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Get ready for the GMAT with these tips

Don't let the test intimidate you.

Before you head to business school you have to tackle the business of test prep.iStock

There is a commonality among those seeking a master’s degree in business or finance: They are ready to take their careers to the next level – and most have not taken a standardized test in years. “The average age for someone taking the GMAT is 28,” says Rob Franek of the Princeton Review. “That’s opposed to an LSAT student, who has an average age of 21. So GMAT students have several years of work and life experience that they should feel confident about.” Franek, author of “The Best 378 Colleges,” shares this advice for GMAT preparation.

Erase your memoriesof the SAT: “People forget that you take the GMAT on a computer, which means that you can take it whenever you want,” says Franek. “It’s a comprehensive exam that tests analytical writing, reasoning, and verbal and math skills.”

Assess your strengths: “Generally speaking, GMAT students have strong math skills — though students who have a liberal arts major may want to refresh on the math,” he notes.

Set aside timeto study: “Six weeks of prep is a good rule of thumb,” says Franek. “Remember, cramming doesn’t pay off from a standardized test perspective. At the end of each week, you should take a practice test and see your score.”


Understandthe essay: For many prospective test takers, the GMAT’s essay section is the one that causesworry, says Franek. “Students [will be] moving on to case management and should show that they can think clearly.”

Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.

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