Friday, July 17, 2015

How Long Does It Take to Prepare for a GMAT Test?

By Xiao Lu
World Education Services

The GMAT Exam is designed to measure higher order thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation – the skills you’ve developed over time, and the skills you will need for business school and your future career. The test was created by nine business schools in 1954 to gauge test takers’ potential in business and management courses. Now, it’s widely trusted by more than 6,000 business and management programs worldwide as an entrance exam. Basically, the GMAT is designed by business schools, for business schools. By taking the GMAT, you can not only stand out in the crowd and gain admission to your dream school but also warm yourself up for your future MBA studies.

It’s generally difficult to predict how much time you will need for test preparation; it depends on a variety of factors such as your discipline and study environment. Working professionals may have to squeeze in time to study after getting home from their job, whereas full-time students may find it easier to allocate some time to work in a library. Your preparation for the GMAT also relies on your comfort level with the subject matter and your familiarity with different types of questions. For example, Chinese students may feel more confident solving math problems as opposed to verbal or reasoning questions. This may result from the Chinese fundamental education bias and the fact that many Chinese students aren’t English native speakers.

The amount of time you spend preparing also comes down to your need for a high GMAT score. If you’re fighting for a score that can facilitate your application to a top business school, then you may want to dedicate more time. Check out some survey results for your reference:

According to WES Student Advisor’s admissions expert Lili Chen, a GMAT officer, those who spend more time preparing usually earn a higher score. For example, people who scored 600-690 spent a median of 60 hours in total on preparation as, and those who scored 700 or greater spent a median of 80 hours prepping. The report also suggests that students in the Asia Pacific tend to spend the most time on their GMAT studying. If you are aiming for a score of 710 to secure your spot among one of the top 10 business schools, then you will need to spend more than two weeks full time on GMAT test prep.

We suggest you start with GMATPrep software, which is a free test prep simulation offered by GMAC and provides a real experience with the exam, identifies your weaknesses and strengths, and allows you to use other tools to improve on these weaknesses.

If you are looking for more information on the U.S. business school application process, don’t miss out on our webinar titled “Study Business in the USA: MBA Admissions for International Students” on July 23, 2015. Remember to register here!

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