GMAT: Critical factor to access an MBA
Author: Ms. Carolina Ruiz Montani


On average, people wish to access (or if this means get an MBA, “to obtain” would be better) an MBA in order to pursue some of the following objectives:

•  to achieve professional growth
•  to obtain a pay raise
•  to improve their possibilities of career development in their present jobs
•  to broaden job perspectives and improve negotiability

To achieve these goals, you are likely to have prepared and trained most of your life.
However,  needed access to an MBA is restricted and requires the candidate to show both professional and personal skills. Among other selection criteria, English mastery and communication skills become a critical factor to reach this study level. 
The Graduate Management Admission Test, better known as GMAT, is the English language examination chosen by Business Schools to assess the candidate’s aptitude for a graduate business course.
The GMAT exam consists of three main parts: Analytical Writing Assessment, the Quantitative Section, and the Verbal Section.
The first section of the exam is “Analytical Writing Assessment” (AWA) and requires writing two essays. In the first piece of writing, the candidate must analyze an argument, and in the second, the candidate must analyze an issue.
The second section is a quantitative variable which assesses arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. It contains multiple-choice questions of two question types: Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency.

The third is the English language section, which contains exercises of three types: Reading comprehension, Critical reasoning, and Sentence correction.
Unlike other standard examinations, this exam requires a lot of reading and argumentative writing practice to achieve correct use of the language, and also provides the possibility of participating in debates with professionals who can contribute to the analytical thinking skills of the candidate.
As a foreign language consulting office specialized in training students and executives for international exams, Effective English Advisers’ experience shows that GMAT is a “feared” examination for different reasons. There are factors such as exclusion: not to obtain access to MBAs, Masters in Finance, or Business Schools, and also factors related to the knowledge load assessed in GMAT and in English, per se.
When asking candidates what makes them most insecure about passing the English test, the answer in most cases is related to the “essay writing” difficulty, i.e., the evaluation of their ability to write and  debate in English. 

Therefore, the Analytical section seems to be the critical issue in the examination, which makes this experience different from others.
During the preparation exercise stage, the more practice in argumentative writing one does,the higher ones achievement probabilities in GMAT will be. From our experience as international examination trainers, especially GMAT, it is important to explain to the candidate that the knowledge in their profession, and experience in that field is perfectly good in terms of content. However, in order to compete in the international market and apply for challenges such as an MBA, it is necessary to make this knowledge and experience find the accurate form of expression. And this is our challenge as consultants.

(*) Director of Effective English Advisers


Resources related to this article:

- Practice your essay writing in English ... see tip



For further information on our preparatory courses for GMAT examination, contact us .