Candidates often fear the GMAT and if they are not able to crack the test in their first attempt, the GMAT can quickly turn into a nightmare. In today’s post, we will look at:
Format of the GMAT 2012 with new section on Integrated Reasoning
Some reasons why candidates may not fare well on the test
Some GMAT sources we recommend for your preparation
Some common reasons for retaking the GMAT
Some common reasons for not retaking the GMAT, and
FAQ related to the GMAT
Format of GMAT Test 2012:
Exam Section Current GMAT Exam New Generation GMAT Exam*
Analytical Writing Assessment 60 minutes
2 AWA Prompts 30 minutes
1 AWA Prompt
Quantitative 75 minutes 75 minutes
Verbal 75 minutes 75 minutes
Integrated Reasoning - 30 minutes
Total Exam Time 3 hours, 30 minutes 3 hours, 30 minutes
* On June 5, 2012, the New Generation GMAT Exam with Integrated Reasoning Section will be introduced
Common reasons for not doing well on GMAT:
Extenuating Circumstances (such as your passport getting stolen the day before the GMAT)
Inability to perform well in multiple-choice tests
Inability to take out time to prepare for the test (such as busy schedule, lack of planning, etc.)
Recommended Study Material for GMAT Preparation:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition
The Official Guide for GMAT Quant Review, 2nd Edition
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review, 2nd Edition
The Official Guide for Online Integrated Reasoning Section, 13th Edition
GMATPrep Question Pack 1Kaplan
New GMAT Premier 2013Kaplan GMAT 800
Aristotle Prep SC Grail Powerscore CR
Aristotle Prep RC Practice Set
Princeton Review, Cracking the New GMAT
GMAT Practice Tests
2 Tests: GMAT Prep Software at mba.com Kaplan
Tests: 5 available with book here
MGMAT Tests: 1 Free Test here, Online Practice Tests here, Online Computer Tests – 1 Year Access here
Princeton Review: 2 available with book here
Common Reasons for Retaking the GMAT:
You feel you did not perform up to your potential and can improve your score by at least 20-30 points
To balance out a low verbal/quant score
To fall within the mid-80% range for your target school(s)
Common Reasons for Not Retaking the GMAT:
Even though you are not at your best possible GMAT score, you feel your time will be better spent on your essays
Inability to take out time to study for the test due to work/personal pressures
Fear of getting a lower score still or not improving your previous score enough to warrant another attempt
What’s the maximum number of GMAT attempts I can make?
While there is no hard and fast rule and schools do not have a cap, we recommend 3 attempts to be the upper limit as the incremental value from more repeated attempts will be minimal and we feel your time may be better spent on other aspects of your application beyond this threshold.
I got the desired overall score but my V/Q scores are unbalanced, do I need to retake the GMAT?
Depends. The answer to this question will be determined by a few other factors such as:
If you got a low quant score, do you have strong quant score elsewhere such as undergrad, etc.
Some schools are more likely to penalize you for those low quant scores than others in which case it will matter a bit more
For international applicants, a low verbal score could flash warnings signs should your communication abilities be in question owing to little or no global experience
Net-net, should the school’s doubts about your ability in either quant or verbal are getting mitigated from other avenues such as global experience, high quant scores in undergrad, you are likely going to be okay. Else, you may need to consider retaking the GMAT just to demonstrate your ability to handle the academic rigor that an MBA program entails be it analytically or through case-based discussions.
Admin-related questions about the test such as scheduling appointment, cost, canceling appointment, rescheduling, scores, etc.?
Find the answers at mba.com here.
I just cannot seem to move beyond a certain score range however hard I try. What am I missing?
This could be as a result of multiple factors. It may be worth examining your mistakes as you practice to see if there’s a certain type of problems you are having most trouble with. See our post here and download a sample GMAT Error Log
for help. People attribute score increases of up to 50 points to this simple step!
What’s the minimum score I need to qualify for admission to XYZ School?
Generally, there is no such fixed threshold. That being said, most schools provide mid-80% ranges for GMAT scores that are great guidelines to use in terms of the score range you should target. Here, I would like to stress more on the mid-80% range as opposed to mean score. I feel mean scores are slightly misleading as they include outliers on each extremity.
One thing to keep in mind is that unlike the CAT in India, a high GMAT score will not guarantee admission, just like a low GMAT score will not guarantee rejection.
As an example, at Wharton, I personally knew someone incredibly smart who had a GMAT score of 640, which in no way was reflective of this person’s academic abilities. So, each individual person’s candidacy is evaluated with a range of factors taken into consideration such as their GPA, career progression, etc. Also, if one looks at Wharton’s class profile here, even though the mean GMAT score is 720, the range of GMAT scores is 560-790.
How do I interpret average GMAT scores and mid-80% GMAT scores?
As an example, Columbia Business School lists an average GMAT score of 716 and a mid-80% GMAT range of 680-760.
This tells us that out of all students pursuing their MBA at Columbia Business School, the mean score is 716 (including outliers).
Furthermore, excluding the outliers on either end, the score range is 680 to 760. Therefore, to increase your probability of getting accepted, you want to get at least a 680 to be within the mid-80% range or have exceptional academic and/or professional credentials to warranty an exemption for a low GMAT score.
Thanks and Regards!
P.S. +Kudos Please! in case you like my post.