GMAT Prep Course Specific FAQ’s

GMAT Prep Course Specific Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Welcome to our comprehensive GMAT Specific FAQ’s page (GMAT Specific Frequently Asked Questions). Here you will find answers to many questions specific to our GMAT course. We also have a General FAQ’s page (General Frequently Asked Questions) that provides a comprehensive list of answers to questions on a wide range of topics.

What types of students are in your classes?
There are generally three types of students in our GMAT prep courses: (1) current university/college students, (2) working professionals, and (3) those switching careers and looking to go back to school. Nonetheless, our GMAT prep course is open to all types of students who are looking to improve their GMAT scores.
Is this program for Top Scorers looking to get into Top Business Schools?
Yes. Our course will definitely help those scorers beginning at above average levels. The course is designed for all types of students and scoring ranges and we have had many top-level individuals take our course and score in the 99%-tile. Usually a high 500′s or low 600′s starting score is the prerequisite to cracking the 700 barrier. Most students in that range possess the fundamentals but need strategy and time saving efficiency methods to extract the best possible score. Our instructors can tailor an advanced study schedule specifically suited to your enhanced skill set and test score goals. Our class size is small which allows instructors to adapt the course as needed. Our top scoring students excel in our courses and obtain admittance to the best schools in the nation.
Will your course cover all the content required for the GMAT exam?
Yes. We have three content review sessions to help students build GMAT content mastery. We have a mathematics review in our week 2 class. On week 3 we review statistics. Our week 4 class covers a grammar review for the sentence correction question type.
What are the practice tests that you use as part of the program?
We use official practice tests that were created by the test makers of the GMAT, the Graduate Management Admissions Council. They are exactly the same tests, with the same questions and format, as the actual GMAT exam.
Are the practice tests we take full-length, official tests?
Yes, all practice tests use real questions, from formerly administered official GMAT exams. They are designed to simulate the actual test taking experience.
Why is your GMAT course offered only in certain cities?
Our GMAT prep course is offered in our west coast region and in major cities throughout the United States. Since the GMAT is a specifically for business school there are not as many test takers compared to say the GRE or SAT. In the future we will be expanding our GMAT course to other major cities throughout our nationwide network.
Do you have computers in the classroom?
No, we do not have computers in our classrooms. The GMAT test is administered via computer at Pearson Professional Centers. Our students utilize CAT format tests to take at home, using the student’s own personal computer. Instructors will teach you the in’s and out’s of navigating the CAT Format (Computer Adaptive Format). Like other companies, we do not use computers in the GMAT classroom because the printed paper-based questions are exactly like the questions administered in the CAT format tests. With our course you’ll be thoroughly familiar with the test’s format and know the strategies to capitalize upon the exam’s weaknesses.
Are instructors available outside of class?
Yes, instructors are available briefly before and after class, and they are also available through e-mail.
What are the differences between the GMAT and the GRE?
The GMAT and GRE require the same knowledge of basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and statistics. The GMAT requires basic knowledge of grammar while the GRE does not. The GRE requires vocabulary to do well in its vocabulary-in-context questions. The writing components of the two tests are essentially the same except the GMAT has only one essay while the GRE has two. Both are computer based tests; the GMAT is a CAT format test and the GRE is a CAT format hybrid. The GMAT CAT adjusts question level difficulty with each question answered. The GRE CAT hybrid format only adjusts the difficulty of questions between sections. On the GRE you can return to previously viewed questions and use a calculator; both of which you cannot do on the GMAT. The GMAT costs considerably more to take than the GRE exam.
Should I take the GMAT or the GRE?
It depends, so check with the professional or graduate schools you’re interested in, and see which test they require you to take, depending on your course of study. Students who plan to study business or management generally are asked to take the GMAT, whereas most other programs generally ask you take the GRE.
 
If given a choice, make sure that you know about each test’s format and content. While the math concepts tested in the GRE and GMAT don’t differ, the types of math questions do. GMAT math questions are longer than GRE questions and most students consider GMAT math questions more difficult. The GMAT however does not test vocabulary and the verbal section is easier than the GRE counterpart. The GRE verbal section has more difficult reading comp passages and two types of vocabulary-in-context questions. It however does not test grammar, whereas the GMAT uses grammar with its sentence correction question types. The writing components of the two tests are essentially the same except the GMAT has only one essay while the GRE has two.
 
If you’re undecided, you can look at sample test questions at the GMAT and GRE websites. You can then determine which format is more complementary to your skill set and which test works best for you.
How soon after I take the class should I take the test?
Most students take the test about 1 – 2 weeks after the course ends and no more than 2 months after the last class. For material retention purposes we strongly suggest taking the GMAT Exam within 3 months of your last class date.
When should I register for the test?
We recommend that you wait until the third week of class to sign up for the GMAT exam. Waiting a couple of weeks will allow you to ascertain your progress and determine whether or not you might need additional time to study or to complete course assignments. Some students need additional time due to their schedules. Signing up for a test date before you take the course could potentially trap you into a test date that you are not fully prepared for. Waiting until at least the third week gives a better indicator of your overall progress and is generally a sound time to make a decision on when to take your GMAT Exam. We DO NOT recommend registering for the GMAT exam before you start your course.
When should I take the GMAT exam?
It depends on your business school(s) application deadlines. Find out the application deadline, and then work backwards from your earliest deadline. Add extra time for delays, keeping in mind that you can only take the GMAT test once per month. Also consider other components of your business school application and allow enough time to adequately devote to those components. It can take as long as 20 days for your official scores to arrive at your designed schools.
I don’t know much about the GMAT. Should I prepare for it before I get to your class?
No. It is best to enter our GMAT prep course without any advanced preparation. We want students to come in with a clean slate and learn our proven Sherwood strategies, methods, and techniques. If students are completely unfamiliar with the GMAT exam, it may be useful to explore the mba.com website and familiarize themselves with the format of the GMAT exam.
Is there any preparation I should do before taking the GMAT course?
No, there is no preparation needed before taking our GMAT course. We want students to come in with a clean slate, and learn our building blocks approach to test prep. The course begins at an introductory level, and then progresses to advanced topics. If you would like to brush up on basic level math we suggest this additional starter and refresher book: CliffsNotes Math Review for Standardized Tests
I haven’t been in school for a while, and my math skills are very rusty. Will I be able to keep up with the GMAT course?
Yes, you should be able to keep up with our course. Our course begins at an introductory level, and then progresses to advanced concepts. However, if you would like to brush up on your math skills, we recommend purchasing this book: CliffsNotes Math Review for Standardized Tests
Is the GMAT available on paper, as a paper-based test?
Not in the U.S.; however there are a select few testing locations across the globe that administer paper-based tests. U.S. paper-based GMAT Exams ended almost 15 years ago. You cannot take a paper-based GMAT exam in the United States or Canada.
How does the computer based GMAT test work?
The computer adaptive GMAT test adjusts to your individual ability level. At the start of each multiple-choice section of the exam, you are presented with a question of medium difficulty. As you answer each question, the computer scores your answer and uses it to determine which question to use next. Correct responses will prompt questions of increased difficulty, whereas incorrect responses will generally prompt questions of lesser difficulty. Only one question is presented at a time, and you may not skip, return to, or change your responses to previous questions in the CAT (Computer Adaptive Testing) format.
Do you have any logistical information regarding scheduling the GMAT exam at the Pearson Professional Centers?
Some locations can fill up if you wait too long (for instance, more populated areas: Manhattan, San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles). Please check the availability of those centers in advance to ensure that you can schedule a time to take the exam. If you cannot find a location in your immediate area you might have to travel to a suburb or another city to take the exam. Some smaller cities have only one location to take the exam and if you live in a rural area you might need to travel to take the exam in another city.
 
In the event examination dates are impacted and/or limited in your area, you should schedule an examination date far enough after your last prep class date so that you have extra breathing room to finish any remaining work that you did not complete within the course. The best rule of thumb is to schedule the exam far enough after your last prep class, but before the deadline for schools to receive your official scores.