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GMAT Prep Courses Overview

College Exams November 28, 2015

Some schools use the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) to assess students for graduate programs in business-related fields. The computerized, national test ensures that incoming students are ready for the demanding curriculum of the program.

What GMAT Prep Courses Cover

The primary focus of GMAT prep courses is on the four sections of the GMAT. The main topics of the exam are in the course and practice activities are devised to help students gain familiarity with types of questions and the format. Students are also taught time management skills and good study habits, apart from ways of eliminating common distractions and test anxiety.

Test Prep Courses

A university or college may provide GMAT prep programs through its student services or continuing education department. Prep courses are also available through some independent companies. Schools usually offer these as free courses, although the study materials used in the programs are required to be purchased by the students. Prospective test takers can also avail many online test prep course options. GMAT prep programs can vary in duration; most teachers have either taken the test and gained a high score or prepared official GMAT questions.

Format of Classes

The different test sections have a variety of dedicated courses that may cover specific skills necessary for passing the GMAT examination or a specific type of question on the exam. Sample tests are in most programs whereby students are allowed to get familiar with the format of the test and the types of questions they would have to answer. Courses may also employ sample tests for assessing students’ skills and ensuring that their preparation for the GMAT exam is complete.


A major duration of GMAT test prep courses covers the four main sections of the GMAT. The sections covered in the computer adaptive exam are integrated reasoning, analytical writing, quantitative skills, and verbal ability.

Integrated Reasoning

Twelve questions comprise this section of the GMAT where a student’s reasoning skills find examination through the use of multiple sources of evidence in various formats. In the test section, individuals have to perform an interpretation of graphics and analysis of tables. Coursework may find ways of using logic when looking at a situation from multiple viewpoints.

Analytical Writing Assessment

The analytical writing assessment component involves the examination of one topic and production of a written argument by students whose problem-solving and reasoning skills will find use in tackling their stance on an issue. Individuals will learn critical thinking and communication skills through this section of the test. Students find assistance through prep courses in the analysis of a problem and its division into manageable parts.

Quantitative Skills

Thirty-seven questions are featured in the quantitative section of the course, covering data sufficiency and problem-solving. It involves interpreting graphs and solving mathematical problems. The individual’s abilities in algebra, elementary mathematics, and geometry find examination through multiple-choice questions. During a prep course, mathematical procedures and formulas are reviewed by students when they practice solving various types of problems.

Verbal Ability

Forty-one questions comprise the verbal section where an individual’s critical reasoning, reading comprehension, and basic English skills find examination. In some questions, an individual is required to correct sentences that either use improper grammar or structure or has errors. In some other questions, the individual has to prove comprehension by reading a passage and answering questions. Prep courses require students to review English grammar, among other rules. Students usually have to answer questions about several passages to sharpen their skills.

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