You need a GMAT score as a rite of passage to apply to 1,900 business schools around the world. You have to sit the test on a computer in an official testing center - there are nearly 500 of these scattered across 110 countries.
But how do you prepare for this infamous test? I remember when I booked my GMAT (nearly 10 years ago) I was woefully unprepared and naive about how much practice was really needed to get my head around the types of questions and how to approach a weighted multiple-choice test. I ordered a couple of test-prep books, including the GMAT Review and started to work on the easier questions. But a quick calculation made me realise I'd never get through the book before my test date - especially with a demanding job and a holiday scheduled.
Much to my boyfriend's amusement I was forced to lug the giant test prep book in my backpack on vacation (a scenic, but slightly haphazard two-week jaunt through Macedonia and Albania). Fortunately the GMAT Review was printed on lightweight (maybe recycled?) paper so it wasn't quite a rock at the bottom of my bag, but it did push out other more light-hearted holiday reading.
One evening in a motel on a crossroad in northern Albania, stuck in a gap between the bus timetable to get to the southern beaches, I pulled out my friendly GMAT guide and taught myself basic geometry and the law of indices - relatively simple but I definitely couldn't remember learning this stuff in high school!
Some of our members on BusinessBecause have shared their tips on the GMAT before - we particularly like Edward Lam's guide for scoring 700+ and Jennifer Ng's Two Cents about the GMAT.
Written by GMAC (the creators of the GMAT exam), The Official Guides for GMAT Review (pictured above) are apparently the only books on the market that contain real GMAT questions from previous exams, and 800 are in just one book! 1,400 questions across all three books if you're super keen.
More than one million copies of these books have been sold worldwide, which I guess isn't surprising when you consider more than a quarter of a million people sit the GMAT every year. The main book costs GB £19.99 (USD $32.50) and includes actual essay topics, sample responses, a grammar review, a math review and even a diagnostic section to help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses for the test.
You can order copies from John Wiley & Sons Ltd pubishers, but for a few special people this August we'll be giving away some of the books for free - woohoo! Only for new registrants on BusinessBecause though - so get signed-up and maybe you'll be lucky enough to be taking a GMAT Review on vacation with you this summer:)