5 Quick GMAT Tips

To get into a quality MBA program, you’re going to have to take the GMAT. You can get a good score with good preparation. Here are some quick tips to help you with that.

1. Set aside at least 8 weeks to prepare.

You can’t just cram the night before the test. You have to put in some time to prepare properly. Spend time on each of the two multiple choice sections: Quantitative and Verbal, as they are the most important part of your GMAT score.

2. Buy a good preparation guide.

Without a good preparation guide, you don’t have a prayer at high scores in the quantitative and verbal sections. The guide will not only give you a good feel for the structure of the test, but it will take you through the types of questions you’ll receive and the justification for the correct answer. I recommend The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition.

3. Get your free practice tests from MBA.com.

The software comes with two practice tests that are frighteningly accurate–to the point where you can predict your actual GMAT score. Don’t waste them because retakes don’t really help you out much. I’d space them out like this: after going through the preparation guide take a practice test. Then focus on your weaknesses. A week before your exam, take the second test as a final moment of truth.

4. Practice Practice Practice!

Keep track of the questions you miss and why. Continually review your list of missed questions so there will be no surprises on test day.

5. Don’t spend too much time preparing for the Analytical Writing until the end.

The analytical writing section doesn’t actually apply to your official GMAT score. If you score a 0 on it will you be denied admission to a top school? Maybe, but that’s unlikely. Just set aside a week or so before the test and spend a few hours working on structuring a 3-5 paragraph answer to a complex problem. Remember to present each side of an issue, use connecting words, and then a conclusion. You should be just fine.

I was able to score a 700 on my GMAT. If I followed these tips more closely, I know I could have done better!