After completing an undergraduate degree, many students decide to seek admissions to MBA being offered by business schools. Before applying for admissions to business schools in the US and in many other countries you have to take the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) which is administered by Pearson VUE and ACT, Inc. in partnership with GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council), owner of the GMAT. The GMAT test assesses the verbal, mathematical and analytical skills of the test takers. It is not a test of your academic knowledge, instead it is a test of the skills that you would have developed over the years while pursuing your undergraduate studies. The GMAT scores have to accompany your admission forms to the business schools and your scores will be compared with those of other applicants and needless to say, the students with higher GMAT scores will get admissions.

GMAT preparation is a very serious task and it is an extremely competitive process. You cannot take the GMAT test lightly if you want to acquire an MBA degree from a reputed business school. You should not underestimate the amount of preparation needed before taking the GMAT. On the average it takes about 3-4 months for GMAT preparation and your preparation should focus on critical, analytical, mathematical and verbal skills. GMAT preparation can be made easier and fruitful if it is well planned and is carried out as per the time schedule laid down by you. Let us break down the process of GMAT preparation into steps in the order in which they should preferably be carried out. This is the case when you plan to take on GMAT preparation by studying on your own. If you plan to take a GMAT course, then your teachers at the course will guide you through everything, starting from the registration process right down to the basic details that form part of GMAT preparation.

Step 1

Once you've decided that you want to enroll for MBA, the first step is to zero on to a business school of your choice which will satisfy most of your interests and career goals, but it can be difficult to do this choice on your own. There are a number of web sites and institutions that can help you make the correct choice as per your interests and also guide you for GMAT preparation. This will help you in the long run because at the GMAT testing center, you are given the option of choosing 5 business schools that you would like your score report to be sent to directly. An advantage of selecting the business school of your choice is that you can now modify your application to their admission standards. While filling out a school's application be careful to note the interview process so that you can be prepared for it.

Step 2

The next step is to register for the GMAT. You should register way in advance so that you can get your desired date for the test. The easiest way is to register online on the GMAT official web site. You should keep in mind to create an account with your legal name during the registration process. This name should be the same as the one on the identification proof that you will present at the exam center. The web site will guide you about the payment of the fees, test centers and test dates also.

Step 3

The most important step in GMAT preparation is to learn about the format of the test. Various web sites including the official GMAT web site offer exhaustive information about the format, design and the timings laid down for the GMAT test. You should be aware of the types of sections in the GMAT test, typical types of questions, time allotted for each section and the directions that accompany each section. The GMAT is a computer adaptive Test (CAT). In this format, the questions in the test are automatically adjusted according to the capability of the test taker to answer correctly. As part of your GMAT preparation, it is very important to understand the CAT format and how it works. You should be aware of the technique appropriate for answering questions in this particular format as it can have a direct influence on your score.

Step 4

After you have acquainted yourself with the format of the GMAT test, the next step is to collect the necessary study materials for the test. You can buy GMAT study guides online and also from bookstores. You will find many reference books and GMAT related material in libraries. These books will prove to be quite indispensable in the process of GMAT preparation. There are some web sites that even offer free GMAT preparation study materials and some tips on how to go about GMAT preparation.

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