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GMAT: Little Things Matter on Test Day

June 3, 2012 by

A little thing here or there doesn’t usually make a whole lot of difference.  But when you aggregate, knowing some of the little things about the GMAT can be a big help on Test Day.  In this blog post, I am bringing some perhaps unexpected or otherwise novel little GMAT tidbits to your attention in hopes you find them useful or at least interesting.  This list is not comprehensive, of course, but is rather whatever sprang to mind as I thought about it.  If you, dear reader, have anything you’d like to add then please do so in the comments section below.  Thanks!


  • Your photograph taken at the testing center on test day will be sent to schools.  That’s right, folks.  Just when you thought it was safe to wear your lucky shirt—you know, the one with the crass cartoon of a feral dog at a cocktail party—Big
  • Read full post

GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning Scoring Scale is Out

May 28, 2012 by

Although it is yet to be seen how Integrated Reasoning scores will actually be used by admissions committees, we do now at least know what they will look like.  Starting June 5, 2012, the New GMAT goes live with one less essay (Issue) and one more section (Integrated Reasoning).  Contrary to what some might have heard, your performance on the new IR section will not impact your 200-800 point GMAT score.  Rather, you will now receive five separate scores across four separate scales.

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) – 0 to 6 points in ½-point increments
  2. Integrated Reasoning (IR) – 1 to 8 points in 1-point increments
  3. Quantitative – 0 to 60 in 1-point increments
  4. Verbal – 0 to 60 in 1-point increments
  5. Aggregated Quant and Verbal (Total Score) – 200 to 800 points in 10-point increments

On test day, immediately upon completing the exam you will receive … Read full post

Celebrate GMAT score progress, no matter what

January 2, 2012 by

Over the last couple days, a few of my students took a practice test.  All of them did better than their last test.  However, each shared a common reaction to their increase in score: disappointment.  What?  Why?  Shouldn’t one be happy when one makes measured progress toward their goal?  Well, sure, but we all tend to be our own worst critics, don’t we?  We are too quick to tell ourselves, “It’s just not good enough.”

As I’ve mentioned before, attitude has a major impact on both GMAT prep success and test day performance.  Fact: you are not going to be at your goal only halfway down the road.  The important thing is that you are making progress toward it, and you need to let yourself celebrate that progress.  Even if it’s just another ten or twenty points, you deserve to be proud of the improvement.  Build on that momentum so … Read full post

Indian Business Schools now accept GMAT

December 31, 2011 by

In a move to increase the regional and global competitiveness of the nation’s business schools as well as simplify the admissions process, India’s Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has officially cleared use of the GMAT for admissions screening purposes.  Prior to this landmark decision, India’s management education programs used other, obscure admissions tests including institution-specific tests, “the common admission test (CAT) conducted by the IIMs; management aptitude test conducted by the All India Management Association; Xavier Aptitude Test conducted by XLRI, Jamshedpur; the joint management entrance test (JMET) conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs); and a national test conducted by the AICTE.” This alphabet soup of admissions testing hurt the institutional credibility of India’s universities and their global rankings.

The decision to make way for the GMAT, the world’s top graduate management admissions examination, India has made a significant step forward in its bid to grow the number, … Read full post

Twas the night before GMAT

December 24, 2011 by

‘Twas the night before GMAT, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The knowledge was learned by the student with care,
In hopes that their Score soon would be there.

The test-takers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of case studies danced in their heads.
With she in her ‘kerchief, and he in his cap,
They’d just settled their brains for a fitful night’s nap.

When up in their heads arose such a clatter,

They sprang from their beds to think what was the matter?
Away to the bathroom they flew like a flash,
Tore open their stomach and threw up their mash.

The nerves in the tummies of the new-learned folks
Gave the luster of Test Day which freaked them the most.
When, what to their wondering minds should appear,
But confidence and pride in all they’ve prepared…. Read full post

Never cancel your GMAT score

December 1, 2011 by

Being in the test prep biz, I run into lots of different people with lots of different stories.  In class, we’ve all come together on this common ground in order to beat the GMAT.  Whether online or onsite, I always like to take a poll on who in the room has prior GMAT experience and, if so, to what extent.  Every now and then, someone will raise their hand, tell their story, and finish it with: “…but I cancelled my score.”

Cancelling scores is a topic covered in every Kaplan classroom and it is a decision each test-taker must reach before test day.  By the way, there is only one decision to come to: NEVER CANCEL YOUR SCORE.

Trying to assess your performance during your test is a fool’s errand.  What is more, landing on the notion that you performed so terribly no trace of your efforts … Read full post

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