“If you don’t know where you are, then you can’t get to where you want to go.”
The first piece of advice we give any GMAT aspirant is—“Take a diagnostic test!”
No, this isn’t one of those medical tests that you must take to demonstrate eligibility for the GMAT!
A diagnostic test is merely a GMAT practice test that will show you what to expect on the real GMAT (question types, time, pattern, etc.) and act as a GMAT score calculator. It will give you a starting score that will establish your Level Zero, that is, the level at which you are starting out.
Understand your GMAT Score Calculator results
The minimum GMAT score you can get is 200. The mean GMAT score of test-takers all over the world is 547 (45th percentile). Many B-schools require you to have a minimum GMAT score of 600 (61st percentile) to be eligible to apply to their program. On the other hand, the very best B-schools in the world have an average GMAT score of 700 (89th percentile).
So if the GMAT Score Calculator shows you a score less than 600, then it means that you have some way to go before reaching a dream score of 700+. If you are between 610 and 690, then you are doing some things right, but there are still specific areas on which you must focus to hit your target. If you are already at a 700 score level, kudos! You are way ahead of others. But then, should you be satisfied? The higher your GMAT score, the higher your chances of getting a huge scholarship—so why not aim for 750+?
Whatever score level you are at, we can help you improve! (Here are some students who cracked the GMAT with our help!).
What other GMAT practice test should you take?
There are plenty of unofficial GMAT practice tests (those created by sources other than the GMAC, the official body that conducts the GMAT exam) available on the internet. While these GMAT practice tests are good for you to just practice your timing or test-taking strategy, they have some disadvantages:
- The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test that runs on a testing algorithm that is very complex. This algorithm will determine your final score based on your performance (how many questions you get right, the difficulty levels of the questions you got right and wrong, the position of the questions that you got wrong, etc.) Unofficial GMAT practice tests may use a scoring algorithm that is different from what the actual GMAT test uses. This means that your mock test score is not reflective of your actual performance level.
- The quality of questions in unofficial GMAT practice tests may not be of the same standard as those on the actual GMAT. Did you know that the GMAC spends close to USD 250 on every question it creates? And these questions are created by trained psychometricians who analyze test-taker behavior before designing the choices. So, it is important that you practice questions of the same standard and level as the actual GMAT.
The GMAC provides 6 full-length GMAT practice tests on its website, two free and four paid. You can take any of these to understand where you stand.