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# Why do YOU hate the Gmat?

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### What Do You Hate About GMAT?

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• 21% [30]
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• 7% [11]
• 27% [38]
• 13% [18]
• 2% [3]
• 5% [8]
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Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2011, 16:55
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I thought it might be a good idea to have a topic where people can bitch about the GMAT. You know, just tell us why you HATE this damn test so much. I think this might help some frustrated people out there to cope with the anger instead of throwing the laptop out of the window.

Personally, I hate the GMAT because it doesn't test anything of real importance and whatever it tries to determine (intelligence?), it does a terrible job doing it! It is a joke that after years of education, hundreds of grades you received in school and college and many letter of recommendations from professors and employers it all comes down to a 4 hour GMAT session. Random knowledge such as “0 is an integer” or some stupid and inconsistent GMAT grammar rules determine your future and I wonder how schools could possibly use this test to evaluate people? We might as well be tested in a spelling bee or some other silly competition such as learning the last 1000 digits of pi…. Seriously, the time preparing for the GMAT is a waste and killing my private life (well that and work, haha). In the end it all comes down if you study your ass off and if your are lucky enough to have a good test day. The only people benefiting from the GMAT are the ones in the test prep industry and the few natural, good standardized test takers.
I feel better know, you should give it a try…
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2011, 12:33
I think it's more about the commitment to master the test than the content of the test itself. Personally, I hated how much I'd missed out on, in the last few days leading up to the exam. This might be because I took the test on the 29th of December and I couldn't really celebrate Christmas that year.

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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2011, 19:30
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2011, 22:36
Sorry heyholetsgo, I have to disagree with you on few things. I think, GMAT is awesome! I am sucking it, that's another story - but I think it is so important to have these GMAT verbal skills in-general.

As part of being a manager (in somebody else's company or your own), you will have do these basic number crunching on daily basis and critically analyse the arguments from your subordinates and other employees. I think GMAT is just a teaser to what your getting into. Some might argue, GMAT arguments are unrealistic in real world and you can't stay in the scope of the argument to make corporate decisions on a daily basis. BUT, think of it this way - if you did not know 1+1 = 2, can you tell 1+1+1=3? Maybe you can, but most can't. Once you start to think critically and comprehend the arguments with a big picture in mind, you are creating a foundation to build on. Over-time with experience, it will become 2nd nature to your, and that's when you will find yourself in the driver's seat making those big decisions at every twist and turn.

To make the experience more fun, I personally apply the learning from GMAT on my daily work- while writing emails, reading articles online, analyzing peoples argument critically, and so-on. That way, I am doing it for learning more than scoring high on GMAT - of-course I want, who doesn't? Believe in Karma :D

I agree that GMAT scores might very well also depend on how you perform in those 4hrs - a score that might not reflect your true being. That's the reason why EVERY school sets a cut-off, and does not exclude a candidate just based on GMAT. I highly doubt Harvard will treat 720 and 760 scores any differently - but 650 and 720, perhaps they could.
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2011, 23:06
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Expert's post
Thanks for posting this - I am curious about the answers
(I have turned the post into a Poll by taking some of the comments mentioned and turning them into answer choices).
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2011, 23:56
the GMAT is better than plenty of other tests around. It not very different from a Business Problem.
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2011, 12:19
I actually liked taking the GMAT and studying for it. It's been a while since I had to sit for a test, and who knew I would miss them! Plus I've always liked math puzzles.
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2011, 20:19
Interesting question, heyholetsgo. And special thanks to bb for converting this into a poll.

Overall, the GMAT was a positive experience for me and I actually liked it!
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2011, 20:47
While I hate prepping for something like the GMAT, I think its a good system for schools to have a quantifiable approach to assess candidate's ability to "learn." Especially since GPAs can indicate very different things depending on what school you went to or what classes you took. GMAT is not about assessing your math or verbal skills. It's about your ability to prepare for an exam. I'm a firm believer that anyone can ace the GMAT IF they study hard and more importantly study efficiently. If you can prep well for the GMAT, what stops you from prepping well for tests/courses at B-schools. Nothing! That's why there's a positive correlation between academic performance and GMAT scores.

At the other end of the spectrum, if you fail under pressure or get into a brain twist from the GMAT, how can the ADCOM be confident you won't have problems once you're inserted into what is a very different environment from what you are used to.

Now this is not to say all those who score high on the GMAT will do well at B-schools or vice versa. But then, no standardized test is perfect in screening and that's why there are essays and interviews for those rare few who buck the trend to prove themselves.
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2011, 20:48
shuenhon wrote:
I actually liked taking the GMAT and studying for it. It's been a while since I had to sit for a test, and who knew I would miss them! Plus I've always liked math puzzles.

You sir, disgust me

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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2011, 21:34
I am actually looking forward to the integrated reasoning section. I believe that section will help make the GMAT more relevant and provide business schools with another dimension of the candidate. I think the CR section is the best section on the GMAT in terms of testing relevant business skills / acumen. I am also a big fan of the DS section -- there is nothing quite like it and it's a solid test of analytical skills. The RC is pretty standard on most of these tests. The SC section is the least relevant of the lot but it gives the domestic applicants a big advantage -- so I'm all in favor of keeping that section alive. The GMAT could also cut down a bit on the quant stuff and instead introduce a logic games section like the one on the LSATs.
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2011, 07:59
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Haha, well it surprises me that this topic attracts more people that like the Gmat than people who don't. Thanks for adding the survey. My biggest concern: the Gmat doesn't resonate with the real world. Of course it is not irrelevant. Just like an IQ test or any grade you receive the result is somewhat applicable. But the statement the Gmat makes, that this test significantly contributes to choosing the most apt people for business school is something I highly doubt. I don't want this to turn into a lengthy discussion what skills are most important for a manager. But seriously, 4/5 of the math I've seen is pretty irrelevant. Don't even get me started on SC. I kind of like CR though and I believe it should be more important on the test.

The positive correlation between Gmat and performance in business school/College is nothing new. Such correlation can also be observed in many characteristics such as social status, ethnicity (black&white test score gape) , reading outside school etc. Like I said, we could have a spelling bee and I am convinced that there is also a correlation between performance on the bee and in business school. The correlation also definitely exists between the sheer time one spends studying and the ultimate performance in life. Yet, none of these correlations are IMO an effective mean to choose people for business school.
But who cares about this correlation? Well, the schools do, but I believe that is more because they have to report the scores. Show me a study that says that the Gmat is a good mean to determine the best managers and I will be happy to slave away for this standardized test. The Gmat is very similar to the SAT- Inflated scores due to ridiculous preparation and scientifically no proof that it is effective at determining intelligence. AT BEST, it can determine neuronal processing speed, but this a VERY one dimensional view of intelligence. The standardized selection system in the US is seriously broken and this comes from somebody who went to an Ivy league school for College.
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2011, 09:05
Hi all,
Since reading this thread I have already awarded heyholetsgo +2 kudos, one for starting this discussion and another one for the post above I agree that
Quote:
( it does not test intellegence, but only neuronal processing speed, and this a VERY one dimensional view of intelligence)...

Back to discussion, I innitially hated the GMAT after I prepared for test for the second time. After 6 or so months I has fallen in love with it. ... and no wonder I started to perform better and better. GMAT is like a sport, the more you exercise the better you perform, but at the point one will face ones limit, like in sport.

to openbox1
Quote:
I'm a firm believer that anyone can ace the GMAT IF they study hard and more importantly study efficiently. If you can prep well for the GMAT, what stops you from prepping well for tests/courses at B-schools. Nothing!

Sorry dude, but you are comparing apples with oranges. Your assumption that everyone has the same conditions and equal amount of time for the GMAT preparation is wrong. Than based on that assumption you conclude that "prepping well for tests/courses at B-schools." - this is therefore wrong.
To give you an example: I am working in financial advisory services. I study hard and dilligently during 3 weeks, then the deadline for the project is approaching and I spend in office about 14-16 hours during the next 2-3 weeks in a row. Do you believe that making a break (well I can't study with such schedule) for 2-3 weeks and then coming back to books makes the preparation efficient?! Or sleeping for 4 hours and then studying for 2 hours a day is efficient?!
Another example is a friend of mine who is a middle manager in a medium sized company, works 8 hours per day, and during his working day he is able to dedicate " at least 2-3 hours to the GMAT". Do you feel the difference?
They both are not in equal positions.
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2011, 11:09
Pkit wrote:
Hi all,
Since reading this thread I have already awarded heyholetsgo +2 kudos, one for starting this discussion and another one for the post above I agree that
Quote:
( it does not test intellegence, but only neuronal processing speed, and this a VERY one dimensional view of intelligence)...

Back to discussion, I innitially hated the GMAT after I prepared for test for the second time. After 6 or so months I has fallen in love with it. ... and no wonder I started to perform better and better. GMAT is like a sport, the more you exercise the better you perform, but at the point one will face ones limit, like in sport.

to openbox1
Quote:
I'm a firm believer that anyone can ace the GMAT IF they study hard and more importantly study efficiently. If you can prep well for the GMAT, what stops you from prepping well for tests/courses at B-schools. Nothing!

Sorry dude, but you are comparing apples with oranges. Your assumption that everyone has the same conditions and equal amount of time for the GMAT preparation is wrong. Than based on that assumption you conclude that "prepping well for tests/courses at B-schools." - this is therefore wrong.
To give you an example: I am working in financial advisory services. I study hard and dilligently during 3 weeks, then the deadline for the project is approaching and I spend in office about 14-16 hours during the next 2-3 weeks in a row. Do you believe that making a break (well I can't study with such schedule) for 2-3 weeks and then coming back to books makes the preparation efficient?! Or sleeping for 4 hours and then studying for 2 hours a day is efficient?!
Another example is a friend of mine who is a middle manager in a medium sized company, works 8 hours per day, and during his working day he is able to dedicate " at least 2-3 hours to the GMAT". Do you feel the difference?
They both are not in equal positions.

Ummm bro, 2 of the 3 weeks I spent prepping for the exam were hundred hour weeks at the office with traveling. Still managed to pull a few hours here and there and cram on Sundays. Only into August which is traditionally a lull period did we get more time off. But that's neither here nor there.

Everyone has the same ability to work on the GMATs because you have the flexibility to schedule it as and when you please. If you don't have sufficient prep or work becomes crazy, reschedule and pay the 50 or even the full 250 if its within the 1wk limit. If you start preparation late and you have to score in the GMATs before R1 deadlines with a full work schedule, can you really blame anyone else? Sure, the guy working in a laid back 9-5 job has an easier time but noone said the world was fair. You still have an excellent chance to do well in the exam. Its not about scoring 800, its about getting a good score which I put at above 700. Most schools could give a flying crap once you pass their median GMAT score.

Again, the core reasoning is IF you can study hard and IF you study efficiently, you can ace the test (700 and above). Of course that's assuming a reasonable amount of book-smarts which you obviously possess if you could graduate out of college.

And I stated that if you can do well on the GMATs, you can probably do well on biz-school classes. Are you disputing this point? Nowhere did I exclude people who do poorly on the GMAT from doing well on those same classes too.

Splitting hairs here I know, but you chose to highlight my post so I'd like to defend my position.

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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2011, 14:34
There is a lack of practice material. I don't know why it's that way. Maybe to create a test prep industry ...which is all good, but doesn't provide the insight into the recent real stuff, like Lsat does.
I like the item response nature of the test, otherwise would have added another suggestion to the list - it's paper free form. Maybe it's because I like to read printed stuff on clean paper.
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2011, 18:02
openbox1 wrote:
Only into August which is traditionally a lull period did we get more time off. But that's neither here nor there.
Everyone has the same ability to work on the GMATs because you have the flexibility to schedule it as and when you please.......

openbox1, sorry if I offended you somehow. It was not my intention. The fact that you did great in such a schedule is great, and one more time confirms that people and their abilities are different (as well as circumstances).
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2011, 12:02
I feel a standardized comparison metric is necessary, but I don't like the concept of general aptitude tests, whether it is the SAT or GMAT. These tests cover fairly irrelevant material, and aren't an accurate representation of ability. Whether or not a number results in an integer or is even or odd has never mattered to me. In a math course, I could care less if the answer is 7 or if it is pi*(3*sqrt(2)+93). The answer is the answer. Now, these concepts aren't too difficult to pick up through preparation, but that is just it, the score reflects largely on your preparation, and that time could be much better spent elsewhere. If I am going to spend 100 hours studying, I'd much rather it be on real material like the CFA.

I much prefer the subject test to the aptitude test. For undergraduate college admissions, I think the British A-Level system (subject tests) is much better than the US SAT system. A subject test would be harder to implement for the MBA, since applicant backgrounds are very different, but I think it is still possible. As far as Masters in Finance or Financial Engineering admissions are concerned, who basically just want to see how good you are at math, GMAT and GRE should be completely removed in favor of a GRE Math or Economics subject tests.

Maybe I'm a bit more jaded as I want to do MFIN/MFE, where the standardized test scores are considerably higher than even top MBA programs. If I could settle at 700-710, I'd like the test quite a bit more. 750 with near perfect Q section is just daunting.
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2011, 14:11
Interesting topic -
GMAT was a real pain when I started preparing - But the more I analyze and prepare, the more I feel it really serves the purpose.

Everyone says : If you study well , you will perform well in GMAT - Well that applies to may be the lucky 50% of the population. But why is the other 50% not performing well ?

Has anyone considered the psychological impact ? It is this aspect that GMAT helps to build indirectly.
Some of the positive effects from my experience -
1) It helps me prioritize my work more effectively because I need to make time for studying - So I end up finding the easiest way to perform any task - aka Lazy man approach in DS
2) It helps me handle pressure more effectively - The psychological buildup towards the test followed by the actual 4 hour grueling test - It exposes your limits and you discover that the only way to perform better is to practice this grueling exercise in a smart manner (I guess that is why disciplined people perform better in this test)
3) It has helped me to apply my principle - Every mistake is a learning experience
The list goes on...
I can summarize and say that GMAT is a good learning experience for me even though grueling at times.

Regarding top schools expecting high scores - They need to be top, so why should they NOT select the applicants with better scores? But the good thing is that "TOP" is relative for every school depending on the applicant background - So, Schools realize that they cannot solely rely on a GMAT score.

However, it is the way you approach that matters. If you consider the psychological aspects and use them to your advantage, you can develop a great EQ as well !!!

Believe me - In business or any work, IQ/verbal/number crunching skills do not matter after a certain point even if you are a pure Technical Analyst in an Investment Bank. It is the ability to handle pressure and failures that matters and helps you become a better person. This is from my experience.

Everyone is entitled to his/her own views. I have put my views.
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2011, 02:54
I think its a fantastically designed test to put you under pressure and ensure you perform. That said, I feel that some of the best business leaders have been able to capitalize on character traits such as just being savvy, gift of the gab, and general persuasiveness - traits which the GMAT does not measure.

I carry a bit of a chip on my shoulder as my various attempts have got me low Quant scores, but that said, I feel schools lay a disproportionate amount of weight on the GMAT. Even American schools.
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Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat? [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2011, 03:42
I think a common misconception is on what the schools use the GMAT scores to assess. They are NOT using the GMAT to ascertain if you are a savvy leader, a great talker, or a trend setter. What they are using the GMAT is to determine how well you can prepare and take tests. The soft skills are assessed within the interview, essays and work history.

Just like Unis use the SATs to assess your ability to take tests and law schools use the LSATs, GMATs are just a tool to guesstimate how well you'd do in classes. Yes, its not perfect, but honestly, what standardized test is?
Re: Why do YOU hate the Gmat?   [#permalink] 19 Aug 2011, 03:42

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