Posted on
05
Jul 2022

Overcoming Focus Issues on the GMAT

We are sure that there have been occasions when you were ready to study but found yourself thinking about everything else besides what you were supposed to do. Lack of focus is a common problem that each of us has to face and find a way to deal with. GMAT is an examination that requires a lot of concentration as you have to shift from one topic to another for 3 and half hours. Maintaining your focus is not a suggestion but a necessity while preparing for and taking the exam. In this article, we are going to look at some useful tips on how to deal with the lack of focus for the GMAT.

Set Proper Studying Environment

Most of us have a preferred studying environment that is tailored to our needs and requirements and ensures personal comfort. For some of us, this may be studying on the bed with the music on and snacks, and for others, studying in a group with friends at a cafe. However, on exam day, you won’t have these “luxuries.” Instead you will be required to sit at a bare desk for more than 3 hours. Not having your conveniences may affect your concentration negatively and consequently, deteriorate your GMAT performance. 

One way to avoid this is to prepare yourself at home for the exam in similar conditions to the ones on the exam day itself. For example, instead of studying on your bed, choose a chair and table set up. You should also try to minimize your distractions as much as possible- turn off the music, leave your phone away, don’t let people come into the room where you are studying, etc. The more similar your studying environment is to the exam environment, the higher your chances are to be focused and work well when taking the GMAT exam.

Create Your Personalized Study Plan for GMAT Preparation

The key to a successful GMAT performance is efficient preparation, which follows a well-organized study plan with clear timetables and goals. If you plan to take the GMAT, start your preparation by creating a study plan. You may use an online planner tool or even better, talk with a professional who can help you to develop a study strategy for your prep schedule.  

Having a GMAT prep schedule can also help you on the exam day itself. Once you have it, you can put time limits for each section of the exam and determine whether it takes you too long to finish a particular question or section. This could be a sign that you aren’t focused on the exam and that you have to quickly overcome the distractions. If you learn the signs of being distracted, you can practice overcoming your lack of focus on the GMAT. 

Set Up a Routine

Besides having a study plan or prep schedule, you may want to consider creating a day-to-day schedule or routine and organizing your tasks. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to balance between work, studying for the GMAT, social life, and all other responsibilities. This often leads to an irregular schedule of studying, which works against the quality of study time. Your body follows a biological clock, meaning your mind functions best or to its full capacity at particular periods of the day. If you don’t set certain times to study, you can often find yourself more easily distracted and lose your focus for the GMAT by thinking of everything else you have to do during the day.

If you want to utilize your time effectively and study better, create a routine, organize your tasks, and give yourself time to relax. You have to devote a sufficient amount of time for your preparation, separate from your personal or professional commitments’ time. Importantly, you should also give yourself time to rest and procrastinate freely so as not to lose your sanity while preparing for GMAT. Go for a walk, take a nap or watch your favorite series. 

Additional Tip 

Study in bursts. Don’t force yourself to study for 4 hours straight. This won’t be a productive learning session as you and your brain have a limit to how much new knowledge you can handle. Instead, try dividing your study time into 20-25 min chunks, interspersed with 5 min breaks. When you are engaged with intense mental activities such as studying or preparing for the GMAT exam, it is critical to take breaks. This method can help you stay focused since you know that the next break is just around the corner, so you have to get motivated, roll up your sleeves and finish your task.

Conclusion

Preparing for and taking the GMAT exam is a challenging endeavor and maintaining your focus is an essential requirement for success. You should find your own ways to stay focused and create a study plan that is suitable for you and your needs. Here at Apex, we are more than happy to support you on your GMAT journey and assist you in every step of the process. You can sign-up for a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with one of our instructors who can help you develop your personalized GMAT prep schedule!

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Posted on
29
Jun 2022

GMAT vs LSAT

Deciding to do a master’s degree is not easy for anyone. Actually, it is a pretty daunting and lengthy process to achieve one. If you’re reading this, chances are you are considering the process. This article compares two of the most common standardized tests — the GMAT and the LSAT. 

Firstly, let’s do a short breakdown analysis of each of the exams. 

The GMAT

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a post-graduate entrance exam for those who wish to do an MBA. The test consists of four sections and takes about three hours to complete. The score ranges from 200-800.

Most of the best business schools require a high score on the GMAT. For example, to be able to get into a prestigious business school, it is best to score a 700+. 

The LSAT

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is also a post-graduate entrance exam but specifically made for law school. The LSAT is the only way that you can be admitted to a law school and pursue a degree in it. 

The LSAT has three sections and lasts for three and a half hours. The score for the LSAT ranges from 120 to 180, and most top law schools prefer scores over 170.

The Differences and Similarities of the GMAT and LSAT 

The GMAT includes problem-solving, decision-making, and analytical questions. It tests skills which you will need during your MBA. On the other hand, the LSAT will test you more on reasoning, logic, reading, and writing – great skills needed for future lawyers!  

Both the GMAT and the LSAT have a section on reading comprehension that has more or less similar types of questions. Reading Comprehension is the most basic section for all standardized tests. On top of that, both have analytical and writing sections. The writing section is a single essay in both of the exams that require the test taker to write on a certain topic. The other sections of both tests differ.

As mentioned before, the GMAT is more heavily based on analytical and problem-solving questions, meaning that it also contains a lot of math in its questions. The LSAT, on the other hand, does not include any math. The exam mainly tests the test-takers’ reasoning and verbal skills. However, LSAT does have a section called “Analytical Reasoning” which may feel like math because it is based on logic. The LSAT has a verbal section called “Logical Reasoning Questions” which is similar to GMAT’s “Critical Reasoning” section. The latter is seemingly more difficult.

The differences in the sections are timing and demand. The LSAT is said to have more arguments that specifically want to test your ability. The GMAT, on the other hand, adapts to your performance during the exam and continues the questionnaire that way. The GMAT is more focused on testing quantitative and qualitative skills which are essential for effective functioning in the business world. In comparison, the LSAT has more reading and writing sections since law school is a heavily qualitative field which requires extensive reading and interpreting.  

Conclusion

In conclusion, you should first try to understand which degree sounds more suitable and enjoyable to you so that you go into it wholeheartedly. Other than that, it is helpful to know that both the GMAT and the LSAT have similarities in their sections and both of them are post-graduate entrance exams that are a requirement to get into any business or law school.

Contributor: Sarin Sulahian

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Posted on
28
Jun 2022

3 Most Common GMAT Mistakes Made During the Exam

The GMAT is a unique type of exam that tests a broad area of knowledge as well as various skills such as time management, working well under pressure, and strategy building. You will be given a relatively short amount of time to answer each question, and you need to be well aware of how you should approach each type of question. You may already feel that many things can go wrong during the exam. While it is normal to make mistakes, being prepared for the exam by knowing  potential exam “traps” will help you deal with any unexpected situations. One of the best ways to prepare for such situations is by learning from others’ mistakes. Thus, we’re going to walk you through some of the most common GMAT mistakes that test-takers make during the exam and give our advice on how to avoid them.

1. Memorized Answers 

A common GMAT mistake that test takers make while preparing for the exam is memorizing the questions and answers from the practice exams rather than understanding and learning from each question. This strategy is pretty useless as the same exact questions from the practice tests will NOT  repeat on the official GMAT exam. Also, this strategy is prone to causing real problems to test takers during the exam since they (most probably) will have a limited array of techniques to use to tackle different question types. 

Keep in mind that you have about 2 min per question. Because of this you should have a strategy and logical method of tackling and solving each question type before the exam takes place. During your GMAT preparation, you should understand the question types and what you are required to do on each of them. The questions from each section have aspects to them which can be tricky to understand at the beginning. If you find yourself struggling to understand  questions and solution paths you can always look for professional help. For example, private GMAT tutors are people who have extensive experience when it comes to taking – and studying for – the GMAT. A proper private GMAT tutor can give you valuable advice on how to avoid common mistakes on the different GMAT sections.

2. Wrong Time Strategy

As the GMAT is a time-constrained exam, having the right time strategy is crucial during the exam. Knowing that they are pressed for time, many students tend to allocate their time wrongly which negatively affects their performance. Having a short amount of time to answer each question means it may be tempting to look for shortcuts to save time. For example, many students try to save some extra time by scanning questions in order to get a rough understanding of what is being asked. In this way, they believe they will have more time to analyze the option choices and  find the right answer faster. Unfortunately, this strategy rarely yields the expected results because students get stuck between 2-3 choices, meaning they will have to re-read the question. Hence, answering just one question will take more time than they had anticipated. 

The remedy for this common GMAT mistake is a combination of a proper timing strategy and a proper approach for solving different types of questions. Instead of looking for ways to solve the question for the least possible time and compromising the accuracy of your answer, try to find the right approach to solve the question. Having the right approach means that you will spend just the right amount of time. While preparing for the GMAT exam, pay enough attention to problem solving methods as well as the time you take to solve each question. 

3. Refusing to Admit You Don’t Know Something

Another common GMAT mistake hides in the students’ inability to admit that they don’t know the answer to a particular question. Instead they attempt to guess the answer. This is, of course, an action of last resort. Nevertheless, it’s naive to think that even if you have studied for hundreds of hours, you will know the answer to every question. Keep in mind, the GMAT exam is not designed for you to answer every single question right. The GMAT test has a computerized adaptive format, meaning it employs a special algorithm to adjust to your level of proficiency as you progress through the questions. It will give you several easy, intermediate, and hard questions, and you have to try to give an answer to all of them.

Instead of agonizing over a few questions and wasting valuable time trying to solve them, you have to take your best educated guess and move on. Otherwise, you are losing your chance of getting other questions correct. It is far more important to get through the entire exam rather than to answer every question correctly. Your score will be calculated collectively from all questions and it won’t be determined only by the questions that you don’t know. Show what you have learned and don’t worry if you can’t answer all the questions.

Conclusion

The GMAT is a challenging exam because it hides many potential traps that can easily mislead test-takers who, under pressure, often make careless mistakes. You should understand that making mistakes is normal and be prepared to make some yourself. Here at Apex, we are more than happy to support you on your GMAT journey and assist you in every step of the process. You can sign-up for a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with one of our instructors who can help you ace your exam and learn strategies to avoid GMAT mistakes!

 

Contributor: Diana Materova

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Posted on
06
Jun 2022

GMAT In-Person or Online? Pros and Cons

As you consider your options for taking the GMAT, you probably have considered the question “Which one would work better for me: GMAT in person or GMAT online?” The GMAC has recently announced changes to the GMAT exam, including giving test takers the option to take the exam online.

Which is better for you, GMAT in person or GMAT online? There are pros and cons to both, and it ultimately depends on your personal preference and situation. Here are some key factors to consider when making your decision.

Pros of Taking the GMAT Online 

Flexibility

The best part about taking the GMAT online is that you can take the test from any place that has an internet connection. This is a major plus for people who cannot travel or do not live near a physical GMAT testing center. Also, the online format allows more flexibility in terms of scheduling. You can choose to take the exam at any time that works for you as long as you comply with certain time frames.

Taking the Test in the Same Environment You Studied in 

If you are taking the GMAT exam at home, the setting will be similar to the one you studied and practiced in for this test. Taking the exam in an environment that’s already familiar to you means that your mind will be more comfortable with its surroundings which can reduce anxiety. Studying for the GMAT and taking the exam in the same place will help your mind connect the material you studied with the setting in which you’re taking the test.

Test Anxiety 

For some test takers, the thought of taking a test in person can be very anxiety-provoking. If you are one of these people, then taking the GMAT online may be a better option for you. You can take the GMAT from the comfort of your own home and avoid any potential stress that comes with being in a physical testing location.

Cons of Taking the GMAT Online 

Less Personal Attention

When you take the GMAT online, you do not have direct contact with a proctor. You both will be able to communicate through the chat, and you can ring to live chat with the proctor. Still, this can be a disadvantage if you prefer receiving more personal attention or want your questions to be answered faster, in more detail, or prefer face-to-face explanation. 

Security

Some people may feel less secure about taking an online test, especially if they haven’t taken any online exams before. Make sure you are familiar with the GMAC security procedures for online testing before signing up and the steps you need to complete before starting the exam.

No Scratch Papers  

One thing you cannot do when taking the GMAT online is to take notes physically. But you do have the virtual whiteboard or you can buy your own whiteboard to use during the exam. This can be a disadvantage if you like to have physical copies of all your materials in front of you during the test. Also, proctors are very strict when it comes to what you have around you. You are not allowed to have anything on your table, including pens, calculators, or coffee. Literally, nothing should be around you.

Pros of taking the GMAT in Person  

Environmental Distractions are Eliminated  

If you are someone who is easily distracted by your surroundings, then taking the GMAT in person may be a better choice for you. This setting allows you to have more control and eliminates any potential environmental distractions. You don’t know when you might receive an unexpected mail or notifications on your laptop.

Live Feedback from the Proctor 

Another advantage of taking the GMAT in person is that you can get live feedback from the proctor. If you have any questions or concerns during the test, the proctor can help to address them faster and maybe better than through a chat box online. 

Cons of Taking the GMAT in Person  

Location and Scheduling

The main disadvantage of taking the GMAT in person is that you are limited to location and schedule. You may not be able to find a test center close to you, or the testing times may not work with your schedule.

Cost

The GMAT costs $250, and the cost of taking it in person can add up if you have to travel.

Similarities: GMATin Person or GMAT Online  

Both the online and in-person versions of the GMAT are computerized, so you will get the same questions and experience. Also, both GMAT online and in person will be 3 hours and 7 minutes and you will be given two optional 8-minute breaks, plus you will be able to choose the sequence in which you take the test. Both exams cost US $275. So if you are concerned about potential errors that could occur in a live test environment, rest assured that GMAT in-person and online are equally accurate.

Technology Requirements for the GMAT Online  

In order to take the GMAT online, you must meet certain technical requirements. You will need either a PC or Mac that operates on Windows 8.1 or 10 or Mac OS 10 or above, Windows 7 will not work. You need to have a computer with internet access, a webcam, and a microphone. If you do not have these items or are unable to meet the requirements, you will have to take the GMAT in person.

Which Option is Best for You  

Ultimately, the decision of whether to take the GMAT in person or online comes down to personal preference. If you are comfortable with technology and don’t have a flexible schedule, then the GMAT online option may be better for you. However, if you prefer more personal interaction or want feedback from a proctor, then the GMAT in person option is best. Keep in mind that you always have the option to hire a GMAT private tutor to help guide you with your studies and everything related to the GMAT. No matter which format you choose, make sure to prepare well so that you can score your best on test day.

Contributor: Cynthia Addoumieh

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Posted on
01
Jun 2022

GMAT Success: How to Utilize Breaks During the GMAT

One of the most ignored parts when thinking about the GMAT is taking a break during the test itself. Most standardized tests from the SAT to the Multi-State Bar Exam offer the test-takers the option to take breaks. The GMAT does the same. Constantly we harp over GMAT testing strategies and different study methods for our GMAT Success and we put a massive amount of emphasis on the test day itself. But we never seem to mention the breaks that can be taken during the GMAT.

1. How Long is the GMAT?

You are probably well aware of the structure of the GMAT at this point, but here is a reminder anyway. The GMAT is a grueling 3 hours and 7 minutes and is divided into four sections, integrated, quantitative, and verbal reasoning, along with the analytical writing assessment. The verbal and quantitative sections are especially a pain, with both being over an hour and filled with highly demanding questions.

1.Integrated Reasoning: 30 mins, 12 questions 

2.Quantitative Reasoning: 62 mins, 31 questions 

3.Verbal Reasoning:  65 questions, 36 questions 

4.Analytical Writing Assignment: 30 mins, 1 question

During the GMAT exam, you are allowed two eight-minute breaks. The first is allowed after the first hour of the exam and the second is available after the quantitative reasoning portion. Both of these breaks are completely optional, but taking full advantage of these breaks can really help keep you sane during the GMAT. 

So why should you be taking these breaks and what should you do? Below are some of our favorite suggestions when utilizing the breaks during the GMAT.

2. Importance of Taking a Break 

The GMAT breaks are optional, and you may be someone who prefers not to do so. But just keep in mind that the GMAT is over 3 hours long so it is a marathon, not a sprint. These GMAT breaks can help maximize your scoring potential. However, when taking a break do not study during it, in fact, if you study during the break your score could actually be cancelled. That’s because studying during the test time is against the rules of the GMAT. Instead, actually use your break to take a break.

3. Reduce Stress

Stress while studying for and taking the GMAT is universal and it’s not unjustified – the GMAT is an exam that could help determine your future. So of course it makes sense that many can find themselves overwhelmed during the exam. Taking a break is a great way to reset and achieve GMAT success. Even if you don’t feel completely overwhelmed, stepping away from the test is a good way to gain clarity. Taking breaks help you to broth process and retain information, further maintaining your focus. It is easy to become exhausted during the exam and for your brain to be drained.  Hence, even if you may not feel you need a break your brain probably needs one. 

4. Refuel 

Of course when taking a break during the GMAT you have a chance to eat or drink something. Something that you can prepare for yourself are healthy snacks. Fruit, granola bars, or nuts can serve as great ways to power your brain through the rest of the exam. In fact, we would recommend that the night and morning before the exam to make sure to eat something healthy. Stay away from unhealthy snacks and food as you want both your body and brain to be in the best shape for the test. In terms of drinks, water, but also maybe a thermos filled with coffee and tea will suit you well. A cup of coffee may even give you that boost you need. Once again we suggest you stay away from unhealthy drinks such as sodas and energy drinks. 

In Review 

GMAT success is a monumental task. It is a very demanding test, both in prep and during the exam itself. It is important to try and take advantage of every opportunity you can get, such as breaks during the test. Here at Apex GMAT we offer a different edge on the GMAT, that being private one on one GMAT tutoring. Private GMAT tutoring give test takers some of the best opportunities in achieving GMAT success. Apex GMAT  offers both online and in-person tutoring. It can be the first step to your desired GMAT score.

 

Contributor: Lucas Duncan

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GMAT how long to study
Posted on
17
Feb 2022

How Long Should You Study For The GMAT

So you want to go to business school. An MBA is an elite degree which not everyone can successfully achieve. The fact that you want to go on this journey means that you are a high achiever and willing to better yourself academically and professionally. We here at ApexGMAT are in the business of helping people achieve an elite GMAT score. We often work with clients who are unsure where to begin their preparation and for how long to study for the GMAT. For those GMAT test-takers we recommend the following: 

    • Establish your goal ahead of time
    • Be aware of your personal and private schedule
    • Structure your plan
    • Follow through 

Before figuring out how long you should study for the GMAT, we recommend getting acquainted with the exam and learning the best practices for studying

Know your Goal

Before you can know how long to study for the GMAT, you need to know your ultimate goal. Why do you want to earn an MBA and What impact will your MBA have on your future goals professionally and personally. Your GMAT and MBA goals can have a huge impact on your GMAT prep. For example, if you are hoping to attend a top business school, work at a top consultancy firm, and make 6-figures a year, then your GMAT prep plan will look different from someone who is earning an MBA to achieve a promotion at their current place of work.

For starters, if you want to earn a top MBA there is a good chance that you are aiming for a 700+ GMAT score. This will mean more hours spent studying and perhaps hiring a private GMAT tutor to get you closer to your goal. Regardless of what your goals are, you still need to establish a GMAT prep plan that works with your professional and personal schedule. 

Know your schedule

Do you have a family? Are you currently a student? Are you working full-time? Whatever is happening in your life outside of your GMAT prep will hugely impact how much time you can devote to your GMAT study plan. We recommend a 3-month study plan, however, you may need to expand or shrink this plan depending on what is happening in your life. If you are busy beyond a 9-5 work schedule, then it would be best to begin studying for the GMAT beyond 3-months. This will give you more hours to commit yourself to the GMAT study process. If you are a student, or only working part-time, then you likely have more time to commit to studying for the GMAT. Reflect on where your life is at the moment and establish your prep schedule around that. 

Structure your GMAT plan

Step one to structuring your GMAT prep plan is to figure out what day you will take the exam. Do not schedule the exam towards the end of the application deadline to your MBA program of choice. Rather, give yourself at least a few weeks of flexibility where you can retake the exam if necessary. Once you establish what day you want to take the exam, you then count back by three months. Of course, give or take a month or two depending on how busy your life is at the moment. After counting backwards from the date of your exam, you can establish your plan structure. Grab a calendar and write in the weeks, days, and hours that you plan on studying. 

Execute your GMAT plan 

So, you know how long to study for the GMAT. You have your test day. You have structured your plan. Now, you need to execute your plan. Your GMAT test day will come whether you are ready or not. It is important that you stick to your study plan if you want to succeed on test day. Regardless of your study plan, be sure to make time for stress-relief and personal activities. Studying for the GMAT should not take up 100% of your time, in fact, if you allow the GMAT study process to consume you, it will most likely hinder your ability to excel on the test. 

So, how long should you study for the GMAT? 

While 3 months is a good benchmark for most test-takers, it is not perfect for everyone. Consider your other responsibilities and what is expected of you during this time. Make room for your GMAT studying but don’t let the process consume you. Be ready to make mistakes and be prepared for needing a retake. Consider everything that can ‘go wrong’ during the GMAT process and prepare for these scenarios. The GMAT study process from beginning to end should last as long as you need it to. If you are interested in professional help during your GMAT prep, we offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with a top-scoring instructor.

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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GMAT How to Prepare
Posted on
15
Feb 2022

How To Prepare For The GMAT – Best Practices

1. Introducing the GMAT

When beginning your GMAT journey, the first step you need to do is figure out why you are taking the GMAT and what your future MBA goals are. If you are hoping to attend a top-tier Business School, like Harvard, this will make your GMAT preparation different compared to a goal of attending a part-time, online MBA program. Keep in mind that effort will still need to be given no matter which program you decide to apply to. Regardless of your ultimate goal, it is important to have your final goal in mind before laying out your GMAT preparation plan. So, once you have established why you are taking the exam, next is creating a plan of how to prepare for the GMAT.

2. Know the GMAT inside and out

One of the first things you want to do is to get comfortable with the GMAT exam and its structures. The GMAT is split up into four sections: 

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) → to measure your critical thinking and communication skills
  2. Integrated Reasoning → to measure your data analysis skills
  3. Quantitative Reasoning → to measure your ability to draw conclusions from present data
  4. Verbal Reasoning → to measure your reading, evaluation, and correction skills in standard English 

By splitting up the GMAT into its four main sections, you can begin your preparation process more fluidly. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses in each of these sections and dedicate yourself to strengthening your weaknesses and solidifying your strengths. In order to know where you stand with the GMAT, we always suggest taking a practice exam before beginning to prepare. This will give you a baseline knowledge of where you stand with each section of the exam. 

3. Lay out a 3-month GMAT study plan

GMAT 3 Month Study PlanIdeally, you give yourself 3-months to study for the exam. We have created a 3-month study plan which can be used by most test-takers when beginning their GMAT journey. Ultimately, giving yourself 3-months means you have room to get to know every aspect of the exam. Give yourself less than 3-months and you will be hindering your chances of success. We suggest finding the date of your GMAT exam (giving yourself an extra week or two for a retake – just in case) and counting backwards by 3 months. Then, mark your calendar in the following way: 

During your study plan, it is important that you make time for stress relief. Do not let the GMAT preparation process consume you. Being stressed will do you no favors in the long run and could even negatively impact your overall GMAT score

4. It’s okay to ask for help

Believe it or not, we expect successful GMAT test takers to have asked for help during their journey. Whether it is from their friends or family or even hiring a private GMAT tutor, many people who achieve a 700+ GMAT score do so because they have had some sort of help. Even asking a previous GMAT test taker how to prepare for the GMAT can be a huge help! A private GMAT tutor, for example, can help you achieve GMAT success by working with you in a myriad of ways.

Whether it is by helping you to strengthen your weaknesses or fortifying your strengths, a good GMAT tutor will be able to recognize where you need help and how best to help you. Make sure that, if you need help you don’t wait until the last minute to ask for it. Be ready to ask for help as soon as you begin your studies. 

5. Be confident and remember your goal

It is common practice for people who take the GMAT to question their rationale for undertaking such a journey. The GMAT is not supposed to be an easy exam (if it was easy, then everyone would do it!). But you are one of those select few who choose to go down this difficult path. We suggest surrounding yourself with a strong support network. Stress reduction is also hugely important during this journey, be careful not to get burned out too soon as this can ultimately hinder your GMAT exam process. 

Final Thoughts

We here at Apex know the difficulty of figuring out how to prepare for the GMAT exam. We work with clients from a variety of different backgrounds and tutor them to GMAT success. Whether you are about to begin your GMAT journey or are already two months in, we are in the business of helping anyone who wants to achieve an elite GMAT score. We offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with one of our top-scoring instructors. 

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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One-on-One GMAT Tutor
Posted on
08
Feb 2022

One on One GMAT Tutoring – Clients’ Perspective

For many people self-prepping for the GMAT for months on end leads to middling results. This can be discouraging and frustrating. Oftentimes, people preparing for the GMAT do not consider using a one-on-one GMAT tutor until it’s too late. Seeing improvement in your self-prep skills and score, when studying with a private GMAT tutor a few weeks before the exam, can be even more frustrating because you realize all the time previously wasted. 

The right time to seek out a One-on-One GMAT tutor 

Before we get into the ‘whys’ of seeking the help of a GMAT expert, it is important to note the ‘when’, as in when is the right time to seek one out

The earlier you seek help, the greater impact it will have when trying to reach your goals.

Even for those unfamiliar with the test or who need a refresher on their basic mathematics, enlisting a tutor to help structure that review and tie it into a larger preparation agenda will save you time in the long run and headaches along the way. Seeking the advice of an experienced tutor on how to get started is integral to setting you on the right GMAT preparation path.

One-on-one GMAT tutors have years of experience with the test and know the GMAT inside and out. They will be able to pinpoint where you are struggling and how to overcome these pain points in the most efficient and beneficial way possible. 

How does the teacher’s experience add to their ability to pinpoint and add efficiency?

A seasoned GMAT tutor has seen hundreds of clients and experienced every possible difficulty with the exam. Beginning your preparation by struggling with the GMAT for the first time is going to be far less efficient than availing yourself to the experience and expertise of someone who has done it many times before. An analogy to this point is learning how to swim. If you wanted to learn to swim, you might just jump into the lake, but wouldn’t you learn faster, with fewer mistakes and less danger, by finding a friend who knows how to swim? Even better, wouldn’t you try to find your friend who was on the swim team, or was a lifeguard? It’s not that someone can’t learn to swim or succeed on the GMAT on their own, but there are many pitfalls along the way.

Apex GMAT offers a complimentary consultation call and an assessment session at a discounted rate for exactly this purpose. Start prepping for the GMAT on the right foot and you will be thankful that you avoided all the wasted effort and time at the beginning. 

Why seek the assistance of a One-on-One GMAT tutor?

Here is what some Apex clients had to say about working with a one on one GMAT tutors which will give insight into how they can really be the difference between an ok GMAT score and an exceptional one:

Alex N: “My tutor helped me learn how to think about the problems, not just how to solve them. This meant that any problem put in front of me could be solved if I just used the appropriate approach.”

Justin: “Finding the underlying questions hidden within the actual question was an invaluable skill that I learnt from my instructor. It helped me think about what the question was really asking me to solve. This made me more time efficient and more accurate.” 

Amy: “Having someone to ask you pivot questions and help you reframe your approach to tackling each question was something that I was not doing in self-prep and really helped me achieve a big jump in my score. I left my sessions with a more strategic outlook on the test.”

Alex L: “My tutor showed me how to use multiple solution paths and find the right one for me for each question type. With my toolbox equipped with these solution paths I was able to tackle anything that the test threw at me, even questions that were framed in a way that I hadn’t seen before.” 

Olga: “I learnt how to self prep for success, I set up the way I approached my self prep differently and also used the skills that I learnt in the sessions to help me during my own preparation time. This helped me test my understanding of the concepts that I had learnt during sessions and practice them more. I really had to let go of old habits and adapt to new ones which was challenging at first but with the guidance and encouragement that I received from my tutor, it was well worth it in the end.” 

Antione: “The lessons were tailored to me and my style of learning. Every lesson was focused on helping me with my specific needs and I could tell that my tutor put a lot of time into planning for each session to ensure that I would be challenged and successful within it and outside of it.”

Chloe: “My tutor was willing to spend more than an hour on the phone with me, trying to get to know me so that he could give me the best responses to my questions as well as prepare our lessons in a way that would be most beneficial to my learning style and ultimate success.” 

Kyle: “My tutor not only helped me achieve a great GMAT score and a place at my top MBA program but also just prepared me for what to expect at business school in general.  After months of self-prepping without much progress, I know that I would not be in business school or getting through my lessons as successfully if I had not had this one-on-one GMAT tutoring experience.” 

Amanda: “I was really confident with my math skills going into the first test but I did not do as well as I thought I would and so working with my tutor really helped me brush up on all my skills and shine on my next test day. He was able to help me unlock my true potential and this helped boost my confidence for the test day. With a full time job, having a one on one GMAT tutor really helped me work on exactly what I needed for success without having to spend extra time on skills that I was already good at.” 

Finally, a really important aspect to consider is this: Are all one-on-one GMAT tutors created equal?

The answer to this is NO! Shop around before choosing the tutor that you think will be a good fit for your learning style, goals, and budget. Keep in mind that learning from a student who has just taken the GMAT and has turned to teaching it as a “side gig,” will probably not serve you as well as learning from an experienced instructor who has not only scored well on the test but has vast amounts of teaching experience and MBA program knowledge. Check out this article about How to choose the right GMAT tutor to find out all the questions to ask before committing to a service.  

You can also find all the tutors referred to in this article at: Apex GMAT Team Page. Schedule a call to speak to them and take the first step to GMAT success.

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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 Prep Schedule
Posted on
21
Dec 2021

How To Create A GMAT Prep Schedule That Works For Your Busy Life

Goal-seeking, busy professionals, who want to apply to an MBA program for broadening their professional aspects, experience a hard time fitting GMAT preparation into their hectic schedules. It is a tough decision when deciding when to prepare for the GMAT between a busy 9-5 schedule. But remember, nothing is impossible so long as there is desire. 

The GMAT is a type of test that necessitates both accuracy and time management in order to achieve a high score. Hence, sometimes a tight working schedule actually helps with time management skills. In many cases, the more you manage your time, the more productive and efficient you can become. If you are a busy professional striving for a top MBA, but struggling to make a decision on whether to start preparing for the GMAT or not, this article will guide you through the decision making process. Even if you have already made the decision to proceed,  you will learn some tips and strategies that will guide you throughout the entire process while helping you to come up with the most perfect schedule.

1. Never say never

Self-hesitation is very common. Hearing about someone’s bad or good experience with the GMAT is helpful for guiding your own journey, but don’t let their experiences dictate your own. Just because you hear some opinion from the other person, doesn’t mean that the same principle can apply to you. Remain motivated and do not fall into the trap of self-deception. Humans have a strong tendency to stick to what is easier rather than looking for multiple solution paths to their problems. Concentrate on the idea that your problem is combining a helpful GMAT prep schedule with a busy life. 

Eliminate excuses completely. There are no excuses holding you back. No matter how busy life gets. We unconsciously tell ourselves that we are so busy and do not have time. By doing this, things get even harder to swallow and our brain is close to exploding. However, if you were to calculate the hours you put towards social media sites, you’d be shocked how much time is wasted! Taking a Brain Break can be helpful, but not at the expense of your studying. The first tip is never to reject opportunities for studying. You can always find a moment to study for the GMAT with a busy life and schedule. 

2. GMAT is temporary, but long-lasting success is not

Your life can always be busy. Maybe you work a lot or have kids, but it becomes busier with the idea of preparing for the GMAT. Important to remember is that this stress is ‘temporary’.

A working professional’s GMAT preparation can take anywhere from 2-4 months. If your day starts at 9 am, you can make yourself wake up at 7 am to do some studying in the morning. For some, their brain works best in the morning, while for others the afternoon or evening is best for studying. Whichever it is, be sure to start the day with some brain stretching, such as doing GMAT preparation tests or quizzes that will facilitate delving deeper into the topic. Do the main exercise in the morning, and whenever you have time during the day, such as during your lunch time, you can do GMAT reading or solve some quant problems in order to be involved in active learning. 

Bonus Tip! Avoid passive learning. Do not spend too much of your time preparing with GMAT videos

3. Have an established approach on do’s and don’ts

You know that you should make time for studying, but it might be the case that you don’t have a predetermined plan for the day. The most significant thing is to maintain consistency. Develop a regular plan which prioritizes studying, as even the busiest professionals can make themselves prioritize things that have a high probability of falling behind on the list. 

Do not underestimate the result of your GMAT cramming in five minutes spurts during the day. Even if you have 5 minutes, create quality study techniques by reviewing your work. The materials learned can fall into your short-term memory and be easily forgotten afterwards. Do a math exercise regularly and do not focus on too many things several days in a row. Try to split everything equally during the day so you do not get tired out by the same GMAT section. 

Finally, keep it fresh. Go back and forth between the sections but always remember that reviewing what you have done and even planning the review process beforehand is a must. 

4. Enjoy the GMAT process

Making things work for a busy life is intimidating especially if you do not like it, as including one more thing can actually ruin your entire mood and attitude towards the other things. It is true that concentrating on multiple tasks or things at once can break your mind and result in less productive outcomes. This is why time-management is a key strategy in your GMAT prep schedule. If you have a specific time for each one of your tasks, you are able to enjoy the process and focus on one thing at a time. 

Suppose you have developed a plan to study for half an hour during your break, it means real-time studying without noise and distractions. Make it a habit to study during your allocated time and fall into deep amnesia regarding the other things that are currently disturbing you. It is hardly the case that you will think “I am so happy the GMAT prep time has come! I need to study during my one-hour break that I was supposed to be resting.”

However, at least the inner aim of looking at the bigger picture of what will happen after the temporary challenge and time sacrifice will make you enjoy the GMAT journey. Sometimes it is better to look into the future rather than the present. The future goal is the satisfaction of future GMAT success. 

Conclusion

It might take time, but adopting these four tips into your preparation process can help you create an efficient GMAT prep schedule. Remember what you are working towards. Your GMAT journey is not only about the final result, but also about the skills learned in the process. We here at Apex are more than happy to support you on your journey. You can sign-up for a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with one of our instructors!

 

Contributor: Ruzanna Mirzoyan

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