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business | opinions & advice | positioning yourself for admission to business school
4 GMAT Myths
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Know your enemy; avoid these common myths about the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
MYTH #1: You need a GMAT score of 700+ to be a competitive applicant.
FACT: GMAT scores range from 200 to 800. Only seven percent of all GMAT takers score 700 or higher. Two–thirds of test takers score between 400 and 600. While some schools report an average GMAT score of around 700, it's important to remember that this is just the mean. A sizeable proportion of the class also scored below 700. And even if you are among the seven percent who break the 700–mark, your acceptance is not guaranteed–remember, your GMAT score is just one of the factors that admissions committees look at.
MYTH #2: The GMAT tests your knowledge of business principles.
FACT: The GMAT tests your basic quantitative and verbal abilities as well as your analytical writing skills. It contains no specific business principles except, perhaps, as scenarios for problem solving or as reading comprehension passages.
MYTH #3: The GMAT tests complex math concepts.
FACT: Math on the GMAT appears difficult because of the manner in which concepts are presented, not because of the concepts themselves. You won't see any calculus or trigonometry on the GMAT–it only tests basic math that you learned in the seventh or eighth grade. There is also a section of data sufficiency problems which present you with statements and ask you if you have sufficient data to solve the problem.
MYTH #4: All of the questions on the GMAT count equally toward your score.
FACT: The GMAT is a computer–adaptive test. This means that unlike paper–and–pencil standardized tests that begin with an easy question and then get progressively tougher, the GMAT always begins with a question of moderate difficulty. If you get it right, the computer gives you a slightly harder question. If you get it wrong, you'll receive a slightly easier question. Therefore, questions at the beginning of each section have a greater impact on your score.