Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Resources to Help You Prepare for the GMAT


By: Xiao Lu
World Education Services

The GMAT, or Graduate Management Admissions Test, is a standardized test that is required by most U.S. graduate business schools. The test aims to evaluate candidates’ abilities to make strategic decisions in the real business world.

The GMAT is composed of four parts: verbal, quantitative, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing assessment. The maximum score for this test is 800. Besides score, you will also receive a percentile ranking. The average GMAT score for MBA candidates is 640, and people who scored above 700 are top candidates. So, what can you do to get a higher score in a short period of time?


GMAT 2016 Official Guide (OG)

Issued by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the same institution that organizes the GMAT, the OG is the top recommended prep material for the GMAT. If you have no idea how to start your GMAT prep, start with the OG. This hand book will help you learn everything you need to know about the exam:

  • Familiarize yourself with the test structure and overview, format, and question types. 
  • Get tips about the GMAT.
  • Access in-depth math and grammar reviews, performance analytics, and much more. 
  • After you take the test, get the official questions along with full answers with explanations straight from the source. 
The OG has both print and Mobile App Versions. You can download the app from the App store for $4.99. The advantage of the app version is that it’s convenient to review the OG on the go with your mobile phone, as well as you can use the embedded timer to create a simulation test environment.

Free GMATPrep Software

The GMATPrep Software is offered by GMAC as well, and you can download it from the GMAT website for free after creating an account on mba.com. This test prep uses the same software as the official exam. The software features 90 free questions, which includes 30 quantitative, 45 verbal, and 15 integrated reasoning, with answers and explanations. After finishing the free questions, you are able to extend the GMATPrep software by purchasing additional questions or exams.

It’s highly recommended to take the practice test at least 2 times before your exam. The first time, take the practice test before you start your test prep. This helps you know your pace and weakness, so you can be more strategic while you are preparing for your test. Take the practice test again before the official test. Since the GMATPrep Software uses the same technique as the official test, this helps you familiarize yourself with the test, and adjust your pace to the limited exam time. Many students have shared that the GMATPrep Software is a good indicator of their official test scores, so you will get an idea of your official score range.


Additional Free Test Prep

If you are looking for extra questions or test preps, please continue reading the resources below. Most of the resources below are offered by U.S. educational institutions whose business is focused on students’ test prep.


  • Manhattan Prep GMAT Tests
    • The Manhattan Prep is features one free test, and offers 6 additional full test for $49 it is included if you purchase MGMAT Guides. In general, the results of official tests are close to the Manhattan Prep. It’s a great tool for personal evaluation, which helps to find your weak spots, and is highly recommended if you want to check on your preparation progress. 
  • Kaplan GMAT Test
    • Kaplan offers 1 free test, and you can get a 4 full-length practice tests for $30 on CD/Online if you purchase a Kaplan GMAT Premier book. They are recommended with good tricks and thorough questions in both math and verbal. Results from Kaplan tend to be lower than results from the actual GMAT due to marketing reasons, so don’t be discouraged by low scores. 
  • Princeton Review Tests
    • The Princeton Review offers one self-paced free test. You can also purchase 10 computer adaptive tests with a cost of $499. The Princeton Review Prep is designed for those starting on basic concepts and as a result, some features may seem primitive compared with Manhattan, GMAT, or Kaplan prep. 

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