Preparing for the GMAT: Practice, Practice Practice

While it may invoke memories of number two pencils and five-syllable vocabulary words from the SATs, the standardized test called the Graduate Management Admissions Test — or GMAT — is a requirement for admission to Wharton’s EMBA Program.

Fortunately, the days of the number two pencil are long over. Today, the GMAT is computerized and applicants can even receive an unofficial score immediately after the test. The official results take approximately 20 days to receive.

The GMAT is comprised of three sections: quantitative, verbal, and an analytical writing assessment. says that the GMAT does not measure things like your knowledge of business, your job skills, or specific content from your undergraduate years. So rest assured you won’t have to worry about recalling any biology or world history.

Instead, the GMAT focuses on areas like data sufficiency, problem solving, reading comprehension and critical reasoning. As it turns out, those things are pretty good indicators of students’ success in the quantitative courses that are a significant part of Wharton’s MBA program.

Applicants for next year have until March to take the GMAT, but it’s never too early to start preparing. Even if you change your mind and decide to wait to apply, it’s still worthwhile since your score is valid for five years.

The best advice most students have for preparing for the GMAT is the same as if you wanted to play at Carnegie Hall: “Practice, practice, practice!” There are plenty of practice tests you can take online. This will also be an indicator of whether a review course might be helpful.

Read more about Wharton’s GMAT requirement.