How to get ready for the GMAT, GRE, and EA examinations

BY Joe NiehausJuly 21, 2021, 02:00 am

If you are critical about pursuing an MBA, there are months of planning associated in receiving that application prepared to post. And early on in that approach, you’ll will need to determine which test you’re having, develop a tactic for results, and dedicate more than enough time to get ready. Some faculties have waived testing prerequisites, but much more learners are applying to MBA courses, and although a high examination score by yourself won’t get you acknowledged, a lower score will almost certainly damage you. 

With the pandemic and ensuing position reduction, business enterprise educational facilities have noticed remarkable progress in candidates. In truth, 70% of U.S. MBA packages described an maximize in programs in the 2019–20 yr, according to the Graduate Administration Admission Council’s most new study knowledge. And some person programs saw tremendous surges, like Rice University’s Jones Graduate University of Business enterprise, which saw a 63% bounce in apps. Now, it appears to be as if that upward pattern is here to keep for yet another application season. 

Test scores make any difference, and there are three entrance alternatives for an MBA: the Graduate Report Evaluation (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Examination (GMAT), and the Government Evaluation (EA). Until eventually a short while ago, the GMAT was regarded as the premier test for getting into an MBA plan though the GRE was reserved for other graduate applications. Now, most faculties will settle for both test, and many others have started to accept the EA, which was earlier reserved mostly for govt MBA systems.

That indicates a lot of possible MBA learners can now opt for which test they would choose to get.

“Whichever process an applicant chooses, it’s important to be reliable and disciplined,” says Melody Jones, president of Vantage Level MBA Admissions Consulting.“[Studying] is not one particular of those issues where a a single size fits all approach applies.”

Choose your take a look at

Whilst the exams are normally identical in conditions of trouble, they have differing numbers of thoughts in subjects like math, grammar, and reasoning. The GMAT consists of quantitative and verbal sections, alongside with an analytical creating portion and integrated reasoning section that are graded independently. In the meantime, the GRE is comparable in construction, but broken up into 3 sections somewhat than 4. And the shorter EA test is most effective explained as a mini GMAT for the reason that it works by using some of the exact same inquiries, but lasts just an hour and a fifty percent in contrast with above a few hrs each and every for the GMAT and GRE.

Simply because there is not always a single test that’s superior than another, it’s vital for prospective candidates to opt for the selection they are most comfy with. 

“First, take a free observe exam of [all three exams] on the net to familiarize oneself with the format and to assess strengths and weaknesses,” suggests Esther Magna, principal MBA admissions marketing consultant with Stacy Blackman Consulting. As soon as you have located out which a person will aid you excel the most, dedicate to it and emphasis all of your power on that examination.

Set a system of attack for the examination

There’s no shortage of resources, both of those on-line and in-particular person, to put together for your examination. Solutions include a do-it-on your own route, with a classic guide, like the GMAT Formal Guidebook, or enrolling in a exam prep program from a company like Kaplan. A person matter to continue to keep in thoughts when determining on a exam is that simply because the EA is more recent, there are much less review resources, while the GMAT is the conventional take a look at, so there’s a lot more info as properly as past contributors providing advice on message boards or who might be in your community. 

Choosing which take a look at to get is finished on a case-by-circumstance basis, suggests Jones. 

“I always advise my consumers to go after a analyze plan or strategy that matches how they study very best,” Jones claims. “Some individuals favor the structure and accountability of a test prep program although many others choose the overall flexibility of a self-research system.”

It is important to give by yourself adequate time to examine and be disciplined in sticking to your plan. “Leaving enough time on the back again conclude to exercise and refine, under timing stress, what you have realized is the No. 1 factor we typically see candidates forget about to do,” adds Magna.

The checks typically need 100 to 120 hrs of practice—with the prime scorers paying around 120 hrs reviewing the substance, according to Kaplan. Experts advocate that you get started your check prep six months ahead of educational institutions have to have scores to be submitted. That explained, some candidates who were being previously acquainted with the take a look at content might be equipped to get exam-prepared with as minor as an eight-7 days timeline. While it’s most effective to err on the facet of warning, three to four months of studying is a sensible purpose for most candidates. Candidates who researched for 60 several hours or additional yielded scores of 500 or greater, according to a Graduate Management Admission Council possible pupil survey from 2016.

Of training course, it’s greatest to pace by yourself and not try to pack an unreasonable amount of money of learning in a brief time period of time. Jones provides that finding a pace for your analyze program is critical: “Don’t fail to remember that for most individuals, it is a marathon not a dash.” Location aside 1 to 3 several hours per day will make it possible for you to follow subjects a number of times and certainly realize the issues getting asked.

Double down on your strengths, fix your weaknesses

A single of the critical elements to attaining a large score is remaining capable to establish the sections that arrive additional naturally vs . the kinds wherever you need to expend extra time. “Although all checks measure a person’s quantitative and verbal aptitude, they each individual go about undertaking so in different ways,” Jones notes. “Each exam innately plays to people’s distinct strengths.”

Jones advises that retaking the examination immediately after training the sections that contributed to a reduced score can substantially enhance your good results. “I worked with a consumer a couple of yrs back who obtained a 640 on her initially GMAT,” she recollects. “After a few retakes and many months of extreme prep with a tutor, she obtained her rating up to 750.”

Be strategic, be dependable, and attract a road map

Enhanced level of competition, particularly for some of the best MBA systems, can put a lot more pressure on that entrance exam rating. Even though the test rating is just just one piece of a larger admissions puzzle, a fantastic score can maximize the quantity of solutions you’ll have when choosing a enterprise faculty. And much more pupils are trying to find out prep help, according to both Vantage Stage and Stacy Blackman. In fact, Vantage Place claimed an improve of extra than 50% in its examination prep business from 2019 to 2020. 

Even with this highway map for achievement and hours of finding out, you however may not be pleased with your very first rating. But don’t fret, since you can retake the examination, and you are certainly not alone. “The check is not meant to be straightforward,” Jones describes. “It’s regular to have to get the job done definitely hard and retake the take a look at quite a few moments if you have to.”

There was an uptick in test retakes previous yr, according to Magna, and that could possibly come about again this calendar year. So really don’t get discouraged if you slide into that industry. Just be certain you have a system going into what could be an additional fierce 12 months for MBA purposes.