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Final Call to 2018 MBA Applicants: Your GMAT is Now

Step up your GMAT preparation ahead of this year's MBA application deadlines

This article is brought to you by examPAL

If you’re looking to win admission to a top MBA program in 2018, there’s not long to go before the first round of MBA application deadlines. Have you been preparing sufficiently for the GMAT?   

Students who obtained a GMAT score of  700+  spent an average of 121 hours revising for the admissions test, according to a survey carried out by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Combine these hours of GMAT preparation with a busy life schedule, and chances are that the summer months will be critical to achieving a high score.  

Below is a general MBA application timeline, complete with tips on ensuring that you set up all the resources to get GMAT-ready. Submitting your MBA application in the first round is likely to give you the greatest chance of a place – and, indeed, financial aid resources provided by the school. Bear in mind that these timelines will vary depending on where in the world you wish to study, and whether you’re after a one or two-year program.

A general MBA application timeline

Note: Wherever you’re applying, try to take the GMAT at least 21 days before the first application deadline of your chosen school(s) and factor your GMAT preparation into this timeline. This allows for your score to be processed and sent to your school. If you decide to decline your score, you can re-take the test in 16 days and try to score higher. If you want to keep your first GMAT score but would still like to try and score higher, you will have to wait a further 30 days before you can re-sit the test.    

Find out what GMAT score your chosen schools are looking for

Planning your GMAT preparation around an approximate three-month window in advance of an application deadline isn’t enough in itself. It is imperative that you check the exact dates for each round on your chosen schools' websites. By way of example, we have provided you with some notable application deadlines in September below.

A school’s website is where you should also find the average GMAT scores of current students admitted onto each MBA program – helpful when setting yourself a target to aim for. (For a general overview, here’s a roundup of GMAT score averages achieved by the MBA class of 2018 at 20 schools in the US).

Examples of MBA application deadlines in September 2017

MBA application deadlines in September 2017

Source: business schools’ official websites

GMAT preparation: Take a practice test to establish your skills baseline

Taking a GMAT practice test to establish your skills baseline is an excellent way to identify the areas in which you’ll need to put in the most work. On completing a practice test, you will also have an idea of your base score. With your starting score, and strengths and weaknesses in mind, devise a clear study schedule that includes those vital 100-120 hours of GMAT preparation.

examPAL: A GMAT platform that studies the way you think

Educational technology (edtech) is getting smarter all the time. Identifying what you need to study, work on and develop no longer needs to be a time-consuming pen and paper task. Today, online learning platforms, such as examPAL, use artificial intelligence to read your progress and intuitively direct you through your path of study. examPAL’s PALgorithm software effectively studies the way you think and provides feedback in real time. The system also monitors why a user gets certain answers wrong, where they might be wasting time, and evaluates which tools and methods work best for each person. examPAL also just so happens to be something of a one-stop-shop, offering you the option of one-on-one MBA consultancy, tutoring, essay reviews and teachers' assessments; putting almost everything you need to be MBA application-ready in one, easy-to-access place.

The multiple methods of problem solving

There can be up to 10 different ways to solve a problem on the GMAT. examPAL has found that each of these solutions fall into three categories, which make the 'PAL' in 'examPAL' – 'Precise', 'Alternative', and 'Logical'. The company's system studies and tracks the ways in which students process the questions they are dealt with. The effectiveness of each solution for every student is assessed and this information is then combined to find the best solution for you. 

Only your highest GMAT score counts

Don’t forget that if you don't like your first GMAT score, you can retake the test up to five times in one year, although, at US$250 a pop, it might put you out of pocket! Still, it’s reassuring to know that most business schools don't calculate your GMAT average, but look only at your highest GMAT score – a score which has a shelf life of up to five years. Make sure you use your time wisely and give yourself the best chance of achieving top marks and perhaps even a score of 700+ on your first try!

This article is brought to you by examPAL

Karen Turtle
Written by Karen Turtle

A content writer with a background in higher education, Karen holds an MA in modern languages from the University of St Andrews. Her interests include languages and literature, current affairs and film. ​

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