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GMAT Preparation Guide For MBA Programs

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GMAT Preparation Guide: Exam Format, Syllabus

After you’ve decided to enroll in a top MBA program, the first important step is to improve your GMAT score. In this article, we’ll touch upon all the basic information you need to know about this important but feared test.

What’s the GMAT?

Graduate Management Admission Test is the full name of the GMAT. It's a Computer Adaptive Test, which means the difficulty level of each question will be changed by how you fared on previous problems. GMAT scores are valid for 5 years. The fee is 250 US dollars. The test can be taken up to five times per year. And eight times in your life.

A considerable number of universities accept GMAT results for MBA, MiM, and other management-related degrees. It’s important to perform well on the test because a high score can – not only get you into your dream program but also increase the odds of getting a scholarship. GMAT scores are also used by several major consulting firms and investment banks to screen individuals for their hiring processes. Another reason to be concerned.

GMAT Format

There are four sections in the new GMAT exam.

• AWA section (Analytical Writing Assessment)

In the AWA section, you’ll have to figure out the reasoning behind an argument and write a critique of the same, with relevant examples and explanations.

• IR section (Integrated Reasoning)

the IR Section is designed to test your analytical skills to solve a complicated problem. Data will be sent to you in many forms. Your ability to manage data, extract relevant information, and choose the correct response is dependent on your ability to handle data.

• Quantitative Section

The quantitative section’s questions are meant to put your arithmetic skills to the test. Basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry are all covered.

• Verbal Section

the verbal section has 3 sub-sections: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction.

In Reading Comprehension, you are given a passage on a topic and multiple-choice questions based on the same. You’ll have to identify the essential points that impact, strengthen, or weaken the supplied argument in Critical Reasoning. In Sentence Correction, you are given a sentence with an underlined portion that you’ll have to evaluate and rectify if it is incorrect.

These four sections will take you just over three hours to complete. This does not include the two optional eight-minute breaks. Only the verbal and quantitative parts contribute to the total score of 800. The scores for the remaining two sections are given separately.

GMAT Syllabus

Following are some of the GMAT syllabus topics you can expect in the quantitative section: Integers, Decimals, Fractions, Number properties, Order of operations, Percentage, Ratio and Proportion, Profit and loss, Simple and compound interest, Speed, distance, and time Permutation & combination, Linear equations, Quadratic equations, Sets Theory.

Average, Median, Mode, Range, Standard deviation, Powers and roots, Probability, Pipes, Cisterns, Work, Time, Lines and Angles, Triangles, Polygons, Quadrilaterals, Circles, Co-ordinate geometry, Volume, and Surface Area.

Basic grammar rules are included in the GMAT verbal section syllabus. This should give you an idea of the average GMAT scores for the world’s top MBA programs.

Average GMAT scores for MBA in the USA

Average GMAT scores for MBA in the USA

Average GMAT scores for MBA in the UK

Average GMAT scores for MBA in the UK

Average GMAT scores for MBA in Europe: France, Spain, Switzerland

Average GMAT scores for MBA in Europe: France, Spain, Switzerland

Average GMAT scores for MBA in Canada

Average GMAT scores for MBA in Canada

Average GMAT scores for MBA in China, India, Australia, Singapore

Average GMAT scores for MBA in China, India, Australia, Singapore

When, Where, and How to take the test

Take the test any time in the year, there are more than 600 test centers across the world where you can take the test. As the first step, you’ll have to identify the closest test center and register your details along with a date and time.

Many people wait until a few months before the application deadline to take the test. That’s a terrible concept. To be on the comfortable side, take it at least 1 year before your application date. That way you have enough time to retake it if needed.

While it is evident that a high GMAT score can have a significant influence on your application, here are some less obvious truths. A perfect 800 score does not ensure admission. Over the years, perfect scores have been denied by prestigious universities like Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton. The bright lining is that a lower-than-average GMAT score does not automatically disqualify you.

How long does it take to prepare for the GMAT?

Candidates who studied for less than a week and aced the exam have been encountered. We also come across people who have been struggling with it for months, if not years. The normal duration can be around 3 months if you follow a decent, disciplined study schedule. Of course, how quickly you can brush up on the essentials and how well you prepare for the test will determine a lot.

How to prepare for the GMAT?

When it comes to GMAT preparation, you have several options.


Self-study is the cheapest and most flexible way to prepare. There are tons of excellent GMAT books available to help you cover everything from the basics to the advanced topics. The best GMAT book you can buy is the Official Guide. It’s published by the team that manages the test. GMAT books from private test prep companies like Manhattan Prep, Kaplan, Princeton Review, and many others, are also popular. Go for the latest edition available.

Classroom Coaching

If you prefer the conventional classroom method, there are several test prep firms in your area. Candidates in smaller towns or cities may have a more difficult time finding an appropriate coaching facility. This is when the next option comes in handy. You only need a computer and a strong internet connection to attend online GMAT classes from your home, business, or while sunning on a beach. When the previous methods haven't worked out, it may be beneficial to employ a personal tutor who can help you discover and correct your deficiencies.

While your main focus right now is on studying for the GMAT, there is one thing you should keep in mind. Don’t forget about what you need to do once you earn a strong score, such as choosing the proper business schools, developing an application strategy, and constructing a storyline that links all the dots in your profile.