by Dixie Somers
The GMAT is not required for all graduate business college and university admissions (you can earn an executive MBA online with no GMAT); however, it can be beneficial and is required in many cases. Preparation is one of the key factors in determining how well a student will perform on the GMAT exam. Preparing for the test can appear to be an overwhelming task, but there are things that students can do to make preparation easier and more effective.
Having a study plan will allow you to keep track of the different areas of the exam. The plan should include study times and material as well as taking practice tests. Each component should be scheduled, and progress should be monitored and recorded. This will help maintain focus and point out areas of weakness.
When the GMAT was changed to a computer administered exam, students were no longer allowed to see more than one question. Students must now pay more attention to the amount of time spent on a single question. Use the practice tests to get a feel for how long a section is and how long it takes to complete the questions. This will help you relax when taking the actual exam.
With such an enormous amount of test material available, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed. Some students make the mistake of gathering too much material and find themselves at a loss for where to begin. The best option is to select only a few books. Books recommended by the test administrators are usually the safest choice.
As test time draws near, and more practice exams are completed, a picture should begin to emerge with respect to strengths and weakness. At this point in the preparation, more time and energy should be devoted to reinforcing weak areas. Areas of strength should not be abandoned, but a shift in focus will allow for more attention where it is needed.
The most effective tool for preparing for the GMAT is the practice exam. In many cases, these tests will be archived copies of actual exams. This affords you the opportunity to see how test questions are structured and presented. Every practice exam should be taken in its entirety in a single sitting. This will help with pacing on exam day.
Exams such as the GMAT can be intimidating. It is important for you to realize that success is directly related to preparation. A well-conceived and structured approach can greatly increase the likelihood of success.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer. Find Dixie on Facebook.