Are you an international student who is thinking about taking the GMAT to get into a top business school?
The GMAT itself is a long (three and a half hours) standardized test that is used exclusively by business schools to help determine which students are most likely to do well in a graduate school environment.
While all students have questions about how to score well on the GMAT, the tips below are aimed specifically at international students.
Don’t be afraid to test more than once in order to get the best score possible.
Generally, schools cannot see previous scores, and even if they do they are more likely to be impressed by your efforts at improvement than disappointed by a lower initial score.
Use What You Know To Excel on the GMAT
Do you speak a language that shares common roots with English?
Are you familiar with Latin or Greek?
While there are many false cognates between languages, you may be surprised at how much of a boost you’re able to gain through the knowledge you already have.
Similarly, if you feel comfortable with math and quantitative subjects already, don’t feel like you’re being asked to reinvent the wheel just because the test format may be unfamiliar.
Take advantage of practice tests and materials to determine just how many of the test’s concepts you are already comfortable with.
Not only will it make studying for the GMAT faster, you’ll get a confidence boost by seeing how much you already know.
Immerse Yourself in English to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score
Even if you’re proficient in English, if you don’t find yourself reading and writing in the language every day it may be jarring to suddenly spend several hours taking a test written only in English.
Give yourself a couple of weeks before the test to be completely comfortable with not just understanding but solving problems in English, so that you don’t lose time on the test getting used to the language.
And remember, this tip isn’t only for students who are looking to improve their GMAT Verbal score!
The math test is also written only in English, so making sure you understand exactly what the question is asking you is vital to getting a good GMAT quantitative score as well.
Don’t Forget About Vocabulary to Increase Your GMAT Verbal Ability
Ok, we already told you to brush up on your English skills. But vocabulary is a second and more specific piece of the puzzle.
The next time you take a practice test, take a moment to highlight all the idioms and specific terminology that is unfamiliar to you.
These kinds of terms can make or break an answer, so make sure you feel comfortable with their meanings!
If many of them are new, make flashcards or study them in another way.
This is particularly important with vocabulary on the GMAT math test – there’s no sense in losing points on a concept you understood just because the language used was unfamiliar.
Learn to Perfect Your Timing on The GMAT Test
The most common mistake that students make when preparing for the GMAT –
both international and US-based students –
is spending all their time learning the material and not devoting any study time to practicing the pacing of the test.
You may be able to solve every single problem on the GMAT, but if you can’t do so in the time allotted, it won’t make a difference in your score.
International students are not always as familiar with the pacing of timed standardized tests as American students are, and computer adaptive tests add another layer of complexity.
Make sure that a significant part of your study process includes timed practice tests for the best GMAT results.
Ultimately, the GMAT is designed to help business school admissions committees find the best possible candidates.
If you find yourself wavering back and forth between answer choices on the test, ask yourself one question:
Which of these choices seems more in line with best practices for the business world?
It’s not the first thing you should think about when taking the test, but as a tie-breaker question, it’s not a bad way of approaching things.