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Picking Order of Sections on the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2017, 14:01
FROM Magoosh Blog: Picking Order of Sections on the GMAT
In a recent announcement, GMAC (the folks who create the GMAT) announced an important change to the test.  What you have to know hasn’t changed, and what you have to do on test day hasn’t changed—-but the order in which you do these sections doesn’t have to be the same as it has been!

Selecting Section Order
For decades, the GMAT had a very fixed format: first, the AWA; then the IR; then after an optional break, the Quant section; finally, after a second optional break, the Verbal Section.   That was it, no choice.

This will change on July 11, 2017.  Starting on that day, all GMAT test takers worldwide will have a choice of one of three possible orders.  Yes, theoretically there would be a possible 4! = 24 possible permutations, but right now, the GMAT is just allowing three of those.   Here are the three orders:

Order 1: AWA & IR, first break, Quant, second break, Verbal

Order 2: Verbal, first break, Quant, second break, AWA & IR

Order 3: Quant, first break, Verbal, second break, AWA & IR

Notice that Order #1 is the traditional order, the order fixed on all GMATs before July 11 of this year.   Starting on July 11, 2017, you will get to choose one of these three.

Making Your Choice
So, if you are about to take the GMAT, and you will be faced with this choice, what does this mean?  Is there one choice that’s ideal for everyone?  Of course not!  It very much depends on your preferences, your relative strengths, and your needs.

For example, I can do math even when I’m tired and tapped out, but I need to be sharper to do verbal, so I would probably choose order #2.  That’s me, but my friend Chris might save Verbal for last, the traditional order, because Verbal is his strong suit.   My general advice is that if one section is a huge challenge for you, maybe you should get that section out of the way first: with this in mind, order #2 might be better for many non-native English speakers, while order #3 might be better for American math-phobes.  As always, as Socrates found, it’s very hard to improve on the Delphic maxim of “know thyself.”  In your practice, experiment with some orders, and see what feels good.

One thing I definitely would recommend: get all your thinking or experimenting done long long before you walk into Pearson to take your GMAT.  Your preferred GMAT section order is definitely a decision that should be done and set well before the time you sit down to take the GMAT.

Preparing for the GMAT
The choices of section order should be made long before you walk into your GMAT.  Preparing for the GMAT also should involve learning all the content and strategies for all the sections on the test.  That’s precisely where Magoosh can help you!  Magoosh can help you attain mastery on all four sections of the GMAT!

The post Picking Order of Sections on the GMAT appeared first on Magoosh GMAT Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Act Like a Resume, Think Like an Admissions Officer [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2017, 14:01
FROM Magoosh Blog: Act Like a Resume, Think Like an Admissions Officer
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This post was contributed by our friends at Admit.Me.

To write a great resume, you need to be empathetic and get into the mind of the reviewer.

Imagine that you are the person reviewing your resume. You’re trying to assess whether you’re qualified, unique and have potential to grow as a professional on paper. With so many candidates and so much material to go through, you don’t start by reading it through from beginning to end. Instead, you spend 10 – 15 seconds skimming the resume and deciding if the candidate looks interesting enough to want to dig deeper. While skipping over a lot of the text, you look for things like:

  • Current employer and job title
  • Length of time worked
  • Promotions or advancement to larger roles
  • School(s) attended and degree(s)
  • Overall impression of whether the resume feels professional and polished
If the candidate looks promising, you start to look for interesting details on your second pass:

  • Accomplishments and impact
  • Demonstrated skills and expertise
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Experience leading people and initiatives
  • Where you have lived and gone to school
  • Personal interests and activities
If the resume you are reviewing is concise and well-organized, it is easy to find what you are looking for. But if the resume is dense and jam-packed with information, it is harder for you to find what you are looking for. So, when you write your own resume with the reader in mind, challenge yourself to be as brief as possible, focus on what is most important for them to know about you, and make sure there is a good reason for everything you include.

Jay Mixter is an admissions expert for Admit.me, the first online social platform for applicants where they can connect with current students, alums, and experts and get a free evaluation of their admissions profile. Prior to his work in management and consulting, he received his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and his BA in Economics from Tufts University.

The post Act Like a Resume, Think Like an Admissions Officer appeared first on Magoosh GMAT Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Magoosh Test Prep

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How is GMAT Integrated Reasoning Scored? [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2017, 16:01
FROM Magoosh Blog: How is GMAT Integrated Reasoning Scored?
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Many students have questions about the GMATs Integrated Reasoning (IR) section. “Is integrated reasoning part of the GMAT score?” Well…yes and no. Your IR score will be submitted to schools along with your verbal and quantitative score. However, the IR score is totally separate from the “total score,” which consists solely of the Q & V sections. But nonetheless, admission committees have started giving considerable attention to integrated reasoning GMAT scores, so it’s important to perform well on each section. Continue reading below for specifics on precisely how the IR section scored.

Overview of the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning Section
Fact: The current version of the GMAT features a Verbal Section, a Quantitative Section, a single AWA essay, and the new Integrated Reasoning (IR) section. The sequence of the new test will be:

1) AWA essay = Analysis of Argument, 30 minutes

2) IR section = 12 questions, 30 minutes

3) optional break, up to 5 minutes

4) Q section = 37 questions, 75 minutes

5) optional break, up to 5 minutes

6) V section = 41 questions, 75 minutes

 

Fact: the IR section consists of four question types —

a) Graphics Interpretation (GI)

b) Two-Part Analysis (2PA)

c) Table Analysis (TA)

d) Multi-Source Reasoning (MSR)

 

Fact: all four question types will appear on everyone’s IR sections.

Fact: the breakdown by question type will differ from one person’s IR section to another person’s only because of the experimental questions.

In other words, everyone will have the same breakdown by question type for the questions that actually count toward their score. However, extra experimental questions are added in to this baseline, resulting in different IR section breakdowns for different people.

GMAC has revealed neither what that fundamental breakdown is nor how many of the 12 questions will be experimental. Let’s examine a hypothetical scenario just to understand:

Let’s say the graded IR questions consist of 2 GIs, 2 2PAs, 2 TAs, and 2 MSRs, for a total of eight (these are my made-up numbers). For everyone taking the test, let’s say those are the eight questions that are graded. The other four questions would be experimental questions, and will be different for different users. Thus, Abe might get an IR section with 3 GIs, 3 2PAs, 3 TAs, and 3 MSRs. Betsy might get an IR section with 2 GIs, 3 2PAs, 3 TAs, and 4 MSRs. Cathy might get an IR section with 2 GIs, 6 2PAs, 2 TAs, and 2 MSRs.

In each case, only the baseline eight questions count toward the score, and the others are experiments. (The numbers in this example are purely speculative: we have no idea what GMAC has up their sleeve.)

Here’s the kicker, though. As our hypothetical friend Cathy is working through her IR section, she may start to think: “Gee, I’m seeing a lot of 2PA questions! Some of them must be experimental!” Quite true. But the catch is, among those six 2 PA questions, the two that actually count could be the first two, or the last two, or any combination. Those comfortable with combinations will see that there are actually 6C2 = 15 different ways that the two that count could be scrambled among the four experimental questions.

As the test taker, even if you do have strong suspicions about which question types the experimental questions were, you will have no way of knowing, as you are working on a particular question, whether it counts or is experimental.  Therefore, you have to treat every single question as if it counts, same as on the Q & V sections.

What determines the Integrated Reasoning GMAT Score?
Fact: the IR section is not computer adaptive.  You are randomly assigned 12 questions as a group, and move through that sequence regardless of whether you are getting questions right or wrong.

Fact: The GMAT score report will consist of (a) V score, (b) Q score, (c) Total Score (combination of your V & Q scores), (d) AWA score, and (e) IR score.

Fact: the IR score will be an integer from 1 to 8. There is no partial credit on the IR section. For example, in a TA question in which there are three dichotomous prompts (e.g. true/false), you must get all three right to get credit for that one question. If you get at least one of the three parts wrong, the whole question is marked wrong.

Fact: The number of IR questions you get right will constitute a raw score.  The GMAC, using some arcane alchemy known only to them, will convert that raw score into a scaled score (1 – 8), which will be accompanied by percentiles.

Notice: Because of the statistical magic GMAC uses in converting raw scores to scaled scores (on IR, Q, & V sections), what may seem to your advantage or disadvantage may not work out that way. For example, the fact that there’s no partial credit is challenging: it makes it harder to earn points on individual questions. BUT, harder for everyone means that lower raw scores are needed to get a higher percentile grade. By contrast, if all the questions are very easy, that means most people will get them right, which means it will be “crowded” at the top, and much harder to place in a high percentile. Therefore, what matters is not how inherently easy or hard the test is—what matters is how well you perform, compared to other test takers.

Given your inherent talents, what will maximize your GMAT skills with respect to others taking the GMAT?  Sign up for Magoosh, and you will learn all the content and strategy you will need.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

 

The post How is GMAT Integrated Reasoning Scored? appeared first on Magoosh GMAT Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Magoosh Test Prep

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What is the GMAT format? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2017, 02:01
FROM Magoosh Blog: What is the GMAT format?
The rumors are true! As of July 11, 2017, you can choose the order of your GMAT sections. Find out more about what this means for the format of your GMAT below.

First, Some GMAT Basics
The GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test, is a computer adaptive test (CAT). This exam is designed to test analytical skills, quantitative and verbal skills, and skills in reading. The GMAT is used for admission into graduate-level business and management schools.

But what do those basics mean, in terms of how the test is formatted? Read on for details.

GMAT Sections and Formats

Section of the GMATHow many questions?Types of questionsTime limit

Analytical Writing Assessment

(AWA)
1 essay promptArgument Analysis30 minutes

Integrated Reasoning12 multiple choiceMulti-Source Reasoning

Graphics and Table Interpretation

Two-Part Analysis30 minutes

Quantitative37 multiple choiceData Sufficiency

Problem Solving75 minutes

Verbal41 multiple choiceReading Comprehension

Critical Reasoning

Sentence Correction75 minutes

TOTAL EXAM STATS1 essay prompt,

90 multiple choice3 hours, 30 minutes

GMAT Structure: A More Detailed Explanation
What is the GMAT format? Well, first off, the exam has four sections: Integrated Reasoning (12 questions), Quantitative (37 questions), Verbal (41 questions), and Analytical Writing (1 essay topic).

Prior to July 11, 2017, all test-takers had to take the GMAT in that exact order. However, this is no longer the case. You can now choose the order in which you take GMAT sections. This is absolutely groundbreaking news! See this post on Picking Order of the Sections on the GMAT for more details.

Nevertheless, what’s contained within those sections is going to stay pretty much the same, so it’s still well worth knowing the format of each GMAT section. Here are some rough-and-ready facts about the GMAT exam format and common GMAT topics. The current incarnation of the GMAT has four sections, with assorted breaks. Here’s the layout of the overall GMAT format.

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GMAT Sections Overview
Intro = check in a Pearson VUE, surrender all your worldly possessions into a locker, get escorted to a computer in a hermetically sealed room, work through the few screens of introductory material. After this you are ready to start the actual GMAT itself.

As mentioned before, you now have a choice of the order in which you approach the sections. Here they are in the “classic” order, for simplicity, as you learn what each section tests and the kinds of questions it presents.

GMAT Section #1 = Analytic Writing Assessment (30 minutes) — one essay, analysis of an argument.

GMAT Section #2 = Integrated Reasoning (30 minutes) — 12 multi-part problems on data interpretation and combined Verbal/Math reasoning.

Break #1: At two points during the exam, you’ll have the option of a break as long as 8 minutes. Where this break falls will depend on the order in which you choose to approach the GMAT sections. Remember: 8 minutes isn’t much! This is enough time for a quick snack (from your locker) or a quick bathroom trip.

GMAT Section #3 = Quantitative (75 minutes) — 37 questions, either standard five-choice multiple choice (called “Problem Solving”) or Data Sufficiency.

Break #2: Again, you’ll have the option of a second break as long as 8 minutes. It doesn’t matter how much time you used on your first break: you get a fresh new 8-minute allotment for this second break.

GMAT Section #4 = Verbal (75 minutes) — 41 five-choice multiple choice questions, of three types: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction.

Denouement = See on the computer the BIG composite score of the test you just finished. Walk out, get handed a preliminary GMAT score report, with every score except the AWA. Collect your worldly possessions and depart.

GMAT Exam Format Facts
Fact: these four GMAT sections, including the two allowable breaks, as well as the whole pre-exam security procedure, will run over four hours.

 

Fact: all four GMAT sections are taken at a computer, a computer at the Pearson VUE testing center. During the GMAT, the only break you get from staring at an electronic screen is to take one or both of the optional breaks (and we highly recommend that you do so!) In the past, there was a paper-based GMAT, but that is long gone. (BTW, those old paper-based GMATs had a slightly different GMAT format but they still provide excellent practice.)

 

Fact: on the Integrated Reasoning section, you will have access to an IR on-screen calculator; on the Quantitative section, you get no calculator.

 

Fact: both the Quantitative and Verbal sections employ Computer Adaptive Testing. As you move through each of those sections, the algorithm adjusts the difficulty of each new questions based on your overall performance thus far. If you are doing well, on average you get more challenging question. If you are having trouble, on average you will get easier questions. Only the final two sections employ the CAT. On the Integrated Reasoning section, you just get a batch of 12 questions, and those are the ones you do: nothing is adapting to you as you move through the IR.

 

Fact: As part of the GMAT format, on no part of the GMAT can you go back to a question once you are done with it. Among other things, this is an unavoidable feature of the CAT. Once you submit your answer, that question is gone forever. Because of this, and because of the time constraints, it’s important to understand when to guess and when to skip questions.

 

Fact: your BIG composite GMAT Score (200 – 800) is determined only by the Quant & Verbal sections. Your full score report has several components, but the BIG score depends only on these two sections. The full GMAT score report has the BIG composite score and a subscore for each of the four GMAT sections: the admission committees of business schools will see everything when you send them your score report.

 

Fact: with good resources, you can learn both the content and strategies you need, and improve your performance on the GMAT. Image

GMAT Format Resources
If you are just getting starting in your GMAT studies, take heart. I know this can all feel overwhelming when it’s all new. Be patient with yourself: step by step, you will make this new world your own. We definitely recommended getting an official guide: you don’t necessarily need the latest edition, if you can find last year’s edition at a much cheaper price.

We provide a variety of study schedules and we provide a GMAT Diagnostic Test that helps you place yourself in these study plans. If you would like a more detailed introduction to the GMAT format, the various GMAT sections, and other important introductory material, we share these ten free videos.

Overview of the GMAT

Quantitative Section Breakdown

Verbal Section Breakdown

AWA and IR

Computer Adaptive Testing

GMAT Scores

Pacing, Skipping, and Guessing

GMAT vs. GRE

Study Plans & Resources

Test Day

These will provide a great deal of information about the GMAT format and answer many common questions about the GMAT.

GMAT Format Summary
The GMAT is a long and hard test. Knowing the GMAT format is just the first piece of the puzzle. The GMAT requires critical thinking skills, mastery of several math & verbal content areas, a host of test-taking strategies. Magoosh can help with it all: we can guide you from your first tentative steps to your final bold strides toward the GMAT. We can help you solve the entire GMAT puzzle, from the first piece to the last!

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March, 2013, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

The post What is the GMAT format? appeared first on Magoosh GMAT Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

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Free GMAT Practice Test Resources That Will Make You Feel Good About Y [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2017, 11:01
FROM Magoosh Blog: Free GMAT Practice Test Resources That Will Make You Feel Good About Your Score
Nobody familiar with the GMAT will argue that you shouldn’t practice for the test with GMAT sample questions and at least one GMAT practice test. But sub-par resources for GMAT prep abound; and this is where, as Robert Burns would say, the best-laid plans “gang aft agly” (or “go super wrong,” if you’re not in 18th-century Scotland).

Yes, it’s really important to work through GMAT sample questions and take GMAT practice tests before test day. But using the wrong kind of resources? That’s like training for the Tour de France on a tricycle: it’s just not going to get you there.

So let’s get you off that tricycle, take those training wheels off while we’re at it, and ditch this metaphor. You need the best free GMAT resources out there. We know where to find that fantastic practice. What are we waiting for? Allons-y, mes amis!

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Magoosh’s Ultimate GMAT Diagnostic Test.[/b]

When you’re done, check out our expert recommendations based on your results here.

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Why You Should Take a GMAT Sample Test: More Than Just a Fun Way to Spend a Friday Night
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In the diagnostic test results’ recommendations, you’ll see that there’s a heavy emphasis on taking GMAT practice tests, just as I mentioned above. So why is it so important to take full-length GMAT practice tests?

First of all, let’s take a look at some official data, from the test-makers themselves: the GMAC. Their research shows that students who spend longer preparing for the GMAT do better on it.

Uh, of course. But what’s interesting is how much better they do. Take a look at :

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So putting in the time is definitely important. But the GMAC is quick to point out that spending x amount of time spent studying does not guarantee you any particular score: “There is no cause and effect at work here,” . On some level, this makes sense: surely, given all the motivated type-A B-school applicants out there, the average GMAT scores would be higher if it were simply a question of putting time in.

But there is some cause and effect, GMAC! (This would actually make for a fair critical reasoning problem, though let’s leave that beast for a different day.) The key is that, if you want to score above 700, you need to spend (on average) more than 121 hours working well, with good materials.

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Materials for Mastering the GMAT: From GMAT Practice Tests to GMAT Sample Questions
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There are three basic questions you need to address before you can start studying for the GMAT: What do you need to study? Why? And where can you find these materials?

In short, you need to study both the form AND the content of the GMAT to truly master it. Lessons alone aren’t enough. GMAT sample questions alone aren’t enough. And GMAT practice tests (while a huge part of your GMAT prep kit) still, on their own, aren’t enough.

Yep, you’re going to need all three:

What About Me?: GMAT Practice for All Levels
Think this may not apply to you?

The fact is, you’ll need all three types of practice materials no matter where you are in your GMAT practice. If you’re a beginner, spending time with official and expert-written GMAT questions and practice tests is a great way to get those study hours under your belt. If you’re an “intermediate” test-taker (25-75 hours), take heart: by racking up more quality practice, you can get where you want to be. And even, or especially, for those advanced test-takers, who have studied 75+ hours for the GMAT, realize that more time can and will make a difference if you’ve hit a plateau—especially if you’re smart about it and seek out the best possible materials.

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A. GMAT Lessons: Not Just Background Noise
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So you might have checked out a YouTube video here or a blog post there (or, you know, here on this blog). The fact is, until you get systematic about the way you approach this extremely systematic test, you won’t see a ton of improvement. Beyond that, you’re going to need to work on actively engaging with the lessons: if you don’t learn a concept in the first place, it’s pretty difficult to put it into practice on the official exam.

The good news is that there are a lot of GMAT lessons out there. The bad news is…there are a lot of GMAT lessons out there. Roughly speaking, we have in-person classes, tutors, books, and online prep.

There are pros and cons to each one; when you’re evaluating them, keep two things in mind: the materials have to be top-notch, and they have to be engaging.

Otherwise? Yeah…studying for the GMAT is not going to go very well.

In-person classes, especially when given by a reputable organization, often have pretty solid materials. Engagement, though, can vary widely. That’s not necessarily a comment on the teachers; it’s just that, given the nature of the test, many students prepping for it work full-time, and so classes are on evenings or weekends. It can be tough to stay engaged for eight hours at a time on a Saturday when you’ve been working all week. On the other hand, the cash you shell out for the courses (they don’t come cheap) may be an incentive to keep your eyes open, and if you’re a good classroom learner (you know who you are), this can be a good option for you.

Tutors work around your schedule. It can be harder to evaluate their knowledge (get recommendations first!), and they can be pricy (often running over $100 an hour), but to be fair, it’s pretty hard not to be engaged when you’re working one-on-one with someone. If you find yourself falling asleep even in that environment, run.

GMAT books are another common resource, and one that both tutors and classes use extensively. They’re (relatively) inexpensive, and you can use them whenever you like! Here’s the issue: most students don’t like studying with books alone. It’s hard to keep up your motivation on your own (although I do know of a very exciting and engaging GMAT eBook, if you’re interested!)

Finally, online lessons have the benefit of working within your timeframe, being relatively inexpensive, and being a lot more engaging than books on their own. Again, you’ll need some solid internal motivation to keep going, but the mixed-media platform tends to be a whole lot more engaging than some of the above options.

Lessons are the first, but definitely not the only, GMAT materials you’ll need to get the score you want. Moving on to the second tool in your GMAT prep toolbox, let’s separate the wheat from the chaff by taking a look at some good GMAT sample questions before going into where you can find more of them—as well as places where you can find a good GMAT practice test—online.

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B. GMAT Sample Questions: Not Just the World’s Worst Game of Trivial Pursuit
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So you’ve picked how you’re going to learn the GMAT (classes, tutors, books, or online prep). Awesome! Now it’s just like driver’s ed, right? A few videos from the late ’80s and you can hop behind the wheel?

Not quite. In fact, what you’re going to need to do to prep well for the GMAT is a lot like what you need to do to actually drive well: constantly survey your surroundings and get feedback.

In other words, you need to practice.

One of the best ways to do this is by working through sets of GMAT sample questions. These are most useful before you take a lesson, to see where you stand; during a lesson, to see how well you’re learning the concepts; after a lesson, to see if you’ve mastered the question types; and between practice tests, to brush up on previously learned concepts.

So if it’s sounding like they’re always useful? You’re totally right. They are.

When you’re looking for quality GMAT materials, you want them to be both test-like and include great (and thorough) answers and explanations. Where can you find good sample questions? Here are some places to start:

  • You could spend days going through all the sample GMAT questions on the Magoosh blog! Navigate by section to find problems in the area you’re working on.
  • The GMAC’s Mini Quiz will let you take eight questions from real (retired) GMATs, straight from the test-maker!
  • The free GMATPrep software not only has two practice tests (more on this in a minute), but it also has ninety practice questions from various sections for you to work through.
What if you’re trying to evaluate sample questions from another source? No problem. Just take a look at what makes a sample GMAT question good, first, in order to evaluate the practice in front of you.

Here’s a Magoosh GMAT problem we can use as an example:

 

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First of all, is the question test-like? Data Sufficiency is most definitely a question type you’ll see in GMAT Quant, and this question and its answer choices follow the standard GMAT format for the question type.

Next: does it provide a good explanation? You can see that I’ve left this question blank, meaning that I either didn’t have time to get to it during my practice or that I had no clue whatsoever of how to approach it. In both cases (but particularly the latter!), it’s vital that the sample GMAT question provides me with a good explanation.

Here’s where a lot of GMAT practice questions fall short. I can see what the correct answer is, sure. But do I know how to get there? Not from this! I only know that I didn’t answer it, which I already knew, and that the correct answer is A. But why, GMAT practice question? WHY?

And then, I see this:

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As well as a thorough video explanation that takes me through the problem step-by-step.

That’s the type of GMAT practice question you should be looking for; remember, not all GMAT practice resources will provide you with explanations for each question. Make sure you look for them when evaluating prep materials; it can be incredibly frustrating to not know why an answer is correct.

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GMATPrep software offers two free GMAT tests;[*]Manhattan Prep has a series of (sadly, not free, but solid) GMAT practice tests[*]Many GMAT books include practice tests of varying quality; be sure to check out our expert’s reviews before investing in them![*]And finally, Magoosh has a great set of practice tests, as well as 250 lessons, 800 questions, and carefully developed study schedules to help you make the most of your prep.[/list]
Of course, the way in which you take GMAT practice tests (as well as the actual practice tests you take) will have a huge influence on how prepared you actually are to ace the exam—but we’ll get to that in just a minute.

And actually, the practice question we’ve just reviewed is a great standard against which to judge other practice—including GMAT practice tests. Of course, with GMAT practice tests, you also want to make sure that the question distribution, overall difficulty, and all mirror the official test’s, as well.

GMAT Practice Tests: Paper or Plastic?
A lot of students are more comfortable, particularly at first, with working on paper tests. After all, that’s what most of us grew up taking. So when you see a GMAT practice test online, you may be tempted to make it into a GMAT practice test PDF and print it out.

On occasion, particularly if you’re working through practice problems rather than the whole test, this is fine.

In general, though, it’s far better to take a GMAT practice test online. Or at the very least, on your computer.

In part, this is because you’ll never be able to find a paper test that adapts the difficulty level of your questions as you go along (unless you’re taking the GMAT at Hogwarts, in which case I guess I’d recommend continuing your Hogwarts education). The GMAT, after all, is a computer-adaptive test.

The Value of Computer Adaptive Tests (CATs)
While I don’t think much of cats, I do happen to value CATs, particularly when it comes to GMAT prep. Pro forma cat/CAT joke out of the way, adaptive practice tests do have great value for your GMAT preparation. They’re particularly good when you want to get a solid idea of where you stand score-wise in terms of your goal. However, remember that even the best practice test can’t predict your precise GMAT score, and your on test day will also affect your scores.

With that said, the more, solid GMAT practice tests you take under test-like conditions (which do involve computers), the more realistic your practice test scores will be.

The Value of Other GMAT Practice Tests Online
Non-adaptive GMAT practice tests are also helpful, particularly when you take them on the computer. While they may not score you in the exact same way as the official GMAT, they can still provide a realistic idea of your score range and the areas in which you need to improve. And after all, that’s what you should be focused on at the moment! As long as they meet the criteria above (test-like, provide good answers and explanations), you’ll still be good to go.

Full-Length Practice Test Best Practices
(Now there’s a good tongue-twister!)

So here you are! You’ve picked out your full-length GMAT practice test, free or paid, online or on paper, adaptive or non-adaptive, and you’re ready for the GMAT (practice) testing experience to begin.

…or are you?

Remember, how you practice is just as important as the materials you’re using. For maximum benefit, make sure you know how to take a GMAT practice test in the most effective way.

The GMAT Practice Testing Experience
First of all, make sure that you can set aside the full amount of time (about four hours) to take the practice test straight through, with two 8-minute breaks, just as you will on test day. It’s tempting to work on one section and take a long break, or do sections untimed, but while that does provide you with GMAT sample questions, it won’t prepare you for test day.

Come to your practice test prepared with a timer (try out the Magoosh study timer app), your computer, and something to take notes on and with. On test day, you’ll get laminated paper with markers, and this is a good, cheap investment to make early on in your practice, because it does take some getting used to.

You’ll need a quiet environment. A library is great for this, but your regular study space can also work if you’re sure that you won’t be disturbed.

Finally, go into the practice test with a test-day mindset:

  • Don’t let yourself go back to previous questions; you won’t be able to on the official exam.
  • When the time for a section is up, it’s up: don’t let yourself linger.
  • Do your best on every question; don’t skip questions that you’d approach on test day. If you skip them now, you may not even get to questions of that difficulty level on test day!
What’s Next?: After the GMAT Practice Test
Score your test and move on.

Nope, kidding! You’re going to need at least as much time as you spent taking it to study it.

Grade the test. Now, break out a fresh notebook. On one side of the paper, write down the full text of all the problems you missed. On the other side, write down the solutions and answers. This is your error log. Add to it with each practice test and problem set you do, and practice the questions in there regularly to make sure you’re mastering the concepts.

Once you’ve recorded your missed questions in the error log, identify the main content areas you’re missing and determine why. Review lessons in those areas and incorporate practice sets into your study schedule.

Finally, if you don’t have a study schedule, get one, for free, no matter how much or how little time you have to prepare, with Magoosh’s free GMAT study schedules.

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Additional GMAT Practice Resources
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But hey, we know we’re not the only rodeo in town. So what should you use to supplement your Magoosh practice, in addition to the best lessons, sample questions, and practice tests you can find?

First of all, the GMAC provides more than just mind-boggling data about the GMAT. It also provides great resources. The is still the gold standard against which you should measure other GMAT prep, in terms of question types and difficulty levels.

However, —not by a long shot. And for most people, , anyway. (And it’s all in book form, too!)

We’ve already taken a look at where you can find supplemental free or cheap practice, but our experts have also reviewed some of the most popular books for GMAT prep, so you know where to look (here’s a book our experts can mostly get behind, for example) and where not to look!

Finally, for perspective on the GMAT as part of a more global process, don’t forget to check out Magoosh’s GMAT forums, our recommended B-School sites and resources, and our thoughts on the best GMAT/MBA admissions resources.

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Takeaway
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Getting a top score on the GMAT takes two things: time and materials.

By making sure that you’re using the best possible GMAT resources, including GMAT practice tests and GMAT sample questions, and using your time with them in the most efficient way, you’ll maximize your chances to get the score you want on the official exam and move that much closer to your goals.

That’s it for this post! Stick around to learn how Magoosh creates our GMAT content. Otherwise, click back up to the Table of Contents to revisit a section and get started with some GMAT practice questions.

Happy Studying!

 

 

 

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The post Free GMAT Practice Test Resources That Will Make You Feel Good About Your Score appeared first on Magoosh GMAT Blog.
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Re: Magoosh Blog [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 18:20
Hi mikemcgarry

Quote:
Come to your practice test prepared with a timer (try out the Magoosh study timer app), your computer, and something to take notes on and with. On test day, you’ll get laminated paper with markers, and this is a good, cheap investment to make early on in your practice, because it does take some getting used to.


Excellent insights! The above timer is only compatible with iphone.
Any compatible one for windows OS platform? I found this very useful.

WR,
Arpit
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GMAT Scores by Country [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 11:02
FROM Magoosh Blog: GMAT Scores by Country
Business school hopefuls around the world take the GMAT exam. While the exam is universal, GMAT scores by country can vary considerably. The number of test-takers also varies, with some countries having only a handful of students taking the GMAT country-wide.

Luckily, GMAC, the company that writes the GMAT, provides a report with fascinating global trends in GMAT test-taking. You can explore some of the data for yourself here. But if you want a brief round-up of some of the most fascinating trends, keep reading this blog post!

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Photo by sweetlouise

Worldwide Trends
Before looking at GMAT scores by country, let’s start by looking at the trends worldwide. In testing year (TY) 2016, 261,248 people across the world sat for a GMAT exam. That’s actually less, though, than the 286,529 students who took the exam across the world in TY2012. For whatever reason, the number of people who take the GMAT has actually declined slightly in recent years.

More men than women take the exam. In TY2016, 55% of test takers were men, compared to 45% women. In TY2012, 57% of test takers were men.

The mean score in TY2016 was 558 overall, compared to 548 four years ago—an increase of 10 points!

Who’s Taking the GMAT?
Where in the world is the GMAT being taken? Looking at the data for TY2016, we can see the following:

  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, the United States is home to the largest number of GMAT test takers: 83,410 in TY2016. To put that in perspective, though, that means that only about one third of all GMAT test takers live in the US.
  • Behind the US in terms of test-takers is China with 70,744 and India with 33,123.
  • The next largest are far behind the top three in terms of volume: Canada (6,641), Germany (4,398), Taiwan (4,105), and South Korea (4,104).
  • Brunei, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Monaco, Palau and South Sudan only had one test taker country-wide in each country in all of TY2016! It must be an honor to be the one and only GMAT taker in the whole country!
  • A series of countries had zero test takers in TY2016, but had some in prior years.
GMAT Scores by Country
So, which country in the world is the smartest? If you were paying attention in your Statistics 101 class, you know that GMAT scores by country aren’t going to answer that question. So don’t try it!

Besides, only certain people tend to take the GMAT, and they’re a unique group of MBA-bound people. The type of people who take the exam even varies by country. Scores on the GMAT exam would never adequately tell us anything about which country is the smartest. Don’t jump to unfounded conclusions!

With that said, a few interesting snippets of information jump out of the data:

  • The highest mean GMAT score in the world goes to Bermuda, at 639. To be faithful to statistics, though, I have to caution that that mean score comes from only seven test-takers… But, for what it’s worth, it’s the highest mean score!
  • The other countries getting mean scores above 600 include: New Zealand (624), Singapore (615), Australia (612), and Argentina (607).
  • Three countries also came close, hitting the 590s: the United Kingdom (598), Belgium (596) and Poland (595).
  • A series of countries received mean scores in the 580s.
  • The United States had a mean score of 547, well below the worldwide mean of 558.
The unfortunate distinction of lowest mean GMAT score goes to Papua New Guinea, with 236. Again, keep in mind your Statistics 101 class, though! That average was based on only five test-takers, so it’s hardly statistically significant. Only two other countries had means below 300: Liberia (264) and Saudi Arabia (299).

The number of countries with a mean score in the 300s is surprisingly common, though. When looking at GMAT scores by country, 19 countries have mean GMAT scores in the 300s.

How GMAT Scores Get Used
Remember: the GMAT can be used for admissions to programs other than MBAs. Though it’s not common, students do use their GMAT scores to gain admissions to different kinds of programs, including PhDs. So while GMAT scores by country vary considerably, so do the purpose of those scores.

Worldwide in TY2016, about 65% of scores that were sent to an institution were for MBA programs. Another 32% went to non-MBA Master’s programs, and about 3% went to PhD’s. Notably, there’s a large international gender gap in this regard. Only about 55% of women sent their scores to MBA programs, compared to about 72% of men. Women were much more likely to send their scores to non-MBA Master’s programs.

Though the MBA is the favored recipient of GMAT scores internationally, that’s not true of some very large countries that take the GMAT in big numbers. In China, for example, only 23% of scores went to MBA programs. 73% went to non-MBA Master’s programs. Chinese women are particularly likely to send their scores to non-MBA Master’s. The reverse is true in India, where the MBA is even more popular than the international average. There, 85% of scores were destined for MBA programs.

Conclusions
Seeing the GMAT scores by country provides us with interesting data to understand how the exam is perceived and used across the world. Just remember: the country with the highest scores isn’t the smartest country, and the one with the lowest isn’t the least intelligent. GMAT scores just aren’t meant to measure that! But no matter where you’re from or what your target score is, GMAT practice definitely helps!

The post GMAT Scores by Country appeared first on Magoosh GMAT Blog.
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How to Decide if You Should Pursue an MBA [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 23:01
FROM Magoosh Blog: How to Decide if You Should Pursue an MBA
This post is a contribution from David Mainiero at InGenius Prep.

While there isn’t necessarily a golden rule for when to apply for an MBA degree, there are some telltale signs that “the time is now…or never.” Before we get into discussing these, I should note that there is a golden rule for when in your career not to apply to business school, and that time is in your senior year of college. Almost every top-tier business school requires or strongly recommends (read: requires!) you to work for two to four years after graduation, such that you can experience the working world and understand the factors that we are going to be talking about below.

Here are three critical factors for you to consider when making the career decision to leave your job and enter an MBA program:

1. Cost-Benefit Analysis
Are you currently at a job making six figures, and due for lockstep increases in compensation or substantial performance-based bonuses?

Let’s say you’re making $120,000 per year in your fourth year out of college, and due to be making $200,000 after two years. Grab a spreadsheet, and make sure you understand the financial consequences of going to business school. You’ll be foregoing $240,000 in compensation, and paying something in the order of $110,000 for business school tuition and living expenses. Is your MBA degree going to swell your salary or give you upward mobility that is worth the sacrifice?

Maybe your MBA degree gives you the ability to make $250,000 per year after graduation instead of the $200,000 you were slated to make. Excluding stability in those numbers (no further raises) for the sake of simplicity, it would take you six years to make up the money you sacrificed and/or paid to go to business school in the first place. Bear in mind, that doesn’t even account for the time value of money, and the compounding interest you could have been making on that money if otherwise invested.

Ask yourself: Are you even going to be working in the corporate world for that long? Do you have alternative career plans like starting your own business, or working for the government or in a non-profit? If so, your MBA degree isn’t of much utility to you. However, the education and network certainly might be worth it. I don’t say any of this to dissuade you from going to business school, but rather to help you think carefully about how that degree may or may not help you with respect to your specific goals and ambitions.

2. Age
There are many business schools that will consider a 28- to 32-year-old simply too old to take full advantage of its program, and will overlook your candidacy in favor of younger applicants who have had a bit more direction and consistency in their backgrounds. This makes me feel very old, considering that I would probably be disqualified too! Notable exceptions to this are members of the Armed Forces who have been serving our country.

On the other hand, there can be applicants who are too young. You may be fresh from college, or graduated college at a young age and worked for two years due to an accelerated high school and/or college track.

3. Change in Career Track
Maybe you worked at an investment bank for three years after college, thought that you were living out your dream and making boat loads of money, but have realized that spreadsheets, underwriting, and investment banking hours just aren’t your thing.

There are any number of situations where you could use business school to spur a career change. Nevertheless, what business school admissions officers will want to see is that you have taken steps inside or outside of your job to try new things and start pointing yourself in the direction you want to head. Applying to business school shouldn’t just be a hail mary heave to an end-zone with an unknown location; it should involve considerable reflection and trial-and-error experiences, at the very least.

Have your head on straight before making the momentous decision to apply to business school; don’t just cop out and think “Oh well, how can it hurt?” Not only will that sentiment be detrimental to your career, but it will find a way to show up in your applications and interviews, and hurt your chances of admission.

The post How to Decide if You Should Pursue an MBA appeared first on Magoosh GMAT Blog.
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The Complete Guide to Taking the GMAT in the UK [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2017, 15:02
FROM Magoosh Blog: The Complete Guide to Taking the GMAT in the UK
Greetings to our friends across the pond! In this post, we’ll be covering everything you need to know to take the GMAT in the UK—including test centers, costs, and participating universities.

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GMAT UK Test Centers
There are at least 11 GMAT test centers throughout the UK, located in the following cities:

  • England
    • Crawley
    • London
    • Reading
    • Salford (Greater Manchester)
    • Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham)
    • Watford
    • Wolverhampton
  • Northern Ireland
    • Belfast
  • Ireland
    • Dublin
  • Scotland
    • Edinburgh
    • Glasgow
Testing dates vary by location, so you’ll want to use MBA.com’s Test Center Locator tool to identify which locations and days work best for you. Of these centers, only the Belfast location offers weekend testing. All other locations are weekday only. To avoid stress come exam day, we recommend scouting out your GMAT test location beforehand.

GMAT UK Costs and Fees
Once you’ve found a day that works for you, you’ll need to pay a registration fee of $250 US (around £200 at the time of this writing), not including VAT.

If it any point you discover that you need to reschedule, make sure to do it ASAP! As long as you reschedule more than seven days out from your original date, you’ll only need to pay $50 US. Attempting to reschedule after this seven-day window will cost an additional $250 US.

Likewise, if you need to cancel your registration, make sure you do so as early as possible! Cancelling more than seven days out will net you a refund of $80 US (not much, but it’s better than nothing!). There will be no refunds for cancellations within seven days of the originally scheduled test date (ouch!).

GMAT Score Reports in the UK
On your test day, you will be able to send five free score reports to five institutions anywhere in the world. You can use MBA.com’s Program Locator to find eligible institutions, or check out this list of the most popular programs. If you need to request any additional score reports, expect to pay $28 US for each report.

Students interested in retaking the exam may want to purchase an Enhanced Score Report (ESR) for themselves, which contains detailed information about each subsection of the test. The fee for the ESR is $24.95 US.

GMAT UK Universities
Nearly 100 different institutions in the UK accept GMAT scores. To see the full list, scroll down to ‘United Kingdom’ on GMAC’s page GMAT Accepting Programs Around the World.

Some of the most prestigious UK programs can be found below, along with their average score as reported by GMAC’s program comparison tool.

Program NameAvg. GMAT Score

Alliance Manchester Business School - Manchester University 640

Cass Business School - City University London650

Cranfield School of Management - Cranfield University680

Imperial College Business School - Imperial College London 647

Judge Business School - University of Cambridge690

London Business School 700

Said Business School - University of Oxford 692

Warwick Business School - University of Warwick667

Your Next Steps
If you’re determined to take the GMAT, you can begin the process by following these four simple steps:

The post The Complete Guide to Taking the GMAT in the UK appeared first on Magoosh GMAT Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Magoosh Test Prep

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The Complete Guide to Taking the GMAT in the UK   [#permalink] 15 Nov 2017, 15:02

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