GMAT Prep Near You
The GMAT is an important test to get into business schools for your MBA. Learn about GMAT prep books, practice tests and in-person or online courses.
GMAT stands for graduate management admission test. The GMAT is primarily used by business schools to determine whether you are eligible for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Some high ranked business positions may also review your GMAT score to determine your eligibility. The GMAT is an involved test, divided into four sections, with a maximum score of 800. Most schools require a minimum of 700, but for top business schools, it is recommended to score at least 740.
The majority of students spend several months studying for the GMAT. It is a long exam, taking three and a half hours to complete. If you do not initially pass the GMAT, you can take the test again after 16 days. However, you can take the test no more than five times each year, and no student may attempt to take the GMAT more than eight times in their lifetime.
What skills are tested in the GMAT
Each section of the GMAT focuses on a different skillset. The quantitative section consists of 31 multiple-choice math questions, focusing on algebra, geometry and arithmetic. You may not use a calculator for any portion of the test. You have a total of 62 minutes to complete the quantitative section.
The verbal section is a test of your grammar, logical skills and general reading comprehension. You must answer 36 multiple-choice questions after reading a passage. You have 65 minutes to complete both the reading and questions.
During the integrated reasoning section, you must answer 12 multiple-choice questions, most of which have multiple responses. The questions are based on data presented in a series of charts, graphs and tables. You are allowed to use a calculator for this section, and have 30 minutes to complete it.
In the writing section, you have 30 minutes to complete a single essay. The essay prompt changes each year, but always relates to business.
Taking a GMAT Practice Test
One of the best ways to prepare for the GMAT is to take a practice test. There are two primary reasons to start with the test. The first is it gives you a good idea of what the actual exam consists of and the general format. The second is you get a detailed breakdown of each section, so you know what areas you need to focus on while studying. The MBA website provides a general starter kit and two practice exams for free, with the option to purchase additional practice tests. Kaplan also provides a free practice test, as well as a question of the day to practice for the exam. You can also get free practice tests from the Princeton Review and London Business School.
GMAT Prep Classes
GMAT classes are an excellent resource if you learn best in a traditional classroom setting. There are many types of GMAT prep classes. The courses are typically taught over several weeks in two-to-three-hour sessions. Most classes meet once or twice a week, but some expediated courses are available. During the classes, an instructor breaks down the GMAT into each section. The classes cover all the necessary material to pass the GMAT. You also have the opportunity to take practice exams and receive a one-on-one assessment from your instructor, who helps you setup a study plan.
GMAT classes are commonly taught at business colleges. The costs greatly vary depending on what class you attend. For example, Manhattan Prep offers an intensive GMAT prep course, but it costs $1,600 as of writing. Most colleges charge between $300 to $600 for a GMAT prep course.
Because of current Covid-19 restrictions, many of the GMAT prep classes are only available online. Instructors are starting to ease back into in-person classes, but many are limiting classroom size. Typically, taking an online course is less expensive than an in-person class. However, you do not get the same level of interaction with your instructor when you take an online class.
Private GMAT Tutor
Another way to prepare for the GMAT is private tutoring. An excellent way to find a tutor is to go through local business schools. Many of the companies that provide practice GMAT preparation tests also offer tutoring services. The biggest benefit of working with a tutor is you get direct experience with someone who already passed the exam. You do not have to compete with other students for attention, so the focus is entirely on you. Tutors also offer more flexibility and work around your schedule, which is good if you are too busy for traditional classes.
GMAT Prep Books
There are numerous GMAT prep books available. MBA provides an official GMAT guide each year as part of the starter kit. Most of the prep books focus on a specific section of the GMAT, such as the GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible or Total GMAT Math. The cost greatly varies depending on the book, costing on average between $50 to $150. Because of this, it is recommended to only purchase books for the sections you are struggling the most with.