When to Take the GMAT

Deciding when to take the GMAT is an important step in the process of applying to business school. Before choosing a test date, it is critical to find out application deadlines for all of the schools where you will be applying. Most experts recommend taking the GMAT at least two to three months before the deadline to be sure that scores are returned in time for the deadline.

Still, many people will feel better having a little more time before the deadline. Taking the GMAT earlier will allow you the leeway to take the test again if you want to improve your scores. You must wait 31 days after your first test day to retake the test and can retake it up to five times within a twelve month period of time. Planning for time to take the GMAT twice can give you that extra insurance, there’s no harm in having your scores early and knowing that you are free to focus on the rest of your applications as the deadline approaches.

By allowing yourself the time to retake the test if need be, you’re likely to go into the test with greater confidence and the ability to do your best. Taking online practice tests and GMAT test prep classes before your first attempt at the GMAT can help you to gain the knowledge of both the test’s material and the test’s format before test day.

Some people may choose to study and take the GMAT immediately after receiving their undergraduate degree if they are sure that they want to go on to business school and an MBA in the near future. Studying and taking the GMAT while you’re still in the mindset of studying and taking exams can be helpful for some people. GMAT scores are good for up to five years, for this reason, there’s little fear of taking the test too early. Your good scores will still be there even if you choose to wait a year or two before applying for business school.

Setting up a calendar to have your GMAT scores done ahead of your application deadlines will save you a lot of stress as the deadline approaches. A study calendar with test dates planned, deadlines marked, and all of the information in one place will ensure that nothing stands between you and and meeting application deadlines.

Navigating the GMAT Essays

Are you worried about setting yourself apart during the business school admissions process? One of your key opportunities is to deliver well-written GMAT essays. This guide will teach you the tricks to overshadowing your competitors with great essays.

The Analytical Writing Assessment section of the GMAT lasts for one hour and is divided into two essays: issue and argument. Consider the following top-tier advice:

  • Stay on topic. With only thirty minutes for each essay, you will not have time to go off onto tangents. Plan to make your points within 300 words or less.
  • Use supportive statements and cite facts whenever possible. Include your personal experience when appropriate but also rely on the evidence given by third parties.
  • Both a computer program and a human reader will review your essays. Make sure that your word choice, sentence construction, and overall flow appeal to both entities.

For the Analysis of an Issue essay, your job is not to prove that the issue is right or wrong; your job is to convince the reader to believe your position. The simplest format for the Analysis of an Issue section is the following:

  • Introduction with a background on the issue and reasons why you agree or disagree
  • Reason One with an explanation of the reason and an example
  • Reason Two with an explanation of the reason and an example
  • Acknowledgment of the opposing side’s arguments and ways to refute them
  • Conclusion re-emphasizing the issue and the arguments you have already presented

The easiest format for the Analysis of an Argument essay is below. For this section you must point out the flaws of the argument and convince the reader your conclusions are correct.

  • Introduction with a background on the argument and your stance on its validity
  • Point One with an emphasis on the argument’s positive aspects, using examples whenever possible
  • Point Two with an emphasis on the argument’s negative aspects (flaws), using examples whenever possible
  • Point Three listing ways in which the argument could be improved or strengthened
  • Conclusion reiterating the argument and its major advantages and disadvantages

Before your writing time is complete, review your essays. Make sure they are free of spelling errors, meet conventional grammar and formatting guidelines, respond well to the essay topic, and capture the reader’s attention.
Practice essay writing several times before you reach the testing center, so you will understand the pacing necessary to meet the time limits. GMAT test prep is available both online and in-person for essay assistance.
With advanced planning and GMAT test prep, you are on your way to furthering your education and propelling your job prospects well into the future.

Preparing to Retake the GMAT

Many people choose to retake the GMAT in order to improve on their original scores. You are allowed to retake the test once every 31 days and no more than five times in a one year period. As all test scores for the past five years (including cancellations) show on your student report, if you are planning on retaking the exam, we suggest taking it no more than three times. Beyond that, schools may not look at multiple attempts in a positive light. The good new though, is having taken the GMAT once before, you will be able to draw on your past experience and use these scores to help tailor your study plan for future tries.

Tailor Your GMAT Test Prep

Your GMAT test prep for the second time around can focus more heavily on the areas you struggled with on the first test, be it quantitative, verbal, or the writing assessment. You may feel that you just need to review some sections before test day and spend significant amounts of time on areas that were a challenge on your first GMAT. Immediately after taking the test, you may be able to look up questions that threw you off the first time you took the test, having these challenges in mind for your studying will give you a good starting point.

Online GMAT test prep will help you to cater your plan to meet your needs — even more important now that you have a better grasp on which areas will be a challenge. Taking practice tests along the way will help you to gauge how your scores are improving on the way to your second test.

Draw on Your Knowledge of the Test

Having already taken the GMAT once will also help you to relax and do your best on test day. You’ve been in the exact situation before and may have an even better idea of how they test will go than you did from your practice tests before the first attempt. You can focus on the content and feel comfortable with the computer and the format of the test.

The GMAT can be very different from any other test you have taken in the past, especially in that you cannot go back and change your answers in the verbal and quantitative sections. Having experienced this in a real test setting can help you the second time around, especially if you were anxious about the test format the first time you took the GMAT.

Even when you’re taking the test for the second or third time, it is important to maintain a solid study schedule and continue to review material and take online GMAT practice tests. Doing so will help prevent your scores from decreasing, help you to improve your test taking abilities, and keep the material fresh for the next test.

Top 10 MBA Programs in the World

The Financial Times ranks the top MBA programs in the world each year. Many of these top schools are located in the United States, while others on the list are located in the United Kingdom, France, Singapore and China. For students looking for an international experience, there are many excellent options located all over the world.

1. The London Business School ranks as the world’s top MBA program. Tuition for the London Business School is 49,900 British pounds sterling or approximately $78,850 US dollars. This tuition is for the entire 15-21 month program and includes reading materials.

2. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School ranked second on the Financial Times list of top MBA programs. The MBA program costs $46,600 per year.

3. Harvard Business School at Harvard University in Massachusetts costs $46,150 per year.

4. Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in California also ranks as one of the best MBA programs in the world and costs $51,321 per year.

5. Instead, sometimes called The Business School of the World, has one campus in Fontainebleau, France, and another campus in Singapore. The MBA program costs 52,000 euros, approximately 68,800 US dollars.

6. Columbia University’s Columbia Business School in New York costs $49,728 per year.

7. IE Business School in Spain costs 53 200 euros, approximately 70,380 US dollars.

8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management costs $48,650 per year.

9. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business costs $49,020 per year.

10. Hong Kong UST Business School in China ranks as the tenth best MBA program in the world and costs $53,900.

To prepare for applying to graduate programs, check out a popular, online GMAT course.

GMAT Analytical Writing Section

The Analytical Writing Assessment is one of the three parts of the GMAT exam. It is designed to test critical thinking skills and to measure the test taker’s ability to communicate information effectively. GMAT test prep is important to get test takers prepared to handle each of the Analytical Writing Assessment sections. Online test prep is often a particularly good option as it allows individuals to make their own schedule and complete GMAT test prep whenever they have free time.
The Analytical Writing Assessment is divided into two 30-minute essays. The first is the Analysis of an Issue and the second an Analysis of an Argument. Each essay is deigned to gauge the test taker’s ability to write analytically and present cohesive ideas. While the essay topics generally cover topics related to business, they should not require any prior knowledge of the subject. Taking GMAT practice tests is a great way to become familiar with the type of essay prompt that will appear on the exam.

The Analysis of an Issue section requires test takers to analyze an issue and form a point of view. There is no correct answer to this section and it is important to consider perspectives. The essay should express an articulate, thought-out position on the given issue. Test takers should draw from their own experiences, reading, and prior knowledge base t back up their opinion.

The Analysis of an Argument section tests the ability to read and critique an argument that is given in the prompt. Test takers should not bring their own views into this essay, but simply analyze the opinion that is given in the argument. The essay should consider what assumptions have been made in the argument and cite any information that could weaken the argument.

It is important to manage time effectively throughout the exam to be sure that you have time to complete each essay to the best of your ability. Preparing for the Analytical Writing Assessment can be challenging, but with the right GMAT test prep plan, you can enter the exam feeling ready to handle any essay prompt with ease.

2010 Business School Rankings

Choosing a good business school is an important decision for your education and career. It is important to take time to learn about various programs and review all of the information and rankings available. US News & World Report and Business Week are two reliable sources that rank the top business schools each year.

In 2010, Harvard Business School at Harvard University and Stanford University’s tied for first on the US News and World Report list. Third place went to the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and fourth to Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The University of Chicago’s Booth School and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School tied for fifth place on the list of top business schools.

Business Week also provides rankings of the best business schools in the United States, as well as the top international programs and part-time options. Business week ranked University of Chicago’s Booth School first, Harvard Business School second and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School third. Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania came in fourth on Business Week’s list and the University of Michigan’s Ross School placed fifth.

The Queen’s School of Business in Kingston, Ontario ranked first in Business Week’s list of top international business schools. Business Week also ranked the best part-time MBA programs with Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts coming out on top. Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School placed first on this list in 2009. There are many excellent part-time programs that are designed to fit into each student’s unique situation and schedule. Through these programs, it is possible for students to continue to work or have a family while they are earning their MBA.

Admissions for the top business schools are extremely competitive. It is important to prepare an application that sets you apart from the pool of applicants. For business school applications it is important to highlight your unique experiences in work, education, and even travel. These are things that will shape how you perceive business and how your MBA will fit into your career plan.

Performing well on the GMAT is key for people who want to attend a top business school. The GMAT, in combination with the undergraduate transcript and work experience, will help to determine where you will be accepted. A solid GMAT test prep program will prepare you to excel on the GMAT. When preparing for the test, online test prep programs are a great option for people with full time jobs and hectic schedules. GMAT practice exams will help test takers to prepare for the unique format of the GMAT.

GMAT prep: No calculator? No problem!

One big difference between the GMAT and other standardized tests is that calculators are not allowed on test day. For many test takers, it can be intimidating to go into the GMAT without a calculator. It is important to put away your calculator from the beginning and get comfortable doing all of the necessary math for the GMAT on your own. With a comprehensive GMAT test prep plan, including plenty of time spent brushing up on basic math skills; it is possible to do well on the GMAT math section.
One of the best things you can do early on is to review basic math skills during your GMAT test prep. This is particularly critical if it has been a few years since you have taken a math course and even longer since you have worked without a calculator. Being able to manipulate fractions and decimals will be helpful on test day. You should also be sure that you are comfortable performing long division and other tasks that are typically done with a calculator. Reviewing the basics can make a big difference on the GMAT.

Once you have gotten familiar with your basic math skills again, you should work through online test prep and GMAT prep books. Take as many GMAT practice exams as possible and go over sample math questions until you can quickly decide how to attack a problem and move through the necessary steps. The more comfortable you are with the questions, the quicker you will be able to move through each problem on test day. It is important to work quickly, but carefully, as you are not able to go back and check your work or change answers on the GMAT.

It is also important to remember that the GMAT is designed to be completed without a calculator. You can use this to your advantage when completing math problems and always consider the simplest way to do your work. If you cannot complete a problem or come out with numbers that are difficult to work with, you may want to go back and check your work again. You should always look for the simplest and smartest way to complete the problem. With some critical thinking, there will not be any math problem on the GMAT that cannot be completed without a calculator.

GMAT Critical Reasoning Section Broken Down

About 11 questions in the verbal section of the GMAT fall into the “critical reasoning” category, and they will require the candidate to read short passages ranging from 20 to 200 words. Usually, a passage presents an argument and tries to persuade the reader that the point it makes is valid. To accomplish this, evidence is presented, followed by some assumptions and the resulting conclusion.

This section is meant to assess the students’ skill in constructing an argument and evaluating one that is presented to them, but they will not need any previous knowledge of the topics being covered. Instead, they must weigh the answer choices presented to them carefully, so that they can detect even the slightest error in reasoning. One of the incorrect choices will suggest something that is totally opposed to the argument maintained in the passage, a choice that is really not covered in the passage, and a choice that completely distorts the facts.

To complete the section successfully, candidates should:

● Read the question before reading the passage. This is called “working in reverse order,” and doing so will help them in finding the correct response.
● Look for the evidence and assumptions presented in the passage, and the conclusion that is at the heart of the question.
● Become familiar with the basic concepts being covered in this section. If a question seems particularly difficult, they should try translating it into simpler language and work from there, remembering that some of the questions are hypothetical and that they should only deal with the facts presented in the passage.

The various types of critical reasoning questions contained in the GMAT include:

● Numbers and statistics – Students focus on ratios and numbers because they have to distinguish between them and take the data at face value as well.
● Studies and surveys – Experiments may also be included here, and candidates are asked determine if the results have been misinterpreted in some way.
● Scope-shift – Here they will detect a slight change in emphasis. (For example, “first-time home buyers may be changed to “recent homebuyers” later on, and this is a sign of faulty argumentation.)
● Causation – In this case, the “result” is mistakenly presented as the “cause.” The passage may state that a problem arose because of a particular factor when its development was actually far more complicated than that.
● Alternative explanation – Here, the argument presented in the passage is incomplete and another solution is needed.
● Explain-a-paradox – In this case, they have to choose the response that fails to meet certain standards, and words indicating a contrast of some kind (however, but) are especially important.

Preparing for the GMAT

For online test preparation, students can visit: http://www.blinetestprep.com/gmat, and choose from one of the three unique programs this company offers to suit their specific needs and circumstances. Also, as part of their overall test preparation, candidates should develop their personal studying strategy and sharpen their professional writing skills at the same time. Taking classes to prepare for the GMAT may involve some expense, but they also provide the motivation and support that many candidates need. Many often find that by signing up for an online test prep class fits into their schedule and provides a good foundation before you take the test.

GMAT Reading Comprehension Section Broken Down

The GMAT reading comprehension section of the test is comprised of around twelve to fourteen questions that are within the verbal section of the test. The time available for the verbal section of the test is seventy five minutes. There are four passages to read with three to four questions following each passage. This section of the GMAT measures the skill to precisely and thoroughly read a passage, and then be able to correctly answer questions regarding it. The ability to draw conclusions from the material while paying attention to what the actual question is asking important. Certain parts of the text might be there just to confuse the test-taker. Attention to detail is essential for scoring well on the GMAT.

There are usually three areas that the reading comprehension section focuses on. They are Science (biology, etc.), Social Sciences (history, politics), and Business. The Science section usually has the factual questions, while the Social Sciences and Business sections usually contain the more difficult inference-type questions. A student may be asked to infer an author’s mood from reading a 200-400 word passage. These passages can often be filled with obscure words to further confound the test-taker.

Some useful tips for getting the optimum score on the GMAT include preparing as much as possible for the test. A student that uses multiple study methods such as flashcards, workbooks and an online test preparation course will be much better prepared than a student who does not utilize those methods. Studying over the course of three months is definitely favorable to studying for only three weeks. During the test, the test-taker should pace them self accordingly. Jot down notes in order grasp a certain concept. If a particular question is presenting a problem, then moving on to the next question and returning back to the more difficult question later is a viable option. Spending too much time on any one question can interfere with the ability to finish the test, therefore lowering the test score considerably.

GMAT Test Taking Tips

The GMAT is a requirement for most graduate school programs, and like the SAT taken in high school, the GMAT can be a harrowing experience. Weeks of study will be for naught if the test is taken without a strategy. However, by keeping a few tips in mind, greater success and a higher score on the GMAT is possible.

Preparation is the number 1 key to ensuring your success. There are several methods for preparing for your date with the GMAT test such as books, one on one tutoring, or creating flash cards. Today more people are enrolling to take their online  GMAT test preparation course with B Line Test Prep. The courses at B Line Schools are designed to acquaint students with the types of questions encountered on the GMAT. By taking a test preparation course with B Line Schools, one’s score can rise by critical points.

During our online test prep courses, the student is presented with tips and strategies for taking the GMAT. Some of these are common sense, and some are specific to the test. For best results, an online test preparation course should be taken just a few weeks before the test to keep the information learned fresh in one’s mind.

Some of the best test taking strategies are:

Keep an even pace. If one problem is too difficult, it will be best to skip it and continue on with the rest of the test, returning to the missed problem after the easier questions have been completed. Missing a single problem does not have as severe a penalty as spending all of the time on that one question and then skipping all of the questions after it.

Try to eliminate at least one or two choices. This strategy is taught for many different types of multiple choice tests, how to best eliminate options on the GMAT is a topic discussed in online test prep courses.

Use the scratch paper provided to work out math problems. Writing out even simple equations can put the tester in a clearer frame of mind.

More specific tips for GMAT testing are found through online test preparation courses such as B Line Test Prep. These are highly recommended for those serious about doing well on the GMAT.


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