September 28, 2016

GMAT: Studying, Preparing and Day of the Test!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I'm coming to you all a little bit later in the's actually closer to eight pm here, so I'm coming to you a whole lot later. I have classes running all day on Wednesdays, meaning posts on this day of the week won't be up until night.

But what I'm here to discuss today is the dreaded GMAT exam....

With approximately three and a half months of studying under my belt over this past summer, this Monday I took the GMAT (which stands for Graduate Management Admissions Test). This is a standardized test that anyone who wants to take part in a master's program, has to take and score high enough to meet their program's required score.

If you don't really know what the GMAT is (no worries, I didn't until literally two days ago), its pretty similar to a little thing known as the SAT. The GMAT is the SAT version for graduate school. I honestly believe that the GMAT is even close to the difficulty of the SAT, the only difference being you probably haven't seen a lot of the content in the GMAT since the SAT.

I am hoping to take part in my university's accounting master program, starting this upcoming March.

The GMAT can be a pretty scary thing, it definitely was, but after going through one round of the test, it isn't as crazy as I was expecting it to be. I thought it might be helpful to some of you to answer some very basic questions about the GMAT, including why I took it when I did, what study tools I used, etc.

I'm not discussing what was on the GMAT itself, due to the illegality of doing so.


1. When did I take the test? How did I decide when I wanted to take it?

I took the GMAT this last Monday which was the 26th of September. I was very strategic when deciding what date I wanted to take the test, including various factors and components into the process.

I didn't want to have to study for the GMAT exam while taking other classes. I thought that studying for exams, doing homework, and reading textbooks alongside of studying for the GMAT would just be too overwhelming. So I knew immediately that I wanted to take it, either at the end of the summer or during my winter break.

With my program starting in March, the deadline to apply is towards the middle of October, meaning my only option was to take it before school started in the fall. I didn't mind this one bit, I think I would have chosen to go this route either way, due to the long period of free time to study.

2. How did I study for the GMAT? What studying tips do I have?

I actually studied five GMAT workbooks. I purchased these used older editions from Half Price on the clearance rack for about $2.00 to $10.00 each.

Taking a lot of these standardized tests, I've come to the conclusion they don't change much year to year, so it's okay to use last year's studying books. They're much cheaper, you already paid $250 to take the test, and they are exactly the same thing.

Some of the workbooks I used were from Princeton Review, Manhattan Prep and Wiley. Also as you are purchasing your exam, a free download with practice questions is available, I would recommend using that tool as well.

When deciding what I should study, I focused the beginning of my studying with the content I felt the most comfortable with, which was the quantitative section. I didn't want to scare myself with studying the verbal first, but instead I wanted to give myself a confidence booster, by reviewing what I already felt good about.

3. Was my score good enough for the master program?

I'm honestly not sure.

My program doesn't specifically state what the minimum score is, but the GMAT is considered more of a component to the application process. Other components include your transcript, resume, a paper, letters of recommendation, etc.

I don't feel absolutely amazing about my score, but I feel a lot better than I thought I would.

If you're stuck in this same predicament after taking the exam, I recommend talking to a councilor in the master program you want to apply to. They could tell you whether your score is comparable to others' in the program or if they recommend retaking it.

4. What would I change about my strategy of studying if I retook the GMAT?

Some changes I would make if I were to retake it, would be using different studying tools.

NOT because they weren't working or they weren't beneficial, but because doing the same thing or using the same tools again, wouldn't make sense. You already got everything you could out of the them, meaning you need to seek other sources for help.

I would probably use the free download that came along with purchasing the exam. I didn't get the chance to look into it, sadly.

I would also do some research to see if my university or local library offered workshops, where they recommended various sources of help, or gave tips and tricks to taking the GMAT.

Another idea could include talking to someone who already took the exam, and to see what they did to prepare themselves.

5. Any other tips?

Just breath and relax during the test.

Take advantage of the eight minute breaks between sections, and be sure to pace yourself through these various sections.

You've studied for the exam, you did the best you could with what you had. Don't stress, just continue pushing through one question at a time, answering it to the best of your ability.


Thank you all for stopping by! I hope some of these questions helped you out!

If you have any questions, or any helpful tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments down below!

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