The four letters you’ve undoubtedly heard when applying to postgraduate business schools: GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). You shouldn’t fear or lose sleep over the GMAT, with good preparation you will take the exam with confidence and be on your way to your dream Master’s programme.
The GMAT is an adaptive exam that analyses analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal and reading skills, and is used in admission to postgraduate programmes.
A valid GMAT score is a requirement for admission to our MSc International Management programme. While we don’t set a required GMAT score, we recommend a minimum of 600 to strengthen your application to this highly competitive Master’s.
Some of our MSc Management students who sat the GMAT last year share their insider tips to prepare for the exam.
What resources did you use to prepare?
There are many resources available to you that will help you crack the code on the GMAT questions and make your preparation run without a hitch. Our students have done the trialling out for you and share the top resources that helped them prepare.
AC: “I used a free Chinese simulation website called KMF to practice the exam. The website has a lot of mock practice exams retrieved from Official Guides, Manhattan PREP, and GWD. Since the GMAT exam is entirely taken on the computer, it is helpful to get yourself used to the test pace and the exam interface on the computer.”
PL: “I used several different resources to study for the test and set myself a goal concerning what score I wanted to achieve. I started with various books that guide you through all the different components of the test. I also bought the Official Guides with the questions from the previous years. These are very helpful as practice is key to improving your score. I also signed up for Magoosh which is an online platform with videos and a vast databank of questions with explanations.”
YQ: “I found the Manhattan Prep very helpful, especially the sentence correction book. I also scanned through the Official Guides quickly to get a sense of what the committee is trying to test the candidates on.”
How did you find time to prepare for the exam?
Many of you will be studying full-time, working or be in an internship while you are preparing for the GMAT. If you’re concerned about how you will fit GMAT prep into your schedule, our students give their tips on to finding time to study.
AC: “I was doing a summer internship when studying for the GMAT so I prepared for the test during nights after getting off work and on weekends. I spent around two months preparing for the exam.”
PL: “I took five weeks in the summer after I finished my undergraduate degree to entirely focus on studying for the GMAT. After three weeks I decided on a date to take the test and allowed myself some time after the first try to have enough time to retake it.”
YQ: “I was a full-time student when I was preparing for the GMAT. Whenever I had three to four hours free, I took a mock exam.”
Were you more worried about the Quantitative Reasoning or Verbal Reasoning part of the exam?
Many students who have not studied mathematics since high school are understandably concerned about the quantitative reasoning part of the exam. For those whom English is not their first language, it may be the verbal and written elements that pose the greatest challenge.
Find out how to target your weakest areas of the GMAT through preparation and study techniques.
AC: “The most challenging element of the test for me was the Verbal Reasoning section. Since English is not my first language, I spent a lot of time practicing verbal questions. My advice would be to use the various study materials and keep practicing.”
PL: “I was not more worried about the Quantitative Reasoning part than the verbal element, which is why I spent about the same amount of time on both. Time management during the test was the most difficult part for me. To get myself used to the test conditions, I took several practice tests before.”
YQ: “I was not particularly worried about Quantitative Reasoning. After I scanned through the quantitative guidance in the Official Guide, it turned out to be only what I learned at middle school (although I did learn about permutations at high school). For most students from China, I suppose, it is the terminology, not the mathematical knowledge that worries them. I think the most challenging element of the test was the Analytical Writing Assessment and Integrated Reasoning sections. To tackle this, I practiced every day.”
Have you been able to use your GMAT score in applying for graduate schemes?
The GMAT isn’t just used in admission to postgraduate programmes, it can also be used to put yourself ahead in the competitive job search. Our students share how their GMAT score is helping them land the all-important post-graduate role.
AC: “I included my GMAT score on my CV to apply for graduate schemes. I do think the process of preparing for the GMAT exam is useful for online and assessment centre tests. The preparation helped me speed up my pace of answering questions and improved my responses to the numerical questions.”
PL: “A majority of the quantitative elements of the test and some of the question types are very similar to online assessment tests for job applications. Having prepared for the GMAT not too long ago, the test definitely helped me to refresh some basic maths.”
What advice would you give to prospective students to help them prepare for the GMAT?
AC: “Create a study plan or timetable for preparation that suits for you. For me, I set a daily goal of finishing a practice test, figured out the questions that I did wrong, detailed the reason for making the mistake and tested myself again to improve my weaker areas. Practice regularly, keep a steady pace and be calm.”
PL: “Do a full practice test early on in the preparation process and then again on a regular basis. This will show you how you are progressing. I would recommend giving yourself time to retake the test a few weeks after your first attempt. Also, don’t expect the first test to be your best – this reduces the level of pressure.”
YQ: “Try to practice at the same time as the real test every day. And just stay normal. But I do suggest non-native English speakers review the mathematical part of the Official Guides swiftly the day before the test.”