Posted on
13
Jul 2022

Enhance Your GMAT Strategy in Under 20 Minutes

Whether it has been a couple months or a couple days into your GMAT prep, finding innovative ways to incorporate GMAT prep into your daily routine can be vital to achieving the best score possible. Whether it is during your morning commute, or while getting ready for bed, here are 5 tips which can enhance your GMAT score in under 20 minutes

1. Read, LISTEN, repeat 

Some of the most handy ways to integrate GMAT learning into your everyday schedule is to use your eyes and ears. Pick-up a Newspaper, or start listening to a political podcast. These types of mediums are full of new vocabulary that you may encounter on the GMAT verbal section. If possible, we suggest writing down your new words in a separate notebook, including definition and usage. Keep this list on you, and review and refresh your memory when you get the chance. This type of exercise is great for quick learning, as you can expand your vocabulary while commuting into work or while going on a daily run. 

2. Practice Reviewing

So let’s assume you have listened to a podcast, or read an article. The next best thing, besides writing down any new vocabulary, is to practice rewriting what you have just heard (or read) in your own words. We suggest spending 10 minutes writing a summary of what you just heard or read. Then, review your work and make corrections where necessary. Try to put your newly learned vocabulary into practice during this exercise as well! This little trick is something you can do in under 20 minutes, and will help you put into practice your newly learned vocabulary while strengthening the part of your brain that deals with writing and sentence structure. 

3. Flashcards (for quant!?)

Yes, flashcards may seem cliché when it comes to studying for tests, but they work! In addition to using flashcards to memorize vocabulary, you can also use flashcards to memorize necessary math formulas. Write down tricky math formulas which you may find useful for the exam. While riding the train to work, or while brushing your teeth, flip through the flashcards! 

4. Get a Study Buddy 

Find someone who is also taking the GMAT exam and find time to study with them! Just meeting up for 20 minutes can help you get more comfortable with the exam and ask questions about their GMAT prep. Even if you are not actively studying! Grabbing coffee and complaining about the rigors of studying with a fellow GMAT test-taker. This can be a huge anxiety release (for both of you!). By sharing your studying experiences, you may even pick-up some new tricks yourself. 

5. Focus on Your Mental Health

Take those 20-minute breaks (whether alone or with a buddy). Meditate, breathe, take a walk. These simple breaks can help you succeed in the long run. Being anxious about the upcoming exam is normal. But filling up with stress won’t help you much on the day of the exam. This is why finding opportunities to study that don’t feel like studying can be helpful for your mental health. Listening to podcasts and reading a magazine article can be soothing. If you enjoy doing math, then simply jotting down some practice problems while waiting at a restaurant or before going to bed can all be things which help alleviate your stress while strengthening your GMAT knowledge. 

 

Regardless of where you are in your GMAT journey, we here at ApexGMAT are here to help. We offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with all interested GMAT studiers. You can contact us here! 

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Posted on
22
Feb 2022

GMAT Scores & Percentiles

When applying to business school, the GMAT is often an inevitability. Most top-tier business schools require students to take the exam. While many programs claim that they do not have a GMAT minimum for admissions, it is important to aim for a score that lands you in a top GMAT percentile. Achieving a top score may not guarantee admission, however, it will offer you a better shot at getting into the school of your dreams. 

GMAT Percentile Rankings

Below is a chart of recent GMAT percentiles (Collected between 2018-2020). When looking at potential MBA programs, take a look at previous admissions statistics. Knowing the average GMAT score of previously admitted students can give you a baseline to aim for. Striving for the average, means you have a better likelihood of getting a score above or around this. Giving you a higher chance at admissions.

GMAT Percentile Rankings

GMAT Percentiles Interpretation 

Interpreting the GMAT percentiles requires knowing how the GMAT is scored. The total score comprises the Verbal and Quantitative sections. These two scores show the admissions committee your higher-order reasoning skills. These scores are able to predict a student’s successes in graduate school. The scores range from 200 to 800, with the majority of test-takers (about two-thirds) testing between 400 and 600. When comparing your score to other test-takers, it is important to look at percentile rankings.

When reading a percentile ranking chart find your score on the chart. Let us assume you scored a 650 on the exam. This lands you in the 72nd percentile. Meaning your score is higher than 72% of test-takers. Those scoring an 800, for example, are in the 99th percentile. This means that they achieved a score higher than 99% of all test takers. Important to remember is that percentile rankings change each year. This is because as more and more students take the exam, the total scores achieved change and your percentile ranking changes with it.

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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Understand GMAT Scoring
Posted on
04
Jan 2022

Understand GMAT Scoring – How Does GMAT Scoring Work?

While you’re preparing for your GMAT exam, it is a good idea to understand how your performance will be evaluated. The GMAT isn’t a pass/fail examination. It consists of four components and yields five scores: one from each section (divided into a scaled score and percentile rank), and a fifth total score derived from the Quantitative and Verbal sections combined. Because of the quant-heavy focus of MBA and business programs, some admissions committees place more weight on applicants’ quant scores. Although, equal attention should be paid to all sections of the GMAT so that you present yourself to the admissions committee in your best light!  We have compiled this short article, to help you understand GMAT scoring. 

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Score

Most GMAT Integrated Reasoning problems have several sections, and you must properly answer all parts of a question to receive credit for that question. Up to three of the 12 questions in the Integrated Reasoning section are experimental and do not count against your final GMAT IR score. Nevertheless, because there is no way of knowing which questions are experimental, you should put the same amount of effort into each one. As with the other parts of the GMAT exam, your total IR score ranges from 1 to 8. Taking into consideration your overall question profile, rather than the number of successfully answered questions.

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment Score

The essay is assessed separately by a specially created computer software and a human scorer. The two results are then averaged to determine your total GMAT AWA score. The AWA has a range of scores from 0 to 6 (in half-point intervals). If the two assessments disagree by more than one point, a third evaluation is given by an expert (human) rater.

These experts are college and university professors who examine the following factors:

    • Your capacity to organize, develop, and convey your thoughts, as well as the quality of your ideas.
    • Reasons and examples to back up your claim. 
    • Controlling the components of written English to sound as professional as possible.

When it comes to grading the replies of people whose first language is not English, the raters are attentive and fair.

Verbal, Quantitative, and GMAT Total Scores

The total GMAT score, which varies from 200 to 800, is derived from both the quantitative and verbal scores. We’ll go through these two components first, then how they fit together to make the ultimate GMAT score. Each component of the test is evaluated independently, with scaled scores ranging from 0 to 60. These scores should not be compared to one other because they measure distinct factors, such as your analytic and logic skills. Rather, each should be considered on its own, and each has its own percentile distribution.

GMAT Percentile Ranking

The GMAT also includes a percentile ranking, which displays the percentage of test-takers who scored at or below a certain score; the greater the percentile ranking, the more competitive the score. Because rankings are updated every summer using exam data from the previous three years, the same score may have a different percentile number in different years. Unless you’re submitting an application based on an old GMAT (from more than three years ago), this shouldn’t be a big deal. Also, check to see if your GMAT percentile has changed significantly and if so, note it in your application.

Finally, What’s a Good GMAT Score?

This article should have helped you understand GMAT scoring. A decent GMAT score is above 640 (about in the 70th percentile), whereas an exceptional score is 700 or higher (around the 90th percentile). The average score for students admitted to the top 50 MBA programs is about 660; you can find this information on the admissions website of a specific institution.

Regardless of your GMAT score, keep in mind that your score is just one piece of information in a larger picture that includes your essays, entrance interviews, undergraduate GPA, recommendation letters, job experience, prestige, and extracurricular participation. If your goal is to attend a top B-School, a high GMAT score is essential, but it is not everything. Remember that your resume, academic transcripts, and extra-curriculars also play a role in the admissions process.

 

Contributor: Nemrout Safarian

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GMAT Score on Resume
Posted on
28
Dec 2021

Does Your GMAT Score Belong On Your Resume?

We here at Apex get a lot of questions from our clients asking if putting their GMAT score on their resume will help them during their job search. And our answer is, it depends! For some jobs, your GMAT score can be a deciding factor for prospective employers, for others they won’t even consider your GMAT score. This can be confusing when it comes to structuring your resume during your job search. We have a standard rule of thumb here at Apex. 

Before we get to that, it is important to understand what a GMAT score is, and what it says about you.

GMAT Score – How important is it? 

The GMAT evaluates your quantitative and qualitative capabilities as well as your analytical writing skills. It tells admissions committees that you can handle the rigors of an MBA program. And in doing so, compares you against other GMAT test-takers using its percentile ranking system

GMAT Score on Resume Survey While most top business schools require GMAT scores for the admissions process, not every company does. A 2018 Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) survey determined that only 6% of surveyed companies use applicants’ GMAT scores in their employee selection process. Apart from that 6%, 21% stated that though a high GMAT score may help a potential job candidate, the GMAT overall doesn’t normally play a significant role in the selection process. While the majority of companies (72%) don’t consider GMAT scores at all.

This may seem to answer your question regarding whether your GMAT score belongs on your resume. But be aware! The 6% of companies that do use GMAT scores to vet job candidates are the crop businesses in the world. All major banking, investment, and consulting firms, including Accenture and Goldman Sachs, require high GMAT scores for all positions – even internships. 

Most of these firms specialize in quantitative-intensive labor. As a result, the quantitative section tends to carry more weight. For example, if a candidate has an overall score of 680, but a quantitative score of 51, he or she has a good chance of getting an interview at a major firm.

Before deciding whether to put your GMAT score on your resume, consider the following: 

Firstly, you should only list your GMAT score on your resume if it happens to be very strong. Think, over 700+, strong. There is no need to add your score if a prospective employer questions why you were not able to score higher. 

Second, it depends on where you are applying. Employers who tend to consider the GMAT score are the same industries that value the MBA: finance, banking, consulting. When applying to any of these industries, you can be fairly sure that they will respond favorably to your GMAT score (provided you have a strong one!). 

Third, you need to consider the reason one would take the GMAT: The GMAT is a psychometric exam, it measures more than just what you know. The GMAT also measures how you think. Numerous industries have tests for prospective applicants in order to weed out those who may not be an intellectual fit in their company. That means your GMAT score will signal to the HR department that you are a strong candidate and you successfully pass the testing bar. 

Final Remarks

Ultimately, whether you add your GMAT score to the resume is up to you. It comes down to where you are applying, what your score is, and whether your potential employer has a test for prospective applicants. Not only do we help our clients achieve an elite 700+ GMAT score, but we also provide them with advice during their university and job search. If you are in the middle of studying for the GMAT and are looking for a private GMAT tutor, our elite tutors have all scored over a 770 on the GMAT and have years of professional experience with tutoring. You can meet with us for a 30-minute complimentary consultation call. To learn more about what it means to add your GMAT score to your resume, you can watch Mike explain further in this video

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio 

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700+ GMAT score
Posted on
07
Dec 2021

Is it possible to get a 700 on GMAT by self-study?

Those of you who are preparing for the GMAT have probably come across the price tag of a private tutor. You are not alone if the cost is a bit off-putting. Too often those put off by the price of a private GMAT tutor attempt to achieve a 700+ score on their own. Some are successful. Many more are not. There is more to achieving a 700+ than what meets the eye. 

We here at Apex have helped dozens of clients achieve a 700+ on the GMAT. All of whom realized during their prep that the only way to achieve their goal is with help. Asking for help is a noble thing to do and, more often than not, those highly successful individuals you see attend a top-ten B-school didn’t go it alone. They had help. Often, in the form of a private tutor. 

But we are not here to convince you that a private tutor is the be-all and end-all to GMAT studying. In this article, we break down whether you are one of those few who are able to achieve a 700+ GMAT score without the support of a private tutor. 

  • YES, you can! But…

To answer your question. Yes. It is possible to achieve a 700+ on the GMAT without hiring a private GMAT tutor. But just because one can doesn’t necessarily mean one should. What do we mean by this? Well, studying – as you are well aware – is stressful. Attempting to ‘go it alone’ is even more stressful. 

Let’s assume you study 10 hours a week, and you notice practice exam after practice exam that you are not surpassing a 650 or 660. Sure, you can bump up the amount of hours you are studying, but this might just turn into a waste of time. You see, studying doesn’t always come down to the amount of hours you put into it. Achieving success on the GMAT is highly dependent on your testing strategy. A strategy that even an extra 5 hours of studying won’t help you fix. 

  • Your testing strategy is EVERYTHING. 

The testing strategy you choose to adopt is the one that can make, or break, your GMAT goal. If you are determined to ‘go it alone’ and not hire a private GMAT tutor, then watch videos where professionals can help break down different types of test-taking strategies.

Here, for example, Mike explains where test-takers go wrong when it comes to studying for the GMAT quantitative portion. While this strategy might suit some, it doesn’t fit everyone. This is where a private tutor comes into play, they are able to work with your strengths and weaknesses and find a strategy that is best for you. For many of our clients attempting to surpass the 700 mark, getting an objective and professional perspective is what pushes them towards their goal. 

  • The Pros and Cons.

Weigh out the pros and cons. Studying, if you do it right, is time-consuming. GMAT private tutors, if you choose a good one, are pricey. And while a private tutor may not reduce your studying time to 0.5 hours a week, what they can do is guide you towards your goal without having you waste your precious time. An excellent one-on-one GMAT instructor has a keen eye, and is able to notice where you might be struggling – or excelling – without you ever knowing it. And while a private tutor may be pricey, at the end of the day achieving your goal of a 700+ GMAT score will pay back the cost of a private tutor 10-fold. Don’t believe us? Getting a high GMAT score can open doorways to top B-schools and even future professional opportunities.  

  • It comes down to Statistics. 

Still wondering whether you can achieve a 700+ GMAT score on your own? Take a look at some of the GMAT percentiles from 2020. Only about 20% of the test takers achieve a 700+ score. And the majority of them utilize help in some form or another. We have found very few individuals who are able to achieve a 700+ purely on their own. And while it is possible, sometimes skill isn’t the only factor at play for achieving a 700+. 

As we talked about earlier, strategy plays a huge factor in your abilities as does looking at things from a fresh perspective. If achieving a 700+ on the GMAT was easy, well, then everyone would do it! But it is difficult for a reason. B-Schools want to be sure that their students are up for the challenge of an MBA. And just like you won’t go through business school all alone, why expect to go through the GMAT studying experience all by yourself as well? 

Apex’s Approach to 700+ GMAT Score 

We here at ApexGMAT pride ourselves on helping clients achieve a GMAT score above a 700+. We often get clients coming to us who have found themselves plateauing around the 660 mark after attempting a 700+ on their own. We are able to develop a strategy with them. Keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses. And because all of our tutors have scored above a 770 on the GMAT and have years of tutoring experience behind them, we are well equipped to help any type of learner. 

If you are interested in speaking with one of our GMAT tutors, you can sign-up for a complimentary, 30-minute, consultation call. You can also learn more from our past clients who were able to achieve their 700+ score with us!

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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Successful GMAT Prep - 5 Things You Need To Know
Posted on
09
Nov 2021

Successful GMAT Prep – 5 Things You Need to Know To Ace The GMAT

By: ApexGMAT
Date: October 28, 2021

The GMAT is one of the greatest challenges that many people face on the road to their MBA acceptance, but it doesn’t have to be. For many, the anxiety surrounding the GMAT is due to it being a largely misunderstood challenge. Contrary to what you might think, the GMAT represents an opportunity to illustrate your creativity and improve your critical and creative thinking skills, not just revise your knowledge of high school math and grammar. When properly preparing for the exam you’ll develop:

  • new ways to approach solving problems of all sorts
  • novel techniques for organizing and characterizing information
  • the ability to curate your own thought process to become a more effective thinker

With this in mind, I’d like to discuss five key points to help you get into the correct mindset for a successful (read: transformative) and low-stress GMAT preparation experience.

1. You are not your GMAT.

Many people use their GMAT score to define their abilities across a range of fields, their value as an applicant, or, even more insidiously, in a greater self-esteem context.

You are not your GMAT!

Your GMAT score doesn’t represent how smart you are or how capable you are as a person, student, or professional. It certainly doesn’t deliver the distinct mix of characteristics that make you, well, you. What admissions committees are seeking when they look at your GMAT score is a set of skills that are valuable in a number of ways (more on this later), but tying your self-worth up in a number is perilous, to say the least.

Putting the self-esteem aspect aside for a moment, identifying yourself with your GMAT means that you are giving short shrift to who you are as a person outside of a testing environment – you know who I’m talking about, the badass who has already achieved so much and is on track for so much more. There is no need to put additional pressure on yourself to perform well on the GMAT to prove to yourself, or to your family, friends, or an admissions committee how “valuable” you are, how smart you are, or how capable you are.

From our perspective as teachers, we also see this occur frequently in the other direction, with tutors who apply to work with us. They define themselves by their GMAT success rather than their ability as educators. We reject many potential tutors out of hand, despite their having a 770+ score, because a score is simply a number on a piece of paper; we seek people who understand others, are strong communicators, and who are always growing as educators.

Takeaway: By focusing on your score, rather than developing stronger critical and creative thinking skills, you’re missing the point of the GMAT.

2. The GMAT is both easier and harder than you think.

I know this sounds counterintuitive, but bear with me.

The stigma of the GMAT – that it’s a terribly difficult exam – affects the performance of most test takers. This hyperbole can cause you to freeze up and underperform. The people who make the GMAT out to be more difficult than it is, in the end, hold themselves back by placing it on a pedestal and treating it with too much reverence.

The GMAT is certainly an exceptionally challenging exam that will push you to your limits. There is no mistaking that. Further, it compares you to your peers – people who have similar levels of skill and experience, hence gaining a competitive edge seems nearly impossible without working harder. However, because most people make it out to be harder than it is, they end up holding themselves back.

Conversely, the GMAT is easier than you think because it rewards informality and creative thinking, especially on the math side. A successful GMATter can use intuition and clear, logical reasoning in order to solve the most intractable problems.

Because of this seeming dichotomy, test takers bring to the exam a paradigm of thought that is very restrictive. By not looking for an accessible or intuitive answer – the most efficient answer of methodology to solve a problem – they restrict their options and make their task all the more challenging.

Once you free yourself of the academic restraints that come from the burden of too formal an education, whether with math or language, and utilize your intuitive reasoning mind, all of a sudden GMAT problems become much more simple and straightforward.

Let’s look at an example:

Since implementing new work protocols at the start of 2020, every employee’s efficiency in the factory has increased by 33%, leading to layoffs of 25% of the workforce. Assuming no other changes, and that each worker has the same level of productivity, if the factory produced $20 m worth of widgets in 2019, what value of widgets did it produce in 2020?

  1. $10 m
  2. $13.3 m
  3. $16.75 m
  4. $20 m
  5. $33.25 m

It’s very easy to dive into doing a lot of math here, but the real skill is finding what’s important, and realizing that there’s little math to be done.

First, focus on only the important information: Efficiency +33% and Workforce -25%.

Second, realize that you’re not constrained to using percentages: Efficiency +⅓ and Workforce -1/4.

Finally, understand that these changes are built upon the existing base. Efficiency 4/3 as much and Workforce ¾ as much. These changes cancel out! The more problems you do, the more sensitive you become to the ways that simple truths can be communicated in unnecessarily complex ways, but if you just keep hitting the math you’ll never get there.

Takeaway: The most challenging part of the GMAT is dehabituating the solutions paths that you’ve locked in through your training at school and allowing yourself the mental flexibility to really explore, be creative, and go with your gut.

3. Don’t force it. It’s not a knowledge test.

There is a great misconception that the GMAT is just about knowing how to solve every problem that they might throw at you, and knowing how to do so before you’re actually sitting in the exam.

In fact, while you need to know all the concepts that are being tested, the exam is not testing your knowledge of these mechanics. Rather, the exam tests your depth of knowledge. The contextual relationship between the rules and the correct answer is often hidden in the space between two concepts, as in the example above. Examining how those rules can be bent, or broken, or how they relate to other rules, can lead to new insights that you wouldn’t think were otherwise there.

Takeaway: It’s a conversation, not a play. There is no script. Being prepared means being able to handle the unknown challenges that will come your way, not knowing exactly what to say in advance. You’ll never be totally prepared, because you’ll never know what the other person will say.

4. Most performance issues are not intellectual.

Many high achievers come to the GMAT and find themselves plateauing in the mid-upper 600s or low 700s. They think that a lack of fluency or a deeper understanding of the material is what’s holding them back.

True GMAT success is governed by the recognition that it is a test of acuity, confidence, and temperament. For example, being comfortable in uncertainty, making decisions quickly, and finding out of the box solutions are all highly rewarded skills in this exam.

A general understanding of the dynamics of a problem, rather than a precise answer, are often the characteristics that allow people to truly excel, especially on the most challenging questions. So much of success on the GMAT at the highest levels is about managing the emotional and behavioural stresses, not the intellectual challenge. Being able to regulate your anxiety, self-confidence/questioning, and overall comfort can impact your GMAT score significantly once you’re past 700, where each second and every unique approach can mean extra points.

Takeaway: Once you’re in the upper 600s, improvement comes from focusing on non-intellectual elements. Preparing for these challenges from the start is what makes for the most rapid, fluid, and meaningful preparation.

5. Most people don’t do it alone

The dirty little secret that no one talks about is that nearly every high-achiever seeks assistance to obtain a great GMAT score. This is all the more true in those places where the smartest people congregate. People don’t speak about getting help because they are usually in environments, whether academic or professional, where they are valued for their intellectual ability and feel that it is a mark of shame to not be able to “go it alone.”

We have so many clients that come to us from McKinsey and BCG, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanely, Google, Apple, et cetera, who are not comfortable sharing with their peers or family the fact that they have sought help. This is because they fear that their admission will in some way diminish their achievements or their cachet in the eyes of those they respect most.

There is no shame in seeking help, even if it is the first time you’ve ever needed to (for many of our top performing clients, we’re the first tutor they’ve ever needed in their lives). You may have found yourself at a great school or already landed your first job and thus consider yourself exceptionally successful. But the GMAT is pitting you against those who are of a similar ilk and so going it alone is fraught with difficulties. One of these difficulties being the ability to gain a competitive edge after being homogenized for so long in academic or corporate environments.

This can often lead to frustration, sadness, and sometimes missing the boat entirely on the next stage of your life. It is important to recognize that everyone, all those people that you respect and admire most, at one point or another, have needed help, and have had to ask for help.

Takeaway: Don’t hesitate to ask for help. That’s what strong people do. It’s what leaders do. It’s what those who are the most successful do. Never go it alone. 

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GMAT score use in employment
Posted on
05
Aug 2021

Why is your GMAT Score Important for Prospective Jobs?

By: Apex GMAT
Date: 5th August 2021

Taking the GMAT and getting a 700+ score is not only going to help you pursue your MBA career, it will also facilitate additional professional benefits. Indeed, the GMAT requires far more skills than just the math or verbal skills that are tested, and success can be evidence of an array of capabilities. Read on to find out what GMAT score use in employment is and why more employers are taking candidates’ GMAT scores into account in hiring decisions.

Of course, a high GMAT score primarily makes one stand out from other job applicants. Moreover, it is also a clear and objective indicator of your integrated reasoning abilities, as well as your analytical, verbal, and quantitative reasoning skills. Particularly for those interested in applying for finance, investment, or business-related employment, an excellent GMAT score can be proof of expertise in the aforementioned categories. 

At the surface level, a high score in the quant section demonstrates that a candidate can solve and interpret numerical problems. More significantly, it also implies that the applicant can be trusted with complex calculations, extensive financial reports, and other major related tasks. Furthermore, a candidate’s integrated reasoning skills will be seen to be of great professional value, especially when working with a large amount of data from multiple sources. Extrapolating the right takeaways and decision-making points from this wide array of data is a skill highly sought after by employers.  

The GMAT’s testing of analytical writing and verbal reasoning skills have implications for a candidate’s professional capabilities. Scores in these sections speak to the applicant’s capacity for critical thinking as well as how clearly and precisely they can express their ideas in written form.

Ultimately, the GMAT score helps employers select their hires based on information gleaned from standardized testing, and not just personal characteristics or experience. This allows for a selection process that is much more comprehensive. 

Since the GMAT is a requirement for MBA admission, a high score also indicates that the candidate has been admitted to a prestigious and academically rigorous university. Potential employers perceive such individuals as having a high-quality education from top-notch professors. Many of whom have worked in their industry. 

Finally, a candidate with a high GMAT score is also better placed to perform well during a job interview than someone who has never prepared for such a test. By putting his/her critical thinking and verbal reasoning skills into practice, a job candidate with a 700+ score is more likely to excel at answering questions that require the application of analytical and logical skills. Moreover, having taken the GMAT, prospective hires enjoy minimal interview anxiety or stress, because they were trained to manage such issues while preparing for the test. Additionally, they may be exempt from taking company interview tasks due to their performance on the GMAT. 

For all these reasons, employers will always value individuals with high GMAT scores, giving them preference over the job seekers with low or no GMAT scores. For more information regarding the GMAT Scoring, GMAT Scoring Demystified is a very insightful article to read.  

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7 Daily Practices For GMAT Success - GMAT Guide
Posted on
08
Jul 2021

7 Daily Practices For GMAT Success

By: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Ruzanna Mirzoyan
Date: 8th July 2021

7 Things You Need To Do Daily When Preparing For The GMAT (GMAT Guide)

  1. Visualize success and the value you will get in the end
  2. Review a the GMAT sections
  3. Set a time limit for each day
  4. Do not forget to reward yourself
  5. Forget about the target score only focus on improvement
  6. Give yourself a pep talk 
  7. Evaluate Yourself Honestly

     Achieving a great score on the GMAT exam is not an easy task. The overall preparation process is daunting for a majority of test takers, especially for non-native English speakers. It requires diligent work and a daily checklist that you need to follow. So how do you come up with a plan that works? This article covers seven tips for successful GMAT prep which will guide you throughout the entire process. Even though every individual taking the exam has different expectations, experiences and may be approaching the test in a different way, sticking to a daily routine is an integral part of test success; the most difficult thing is adhering to it, avoiding procrastination and maintaining motivation. Therefore, after learning all the exam basics, such as the timing, the sections, and the preparation materials, it is worth creating a checklist to help keep you on track.

Visualize success and the value you will get in the end

The thought of success can create happiness! Once we attain something that seemed difficult initially, the suspense wears off, and the excitement rapidly grows. By taking time every day to imagine achieving your goal you can stay motivated and on the right path. When we experience happiness our brain releases serotonin, the hormone responsible for happiness. By keeping the picture of accomplishment in our mind, this happiness never fades. Hence, if every day contains even a tiny bit of happiness, even the most complex struggles seem simpler to overcome. Whether the GMAT exam is a struggle or not, happiness and motivation are something that one undoubtedly always lacks. Do your best to look at the bigger picture and think of the steps that will expedite reaching the top.

Review the GMAT exam sections

Whether you have a private GMAT tutor or are studying on your own, be sure to review difficult parts of the overall format of the exam every day before going through your study materials, for example the data sufficiency answer choices. You may do a short quiz on quantitative, verbal, or integrated reasoning to keep pace with timing and question types. You can consider this form of revision as stretching your brain muscles before the main exercise. Doing a simple GMAT quiz each time will make you more cautious about time management and remind you about the type of questions that you may have already mastered in previous study sessions.

Set a study time limit for each day

As it is said, time is the only non-redeemable commodity, so proper allocation is a fundamental key to success. We recommend you have a specific time allocation for GMAT prep each day. That can be some time for weekday preparation and extension on the weekends. Ensure the limit you set for yourself is reasonable because procrastinating one day and doubling the hours the next day does not work out. It does not matter how many months you have on your hands; the significant thing is precise allocation. If you want to get a decent score, you must spend approximately 100-120 hours reviewing the materials and practicing. However, top scorers usually  spend 120+ hours studying. Whether you belong to the former or the latter category, remember that time is the most expensive investment you are making. At the same time keep in mind that your study-life balance should be of utmost importance. 

Do not forget to reward yourself

It is not a secret that the GMAT is burdensome and overwhelming, and preparing for it can be stressful and oftentimes disheartening. Not having small rewards to look forward to can lead to demotivation. Rewards are things that rejuvenate your broken concentration. Try something like the Pomodoro Technique. This technique helps break down time into intervals with short breaks. Instead of breaks, you can think of something ‘non-GMAT related’ that will make you regain focus. For example, by grabbing a quick snack, meditating, or walking around the house or even watching a short YouTube video. Whichever works best for you, make use of it; even brief respites retain your stamina. Finally, never forget about the bigger reward; your final score. 

Forget about the target score, only focus on improvement

GMAT preparation practices do generate plight both in physical and mental states. It is crucial to remind oneself of the improvement phases. We agree that everything you are going through is for the final score. But focusing on the final score too much can frustrate you if you are not making big leaps towards it, which in turn can be counter productive. All successful practices dictate that you should focus on one thing at a time, which improves every day until the exam day. When the exam day comes, you will utilize all the knowledge and effort to get the highest GMAT score possible. Keeping daily track of your improvements relieves some of the burden on your shoulders. Even the tiniest advantage acquired can be a game changer. For instance, finishing each section a minute earlier than before will eventually contribute to achieving more significant results on the exam day, or perfecting a solution path which has you approaching a host of GMAT problems in a more efficient manner. These small wins can be the fuel to keep you going. 

Give yourself a pep talk 

I am sure you receive a lot of support from the people surrounding you. However, self-encouragement is of the utmost importance. Look around, see what others are doing at your age and inspire yourself. Choose wisely between the tradeoffs. Such as choosing to study instead of partying. Giving yourself a daily pep talk will make you more enthusiastic about reaching your objectives. A recent scientific study has shown that talking to yourself dwindles anxiety and stress while boosting performance. This is no less true for GMAT test preparation. Give yourself motivational and instructional pep talks. This method promotes positivity as motivational talks cheer you up and keep up the eagerness to study and strive for more, while a self-instructional talk directs detail-orientation and accentuates what exactly you need to do for that particular day. For example, start every day by loudly stating what should be done for the day. It helps with thinking about the mechanisms of every individual task and visualizing methods to complete them correspondingly. 

Evaluate Yourself Honestly

Of course, you need all the encouragement and self-support to reach your goals, but especially during GMAT exam preparation, you need to be hard on yourself if required. If you need a 650+ GMAT score, you should be aware that it will not be a piece of cake. Give yourself credit for what you are doing right, but also consider aspects of the GMAT problems that you need to elaborate on and master additional skills. The dominant thing is separating the action from the person because you are evaluating your actions and not you as a person; you should not upset yourself but rather detect the triggers of low performance and challenges and make yourself accountable for such actions with a plan to move forward from them successfully. Ultimately, the ability to discern your flaws and work on personal evolution is an inherent quality for capacitating your abilities and aptitudes and pulling it off in life. 

We hope that adding these practical and mindful aspects to your daily preparation will be helpful as when you are preparing for an exam like the GMAT, being in the right mind frame can be as important as doing the quant or verbal practice. Whether you have a GMAT private tutor or not, it is on you to maintain motivation during the entire process. We suggest you develop a GMAT test strategy along with these seven tips to attain greater productivity and manifest superb performance. Make studying for the GMAT a daily habit and success will follow. 

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What a 700 GMAT score can do for you!
Posted on
22
Jun 2021

What a 700 GMAT score can do for you!

By: Dana Coggio
Date: 22nd June 2021

Why a 700 GMAT score is such a good score 

GMAT scores range from between 200-800, with ⅔ of scores falling between 400-600. The average GMAT score is around 560. That being said, as of 2019,  scoring a 700 on the GMAT means you will be ranked within the 88th percentile. Keep in mind, percentile rankings can change yearly, so be sure to double check the percentile rankings of the year you are planning on taking the GMAT. Achieving such a high score can help plump up your application and puts you as a top contender during many application processes. 

Because the GMAT score measures your ability to problem solve in academic and professional settings, a high score of 700 will show prospective admissions or hiring teams that you are a qualified candidate. In addition, achieving a high score can help make-up for any weaknesses that may appear elsewhere in your application. If you are striving to get into a top-tier B-school, then a 700+ score is a must. Top-tier business schools are flooded with MBA applications each year, and admissions teams often organize initial applicants based on GMAT scores before they even address other parts of your application.

When beginning to study for the GMAT, be sure to look up the average scores of the schools you wish to apply for. This will give you a good idea of where you need to put your efforts when studying for the exam. Your 700 GMAT score will also follow you as you leave the academic world and transfer into the professional realm. Your prospective employers may take a look at your GMAT score. Having a strong score will create a strong application. 

Why a 700+ score is difficult to achieve (and how you can succeed in getting one!) 

Your ability to do well on the GMAT comes down to you as an individual and test taker. Some people may do well with the format of the GMAT, while others struggle with its structure. That being said, achieving a 700+ score on the GMAT requires extensive studying regardless of your skill level. If you are a student who performs well on standardized tests, then the GMAT structure is something you may be quite comfortable with. For those who struggle with such standardized tests (don’t worry, you are not alone!) achieving a high score means more than just learning how to answer multiple choice questions. You will have to crack the code of how standardized tests operate and the tricks needed to ace the format. 

Cracking the GMAT code is not always something you can do alone. Often, future MBA students reach out to private tutors to help them ace the exam. Apex GMAT is one such private tutoring firm which specializes in helping high achievers reach a 700+ score on the GMAT. A proper private tutor will help you not just learn how to answer GMAT questions, but rather they should play to your strengths and weaknesses and help you grasp the ins and outs of the exam itself. Because of the GMAT’s extensive structure, working with a private tutor is always an investment well made. If you are interested in learning more about what working with a private tutor is like, check out this article: How can Private Tutoring help you score a 700+ on the GMAT? If you would like to have a complimentary consultation call with a private GMAT tutor, check out this link HERE

How a 700 on the GMAT helps your MBA Application

Whether it is Harvard Business school or INSEAD, your application to a top-tier business school almost requires a GMAT score that exceeds a 700. According to the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings, there isn’t a single US top 25 Business school that has an average GMAT score acceptance rate of under 700. Even European Business schools have exceptionally high GMAT score acceptance rates, although the GMAT averages of US business schools tend to be higher. 

In addition to the other aspects of your MBA application…

  1. Admissions Interview
  2. Undergraduate GPA
  3. Recommendations
  4. Essay Questions

…your Total GMAT Score and your GMAT Quant Score plays a large role in your application. According to Poets and Quant, your MBA application is broken down in the following ways: 

Other includes: International Experience, Languages, Industry of Employer and Undergraduate Major

This breakdown of your application shows that MBA admissions teams look largely at your GMAT scores. Investing in achieving a high GMAT score means you are investing in your ability to be a competitive prospective MBA applicant. 

How scoring a 700 on the GMAT can help during your job search

While you begin preparing to apply to MBA programs, your future prospects in the professional world may be the last thing on your mind. Or, perhaps, you have a goal to work for a top marketing or investment banking firm and you’re intent on attending a top B-school in order to be an outstanding candidate. Either way, investing early on in achieving a 700+ GMAT score means you will be set up to enter the professional world. Top-tier marketing or investment banking firms are often flooded with applicants who desire to work with them. Because the GMAT is an exam that all MBA applicants must take, firms can use this data as a baseline for scoring and ranking their potential employees. While a 700+ won’t land you your dream job, it can set you apart from the competition who might be vying for the same position. 

Not only does the GMAT score help you get hired, your score can also give you a higher starting salary! Some research shows that individuals who score a 700 on the GMAT are expected to receive a starting salary of over $150,000 after graduation from your MBA programs. That being said, even after getting into an MBA program, it may be a good idea to retake the GMAT if you are hoping to earn a higher salary upon graduation. 

A 700 GMAT score is not the be-all-and-end-all. Here are some other useful tips for strengthening your application! 

Achieving a 700+ GMAT score is a big deal. But banking everything on your GMAT score to get into your dream school is not the smartest decision. Here are some other things to keep in mind if your goal is to receive an admissions spot at a top-tier B-school.. 

What Admissions Committees look for in MBA applicants: 

  1. Figure out if you are a good fit for the business school you’re applying to and create your application around their expectations. Make sure to do your research about what the school offers and how you could be a good fit! 
  2. Find opportunities to expand on your leadership skills. Admissions committees hope to invest in future global leaders, and so sifting through hundreds of potential applicants means they are looking out for those candidates who have strong leadership experience and can go out into the world and utilize their MBA to make a global impact. 
  3. Know where you want to take your career. Having a strong path forward will show admissions committees that their investment in you will have a clear positive outcome for you as a future business leader and for their school.
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When to Hire a Private GMAT Tutor?
Posted on
08
Jun 2021

When to Hire a Private GMAT Tutor?

By: Dana Coggio
Published: 8th June 2021

Once you have made the decision to get your MBA, the next challenge awaits you: Studying for and taking the GMAT. You’ve purchased the books, set up a study schedule, prepared yourself mentally for the task that lays before you. (This infographic provides you with handy tips for your GMAT study prep). And yet, as you begin studying, you find yourself stuck and unsure of what to do next. First things first, it is important for you to understand that this is perfectly normal. The GMAT is an exam that tests more than just your quantitative and analytical skills, it is meant to score your ability to think critically and outside of the box. If you find yourself rereading sections of your GMAT prep books or googling various study tricks and tips, it might be time to consider getting yourself a private GMAT tutor.

That in and of itself seems a daunting task. Where do you even begin with finding someone capable of helping you achieve your goals? Well, before you look for a private GMAT tutor, it is necessary that you first understand when to get yourself a private tutor. This important step means you, and your tutor, are ready to work together to achieve a well thought out goal.

Establish your Goals

Before you begin looking for a private GMAT tutor, you need to know what your GMAT and MBA goals are. Perhaps you are striving for a 700+ and looking to apply to a top-tier MBA program. Or maybe you are looking to up your score by 50 points to be considered more competitive for your dream MBA. Whatever the reason, you need to have a good grasp on why you are taking the GMAT and what your goals are.

Having a clear mindset means you can search for a private GMAT tutor whose skills match your goals. This also means you are not wasting precious time with your GMAT tutor recapping where you see yourself in 20 years. As GMAT tutors can be pricey, it is important to optimize your time with your tutor. Additionally, it is important to research how private tutors can help you achieve your goal. If you are interested in increasing your score above a 700, for example, our article on how private GMAT tutors help you in this task can be read here: How Can Private Tutoring Help You Score 700+ on the GMAT?

Establish your baseline

One of the most important things you can do when starting to study for the GMAT is to take a practice exam. You can find a free practice GMAT exam HERE. Once you have taken the practice GMAT exam, you will have a better understanding of where your strengths and weaknesses lie. However, knowing how to strengthen your weakness or grow your strengths may seem intimidating. This is why, when looking for a private GMAT tutor, you should go into your first meeting with a clear understanding of where you score on the GMAT and what some of your initial GMAT prep challenges are.

This gives your private tutor a better understanding of what aspects of the GMAT you struggle the most with and which parts require only brief reviews. Even better would be to take the mock GMAT exam with your tutor present so that they provide you with more knowledgeable feedback and study plans. In Apex’s case for instance, in a 2.5 hour assessment session an instructor puts you through your paces to see where you need the most help and where they should focus your efforts to get the most leverage in your allotted prep time.  

Begin Studying

So, you have created achievable goals and established your baseline GMAT score. You are confident about beginning your studying, and yet, as the weeks pass and the GMAT exam comes closer you realize you aren’t anywhere near where you want to be. This is an important realization for you as a student. If you recognize that no matter how many hours you commit to studying or how many practice exams you take your understanding of the material is not increasing then, perhaps, it is time to turn to a professional to support you in your journey.

A private GMAT tutor will not only help you in comprehension of the materials, but they also will give you confidence and the support to achieve your goals while holding you accountable to your studies. This scoring plateau phenomenon is what most GMAT prep students face at one point or another during the GMAT journey. 

Investing in a GMAT tutor

When it is time to look for a private GMAT tutor it is important to know that this decision is an investment. Although they may not always say so outright, numerous MBA students at many top-tier universities invested in a private GMAT tutor to help them study for the exam. Investing in a private GMAT tutor is an investment in your future and can pay off in the long run even after you have been admitted to your dream MBA program. Working with a high achieving tutor can be pricey.

The costs associated with a reputable GMAT tutor should reflect the investment they put into helping you achieve your goals. Your time is valuable, and so looking for a private GMAT tutor shouldn’t be the main objective of your studies but investing a couple hours to find the right fit can pay off in the end as a stellar GMAT score will not only help in your MBA application process, but it could land you quality scholarships and a place at some of the top consulting firms after b-school.  

Where to look for a GMAT tutor

Finding a proper GMAT tutor means finding a tutor who works with you to achieve your goals. There are a lot of GMAT tutors on the market who claim to ‘know the secret’ or can ‘guarantee a score’. Be wary of these tutors, as there is no true way to guarantee success. Success on the GMAT comes down to you as an individual and the time you invest in studying. A private GMAT tutor is there to help guide you and support you on your GMAT study journey. It is important to find a reputable GMAT tutor whose skills and ways of teaching match how you learn and your goals.

On an average search engine, a deluge of offers and potential tutors appear, and this plethora can seem quite overwhelming.  Luckily, Apex GMAT offers a complimentary 30-minute session with one of our instructors. This session gives you the opportunity to gauge whether or not a private GMAT tutor is right for you. To learn more about where to find a fitting GMAT tutor, check out our article on How to Select a GMAT Tutor.

Finally…

…whether you are 6 months into studying or you are just starting the process, it is never too late to invest in a GMAT tutor. The sooner you do, however, the more your tutor can support you and the more you can get out of the experience. We have worked with clients who are 8 months into their GMAT journey and beaten down to newcomers who are looking at the test through fresh eyes, so we have heard it all before.

Knowing when to get a GMAT tutor is vital to your success. We highly suggest signing up for a complimentary consultation with one of our tutors, as they can help you more narrowly define when to find a GMAT tutor and if a GMAT tutor is right for you. You can sign up for a complimentary 30-minute slot HERE. Still unsure, feel free to listen HERE for some testimonials from people, just like you, who invested in a private GMAT tutor and are very glad they did! 

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