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

GMAT also known, as Graduate Management Admission Test is a computer-based standardized test, which will, assesses a person’s analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in standard written English. The score is used for admission in a graduate management program, like the Masters Of Business Administration, and later on, helps you secure a good job.

The GMAT consists of four sections –

  • Analytical writing assessment
  •  Integrated reasoning
  •  Quantitative Section
  • Verbal section

In the Analytical writing assessment (AWA) there is a 30-minute writing task, and is graded on a scale of 1 to 6. A zero would mean the answer was drivel or not written on the assigned topic.

The Integrated Reasoning (IR) is a relatively new section. It consists of 12 questions in four different formats - graphics interpretation, two part analysis, table analysis and multi source reasoning. Score ranges from 1-8.

The Quantitative Section measures the ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems, interpret graphics data, and analyze and use information in a problem. Scores range from 0-60

Lastly the Verbal Section measures the ability to read and comprehend written materials. One has to reason and evaluate arguments and correct written statements. Score ranges from 0 – 60.

So the total GMAT score ranges from 200-800. The average Graduate Management Admission Test score is around 550. If you have a GMAT score of say around 600-700, you can be rest assured that you can get admission in a good management college. However if your scores are low, it is not the end.

There are lots of ways to “BEAT A LOW GMAT SCORE” as they say. Obviously a Graduate Management Admission Test is a very important part of your career, so you have to give it your best shot. But at the end of the day if the score is low, don’t accept defeat or give up. Do your groundwork and research on the type of colleges you want to get in, strategize, and go for it.

Firstly the college you choose matters a lot. For people who are yet to get admissions, having a low GMAT score does not mean that you cannot get a good college. Write essays about yourself, take professional help if necessary, interact with the students, and go for admission events. In fact it is easier to get a place at the good colleges instead of the second tier business schools because these second tier schools are a little more finicky about a good GMAT score. A candidate got selected for Stanford with a 530 GMAT score. Similarly someone got admission at the Wharton Business School with a GMAT of 560.There are people who got into Harvard Business School with a GMAT of only 490. So one should not shy away from applying to good colleges irrespective of their grades, but they should tell the schools how they are valuable to them.

Yes it is true, that nowadays with so much unemployment, just getting into an MBA program, sometimes even in a good college, is not enough. Nowadays recruiters for jobs may request to see your GMAT scores before deciding to call you for the interview. So the first thing to do, if you are already in a college, but with a low GMAT score, is to retake it, especially if you want to go for some competitive job like investment banking etc. This is because majority of the times, your recruiter will not care if you got your best score before your admission to the college or after it. As long as you can get a good score the second, or say the third time, you are good to go.

If you believe that you cannot get a good overall score, then try to get a strong score in the Integrated Reasoning section. Many companies believe the analytical abilities tested in this section are the most valuable to them.

Very important aspect is to build a perfect resume. Never forget to prioritize your content. Even the type of font you use could make a difference. If you are not able to do it, get a professional to help you out. A resume is your stepping-stone. Then you need to brand yourself. Not just that, try to have a compelling story. Write essays to show who you really are and how valuable you can be to them. A resume is basically just a document but it should tempt the reader to want to meet you.

A very important part is to network is you. Attend as many events as you can, especially the ones you are aiming for. If possible meet the current employees and alumni. They can put in a good word or two during selection and that makes a huge difference. Basically get face time. So that whenever you application comes up, there is a chance that they remember you.

Another thing to be kept in mind about the GMAT is the work experience. If you don’t have it, then get it. Show good leadership skills. A good work experience with a good referral from your employee can actually be the deciding factor for you if you have a low GMAT score.

It is very much possible to counter a low GMAT score with a good record in a quantitative job, excellent extracurricular activities, and good leadership qualities. Put all your mind and energy towards boosting your chances in the areas, which are under your control, for example your essays, your extracurricular activities and obviously, the recommendation letters, which can highlight your skills.

You need to understand one thing. Many companies don’t just review you GMAT score. They review your entire profile, be it your academics, your leadership qualities, your work experience or is there anything unique about you, or can you bring a different perspective to them.

So basically, thinking and strategizing, can easily neutralize or even reverse the downside of low numbers, and can make it practical and reasonable for you to get a good school or a good job. But it all comes down to how you can show them that these numbers neither describe you, nor limit you.

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