Updated on July 3rd, 2019
The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a necessity for many MBA applicants, but just as crucial for those competing for entry into a program where it may not necessarily be required or for working professionals wishing to increase earning potential and qualifications.
Strong preference is often given to those who have taken the test, not only because of its reputation as a proven indicator of ability but also because it demonstrates a commitment to growth.
It’s designed to measure the most relevant skills of successful business programs – critical thinking, and reasoning. Skimming through a list of standard core MBA courses (Accounting, Operations Management, HR, Finance, and Information Systems) makes it clear why those attributes are so important.
The GMAT is a challenging test on which to improve one’s scores because it requires the development of new skills as opposed to reciting learned content and also because it requires a significant chunk of our most valuable commodity – time.
For many part-time MBA students that means long nights and weekends of studying, to accommodate full-time jobs from Monday to Friday. As a result, many of those wishing to achieve a specific score have an obvious need to do so as quickly as possible and to select the best GMAT prep vehicle to get them there.
There is an abundance of large, budget-friendly test prep firms that generically cover the essentials but for those working against the clock, it’s certainly worth investigating the very best GMAT prep options, which in many cases are smaller, independent companies or personalized tutors with a history of results.
A slightly higher hourly fee may well work out more cost effective in the long term with quality learning. TPU GMAT Tutoring, as an example, publishes their average student score increases and is the only company offering a flat fee score guarantee. As a result, any student that studies diligently is almost certain to attain a higher score than that which is agreed upon at the start of the program.
Many independent, high-quality tutors like them also offer comprehensive exam strategy sessions which can quickly boost a new test-takers score by thirty or more points. Although the content is always divided between the four sections of Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal, developing and understanding strategy is particularly useful because the test can be taken in three different orders.
Understanding how the scores are calculated and using one’s strengths, advantageously is also worth understanding. In simple terms, a total score between 200 and 800 is given to students from multiple choice questions in the verbal and quantitative sections using a formula that accounts for the difficulty level, which adapts to a student’s success as they progress through the test. Integrated reasoning scores require analysis of graphs and tables, while an essay writing task examining an argument determines analytical writing scores.
All of this can be overwhelming for first-time test takers and repeat students alike, but working hard with a great tutor and gaining an intimate understanding of the process is destined to get the desired results in the shortest time.