Sharpen Your Pencils

Some of you reading this blog may have yet to take the GMAT, which is one of the requirements for being accepted to Elon.  Not only do you have to take the GMAT, but you have to achieve a minimum score – last I checked it was 500.

I have seen and heard many different recommendations on how to prepare for the test, and how much time to spend preparing, but in the end I think this is one of those things that depends very much on the individual.  I have talked to folks who spent very little time preparing, and have heard about others who spent at least a few hours a week over several months.  If you are recently out of school or very intellectual (or otherwise remember most of what you learned in algebra and geometry), and have a good handle on the English language (especially proper grammar), then you can probably get by with the former approach.

Personally I fell somewhere in between, setting aside much of my available time over the course of a month to devote to preparation, which even then may have been overkill as I ended up scoring closer to the maximum (800) than Elon’s minimum.  OK, not a lot closer, but for a non-genius like me it was something to smile about.

No matter which approach you take, you do need to at least familiarize yourself with the format of the test, and the types of questions on it.

There are numerous GMAT preparation aids available, including a couple practice tests, guidelines, tips, etc. which GMAC will make available to you when you sign up for the test.  I personally bought Barron’s preparation guide, and borrowed the GMAC preparation guide from the local library (in addition to using the free material mentioned in the previous sentence).  I should have saved my money and just used the GMAC aids.  While there was some helpful information in the Barron’s guide, I’m not convinced the practice questions in that guide are representative enough of the GMAT questions – and since GMAC actually produces the test it makes sense that their guide would be a more accurate tool.

Well, I didn’t intend to get that long-winded, but hopefully this is helpful information for you.  Thank you for visiting, and please leave us comments with your questions or thoughts!


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