The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer adaptive test (CAT) started in 1953 to ascertain the analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to business management programmes (at business schools, those doing business management masters, going to a graduate business school, or enrolling on MBA programs, etc.).
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is the developer and administrator of this test. Over 2,300 business schools around the world accept the GMAT as part of their entrance requirements. The exam is administered in over 113 countries around the world including Nigeria.
The grade or score accepted varies from school to school. The student will have to get information on the grade from the international admissions office of the school of interest. It is the most widely accepted exam for MBA admissions worldwide or anyone who wants to go to business school. The cost of the Gmat examination in Nigeria ₦100,000.
The test is taken every Wednesdays and Thursdays of the week in Abuja while in Lagos, it is taken every day of the week (Mondays - Saturdays) throughout the year at certified centres in Nigeria. Students can sit for the examination only five times yearly and once monthly. The GMAT score is valid for 5 years.
What Is GMAT
It is a standardised test in English set up by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). It is an important part of the business school application process and is a multiple-choice, computer-based and computer-adaptive standardized exam. While the GMAT test is ongoing by the students, the CAT actually adapts to your performance as you're taking the test.
A high score on the GMAT will have a direct, positive impact on your business school application. The score ranges between 200 (the lowest score) and 800 (top marks). A 550 score is fairly okay to be admitted to smaller universities while a score between 650 and 700 is needed if you are hoping to gain admission to prestigious and top schools like Harvard.
Who Designs The GMAT Test?
Do you ever wonder who is responsible for creating a test that literally adapts to your performance as you start taking the test? Well, here's your answer, it is GMAC (aka the Graduate Management Admission Council) who developed and designed it. They are an international non-profit organization of business schools that provides products and services to academic institutions and prospective graduate management education students. Their headquarters is in Virginia, United States of America.
How Is The GMAT Test Structured?
The examination consists of four sections:
- Analytical writing
- Integrated reasoning
- Quantitative reasoning
- Verbal reasoning
These four sections don't necessarily need to be taken consecutively, test takers are given the option to choose which order they complete them in and must make their decision at the test centre right before taking the test.
The quantitative and verbal sections of the GMAT test are multiple-choice question and answer that are administered in the computer-adaptive format, adjusting to a test taker's level of ability. This means that as questions are answered correctly, the test questions become increasingly difficult and as questions are answered incorrectly the computer presents the test taker with questions of decreasing difficulty.
The score that MBA programs will be most concerned with for admission is your combined Verbal and Quantitative scores.
The GMAT Test
As stated earlier, the examination is a computer adaptive test (CAT), which means the testing software adapts to your performance as you progress through the exam. Your performance on one question will determine the difficulty level on the next one.
Lets us take a look below at each section and what they are intended to test you on:
Analytical Writing Assessment
This is otherwise known as the Essay section and this is basically used to test your writing skills. The task is for you to write an essay that critiques the structure of the argument and explain how persuasive it is.nIt is basically used to measure your ability to think critically and communicate your ideas.
The analytical writing assessment is graded on a scale of 0 (minimum) to 6 (maximum). A score of 0 indicates that the response was either nonsensical, off-topic, or completely blank and the maximum score of 6 is an outstanding essay. A candidate can score anything between 0 and 6.
The essay is scored by a human reader and then by a computer program (an automated essay-scoring engine - mba.com). If the human and computer scores differ significantly, the score is sent to a second expert reader for final evaluation.
The time limit and the number of questions for the Analytical writing assessment is 30 minutes for 1 question.
This test measures your ability to analyze data and evaluate information presented in multiple formats to ensure you have the skills needed to succeed in today's data-driven world of expanding technologies. The questions involve interpretation of tabular, graphical and written information from a variety of sources. As a prospective business student, your potential teachers want to see how innovative you would be in a fast-paced and quickly advancing business world. This will test how well you can take in a lot of data in the business world. The score in this section ranges from 1 to 8. Anything from 6 and above is considered a good score.
This section has 12 Questions of the following question types:
- Multi-Source Reasoning
- Graphics Interpretation
- Two-Part Analysis
- Table Analysis
The time limit and the number of questions for Integrated reasoning is 30 minutes for 12 questions.
This is to ascertain your knowledge of basic math like arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, as well as your analytical abilities. It measures your ability to analyze data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills. Calculators are not allowed for this section of the exam. The score in this section ranges between 0 to 60. This section has two types of which your reasoning skills are required.
- Data sufficiency
The time limit and the number of questions for Quantitative reasoning is 62 minutes for 31 questions.
This part measures your ability to read and understand written material, evaluate arguments and correct written material to conform to standard written English. This section consists of three types:
- Critical reasoning
- Sentence correction
- Reading comprehension
The time limit and the number of questions for Verbal reasoning is 65 minutes for 36 questions.
How Long does it take to Prepare for GMAT?
To prep for the examination is a serious time commitment and you must have a solid study plan. A very common answer to how long is 2-3 months. However, your study plan has to be individualised to suit your learning pace and your everyday lifestyle.
According to the GMAC™ (2016) mba.com ''Prospective Student Survey of more than 3,600 GMAT test-takers, 62% of test-takers begin their preparation four or more weeks ahead of their exam date. Those who began their preparation earlier accumulated more total prep hours. Those who studied more scored higher–60 hours or more yielded scores of 500 or higher''.
You can check out the GMAT Study Timeline to assist you in preparing for the D day.
How to Revise for the GMAT?
It takes a few weeks to some months to adequately prepare for the examination as discussed above.
Let's take a look below at some ways to help you revise for the GMAT.
- Have a plan: Have a weekly plan study plan that covers some hours to help with the prep process. Determine the area or subjects you want to cover daily and weekly to cover up what you have drafted in your study plan. You can use the official guide on mba.com to set a foundation for this.
- Online Gmat prep material: Search online and go to the examination official website to get materials to help with your revision. There are several websites and free resources, practice questions and answers online to guide you day by day.
- Books: There are hardcopy and softcopy official GMAT books you can buy that covers the whole syllabus for the test. Get one and have a positive and well-rested mindset while studying for the examination with the book or books.
- Practice: Once you have studied the exam format and pattern, you need to continuously practice it. Remember practice makes perfect.
- Breaks: Always take breaks in between your study time so as not to overwork your self. Gmat involves a lot of analytical and critical thinking which involves a lot of brainwork.
- Get Help: You can join tutorial centres (there are quite a several physical centres in Nigeria, search online and you will get one closest to you) or hire a tutor to teach and prep you for the examination. There are a good number of online tutors on www.superprof.ng with great skills to help you pass the test.
What to Revise for the GMAT?
Now you know how to revise and start a study plan, the next question is what to revise and the resources for the revision?
There are several books on GMAT practice questions and answers you can get from bookshops nationwide in Nigeria. to start your study plan. You can also get several free and paid materials for the examinations on Nigerian and foreign websites to start your day to day hours of study. On Amazon for example that ships to Nigeria, you can find tonnes of revision material on several topics and subtopics of the GMAT exam,
If your English is weak, buy a small grammar book, study basic conjugations, like the present simple, past simple, and present perfect, etc., online, and prepositions. 10 to 15 minutes daily is enough to progress quickly.
It is also advisable to start reading English magazines to help enrich your English vocabulary and familiarise yourself with English idiomatic expressions. Make a habit of reading documents in English whenever you can especially if the English Language is not your strong point.
Hire a GMAT Tutor
Many people start off by self-study, reading books and materials online to prep for the test. However, hiring a tutor can actually be of great value to a student especially if you are going to need a very high score in getting into a top MBA or business program.
You can reach a higher score faster with lower time investment with the help of a good and skilful tutor. A good tutor will easily diagnose your GMAT weaknesses and prescribe homework and study plans that will efficiently target those weaknesses to achieve your desired goal for your admission requirement.
They will motivate, explain concepts and teach you techniques needed to quickly answer questions while limiting the chance of you being wrong.
One of the best online and safe platforms to hire a GMAT tutor in Nigeria is superprof.ng, where you will see a number of qualified and track record of successful teachers.
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