• Scott Edinburgh

Planning Ahead For The GMAT

To give you a head start and keep you on track in the New Year, Personal MBA Coach has launched a 4-part series this January: Kick-Start Your MBA Planning!

Here is part 3 in the series: Planning Ahead For The GMAT

(In case you missed it, check out part 1: Make Your Career Work For You and part 2: Building And Improving Your Extracurricular Profile)

If you have not researched standardized tests since you took the SAT or ACT many years ago, a lot has changed. GMAT scores are valid for 5 years AND you can take the exam up to 5 times during a 12-month period. There is also a lifetime max of 8 tests and you can only take the test once every 16 calendar days.

Further, you can cancel your score and the report does not go to the school if you are not happy with the result. This change has led to candidates taking the exam multiple times. Our average candidate now sits for the exam 2 - 4 times (with some giving the test as many as 6 or 7 shots.) While this policy may seem great, it has caused average GMAT scores to rise, as more and more candidates cancel low attempts.

What does all this mean for MBA hopefuls? The pressure to perform is high and doing so takes advance planning! Personal MBA Coach has 5 tips to ensure you maximize your score.

1) Start earlier than you think! This may seem obvious, but with scores valid for up to 5 years and the ability to re-take the test, there is no reason to wait. In fact, the earlier in your career you take the test, the better. Most of the skills tested in the GMAT you mastered in undergrad (if not before) so the longer you wait, the less you will remember about reading comprehension and math fundamentals.

2) Take a practice test now to see your baseline. Even if you don’t intend to go full force on your studying just yet, take a practice test and see how you stack up. Check this score against your target schools to get a real sense of what it means. Getting a true feel for how much work you have ahead of you will allow you to be more honest with yourself when putting together a study plan.

3) Set a schedule for yourself. Be realistic in terms of how many weeks you will set aside for studying and how many hours in each week you can carve out. Putting pencil to paper on a study plan will make it easier to stick to and less likely that you will need to cram last minute or short change your prep time.

4) Think about how you learn best and use this to inform your study plan. You know how you learn best. Is it from a book? Is it online? Do you thrive with personal one-on-one support? There are countless support options available for the GMAT so think about what would be best for you and plan accordingly!

5) Read short articles in The Economist or Science every week. This is a great way to sharpen your reading comprehension skills and expand your vocabulary. Pick a few short articles every week and make your life easier come test time with very limited effort.

Need help? Personal MBA Coach offers one-on-one tutoring with experienced and accomplished tutors, including an MIT graduate with a 4.0 GPA. Our sessions are also conducted virtually so we can help clients all around the world. Our customized plans are designed to help you in the areas you need most. Tutoring does book up so don’t wait too long to reach out!

Wherever you are in the process, Personal MBA Coach is here to help. We cover everything from early planning, to GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring to comprehensive packages! We have been guiding candidates through all aspects of the MBA application process for over 10 years with a 96% success rate.

Call us today at 617-645-2424 or email at for a free consultation on your profile along with how we can help make your career dreams a reality!

#GMAT #PlanningAhead


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