What is the GMAT?
The admission process to a business school is not an easy task. There are many candidates and the level of training is high Business schools make a first selection by requiring applicants to obtain the results of the GMAT, a standard test that measures the future student’s knowledge in mathematics, language and analytical writing and is carried out over the Internet.
Many business schools require candidates to provide their score on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (or GMAT as defined on abbreviationfinder), a standard test that measures knowledge in mathematics, language and analytical writing and in which questions, answers, and papers are submitted via network.
The final result of the GMAT includes five sections: analytical writing (analysis of an argument), verbal reasoning, mathematical reasoning, critical thinking and integrated reasoning The result of combining the scores of the mathematics and language tests oscillate between 200 and 800 points – the average is between 400 and 600 points – and, on the other hand, that of analytical writing, which is scored from zero to six.
Fit the GMAT Into Overall MBA Application Strategy
Aim to get the exam out of the way before finalizing your business school short list.
Just about every MBA candidate needs to submit a GMAT or GRE score as part of their business school admission package, but not everyone has a clear grasp on when and how the exam fits within the context of the whole application process.
In an ideal world, you would take the test just coming out of college, while you’re still in study and test mode as a recent student. Since both GMAT and GRE scores are valid for five years, getting the exams out of the way years in advance would free you to focus on all of the other elements of the application.
If, like most applicants, you didn’t have the foresight to take the exam right after college, the next best step is to plan your application strategy so that the GMAT is finished before you finalize your list of schools. Your GMAT score isn’t everything, but it is an important part of the admissions equation.
If you bomb the exam and can’t improve your score, you may need to reassess your target schools to include less-competitive options. Conversely, you may be able to add one more reach school if the score was higher than expected.
Round one of business school admissions is about four months away at many schools, and if you still need to take the GMAT, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Unless you’re a natural at taking standardized tests, you’ll need to train your brain to get it back into test-taking form.
Most applicants devote at least 100 hours to test preparation, and depending on where you are in the process, you may have to take a prep class and perhaps take the test more than once. If this is the case, the first round may not be a realistic option unless you’re able and prepared to completely immerse yourself in the process.
Why is the GMAT important?
Working as the Director of Admissions in various regions of the world, I have spent considerable time evaluating candidates and their GMAT results Students who score high on the GMAT on the first try get that out of the way and dive into completing their applications and evaluating B-Schools options based on their results For those who are not doing so well, there will be additional classes, counseling and others, trying to improve that mark that their target university or B-School asks of them.
During my time as Director of Admissions I heard a lot of excuses and creative ideas about why a good score was not achieved or why the GMAT has to be so important to the admissions process That is why it occurred to me to detail some of the most relevant topics of Why the GMAT is Important.
There are 3 basic reasons, which depending on who is reading this article will be less or more relevant:
- For universities worldwide the GMAT represents a quality standard Accepted by more than 6000 business schools around the world, it is part of the evaluation carried out by the most recognized rankings in the medium such as Business Week, Financial Times and The Economist That is, if a school wants to climb in the rankings, a key element is the GMAT average of its entrants.
- Used as a measure of comparison Since it is taken by candidates around the world, usually under similar conditions, it makes it easier to make a comparison between applicants from different educational systems Also in some cases, schools with high demand use it as an exclusionary filter of candidates.
- Finally and probably as the main reason, the GMAT is used as a prediction tool GMAC (Graduate Management Admissions Council) validates each section of your exam with the results and performance of students within the MBA That is, GMAC sends statistics to universities with reliable evidence of why their methodology (sections, questions and algorithm) really have a correlation with the results during the first year of a student’s MBA.
This measure becomes even more important as the GMAT constantly tries to improve how it predicts a candidate’s performance during a rigorous MBA program For example, a few years ago the “Academic Writting” section was included to measure the ability to write and construct arguments Later, the “Integrated Reasoning” section was also included to measure the ability of candidates to deduce information presented in different formats (tables, tables, etc.) All with the sole objective of improving that ability to predict the performance of an MBA graduate.
In summary, the GMAT, its structure and algorithm, are practically incorporated into the methodology of most business schools when selecting students This is not to say that it should be used as a single factor, but to include it within the evaluation process Then, the weight of the GMAT within each assessment will vary according to the school that is conducting this analysis.
A great result on the GMAT then, does not guarantee an acceptance letter to one of the top programs, but it does take the necessary first step for the rest of the application to be evaluated.