GRE and GMAT Success Tips: Be Prepared

You’ve made the decision to go to graduate school. Now, it’s time to take the Graduate Record Exam or, if you are interested in our MBA program, the GMAT. Don’t take these exams lightly. Put forth the effort to prepare for them so that you’ll only have to take them one time.

What’s A Good Score?

The first bit of advice for taking any graduate school entrance exam is to have a goal in mind. Don’t go into the exam with a mindset of “let’s just see how I do.” If you are serious enough about graduate school to be taking an entrance exam, then you already have a program in mind, and likely a first choice school. Know what their minimum score requirements are, and set your goals accordingly.

There are three different scores for the GRE:

  • Verbal Reasoning: 130 – 170 score scale
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 130 – 170 score scale
  • Analytical Writing: 0 – 6 score scale

As for the University of Charleston, South Carolina, many programs require a minimum cumulative score of 300 with a 4.0 analytical writing score.

The GMAT has four different scores:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment: 0 – 6 score scale
  • Integrated Reasoning: 1 – 8 score scale
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 6 – 51 score scale
  • Verbal Reasoning: 6 – 51 score scale

The GMAT score range for our MBA program is 520 – 700.

Also, make sure to have your scores sent to the University of Charleston, SC directly. Our test code for the GRE is 5113.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Once you have made the decision to take an exam, do not just register for the next available option. Cramming your preparation into only one week’s time will not be very beneficial. Instead, give yourself plenty of time to establish a realistic study schedule.

What’s enough time? Well, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer to that as study habits fluctuate from person to person. However, Kaplan recommends a two-month study plan.

Practice Makes Perfect

There are countless GRE  and GMAT preparation materials that can be found in bookstores, online or even stores like Target. ETS has free preparation materials for the GRE on their website.  There are also free GMAT preparation materials available. While not as comprehensive as some of the resources available for purchase, they do give an overview of the test and sample questions. So, it is not necessary to purchase a book.

However you find your preparation materials, use them. Practice the types of question, and then take a practice test. Discover your weaknesses and devote extra study time to those areas, and then take another practice test. Time yourself on each question to ensure you are within the time restraints of the actual test. Keep practicing until you feel confident that you understand the types of questions you’ll see on the exam.

Take Care of Yourself

Lastly, be sure to take care of yourself. Get a great night sleep the night before the test. Eat a hearty meal so you don’t get hungry. Do not do any last-minute cramming or stressing. On the day of the test, you need to be cool and confident. You got this!

If you are wondering which exam you should take, here is a great infographic from BenchPrep that compare the GRE vs GMAT:

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