There are a number of factors that affect your candidacy when you apply to a top management consulting firm. While some worry about their ability to think on their feet during case interviews, others feel like they are bad test takers. Read more about written tests…
That makes the written assessment, which is pretty similar to the GMAT exam used by business schools for admissions purposes, a major concern. It need not be, and we’ll tell you why. First, we need to figure out what kind of test-taker you are.
A Quick Personality Test
You should know by now whether you tense up when you hear the word test or whether it is second nature for you to do well on any standardized exam.
It functions as a sliding scale for the strategies we’ll talk about. Over-studying can be just as detrimental for someone who get nauseous on test day as a lack of preparation can be for the relaxed test take. Either way, expect to need about four weeks to prepare.
Start with the GMAT
The GMAT is the standard for business schools, and it provides a useful metric for management consulting candidates. There are a number of free practice exams that you can take online; we recommend taking one from the official site, here: http://www.mba.com/mba/thegmat/downloadfreetestpreparationsoftware.
You’ll note that there are analytical writing sections, quantitative reasoning questions, data sufficiency assessments and a verbal section. It’s important to figure out what areas are your weakness with a practice exam.
The 70/30 Rule
If you are not the best at grammar, the sentence correction and verbal skills section may be your downfall. Liberal arts majors might struggle with the data sufficiency sections. Each assessment candidate is different.
What you do need to do is then create a self-study program that places a heavy emphasis on the areas where you struggle. We recommend spending about 70 percent of the time you have budgeted on the sections where you scored the lowest. At the same time, you don’t want to get rusty in the other sections, so use the remainder of your time to maintain your acumen.
Alternative Study Tips
Practicing for a test you’re not actually taking, the GMAT, could lead to problems depending on the requirements of the management consulting firm where you’re applying. Instead, consider branching out into other study methods. If you want help with data sufficiency questions, using the LSAT’s analytical reasoning section for a bit of cross-training. The logic games questions will develop your ability to fill in the gaps with information.
Make a strategy that fills out your skills by augmenting your weakest areas. Develop a plan that targets how you take the assessment. Then get a decent night’s rest and ace the examination!