GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) is required for admission to B-schools for MBA as well as Business Ph.D. programmes. A score of 700+ is considered a safe score for Ph.D. programmes. In case of post graduate programmes at top global B-schools, a score of 740+ with a good academic record or a career that proves you to be a leader is more a norm than an exception. The first step in avoiding getting rejected by B-schools is to get a score in that range. Balancing work or academic rigour while preparing for GMAT, often does not prove to be that easy and a large number of students join the ranks of so-called ‘GMAT repeaters’. This, not because there is anything lacking in them, just managing time & tweaking the manner in which preparation is done will make these students hit the bull’s eye.
As you perform in a section, the ‘Computer Adaptive Test’ would ask questions that would depend on the difficulty level of the last question solved. How did you fare in your last attempt? What made you flounder? A better strategy can help. Here are the pointers to the strategy you should follow:
- Boon or bane – The first few questions:
The curse of the first few questions – damned if you don’t attempt, damned if attempted incorrectly. 50% of the GMAT repeaters, who fail to secure a score of 700+, have had the first few questions as their nemesis. Shrug the advice and we find ourselves taking the test again. You lose here and you are out of reckoning. Rushing through these questions will be a nail in the coffin of your GMAT dream. Avoid this at any cost.
- Quant matters:
For most B-schools, it is inevitably the QA score that has more people getting the near perfect score than in VA. So, if you have a top notch B-school on your radar, and an economics Ph.D. is what you plan on going ahead with, ‘think quant’ is the mantra. VA would be an icing on the cake but quant is the pre-requisite.
- Online GMAT Classes and prep material that go beyond spoon feeding:
Whether you make time for classes a few days a week or it is the weekend classes that find favour with you, it is this mode that more than 70% of GMAT repeaters prefer although CAT draws students in hordes towards what is termed as ‘classroom coaching’.
- Navigating the web of suggestions and recommendations:
If you have lost the battle once, you are already on shaky ground. There are myriad institutions from across the world that offer online classes or books both in the paper and e-book formats. It is thus required that discretion be used in deciding on the GMAT preparation classes to take.
- Fast & smart not rapid
Time matters but accuracy is important. This again may be trashed as trite by the naysayers but the fact is the stumbling block for around 40% of the students attempting the test for the first time. Speed remains the motto as it happens in speed based exams for admission to non-IIM B-schools in India. Speed but not a strategy without discretion is what is called for. Work on speed but accuracy as your goal and jump of around 50 in your score would be achieved by this alone.
Once you are through with your first attempt and you plan on taking the test again, every piece of advice seems hackneyed. It is the very basic and the seemingly easily implementable steps that need to be given a thought to. Online GMAT classes have emerged as a ubiquitous proposition for the same.