Learn the 4 Things You Must Know Before Taking the GMAT!   Download it Now!

So, you want to go to business school. To get in to the school of your choice, you need a good score on the GMAT. But just because you’re educated and got good grades in undergrad, that doesn’t ensure that you’ll ace the GMAT just by showing up on test day. Before taking the GMAT, here are four things you should know:

1. The way you did math in high school is not the way you want to do math on the GMAT (most of the time).

That’s good news and bad news. The good news is, the GMAT only requires basic quantitative and analytic skills. Of course, it may have been years since you’ve thought about the circumference of a circle or found roots of quadratic equations. Nevertheless, it’s not rocket science; that knowledge will come back to you with a bit of review and practice. Moreover, the best strategies for a large number of GMAT math questions is not to solve them the way your 9th grade algebra teacher taught you. Which brings me to the bad news. While it should be exciting to you that you may not have to set up a complex algebraic expression and solve for x on many GMAT word problems, it is nevertheless the case that you may need to un-train yourself in certain “math habits” and re-train yourself in others. That will first mean learning the more relevant strategies for the GMAT, of course, and then it’ll mean applying them to lots of practice problems to ingrain them as second nature in your mind. (By the way, this applies to reading comprehension and many other question types tested on the GMAT as well). But believe me, it’ll be worth it!

2. Understanding how the GMAT is scored can be worth points to you — even before you sit down to answer question #1.