GMAT: How to master the MBA entrance exam

More than 6,000 international graduate schools rely on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) for narrowing down the list of applicants to their business management degree programmes, writes Discoverbusiness.

Picture: Syda Productions / Fotolia

The website has accumulated information not only about the well-known GMAT but also provides a page on the second test that is widely accepted at business schools – the GRE. For years, only the GMAT has been accepted, but the GRE is now available as a second option. Students, however, should make a conscious decision which test they are taking, based on the selection of schools to which they want to apply and make sure that their test of choice is accepted at the school. Preparing for each test is a time-consuming and often costly exercise, depending on how much material students buy and if they invest into an MBA consultant to support them in the process.

GMAT is a very popular test with many schools. It concentrates on reasoning rather than rote learning and is therefore accepted as a measure at how successful future MBA students will be as managers and executives.

The GMAT therefore is a tricky exam to pass. According to Discoverbusiness those who fail often do so because they forget to brush-up the basics, mismanage time, make careless mistakes, or do all of the above.

The test itself is a 3.5 hour exam that affords several months of preparation. It consists of four sections: The verbal, quantitative and analytical section and integrated reasoning.

In the verbal section students are faced with 41 questions to be completed in 75 minutes. Reading and comprehending abilities, identifying wrong grammar or language, sentence correction, and critical reasoning will be tested.

The quantitative section consists of 37 questions, to be completed in 75 minutes and tests students’ ability to analyse data and draw reasonably accurate conclusions from the same: Problem solving is another topic students need to brush up.

The analytical writing assessment examines writing skills, critical assessment, and expression in the English language. Students need to produce an essay within 30 minutes and this is no easy task. A good structure and organisation of the topic is key to success here.

The integrated reasoning section tests critical assessment and reasoning abilities. There are 12 questions that ask students to assess tables, charts or plain words and draw conclusions within 30 minutes.


To read more, see sample questions and find further resources go to:
GMAT Study Guide: With Proven Tips, Resources and Study Hacks
How to Study for the GRE: Example Questions, Resources and Hacks
Decide Between the GMAT, GRE as an MBA Applicant


Barbara Barkhausen