Tag Archives: GMAT

GMAT Guide Update Includes 6 Months Online Access

The Graduate Management Admission Council, in partnership with Wiley, is making studying for the GMAT exam easier and more convenient. The best-selling Official Guide for GMAT Review series is adding online content, videos and a …

The Graduate Management Admission Council, in partnership with Wiley, is making studying for the GMAT exam easier and more convenient. The best-selling Official Guide for GMAT Review series is adding online content, videos and a study tool, allowing b-school applicants to access hundreds of real, retired GMAT questions both in book form and online to customize their own question sets.

“The Official Guide for GMAT Review has been a consistently popular trade publication since the first edition was published in 1978,”says Ashok Sarathy, GMAC vice president, product management. “Now, we are making studying for the GMAT exam easier and more flexible, as people can both annotate the book and customize question sets with the new, online component.”

Joan O’Neil, VP and managing director at Wiley, calls the partnership with GMAC ideal, adding “We are excited to see how the new online aspects and tools evolve so we can continue to bring the best content and value to our customers.”

The 2015 series will contain the same content as the Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition, and the Official Guide for Quantitative Review, Second Edition, and the Official Guide for Verbal Review, Second Edition, along with access to exclusive online content including videos and a study tool that allows users to customize practice sets by question format and difficulty level.

“We see our role as giving candidates the best opportunity to perform to the best of their ability on the GMAT exam.  Publishing the Official Guide is part of that mission as the series offers more retired practice questions than any other product on the market. The online enhancements made to the 2015 edition are the first of many improvements, and we plan to update the Guides on an annual basis,” Sarathy says.

The 2015 series is available at bookstores worldwide and at the mba.com/store.

Posted in Test Prep Advice | Tagged , , ,

Score Preview Added to GMAT

Prospective business students taking the GMAT exam will now be able to preview their unofficial scores before deciding whether to report or cancel them, the Graduate Management Admission Council has announced. The score reporting feature …

Prospective business students taking the GMAT exam will now be able to preview their unofficial scores before deciding whether to report or cancel them, the Graduate Management Admission Council has announced.

The score reporting feature is available to all test takers and will take effect at all 600 test centers around the world that administer the GMAT exam beginning on Friday, June 27, 2014.

“We are pleased to offer this feature as part of our efforts to make preparing for and taking the GMAT exam easier,” says Ashok Sarathy, GMAC’s vice president of product management. “The new score reporting feature gives test takers more certainty and control in the testing process and in how their scores are reported to schools.”

Test takers are given the option of reporting or canceling their scores immediately after taking the test and before leaving the test center.

Under the new process, test takers will see their unofficial scores — Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal, and Total — and will be given two minutes to decide whether to accept them. If they do not make a choice, their scores will be canceled.

In addition, test takers who decide to cancel their scores at the test center will be able to reinstate them within 60 days of the test date for a $100 fee. After that, scores will not be retrievable.

If there were two things I would recommend to test takers to get the most out of this new feature, says Sarathy, they would be:

  • Know what score you’re willing to accept so that when asked whether your wish to send your scores or cancel them, you have already considered your answer.
  • Understand that you have 60 days to reinstate a score you might have canceled but decide later that you want to send.

Analytical Writing Assessment scores are unaffected by the change. They are not included on unofficial score reports available immediately but are reported on official score reports delivered within 20 days.

Posted in Test Prep Advice | Tagged , ,

How to Ramp Up Your GMAT Prep

Guest post by our friends at Magoosh We need every edge we can get. Every prospective student is looking for some advantage for their application to business school whether it’s a unique personal story, unique …

Guest post by our friends at Magoosh

We need every edge we can get.

Every prospective student is looking for some advantage for their application to business school whether it’s a unique personal story, unique work experience, or a slightly stronger GMAT score. To gain that edge, we have to dedicate our time and energy. There’s no way to fake it.

The GMAT is no exception. We have to allocate our time wisely and focus our energies efficiently to gain that edge. To ramp up your GMAT prep and gain that edge, I have four pieces of advice. You’ll find that these tips will supercharge your prep and better prepare you for test day.

Quality Test Prep Material

Nothing can boost test prep like using quality materials. The market is suffuse with materials that are mediocre to terrible. Bad materials mean insufficient prep and lead to poor test scores. It’s not just that the materials don’t mimic the GMAT; if they aren’t created with rigor and constantly improved, these materials can be downright misleading.

Step back a moment and assess your materials. Are you using one of the best GMAT books of 2014? Or do you rely on questions posted to forums, such as Beat the GMAT and GMAT Club. Don’t expect to hit your stride in the weeks before the test if you haven’t prepped with the best of the best. Find the best materials now so you aren’t one of the 20% of students who retake the GMAT.

Wind Sprints—Not Marathons

Bad study habits dampen success—not ramp it up. The trouble, though, is that many students don’t know that they’ve adopted bad study habits. They believed a myth and haven’t thought to question its validity since. Let’s dispel it: long study sessions don’t work!

Students tell me they study eight hours a day and are still not improving. My first recommendation is to stop studying eight hours a day. Long sessions of studying don’t help students learn more; it’s a fallacy to think that more time equals more learning.

They need to stop running long distances and practice their wind sprints. Plenty of research shows that short bursts of focus and learning outweigh long periods of study.

Let’s say you want to study 12 hours a week. Plan on four sessions, three hours each, and after each hour take a 10 minute break. Better yet, budget six sessions, two hours each. Studying in this way encourages spaced repetition, which is shown to improve the long-term retention of information. Instead of doing everything in a six hour period, you give your mind time to rest and incorporate the information into long-term memory.

As counterintuitive as it may sound, short bursts are better than marathons.

Set a Timer

One of the biggest misconceptions is that students think their abilities untimed are the same timed. Many students do not make time a part of their prep and pay the price on test day. Or students wait too long to start practicing under time pressure and realize that they are in trouble. So as soon as possible, set a timer when solving practice problems.

Choose a set of five questions and try to finish them in ten minutes. If this is too difficult at first, that is, you can’t even get close, set the timer for thirteen minutes. Even though this is more time than you should take to solve a problem, at least you have a timer on and you are practicing your pacing. As you progress, dial down the time until you are at a good pace—about nine minutes for five Verbal questions and about ten minutes for five Quant questions.

Spend Time Studying—Not Planning

Time management doesn’t refer only to pacing on the test. It also refers to how we spend our study time. As little time should be spent planning your studies. Front-load all your planning so that you don’t have to do it every session. Decide what to do each day based on your materials and how much time you have. Use a study schedule created by experts, such as a 1 month GMAT study schedule, or base your study schedule on their recommendations.

As you will see in the study schedules, each day is broken into parts. Work on multiple skills in a single study session. This is the best way to study and the best way to learn. Ramp up your studies with more focused study.

Takeaway

Every applicant to business school is looking for that unique advantage. With the GMAT, it’s no different. Take these suggestions and ramp up your study sessions. Grab quality materials, aim for focused, short bursts of study, start practicing your timing, and get all your planning out of the way so you can spend more time actually studying. Start implementing them now to improve your chances for success on test day.

This post was written by Kevin Rocci, resident GMAT expert at Magoosh, a leader in GMAT prep. For more advice on taking the GMAT, check out Magoosh’s GMAT blog.

Posted in General | Tagged , ,

GMAC Debuts Integrated Reasoning Prep Tool

The Graduate Management Admission Council has announced the debut of a new web-based resource to help applicants prepare for the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT. The Official GMAT Integrated Reasoning Prep Tool is a …

The Graduate Management Admission Council has announced the debut of a new web-based resource to help applicants prepare for the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT.

The Official GMAT Integrated Reasoning Prep Tool is a set of 48 items and answer explanations, and it’s the only dedicated Integrated Reasoning prep tool available that contains retired IR items.

Users may customize question sets by difficulty and type of question, easy to hard or random, and may choose exam or study modes. The tool contains timers that track time spent per question as well as total time.

It also provides multiple reporting options, which focus on time management, session history, and question history. Benchmarking features show what percentage of GMAT examinees, by IR score, got each individual item correct.

“We developed Integrated Reasoning as a way to measure ‘big data’ skills, the ability to evaluate and synthesize information presented in multiple formats,” says Ashok Sarathy, GMAC’s vice president for product management.

“The Official GMAT Integrated Reasoning Prep Tool offers a valuable opportunity for test takers to prepare to do their best on the GMAT exam to showcase important skills that business schools and global employers are seeking today,” Sarathy adds.

The Official GMAT Integrated Reasoning Prep Tool is priced at $19.99 and is available at mba.com. Purchasers will have access to the web-based tool for six months for unlimited practice sessions, and the option of purchasing an additional three months for $9.99.

Posted in General, Test Prep Advice | Tagged , ,

Free GMAT Flashcards from Magoosh

Studying for the GMAT is no easy feat! It’s a laborious, time-intensive test, and it can be very expensive to prepare for. Ever wish you had affordable and high-quality resources that’d help you along the …

Studying for the GMAT is no easy feat! It’s a laborious, time-intensive test, and it can be very expensive to prepare for. Ever wish you had affordable and high-quality resources that’d help you along the way? Say hello to our friends at Magoosh! They’ve released free flashcards that’ll help you build skills in GMAT math and grammar. You can download them onto your Android or iOS phone, or you can practice them right on your computer.

gmat flash cards

So, if you’re ready to dominate the GMAT, now’s the time to study. Take your pick of free GMAT math flashcards or GMAT idiom flashcards (or both!), and begin!

Posted in Test Prep Advice | Tagged , , ,

How NOT to Approach GMAT IR

Guest post by our friends at Magoosh As of June 2012, the GMAT lost an essay and gained a new section. The GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) was born. This section appears at the beginning of …

Guest post by our friends at Magoosh

As of June 2012, the GMAT lost an essay and gained a new section. The GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) was born. This section appears at the beginning of the test and asks students to deal with complex and disperse forms of data to solve problems. The test makers explicitly state that this section is meant to mimic skills that students will need in business school, and more importantly, in business.

These skills, as stated by the GMAT, are “synthesizing information presented in graphics, text, and numbers; evaluating relevant information from different sources; organizing information to see relationships and to solve multiple, interrelated problems; combining and manipulating information from multiple sources to solve complex problems.”

If all this is true, and I think it is, the IR section is an important measure of your potential success in school and in business. As such, practicing for the IR section will benefit you long after you take the GMAT, and the GMAC has evidence from actual test takers to prove it.

But what exactly are these skills and how do you prepare for this new section? I’d like to walk you through what not to do and end with what you should do to prepare for the IR section.

Not Just About Math

You will need to exercise your math brain and use your logical, numerical reasoning powers for this section, but you are greatly mistaken if you think that your preparation for Quantitative Reasoning is sufficient preparation for the IR section.

Students may find that being strong in algebra or data analysis will help them through some of the IR section, but most of what they will see there is in the form of text, tables, or graphs. The closest things to IR, in the Quantitative Section, are the word problems that require both reading comprehension and math sense. But even these questions don’t touch the level of complexity that you will see in IR.

You will need to do more.

Not Just About Reading

The IR contains a lot to read—messages and emails, announcements and descriptions, explanations of graphs and prompts to answer, statements to evaluate and column headings to understand. Having strong reading skills is a must, as with the entire test, but again, it is not sufficient for success.

The ability to quickly read for meaning will help. The ability to organize information from multiple sources will help. The ability to locate details will help. But none of it is sufficient.

You will need to do more.

Not Just About Graphs and Tables

Students sometimes misunderstand the IR section. It’s not just graphs, charts, and tables. Yes, they are there. Yes, you’ll be dealing with scatter plots, radar charts, and graphs like this one. Having experience in statistics will help, but that won’t be all that you need to be ready.

Understanding U.S. Today charts is a start, but you’ll probably want to move on to The Wall Street Journal and The Economist tables and charts to be ready. But even comfort with graphs at that level is only part of what you need.

Here’s What You Need to Do

First thing you’ll need to do is take the time to learn all the question types. There are four of them—Two-Part Analysis, Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, and Graphical Interpretation. Learn the difference among these questions and also learn how much variety exists within each question type.

Although the general format will be the same, the types of information and presentation of data can vary greatly. For example, a Two-Part Analysis question can involve algebraic expressions or valid statements based on a passage.

Next you’ll need to deal with timing. Integrated Reasoning is deceptively long. The test makers tell us that we have twelve questions to answer in 30 minutes, but in reality, we have twelve pages that have anywhere from two to five questions to answer.

We must answer all questions correctly on a page to receive credit. As such, we all need to practice these questions in a timed environment. We all need an impeccable pacing strategy to avoid guessing on questions as time is running out.

Finally, you’ll need to work on your executive function. No, not that type of executive. I am talking about neuroscience. Executive function refers to the management and control of certain cognitive processes. These processes are skills needed for success on the test and later in life.

They include deciding priorities, weighing benefits and liabilities, designing strategies, resolving conflicting values, planning, and execution. The key to honing these skills, as with most skills, is practice. And not only practice of IR questions, but also general practice of these skills in your life, while reading the newspaper or managing your finances.

Takeaway

Preparing for the IR section is not the same as preparing for the Verbal section or the Quantitative section. But the preparation can greatly benefit you. Not only will it help you in understanding a GMAT score report or help you in applying to Wharton, but it also will make you a more competitive student and a more competent employee.

More than anything else you will practice for the test, besides good reading skills perhaps, is IR prep. You are practicing life skills—not abstract math concepts or contrived arguments. Practice them well.

This post was written by Kevin Rocci, resident GMAT expert at Magoosh, a leader in GMAT prep. For more advice on taking the GMAT, check out Magoosh’s GMAT blog.

Posted in General, Test Prep Advice | Tagged , , ,