Questions about the GMAT

+ Should I take the GMAT?

Are you thinking about applying to business school? If your answer's "no," then maybe you shouldn't take the GMAT unless you want a fun challenge (which we've done a few times). If you answered "yes," then you have two choices for business school admissions tests: the GMAT or the GRE. So this question becomes, "Should I take the GMAT or the GRE?" The GRE has recently gained relevance as a great alternative to the dependable GMAT. So how should you decide which one to take? Even though the GRE has grown in popularity, most admissions officers still hold a GMAT bias in their heads. All things being equal, a good GMAT score will be taken more seriously than a good GRE score. When in doubt, take the GMAT, especially if you're interested in banking or consulting (two fields that often require GMAT scores in applications). What are the differences between the tests? The GMAT quant section is much harder than that of the GRE, while the GRE verbal is disproportionately hard for non-native English speakers.


+ When should I schedule my GMAT?


+ When should I start studying for the GMAT?


+ How long should I study for the GMAT?

Studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between time spent studying and performance on the GMAT. That being said, there is no hard and fast rule for how much you should study. Studying time is entirely dependent on individual need. It could be that you study for five hours and end up with a 730. Or you could slave away for months and months and never break 650. If you're studying on your own, the best way to gauge your progress is to take full-length practice exams. Study until you feel a mastery over the material, however long that takes, and take practice exams until you've hit your desired score range.


+ Do I need a GMAT tutor?

The advantage of a private GMAT tutor over an in-class course or studying on your own is time efficiency. A general GMAT course won't be suited exactly to your needs, so you will waste a lot of time learning things you already know. Studying on your own requires hours of research to understand what the test is all about, figure out what you need to prioritize in your studying, gather the proper materials, and interpret your progress on practice exams. A private GMAT tutor does all this heavy lifting for you. Obviously, a private tutor costs more, so you need to evaluate whether the benefit it will bring you is worthwhile. We recommend that you spend some time building a base for yourself, figure out what your weaknesses are, then go to a private tutor with a specific need in mind, whether it is a specific type of critical reasoning question or the quant section as a whole.


+ How is the GMAT scored?

Technically, your GMAT score is based on three components: Integrated Reasoning (IR), Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), and your Total Score. IR scores range from 1 to 8 at integer intervals. The AWA is an essay that is scored from 0 to 6, an average of two independent scores.

The only score that really matters is your Total Score. It is subdivided into the Verbal and Quantitative sections. Both Verbal and Quant scores can range from 0 to 60, but Verbal scores higher than 44 and Quant scores higher than 51 are all but unnecessary. The Total Score is produced by an algorithm that weighs your Verbal and Quant scores and assigns you a number between 200 and 800. It is this score that is the most important.


+ What does the GMAT consist of?

There are four sections: Integrated Reasoning (IR), Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Verbal, and Quantitative.

IR consists of four question types: graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, table analysis, and multi-source reasoning.

Quant consists of two question types: problem solving and data sufficiency

Verbal consists of three question types: reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction.


+ What score do I need to get into the school of my dreams?

Just like for studying, there are no hard and fast rules for GMAT scores, but there are rules of thumb. If you're applying to a top 20 business school, you will need better than a 650; 680 for top 10 schools. The average GMAT score for students at top 10 schools hovers around 720. Another good rule of thumb is to try to be in the middle 80% of GMAT scores of your dream school. The top 10% and bottom 10% of scores tend to be anomalies that are not reflective of realistic expectations. In the end, your GMAT score will not be the deciding factor for your admission, but you will be fine as long as it's a gold star on your application and not a stain.

Questions about Merchant GMAT

+ I'm not in Buenos Aires, how can I hire you?

Most of our tutoring is done through Zoom, a better version of Skype. Even though we're not meeting in person, our online coaching is actually an advantage. All of your lessons will be recorded for your future reference. We have tons of resources that are available at any time in your pocket.


+ If I am in Buenos Aires, where are the tutoring sessions?

Our offices are in Palermo, at the corner of Córdoba and Thames.


+ Can you provide references from your students?

You can read what some of our past students have said about us here, and if you want more detail, we are happy to put you in touch with any of our former students.


+ What materials will we use?

We have a library of videos, homework logs with analytics, exhaustive slide shows, 2000+ official GMAT questions, and recorded classes, all designed to make sure you have the materials you need to ensure your success. If you need something we don't already have, we are happy to custom make additional materials for you. Learn more about our resources here.


+ Which package should I sign up for?

Each of the time frames is suited to different levels of prior preparation. We recommend the one hour free lesson to anyone who isn't 100% confident in our methods. From there, we will suggest the optimum package for you based on analysis of both your diagnostic test results and our one hour together. That being said, we have some simple guidelines for each of our packages. We recommend our ten hour Basic Plan if you've done signficant amounts of studying on your own and need that final push to correct your weaknesses and make your score competitive. The twenty hour Standard Plan is perfect if you've studied a bit on your own, in a class, or with another tutor and you want to expand beyond the foundation you have already built. Sign up for our thirty hour Premium Plan if you have no prior preparation whatsoever, even if you decided to take the exam mere days ago. Contact us if you're not sure which plan to go for; we love helping people decide.


+ What are your methods?

Our methods are centered around the principles of long-term excellence and time efficiency. We have frameworks in place to give you problem solving skills that will serve you beyond the GMAT. Our methods are personalized to your particular skillset so that we can teach you as much as possible in as little time as possible. If you want to read more about our methods, head over to our Philosophy page.


+ I am particularly nervous about Verbal and I don't want to waste my time studying for Quant (or vice versa). How should I approach studying?


+ Will you help me out after our tutoring is over?

The short answer is yes. We are the best in the business at routinely checking up on you, making sure your GMAT went as well as we had hoped, helping you with business school applications. Once our formal tutoring is over, you have become part of the Merchant GMAT family, with access to all of our alumni resources.


+ What are your rates?

Check out our Products page for a full description of our packages.


+ I've taken other prep courses and I haven't seen signficant improvement. Can you still help me?

It depends, but most likely yes.


+ How long are classes?


+ What is your cancellation policy?


+ Do you teach any other tests?


+ I'm between jobs. Can we meet every day for the next month?


+ Do you offer tutoring on weekends?


+ How much GMAT tutoring do I need?


+ How much can I expect to improve my GMAT score?

 

If you have any additional questions not addressed here, feel free to email anish@merchantgmat.com. We'll get back to you asap.