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Three Truths About the GMAT
The GMAT is certainly one of the no-fun parts of applying to business school. Going into it with the right expectations and being prepared to put in the work can make all the difference.
Some level headed advice about the GMAT, from admissions experts EssaySnark!
If you're planning on applying for an MBA this year then you're probably already thinking about the GMAT. It's definitely not too early to get started with that.
MBA admissions consultant EssaySnark offers some advice for those embarking on this first stage of the business school application.
#1. You need to study for the GMAT.
Regardless of how good you are with numbers and words and grammar, you must study in order to do well on the GMAT. Everyone must study. The GMAT is not some thing where you can waltz in off the street to take it and expect a decent outcome. No matter how smart you are, this is a complicated test. It covers knowledge that most people are not using in their day-to-day jobs. Allocate significant time to studying. Plan out when to take the GMAT carefully. Give yourself ample runway before your test date, then dedicate consistent time, preferably on a daily basis, to get familiar with the material.
Anyone who expects to do well on the GMAT must expect to spend time studying. There's a strong correlation between the amount of time dedicated to prep work and the resulting test score.
#2. Be prepared for it to be difficult - and know that you can conquer it.
The GMAT is hard by design. And that's a good thing, because bschool is hard – it's not an endless string of eternal happy hours. The GMAT gets you ready for bschool. As we just said, more time studying (that is, really studying) tends to result in a higher score. If you cut corners and scrimp on the hit-the-books time, then it'll be reflected in your results. If you're really trying, don't lose hope. If you've been putting in the time and you're just not getting it, maybe you just need some help. Get a (qualified) GMAT mentor, or enroll in a class. BusinessBecause has a directory of GMAT prep providers.
Maybe you simply have been out of school for awhile, and you need to remember how to study. Maybe you haven't done much quantitative problem-solving before, and you need to get the basics down. Have patience with it. The process of acquiring knowledge can be a little painful. Not knowing something is frustrating. But you'll get it if you stick with it.
#3. It's OK if you have to take it again. You might even want to plan for it.
A smart GMAT strategy puts enough time in your application schedule to allow for retesting. The GMAT test can be very stressful, and people are often disappointed with the score they get the first time out. Sometimes the path to success is more roundabout than we'd like.
If you plan ahead, you can allocate some slack in your MBA application calendar to a) give yourself a break after you take the test, to recharge your batteries by doing something else for awhile before facing the GMAT again, and b) come back to test prep with renewed vigor and determination, with a second test date set well in advance of your school's deadline, so that you're not feeling unduly rushed.
The schools will not penalize you for taking the test again. In fact, many adcoms will appreciate that you're committed to being successful, and they will look at a second attempt in a positive light.
The GMAT is certainly one of the no-fun parts of applying to business school. Going into it with the right expectations and being prepared to put in the work can make all the difference. Good luck with it!
We are EssaySnark – not GMATSnark. If you want some dedicated support, check out the BusinessBecause GMAT prep experts. EssaySnark helps with everything else about your MBA application via free advice posted on our blahg every weekday, and sometimes a few GMAT tips, too If you're especially brave, you can submit an essay for a free review. Increase your odds of bschool success with EssaySnark!