence correction questions.

10.  When to take the test?

The deadline for the application dates of the preferred business schools must be the primary factor to be considered for choosing a test date. This applies when the candidate is willing to join for a management program in the same year. If the intention of admission in not immediately as GMAT score is valid for 5 years, the ideal time for a candidate is after few weeks of completing the tutoring sessions for GMAT preparations for getting sufficient time to review before the test.

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