FAQ

How do I prepare for the GMAT or GRE exams required for MBA admissions?

Written by Staff Editor

Updated: April 16, 2023, Reading time: 7 minutes

Preparing for the GMAT or GRE exams required for MBA admissions can be a daunting task for many students. These exams are designed to assess an individual’s analytical, quantitative, and verbal skills. The scores obtained in these exams play a significant role in determining the admission decision for MBA programs.

It is important for students to start preparing for the GMAT or GRE exams well in advance of the application deadline. This allows them to take the exam multiple times if necessary and to improve their scores. The preparation process involves understanding the exam format, creating a study plan, and taking practice tests.

Students can find a variety of resources to help them prepare for the GMAT or GRE exams. These resources include study guides, online courses, and tutoring services. It is important for students to choose the resources that best fit their learning style and budget.

With the right preparation and resources, students can improve their chances of achieving a high score on the GMAT or GRE exam and gaining admission to their desired MBA program.

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Understanding the GMAT and GRE Exams

What is the GMAT Exam?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardized exam that assesses a student’s analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in English. The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test, meaning that the difficulty level of each question is based on the student’s previous answer. The GMAT consists of four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal. The exam takes about 3.5 hours to complete, and the scores range from 200 to 800.

What is the GRE Exam?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized exam that assesses a student’s analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning skills. The GRE is also a computer-adaptive test, meaning that the difficulty level of each question is based on the student’s previous answer. The GRE consists of six sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, an unscored research section, and two unscored variable sections. The exam takes about 3.5 hours to complete, and the scores range from 130 to 170 for each section.

How Are the GMAT and GRE Exams Different?

The GMAT and GRE exams are different in several ways. The GMAT is primarily used for admission to business schools, while the GRE is used for admission to a wide range of graduate programs. The GMAT tests more advanced math concepts, such as geometry, while the GRE tests more basic math concepts, such as arithmetic. The GMAT includes an Integrated Reasoning section, which tests data analysis skills, while the GRE includes an unscored research section. The GMAT scores range from 200 to 800, while the GRE scores range from 130 to 170 for each section. Overall, both the GMAT and GRE exams are important for admission to graduate programs. Students should carefully consider the requirements of the programs they are interested in and choose the exam that best suits their needs.

Preparing for the GMAT and GRE Exams

Preparing for the GMAT and GRE exams can be a daunting task, but with a solid study plan and plenty of practice, you can increase your chances of success. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

Develop a Study Plan

Before you start studying, it’s important to develop a study plan that works for you. Consider your learning style, how much time you have, and what resources you have available. Set realistic goals for yourself and create a schedule that allows you to study consistently over a period of several weeks or months.

Understand the Format of the Exam

Both the GMAT and GRE exams have specific formats that you should familiarize yourself with before test day. The GMAT consists of four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal. The GRE has six sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and an unscored research section. Knowing what to expect on test day can help you feel more confident and prepared.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice is key when it comes to preparing for the GMAT and GRE exams. Take practice tests to get a feel for the format and types of questions you’ll be asked. Review the questions you get wrong and identify areas where you need to improve. It’s also important to practice time management so that you can complete each section within the allotted time.

Take Advantage of Resources

There are many resources available to help you prepare for the GMAT and GRE exams. Consider taking a prep course or working with a tutor to get personalized support. You can also find study materials online, such as practice tests, flashcards, and study guides. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or seek out additional resources if you need them.

Get Enough Rest and Exercise

Finally, don’t forget the importance of self-care when preparing for the GMAT and GRE exams. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and exercise, as both can have a positive impact on your cognitive function and test performance. Take breaks when you need them and try to maintain a balanced lifestyle as you prepare for test day.

Test Day Tips

Test day can be stressful, but with the right preparation, you can ace the GMAT or GRE. Here are some tips to help you stay focused and confident:

Arrive Early

Make sure you arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled test time. This will give you enough time to check in, store your belongings, and get settled before the test begins. Rushing can increase your stress levels and affect your performance.

Bring the Right Materials

Make sure you have all the required materials for the test. This includes a valid photo ID, your admission ticket, and any other materials specified by the testing center. Check the testing center’s website for a list of allowed and prohibited items, such as calculators, pens, and snacks.

Stay Focused and Confident

Stay calm and focused during the test. If you feel yourself getting nervous or distracted, take a deep breath and refocus. Remember that you have prepared for this moment and that you are capable of succeeding. Keep a positive attitude and don’t let a difficult question or section discourage you.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Time management is crucial during the test. Make sure you pace yourself and don’t spend too much time on any one question. If you get stuck on a question, move on and come back to it later. Use your scratch paper to jot down notes and calculations to help you stay organized and save time.

Conclusion

Preparing for the GMAT or GRE can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it is possible to achieve a high score and gain admission to a top MBA program. The key is to start early and develop a study plan that is tailored to your strengths and weaknesses.

It is also important to take advantage of the many resources available, such as online courses, practice tests, and study groups. These can help you identify areas where you need to improve and provide valuable feedback on your progress.

Finally, it is important to stay focused and motivated throughout the preparation process. This means setting realistic goals, tracking your progress, and celebrating your successes along the way. With hard work and dedication, anyone can succeed on the GMAT or GRE and achieve their MBA dreams.