4 Great Ways to Prepare for the GMAT

Students who wish to apply to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s online MBA program are required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test. While the GMAT sounds daunting, with careful preparation, you can be among the thousands of graduate students who do well enough to make it into the graduate school of their choice.

An Overview of the GMAT

The online test assesses analytical, verbal, reading, writing and quantitative skills through four sections: analytical writing analysis, integrated reasoning, quantitative and verbal. Each section is timed, and you will be given three options for order of sections administered. The test is computer-adaptive, meaning it tailors the questions to your ability level in real-time.

The GMAT is not simply a test to ensure students can pass online coursework. The graduate-level test is also a key indicator of postgraduate success because many of the critical reasoning skills measured on the test are believed to be vital to real-world business success. The online exam can be taken five times within a year and up to eight times total.

Tips for Preparing for the GMAT

Beyond poring through prep books, these simple tips can help you perform your best on test day.

Set realistic test dates: Start by mapping out when you can realistically spend time studying. From there, you can plan on a good test date. Be mindful of the realities of juggling work and other commitments and try to schedule the test when the rest of your schedule is relatively light. Remember, most individuals study for at least three months before tackling the GMAT. By planning ahead, you can avoid undue stress in the weeks and days leading up to your test date.

Understand the GMAT format: The GMAT is unlike other aptitude tests. You can study the standardized format of the test beforehand. Practice tests will have copies of the GMAT’s directions on them.

Spend time strengthening your weak areas: Few people are equally skilled in all four areas of the test. You probably already know which areas will require more of your time. If not, a practice test will make that clear enough. Focus your energy on the areas you find most challenging.

Take practice tests: The GMAT’s test makers publish past tests. Using older tests is a great way to prepare for the unique format of questions presented by the online exam. There is no such thing as over-preparation for the GMAT. By spending ample time on practice tests, you can become better acquainted with the wording of the standardized test as well as your weakest areas.

Finally, put yourself into “testing mode” when taking practice exams. Acquaint yourself with the 3.5-hour test by sitting in a quiet room with no distractions. This will help you prepare your mental game ahead of test day.

SIUE’s GMAT Waiver Requirements

Admission to the SIUE MBA online program is based on a number of factors, including:

  • Undergraduate grade point average (GPA)
  • Overall score on the GMAT (Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing)
  • Previous work in other graduate programs

The GMAT requirement is waived for applicants who have:

  • A 3.20 or greater GPA on an undergraduate degree in business or engineering from an AACSB- or ABET-accredited institution
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with 3.0 GPA and at least three years of work experience
  • A Ph.D., M.D., LL.M, D.D.S, DNP, Ed.D, Master’s, Pharm.D or J.D. degree

Advance Your Career Opportunities With an MBA from SIUE

With adequate preparation and good test-taking habits, you’ll be well on your way to passing the GMAT and enrolling in one of SIUE’s esteemed online MBA programs. Many of the reasoning and analytical skills you learn in preparation for the GMAT will aid you throughout our accelerated online courses, which are all taught by SIUE faculty. If you are ready to build upon the advanced concepts tested through the GMAT, visit our admissions page to learn more about what an online MBA from SIUE can do for you.

Learn more about SIUE’s online MBA programs.


Magoosh: Top 10 Tips for Good GMAT Preparation

MBA.com: GMAT Preparation Best Practices

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