The GMAT Test (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardized test which is administered by Pearson VUE and ACT, Inc. in partnership with GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council), owner of the GMAT. It is mandatory to take this test for the students who are interested in taking admissions to business schools in the US and in many other countries across the world. The institutions use the GMAT scores to assess the reasoning, mathematical and analytical abilities of the students and also it helps the admission committees in comparing the knowledge, proficiency and capabilities of all the applicants. It has generally been seen that students who have high GMAT scores have done better in the first year of business graduation studies than those who have lower GMAT scores. This is one of the reasons why business schools in most countries, especially the US have made it compulsory for the applicants to appear for the GMAT test and the probability of getting admission to a business school of your choice is more if you have a high GMAT score.
You should not underestimate the amount of preparation needed before taking the GMAT. The exam evaluates verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills. It is not a test of specific subject knowledge. A student aspiring to score high in the GMAT test can take a decision on the method that he would like to adopt to prepare for the GMAT test, that is, whether he would like to enroll with a GMAT coaching institution for a GMAT course or whether he would prefer to prepare on his own without taking the assistance of a GMAT course. This is an individual decision and it can vary from person to person depending on various factors such as, financial requirement, time available, material available, proper guidance etc.
Requirement of a Course
An important question that arises is whether a GMAT course is actually required or not. This, again, is an individual decision. For this you will have to make a detailed time plan which will include the time from when you would like to start preparing for the exam after you have registered for the test. You will have to get hold of proper guides that will help you in your preparation for the test. The Internet will be very helpful in your search for the proper guide books. It is very important that one should be aware of the instructions, the layout and the format of the GMAT. The student can take the test with ease and confidence if he is familiar with the test format.
The GMAT is now a Computer Adaptive Test(CAT) which has a format and design of it's own wherein you have to answer the questions within a stipulated time frame. Awareness of the GMAT test structure, test sections and the adaptive nature of the CAT format is very important in GMAT test preparations. All information about the GMAT test is available on the official web site of GMAT and also on the official web sites of premier GMAT coaching institutions like Kaplan and Manhattan that conduct GMAT courses. Free preview workshops are also available on the Internet that provide you with an overview of the test and the correct approach for getting a high score. Free introductory workshops that help in preparation for the GMAT including virtual classrooms which can be accessed from your home or office are also available on the net. All these factors tilt the scales in favor of not taking a GMAT course.
If you don't plan to attend a GMAT course then you will require proper directions and guidance to help you in your preparations. It will be advisable to form a group with your friends or fellow students from your locality who are also appearing for the test without attending a GMAT course. If one student of the group is aware about some aspect of the GMAT test then he can share it with others and everybody in the group will be in the same grid. After you are aware of the format of the test and you and your study group (if you have formed one) has all the required study books and web site addresses of relevant web sites, you can get down to start studying.
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