eduabroad   December 28, 2017

International Education Consultant

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is part of the admission process for  MBA or other postgraduate degrees at most business schools in the USA and for some of the top-ranked business schools in other countries. Some postgraduate finance and economics programs use the GMAT as well. GMAT is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is used as part of the assessment criteria by most non-management,   postgraduate programs in USA { except Law and Medicine}.  Many universities,  in and outside the USA, are also using this as a measure to evaluate student potential to pursue various demanding post graduate programs.  Students must check with the website of their program to find out which test is required for admissions.

GRE is conducted by Education Testing Services.

GRE  & GMAT: Similarities  and Differences

Both the GMAT and GRE are computer adaptive (CAT) tests. Both tests have  3 sections:   Quantitative section, Verbal section, and a  Writing section. They test many similar qualities of a student like critical reasoning, logic, and analysis.   There are a  few minutes break after each section.

Verbal Reasoning — The skills measured include the test taker’s ability to

  • analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it
  • analyze relationships among component parts of sentences
  • recognize relationships between words and concepts

Quantitative Reasoning — The skills measured include the test taker’s ability to

  • understand basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis
  • reason quantitatively
  • solve problems in a quantitative setting

Analytical Writing — The skills measured include the test taker’s ability to

  • articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively
  • examine claims and accompanying evidence
  • support ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  • sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion
  • control the elements of standard written English


Total Time: 3 hours Total Time: 4 hours
Quantitative Section (45 minutes) Quantitative Section (75 minutes)
Skills Needed: Skills Needed :
Knowledge of mathematical formula Knowledge of mathematical formula
More numeric problems  Clarity of applications
Contains questions based on “data interpretation” (graphs) Emphasis on logical reasoning rather than numerical solutions in the Data Sufficiency section
. Word Problems     ·  Word Problems
· Quantitative Comparison     ·   Data Sufficiency
Verbal Section (30 minutes) Verbal Section (75 minutes)
Skills Needed: Skills Needed :
 Word power ie strong vocabulary; Comprehension of  textual material; Understanding of  Grammar Rules; Comprehension of  textual material; Critical  Analysis & interpretation of the text
·        Analogies ·        Critical Reasoning
·        Antonyms ·        Sentence Correction
·        Sentence Completion ·        Reading Comprehension
·        Reading Comprehension
Writing Section (75 minutes) Writing Section (60 minutes)
Skills Needed: Skills Needed :
Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively. Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively.
Ability to take a position; support position with convincing examples. Ability to take a position; support position with convincing examples
Present an argument through the analysis of two sides Present an argument through the analysis of two sides
Grammatically correct, flow and  format of   an English essay Grammatically correct, flow and  format of   an English essay
·   Analysis of Issue ·  Analysis of Issue
·  Analysis of an Argument ·   Analysis of an Argument

Strategies for High GRE/GMAT score

-Analyze your Strengths & Weaknesses and create a study plan unique to your abilities.

Complete at least two Full-Length Tests  [ Power prep tests or net based material] which will help you identify your strengths & weaknesses.Work out a study plan tackling your weak areas first. The best strategy is to focus on knowing the basics concepts, and then you will be prepared to tackle any twist in the examination. Without a strong grip on the basics, it is almost impossible to succeed by simply using shortcuts or guess strategies. Complete many practice exercises for each topic before tackling the full tests.  After each practice test, analyze your responses to determine ways in which you can improve speed and reduce ‘guess’ answers.

-Make sure you already know instructions inside and out.

The   GRE / GMAT are adaptive tests, which means that the level of difficulty of a question changes depending upon your performance.  All questions on the test do NOT carry equal marks. The questions at the higher difficulty level earn more points, so you must try to work at the higher level throughout the test. At the start of the test, questions are of medium difficulty. As you answer each question, the computer uses your correct responses to determine the next question. As long as you answer correctly, you will typically be given questions of increasing difficulty. When you respond incorrectly, you will typically be given less difficult questions. Answer the first few questions as best as you can.

– Do NOT leave any section unfinished

The penalty for unfinished questions is much higher than incorrect answers. While doing your practice tests, try to become more aware of how much time you have taken to answer a question. You will soon begin to develop an Internal Clock that will help you meet the pacing requirements.

– Make good use of the Scratch Paper

-The D Day

Sleep well. Be calm. Eat a piece of chocolate to give you an energy boost just before you begin.   Remember, during those tense hours, any rest break beyond the slotted time is at your peril!!!
Quantitative   Section:

The quantitative reasoning section in GRE General Test is further sub-divided into problem-solving, quantitative comparison and data analysis. Problem-solving focuses on the evaluation of quantitative aptitude while quantitative comparison and data analysis focus on the analytical and logical application of the concepts in mathematics.

At the outset, QC questions look very simple and tempting but they prove to be much trickier when attempted.  You need to have sound knowledge of numbers and other mathematical concepts.  Try  the following strategies required for tackling the  quantitative comparison section:

  • It is very important not to assume anything. Restricting yourself to the given hypothesis is a good way of avoiding the trap in the question.
  • The focus should be on comparison rather than doing big calculations.
  • The answer format is a standard one and knowing it well saves time in the actual examination.
  • The questions in this section are characterized by obvious mathematical traps; hence it is a good idea to re-check and confirm the answer before you register your answer during the test.

-Reading Comprehension in GRE & GMAT

There are passages on different topics like Science, History, Arts, Society etc.. Practice speed reading.  Read the passage quickly to get a rough idea of what the topic is about, and then go back to reading the bits required to answer each question.You are likely to find at least one question about the ‘Central Idea’ of the passage, so the first quick read helps here. For the other questions, you are likely to know which bit of the passage to read again, so this strategy usually works quite well.

-Sentence Correction in GMAT

During the preparation period, you must gain an understanding of basic sentence structure, and grammar rules like clauses (both independent and subordinate), subjects and tense; become familiar with standard rules like misplaced modifiers, parallel structure, subject-verb agreement etc.

-Analytical Writing Section

Issue Task

For the Issue task, you will be able to choose one of two essay topics selected by the computer from the pool of topics.  Practice writing responses on several of the topics, keeping to the time limit. Spend at least 3-4 minutes jotting down some points both for and against the statement. In support of every point trying to think of at least one reason or example.

  • What does the statement mean? What does it imply? What, precisely, is the central issue?
  • Do I agree with all or with any part of the statement? Why or why not?
  • Is the statement valid only in certain circumstances?
  • Do I need to explain how I interpret certain terms or concepts used in the statement?
  • If I take a certain position on the issue, what reasons support my position?
  • What examples — either hypothetical or drawn from my readings or direct experiences — could I use to illustrate those reasons and advance my point of view? Which examples are most compelling?
  • What reasons might someone use to refute or undermine my position? How should I acknowledge or defend against those views?
  • Try to cover both polar sides of the issue and various arguments on both sides. Don’t dwell on one point!
  • Begin your Issue essay by adopting a position on it.
  • Don’t waste time thinking about what position the evaluator will prefer. The evaluators are objective and only concerned with how persuasively you support your position with relevant reasons and examples, and how effectively you communicate your ideas.
  • Do NOT restate or paraphrase the statement.  You are wasting time.

Your final paragraph should recapitulate (sum up) your argument reiterating where you stand on the issue “in the final analysis,” and why. Don’t introduce any new examples, reasons, or ideas in your summary paragraph.

Argument Task

The Argument task does not offer a choice of topics; the computer will present you with a single topic selected from the topic pool. Practice writing responses to several of the topics within the time limit.

Be sure to read and analyze the argument carefully based on the following thought processes:

  •  What claims, conclusions and underlying assumptions does the argument make?
  •  What alternative explanations and counterexamples can you think of?
  •  What might additional evidence weaken or strengthen the claims?
  •  What changes in the argument would make the reasoning sounder?
  •  For every point you make in the essay, always provide a reason and/or an example to support that point!
  •  Pay close attention to writing mechanics, grammar, sentence construction, word usage.
  •  You may refer to yourself in your essays to express your opinion or views. Just don’t overdo it.
  •  Don’t try to impress the reader with your vocabulary. Do not use big words which are not in your normal vocabulary as you run the risk of misusing them.D Day

-Carry your TEST Confirmation letter

Valid, Original  Passport is the ONLY acceptable ID in India.

Immediately after taking the timed exam section, you’ll be subjected to a brief computer-based questionnaire about your test-taking experience. Once you’ve completed the questionnaire, the system will prompt you to choose one of two options:- Cancel your scores  OR   See your scores immediately.  Once you’ve elected to see your scores, the system will ask you to select the universities to receive your score report. The computer system provides a complete list of academic institutions, and you can select up to five for GMAT, four for GRE  at this time — without incurring an additional fee.  Anytime later, you can still send score reports to universities but you’ll have to pay for each score report.

Material   Recommended

The Official Guide

If you have to read only one book, this guide published by the respective conducting body is the best choice !! You should thoroughly read all explanations to understand why an answer is correct and another one is wrong.

Kaplan Verbal and Math Workbooks to go over some of the basic material

Princeton CD
Has one of the best AWA explanations.

Kaplan CD for GMAT
Is generally considered to be the more difficult material, so your score on these tests is likely to be less than in the real test.

‘How to Read Faster and Better’ by Norman Lewis

Wren & Martin; Grubber;  for grammar.

By Dr. Pratibha Jain
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