Admissions

Demystifying the GMAT

What is the GMAT? The GMAT is the preferred standardized test for graduate business school. For many students, preparing for and taking the GMAT* can be the most stressful part of their application process. However, with careful planning and plenty of preparation, you can walk into the test feeling confident and ready to give it your all.

What is the GMAT? The GMAT is the preferred standardized test for graduate business school. For many students, preparing for and taking the GMAT* can be the most stressful part of their application process. However, with careful planning and plenty of preparation, you can walk into the test feeling confident and ready to give it your all.

Our friends at Clayborne Education, a Charlottesville-based test prep company with proven success, shared preparation tips and best practices for developing a strategy to tackle the GMAT. Below are a few highlights from their presentation. We encourage you though to watch the full recording here as they actually walk you through medium and hard practice questions!

How long is the GMAT, and what are the different sections?
The GMAT is approximately 3.5 hours long and is comprised of four sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing.
How many times can I take the GMAT?
Most people only take the GMAT once, so make sure you build out enough time to study. However, if you do not perform as well as you hoped, consider taking it again. Note that you must wait 16 days before you can retake the exam.
When should I start preparing and how should I allocate my time?
Visit gmat.com and download the free practice software. Take their diagnostic test now to analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Diagnostic tests include a breakdown of questions by type, which can be extremely helpful when building your study plan.
What resources do you recommend for studying?
There are many resources available for GMAT preparation. Here is a list of resources recommended by Clayborne Education:

The Official Guide for GMAT Review – Published annually by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), the creators of the GMAT
GMAT Math Review and GMAT Verbal Review – Published annually by GMAC
GMATclub.com and BeatthGMAT.com – Helpful online forums
Magoosh.com for GMAT
The Economist GMAT course
Manhattan GMAT books and online course
Kaplan GMAT books and online course
Clayborne Education – Test prep service offering one-to-one tutoring!

*The GMAT is optional for applicants with a minimum 3.50 cumulative undergraduate GPA from a four-year U.S. institution and who meet certain requirements. Learn more.

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