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What You Should Know Before Taking the GMAT

If you are considering pursuing a master in business, you will want to take the GMAT; the Graduate Management Admission Test, which is recognized by leading business schools and management education programs as the most effective predictor of success

The GMAT is a computer-adaptive standardized test in mathematics and the English language which measures the ability to succeed academically in graduate business administration, such as Master of Business Administration and Master of Accountancy. (No GMAT MBA Options are available). The test is used by these schools as a criterion for admission into graduate business administration programs in the United States as well as other English-speaking countries. The GMAT is delivered by way of computer to a variety of locations world-wide. There is a $250 fee to take the exam.

The test, which is broken down into three main parts: the Analytical Writing Assessment, the Quantitative section, and the Verbal section, must be completed in three and a half hours.

An interesting feature of the GMAT is that the test adjusts while you take it to your own ability level, thus shortening the length of time it takes to complete the exam while establishing a higher level of accuracy than a traditional, fixed test. Here's how it works: as each multiple-choice section starts, there is a question which is of medium difficulty. The computer scores answers while it is being taken to determine which question to present next. Correct responses will typically prompt questions of increased difficulty, while incorrect responses usually result in questions of lesser difficulty.

Because it is a computer-adaptive test, only one question is presented at a time, allowing the computer to score each question prior to selecting the next one. Therefore, you cannot skip, return to, or change questions you have already responded to.

If you answer a question incorrectly by mistake or by random guessing, your answers to ensuing questions will lead you back to questions that are at a more appropriate level of difficulty. It is suggested that you refrain from guessing, as it may significantly lower your scores. Instead, use test strategies such as the process of elimination for best results.

Since there is a severe penalty for failure to complete the test, pacing is extremely important. The time and the number of remaining questions are displayed on the screen throughout the test to help with pacing.

The score you receive is based on the number of questions you answer, whether they were correctly or incorrectly answered, and the level of difficulty and other statistical characteristics of each question.

Tomorrow's blog will give you advice on ways to prepare for the GMAT.

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