Engineering is considered as one of the rigorous degrees, however with the rise in the number of Engineering graduates there seems to be little dearth in the opportunities that are available for these pass-outs. In light of these circumstances, it becomes a natural step for most engineers to pursue an MBA and that is where the need to take the GMAT stems from. Today let’s see what GMAT is, what does the test consist of and how one can tackle it.
GMAT i.e. Graduate Management Admission Test as we all know is a computer-adaptive test that weighs a test taker’s quantitative, verbal, analytical writing and reading skill. It is managed by the Graduate Management Admission Council. This 3½ hour test covers four separately timed sections:
- Analytical Writing Assessment (30 Minutes for 1 Question)
- Integrated Reasoning (30 Minutes for 12 Questions)
- Quantitative Reasoning (62 Minutes for 31 Questions)
- Verbal Reasoning (65 Minutes for 36 Questions)
A great feature of this test is that it allows the test taker to choose from 3 options in terms of the sequence of sections that the test taker wishes to follow. How more flexible can it get? Moreover, since the test is computer-adaptive, the difficulty of the test adjusts itself with the ability of the test taker.
Even with all these great features of this widely accepted test, the test takers find it difficult to crack it. And when it comes to Engineers, the Verbal Section is double trouble. With good analytical and quantitative skills most Engineers find it decently easy to tackle the Quant Section; however the Verbal Section especially Sentence Correction is a big headache for them. Interpreting questions in both sections is a major hurdle that test takers face. Since high school level math makes it easy for Engineers to crack the Quant Section, not being able to interpret the question could pull their scores down.
How does one go about preparing for GMAT in such a scenario? Our suggestion would be to take it easy; one section at a time. With no dearth of preparation material available online remember do not go overboard trying to grab everything.
- Start practicing from the GMAT Official Guide, Verbal Review and Quantitative Review.
- Go back to the GMATPrep Software and take your first practice test.
- Pick up your next book. Maybe take up Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides.
- If you try attempting all the guides you may find yourself exhausted; time constraints may also lead you to overburden yourself. Besides there are other resources you would want to take a look at too.
- Keep your calm and pick up a strategy guide for the section you feel you need more preparation for.
- And then there is Kaplan. Yes, another brilliant resource to prepare for your GMAT. Our suggestion, try the Kaplan GMAT Quant book.
- Both Manhattan and Kaplan would have GMAT Practice Tests; try taking them at suitable intervals to gauge your progress and areas of improvements.
Preparing for your GMAT haphazardly is a common mistake most Engineers commit. Have a clear roadmap of how you are going to tackle the exam. Taking a diagnostic test helps you understand where you stand and which areas you need to focus on more. Once you have a clear understanding of your problem areas start from the basics. A strong foundation in verbal is what most Engineers will have to develop in order to score well. Most certainly do not ignore the Quant Section completely; keep it going side by side in small chunks. After a month or 2 of this practice, you must move on to questions of higher levels, concentrate on your timing and precision. As is the usual trend, Engineers end up scoring a 600 with this level of preparation. Now is the time to attempt tougher questions to push yourself to score a 700+. By the end of 3 months into the preparation, you must attempt one test per week or so. Remember it being a Computer-adaptive test you will not be able to skip or go back or modify your answers. So precision and accuracy is the key which will only come with practice and more practice.
Go ahead and crack this test with confidence; a bright future awaits you.