April 1st is here, and you know what that means: pranks, jokes, and odd press releases in which companies make outrageous claims, like: “Wow, Google says they’re going to set up a colony on Mars!” . . . “Hey, Nike has invented an anti-gravity shoe!” . . . “Whoa, did you see that Taco Bell is going to start serving breakfast?” (Wait, that one is true.)
On one level, most of us are naturally skeptical of any seemingly suspicious claim made on April Fools’ Day. One another level, what harm is it to entertain the thought? Perhaps some of us choose to believe these stories simply because we want them to be true.
When it comes to the GMAT, be careful to separate what you want to be true, and what is actually true. Don’t fall for the common misconceptions that so many test-takers believe.
Common GMAT Misconceptions
- "The GMAT tests intelligence." Reality: The GMAT tests your ability to recognize patterns in a highly predictable format. Prepare and practice, and your GMAT score will improve.
- "The GMAT will be a easy, and doesn't require prep." Reality: While the GMAT is a beatable test, even those who score in the 99th percentile give it the respect it deserves. Some of the questions on the test can be extremely challenging, and unless you’re scoring perfectly in all sections, you still have room to improve.
- "You don't have to practice the essay and Integrated Reasoning section." Reality: In addition to testing critical thinking and content knowledge, the GMAT is a test of endurance. Taking an entire four hour test in one sitting is tiring, so practice in order to get used to it by the time Test Day rolls around.
- "You can wait until the last minute to prepare for the GMAT." Reality: The GMAT is NOT a test you can cram for! Though the concepts and question types are predictable and repeated, it takes consistent practice to master the strategies needed to excel and achieve a high score.
- "Just should shoot for minimum requirement scores." Reality: While lots of business schools post minimum score requirements their MBA programs, that doesn’t mean that a program will accept you if you hit those scores. Scoring well above the minimum requirement will make you a more competitive applicant. On top of that, great GMAT scores can help earn you financial scholarships and grants.
This April Fools’ Day, be sure you don’t fall for common misconceptions about the GMAT.
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