The GMAT is a comprehensive exam for individuals applying to business schools in the United States and around the world. Because of the competition for admission specifically to Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs, test-taking apprehension is common. For MBA admissions, there are two basic categories of test-takers: those with strong quantitative backgrounds, and those who are weaker in math. The test poses a particular challenge to test-takers who are less confident in their math skills. The quantitative sections of the GMAT are of large concern during the evaluation of applications since a large portion of business school assignments require graduate students with a fast and practical ability in math. Whether you need top GMAT tutors in New York, GMAT tutors in Chicago, or top GMAT tutors in Los Angeles, working with a pro may take your studies to the next level.
The GMAT consists of four sections: Analytical Writing, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Integrated Reasoning. The exam consists of approximately three hours and thirty minutes of testing; including break times, the GMAT lasts for about four hours. The Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning sections are each thirty minutes in length; the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are each seventy-five minutes in length. The Analytical Writing section consists of one question: the evaluation of a single argument. The test-taker’s response is scored from one to six. The Verbal section consists of forty-one questions. Some of these questions are designed to evaluate the test taker’s understanding of English grammar; others test his or her reading comprehension abilities, and still others examine his or her understanding of written arguments. Many students find that these are not the sections that cause them the most apprehension, and instead derive most of their worries from the Integrated Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. Varsity Tutors offers resources like a free GMAT Practice Tests to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider a GMAT tutor.
The quantitative section consists of thirty-seven questions that deal with arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. While these math topics are not complex, test-takers may not taken a math course since high school and therefore might need to refresh their math skills prior to exam day. Calculators are not allowed, and all work has to be done using a wet erase pen on a laminated graph page in the exam room, which is surrendered to the proctor upon completion of the section. This section is scored from zero to sixty. Two types of questions appear in the quantitative section: problem-solving questions, which are similar to math questions on other standardized exams, and a GMAT-specific question type, data sufficiency questions. The data sufficiency questions merit extra practice and can cause problems for test-takers since they require the identification of relevant versus irrelevant information as well as the understanding of a quantitative problem, whether or not a numerical answer is requested.
The Integrated Reasoning section is new, added as part of the 2012 overhaul of the GMAT. In this section, problems challenge a test-taker to evaluate and synthesize data presented from multiple sources. Table analysis and graphics interpretation are both included. In this section there are twelve questions in total. Like the updated Quantitative section, this section is also a source of anxiety for test takers, especially those who do not have a strong background in mathematics.
Composite scores for the GMAT range from 200 to 800 and are derived from the addition of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. The Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning sections each have stand-alone scores. Scores are revealed to test-takers for two minutes after they complete the exam. In those two minutes, test-takers have the option to cancel their score reports. A canceled score appears on the exam report with the letter “C” and with the date of the exam, and remains on record for five years. For a one-hundred-dollar fee, a canceled score can be reversed and retrieved; after sixty days, it is permanently cancelled.
Doing lots of practice problems for each multiple-choice section is great preparation for the GMAT. Timing oneself in a simulation of the actual time allowed for a section is both important in the later stages of exam preparation and yet is effective only after one has mastered each question type. The GMAT is not the hardest standardized exam out there, but nevertheless with new question types, it’s important to get many sets of practice problems done before exam day. In addition to the GMAT Help Section and GMAT tutoring, you may also want to consider using some of our GMAT Flashcards.
Varsity Tutors’ free GMAT Help page can help you if you find yourself stuck when trying to understand a particular concept covered or question type featured on the GMAT. Our GMAT Help content is organized in differing levels of specificity, allowing users to choose whether to focus on specific concepts, broad topics, or entire question types. Our Help links then present users with model practice problems that include displayed correct answers and full explanations. Working through such problems carefully is a great first step in identifying any misunderstandings or working through particular points of difficulty you may encounter in a given part of your review. Varsity Tutors’ free GMAT Help content can form a crucial part of your review, especially when used in conjunction with our other free GMAT resources.