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5 Reasons to Take the GMAT During College (or Right After)

Posted in Test Prep on April 5, 2011 by

Most people know that your GMAT score is good for 5 years, but why else should you take the test sooner rather than later?

1. You have the time.

Sure, you’re busy now — but chances are you’ll be even busier once you’re out in the real world working 40-60+ hours a week. With that kind of schedule, it will be difficult to section off time to study for the GMAT. Also, beginning your prep now — when you know that you’ll still have ample time to retake the exam should it not go too smoothly — will allow you take the pressure off yourself on test day.

2. You’re already in the “study zone.”

It may take some practice to master complex Data Sufficiency problems and dense Reading Comprehension passages. Since you are already digesting complex information and working under pressure to complete academic tasks in college, it shouldn’t be too hard to add a little GMAT preparation to your daily studying regime. That way, it feels like just an extra class, rather than an unfamiliar burden.

3. Your math and verbal skills are fresh right now.

We hear this constantly: after several years away from day-to-day practice, it may be hard to work with formulas or remember your grammar fundamentals. Given that you had to take that last English, math or science class to fulfill your distribution requirements (if your college has those), you might as well take advantage of the skills you acquired and use them to ace the GMAT.

4. You’ll have more time later to work on other aspects of MBA applications.

This includes starting a business, volunteering, taking an extra accounting class, polishing your application essays, and more. Ever wonder how some applicants manage to volunteer, run marathons, and hold down intense jobs — all at the same time? If you have similar tendencies or ambitions, it may be helpful to get the GMAT out of the way early, so you can focus on the rest of your life later. Your extracurricular involvements will enhance your application if you decide to apply later — and they may even help you relax after stressful hours at work.

5. You’re resilient.

If you miss your goal score by 100 points, it’s normal to feel disappointed. But if you take the GMAT straight out of college, it will feel like just another grade you can improve by the end of the semester. (Don’t forget that you can take the GMAT once a month and nearly every day of the week and that your scores are good for 5 years!) If you wait until right before you apply to b-school to take the test, it might be more difficult to bounce back from a disappointing score.