It is compulsory for you to take the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) if you are interested in gaining admission to management programs offered by business schools in the US and in many other countries. It is administered by Pearson VUE and ACT throughout the year. You have to be well prepared for this test if you want to acquire an MBA degree from a reputed business school. It is not a test of your academic knowledge, instead it is a test of the analytical and mathematical skills that you would have developed over the years while undergoing your high school studies. The scores have to accompany your admission forms to the business schools and your scores will be compared with those of other applicants by the admission committees. A study of the trends of the past few years suggests that your scores help in predicting your academic performance in the first year of business studies. Therefore, it is crucial for every student to score high in this exam in order to join a management program of his choice.

Preparation for this test is a very serious task and you should not underestimate the amount of preparation needed before taking the GMAT. The test has become more challenging after the introduction of the GMAT CAT (Computer Adaptive Test). It is formatted in such a way that the questions appearing before the test taker are according to his ability to answer the questions correctly. The computer constantly monitors how well you are scoring and responds by presenting you with questions that match your ability. Each section of the test starts with a question of moderate difficulty. The computer selects the next question of a particular difficulty level based on your answer to the first question. If you've answered correctly, you will receive a question of higher difficulty level. If you've answered incorrectly, the next question usually will be easier than the first. The only catch here is that the easier questions carry fewer credits as compared to the questions of a higher difficulty level. Therefore, irrespective of the amount of time and effort you put in your preparation, you will not be able to score high unless you get a good experience of answering questions in the CAT environment. This is possible only if you supplement your preparation with mock tests. Taking these tests is the key to improving your GMAT scores. Your expertise on the GMAT CAT will increase with each practice test that you take. Irrespective of whether you are studying from guides or attending a course, you need a number of sample tests that follow the format of the official exam and include typical questions.

Before you start off with your preparation, it is a good idea to take an initial sample test which includes questions of the actual test level. This is a very important step in your preparation. This initial practice test will help you identify your present skill level, your strong areas and weak spots. The objective is to let you know how much ground you need to cover, so that you can pace your preparations accordingly and devote more attention to your weaker areas. A number of free sample tests are available online. Download them and take a couple of tests. The practice tests that are computerized are simulated exactly as the actual exam. It can be frustrating to finish a mock test and not find an explanation for the answers. Check to see whether the software has explanations, of not only why the wrong answer is wrong, but also why the right answer is right. The format of the practice test is designed just like the GMAT CAT including an algorithm for selection of questions as per your answering ability. The sections are timed as per the timings laid down in the actual exam.

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