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 Wat does it take to crack the GMAT???

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Posts : 21
Join date : 2009-01-31

PostSubject: Wat does it take to crack the GMAT???   Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:31 am

The Test

The exam measures verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills
that the examinee has developed over a long period of time in his/her
education and work. Test takers are given 3.5 hours to answer questions
in each of the three tested areas, and there are also two 10-minute
breaks; in general, the test takes about four hours to complete.

Scores are valid for five years (at most institutions) from the date
the test taker sits for the exam until the date of matriculation (i.e.
acceptance, not until the date of application).

The maximum score that can be achieved on the exam is 800. Over the past 3 years, the mean score has been 535.2.

Verbal Section

The verbal section consists of 41 multiple choice questions, which
must be answered within 75 minutes. There are three types of questions:
sentence correction, critical reasoning and reading comprehension. The
verbal section is scored from 0 to 60 points. Over the past 3 years,
the mean has been 27.8/60; scores above 44 and below 9 are rare.

  • Sentence Correction

The Sentence Correction section tests a test taker's knowledge of American English grammar, usage, and style.
Sentence correction items consist of a sentence, all or part of
which has been underlined, with five associated answer choices listed
below the sentence. The first answer choice is exactly the same as the
underlined portion of the sentence. The remaining four answer choices
contain different phrasings of the underlined portion of the sentence.
The test taker is instructed to chose the first answer choice if there
is no flaw with that phrasing of the sentence. If there is a flaw with
the original phrasing of the sentence, the test taker is instructed to
choose the best of the four remaining answer choices.

Sentence Correction questions are designed to measure a test taker's
proficiency in three areas: correct expression, effective expression,
and proper diction. Correct expression refers to the grammar and structure of the sentence. Effective Expression refers to the clarity and concision used to express the idea. Proper Diction
refers to the suitability and accuracy of the chosen words in reference
to the dictionary meaning of the words and the context in which the
words are presented.

  • Critical Reasoning

This tests logical thinking. Critical thinking items present an
argument that the test taker is asked to analyze. Questions may ask
test takers to draw a conclusion, to identify assumptions, or to
recognize strengths or weaknesses in the argument. It presents brief
statements or arguments and ask to evaluate the form or content of the
statement or argument. Questions of this type ask the examinee to
analyze and evaluate the reasoning in short paragraphs or passages. For
some questions, all of the answer choices may conceivably be answers to
the question asked. The examinee should select the best answer to the
question, that is, an answer that does not require making assumptions
that violate common sense standards by being implausible, redundant,
irrelevant, or inconsistent.

  • Reading Comprehension

This tests the ability to read critically. Reading comprehension
questions relate to a passage that is provided for the examinee to
read. The passage can be about almost anything, and the questions about
it test how well the examinee understands the passage and the
information in it. As the name implies, it tests the ability of the
examinee to understand the substance and logical structure of a written
selection. The GMAT uses reading passages of approximately 200 to 350
words, covering topics from social sciences, biological sciences,
physical sciences, and business. Each passage has three or more
questions based on its content. The questions ask about the main point
of the passage, about what the author specifically states, about what
can be logically inferred from the passage, and about the author's
attitude or tone.

Quantitative Section

The quantitative section consists of 37 multiple choice questions,
which must be answered within 75 minutes. There are two types of
questions: problem solving and data sufficiency. The quantitative
section is scored from 0 to 60 points. Over the past 3 years, the mean
score has been 35.6/60; scores above 50 and below 7 are rare.

Most international MBA programs take only the quantitative section
into account, as the degrees they offer will not be taught in English.
These areas normally demand a higher quantitative score and ignore the
verbal sections.

  • Problem Solving

This tests the quantitative reasoning ability. Problem-solving
questions present multiple-choice problems in arithmetic, basic
algebra, and elementary geometry. The task is to solve the problems and
choose the correct answer from among five answer choices. Some problems
will be plain mathematical calculations; the rest will be presented as
real life word problems that will require mathematical solutions.

Numbers: All numbers used are real numbers.Figures: The diagrams and figures that accompany these questions
are for the purpose of providing useful information in answering the
questions. Unless it is stated that a specific figure is not drawn to
scale, the diagrams and figures are drawn as accurately as possible.
All figures are in a plane unless otherwise indicated.

  • Data Sufficiency

This tests the quantitative reasoning ability using an unusual set
of directions. The examinee is given a question with two associated
statements that provide information that might be useful in answering
the question. The examinee then must determine whether either statement
alone is sufficient to answer the question; whether both are needed to
answer the question; or whether there is not enough information given
to answer the question.

Data sufficiency is a unique type of math question created
especially for the GMAT. Each item consists of the questions itself
followed by two numbered statements. The examinee must decide whether
the statements — either individually or in combination — provide enough
information to answer the question.

(A) If statement 1 alone is sufficient to answer the question, but statement 2 alone is not sufficient.(B) If statement 2 alone is sufficient to answer the question, but statement 1 alone is not sufficient.(C) If both statements together are needed to answer the question, but neither statement alone is sufficient.(D) If either statement by itself is sufficient to answer the question.(E) If not enough facts are given to answer the question.

Analytical Writing Assessment

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section of the test consists
of two essays. In the first, the student must analyze an argument and
in the second the student must analyze an issue. Each essay must be
written within 30 minutes and is scored on a scale of 0-6. The essay is
read by two readers who each mark the essay with a grade from 0-6, in
0.5 point increments with a mean score of 4.1. If the two scores are
within one point of each other, they are averaged. If there is more
than one point difference, the essays are read by a third reader.

The first reader is Intellimetric, a proprietary computer program developed by Vantage Learning, which analyzes creative writing and syntax of more than 50 linguistic and structural features.
The second and third readers are humans, who evaluate the quality of
the examinee's ideas and his or her ability to organize, develop and
express ideas with relevant support. While mastery of the conventions
of written English factor into scoring, minor errors are expected, and
evaluators are trained to be sensitive to examinees whose first
language is not English.

Most business schools do not weigh the AWA as heavily as the verbal
and quantitative sections of the test. Some schools ignore the AWA

Each of the two essays in the Analytical Writing part of the test is graded on a scale of 0 (the minimum) to 6 (the maximum):

  • 0 An essay that is totally illegible or obviously not written on the assigned topic.
  • 1 An essay that is fundamentally deficient.
  • 2 An essay that is seriously flawed.
  • 3 An essay that is seriously limited.
  • 4 An essay that is merely adequate.
  • 5 An essay that is strong.
  • 6 An essay that is outstanding.

Total Score

The "Total Score", comprising the quantitative and verbal sections,
is exclusive of the analytical writing assessment (AWA), and ranges
from 200 to 800. About two-thirds of test takers score between 400 and
600. The score distribution resembles a bell curve
with a standard deviation of approximately 100 points, meaning that the
test is designed for 68% of examinees to score between 400 and 600,
while the median score was originally designed to be near 500. The
2005/2006 mean score was 533.

The quantitative and verbal sections comprise a computer-adaptive test.
The first question may be difficult. The next few questions in each
section may be around the 500 level. If the examinee answers correctly,
the next questions are harder. If the examinee answers incorrectly, the
next questions are easier. The questions are pulled from a large pool
of questions and delivered depending on the student's running score.
These questions are regularly updated to prevent them from being
compromised by students recording questions.

The final score is not based solely on the last question the
examinee answers (i.e. - the level of difficulty of questions reached
through the computer-adaptive presentation of questions). The algorithm
used to build a score is more complicated than that. The examinee can
make a silly mistake and answer incorrectly and the computer will
recognize that item as an anomaly. If the examinee misses the first
question his score will not necessarily fall in the bottom half of the

Also, questions left blank (that is, those not reached) hurt the
examinee more than questions answered incorrectly. This is a major
contrast to the SAT,
which has a wrong-answer penalty. Each test section also includes
several experimental questions, which do not count toward the
examinee's score, but are included to judge the appropriateness of the
item for future administrations.

Verbal and Quantitative Section scores range from 0 to 60.
Analytical Writing Assessment scores range from 0 to 6 and represent
the average of the ratings from the two GMAT essays. The essays are
scored differently from the Verbal and Quantitative sections and are
not included in the total score.

Required Scores

Most schools do not publish a minimum acceptable score or detailed
statistics about the scores achieved by applicants. However, schools do
generally publish the average and median score of their latest intake,
which can be used as a guide.

At nearly all of the top business schools that are commonly listed in popular magazines and ranking services, the scores will average in the upper 600s or low 700s. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, commonly regarded as one of the top business schools in the U.S., reports an average score of 715; Harvard Business School,
another top tier U.S. business school, reports a 2006 average of 707.
Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management reports an
average GMAT of 700, with approximately 75 percent of enrolled students
scoring between 650 and 740. At the Indian School of Business the class of 2009 reports an average score of 714. INSEAD, a leading global business school with a highly multinational student body, reports a 2005 average of 705.

It may be possible to overcome a low test score with impressive real
world accomplishments, good undergraduate performance, outstanding
references and/or connections, particularly strong application essays,
or coming from an underrepresented group.
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