Loyola Business Blog

How to study for the GMAT

Your GMAT score helps admissions committees assess your academic potential and ability to succeed in an MBA program. A higher GMAT score demonstrates your readiness and makes you a more desirable MBA candidate. Everyone wants to know how to get a great score on the GMAT exam, but there’s no magic formula. You have to study for the GMAT, and that requires hard work and discipline. Here are some GMAT tips to help you get started:

  1. Allow plenty of time to study for the GMAT. The GMAT tests your critical thinking skills and capacity to work through a problem. It’s not the kind of test you can cram for and rote memorization will not get you far. Forbes recommends 4-6 months of dedicated preparation to reach your full potential. According to data from MBA.com, the official website for the GMAT, those who spend more time studying, on average, score higher on the exam.

  2. Stick to a solid study schedule. How you study for the GMAT matters. Develop a study plan that fits your lifestyle and outlines when, how and what you will study. If you need to brush up on a specific topic, purchase textbooks to strengthen your basic knowledge. If you need to improve your reading comprehension skills, Magoosh recommends a list of high-quality publications with GMAT-style content. Explore all your options - self-study, tutoring, study groups and prep courses.

  3. Take multiple full-length practice tests. This will help you establish a baseline score and identify the areas where you need to focus. You will become familiar with the test structure, question formats, timing and pace. Frequent practice tests will help you assess your progress, grow comfortable with accurate guessing, and build your stamina. MBA.com suggests you simulate test conditions by using a timer and eliminating water, snacks, music and technology during your practice tests.

  4. Do your research and invest in study materials. Learn everything you need to know about the exam, starting with the source, MBA.com. Explore online forums – GMAT Club and Beat the GMAT – for free and discounted GMAT prep courses, practice tests and advice on how to get a great score on the GMAT exam. To ease your test day nerves, US News suggests touring the test center in advance or taking one of the many prep classes that conduct their practice tests in an actual test center.

If you do poorly despite these GMAT tips, there’s still hope. Test scores are not a predictor of success in business. “The GMAT may test your mettle and memory, but it doesn’t measure your innovation or determination,” says Bloomberg. Take the test again, as many people do better the second time and a majority of business schools only look at the highest score. In addition, stellar essays, references and interviews can compensate for less favorable scores and influence admissions committees in your favor.

The Sellinger School of Business offers multiple masters in business degree options to help you develop the expertise you need to get to the next level of your career. For these programs, the GMAT exam may be waived for qualified candidates who meet certain admission conditions. For more information about the waiver policy for the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University Maryland, visit the GMAT waiver page or contact an admissions advisor at mba@loyola.edu