“If it wasn’t for the GMAT, I’d apply to business school tomorrow!”
We’ve all heard that one. For many, the GMAT is the reason why they delay business school. Who wants to study for 100 hours? Just look at the questions. Who cares about a total when a variable is added to a mean? I haven’t needed algebra since high school. And what difference does it make if a sentence is constructed perfectly? I understood what the writer meant.
Alas, the GMAT is great preparation for business school. It tests critical thinking, not IQ. And it trains test-takers to formulate a plan, be precise, and tackle issues strategically. Even more, it reminds prospective students that they don’t know everything. As humbling as the GMAT can be, it weeds out the doers from the dilettantes
But prepping for the GMAT can be a daunting proposition. That’s why test preparation is such a lucrative business. So much rides on the results. Score a 730 and programs will fight for you. Submit a 660 and you’ll wait-and-wonder. Bottom line: A high GMAT provides more options and greater security (along with drawing more scholarship dollars).
For many, a mystique surrounds the GMAT. If you can just crack the code, you’ll come away with an all-expense paid trip to Palo Alto. For Andrew Geller, who scored a 770 GMAT, there are shortcuts to reaching the top percentiles. While you can learn tricks here-and there to improve, the GMAT requires you to change how you think and practice every day (along with maintaining an upbeat attitude).
A tutor since 2002, Geller currently heads Atlantic GMAT, a leading private tutoring service that serves clients nationwide. Before that, he prepped GMAT test-takers McElroy Tutoring, where he held a 9.9 rating (i.e. “Exceptional”) from clients. A consummate teacher, Geller joined the Poets&Quants team in 2014, providing readers with expert advice on topics ranging from bumping up quant scores to setting priorities. For Geller, it all starts with creating a framework. “Approach your studying in an organized way,” he tells one reader. “Schedule your study sessions. Know what you will focus on each day. Keep track of and review mistakes… Put your study sessions in your calendar or make a GMAT study schedule.”
At the same time, he warns that there are no shortcuts. “Give yourself an appropriate amount of time to get to your goals,” he cautions another reader. “Rushing usually leads to disappointment. It is much better to have realistic expectations. You’re not a robot. You can’t expect to read about how to do something and then all of sudden know how to do that thing yourself. Learning takes time.”
Looking for advice on how you can raise your GMAT score? Click on the topics below to read some of Andrew’s recent strategies for increasing your shot at being accepted into business school.
(To send Andrew a question, click here. Please share your own advice for our readers in the comments below).