MBA: GMAT or GRE at Home? Yes, Please!

by mba

How test-makers adapt to the changing needs of the MBA

Sergey Kouk is a rocket scientist turned GMAT instructor, who achieved a score of 750 on the GMAT after 2 weeks of studying (thanks to amazing teachers and mentors who taught him advanced reasoning skills early in his career). Sergey brings over 10 years of experience teaching the GMAT, as well as insights from other experienced GMAT instructors and MBA Admissions Consultants at Admit Master, to help you get a 700+ score on the GMAT and gain admission to your dream business school.

What are the latest features of GMAT and GRE?

At the start of the pandemic, test centres worldwide reduced capacity or were shut completely and test-takers were scrambling to book scarce test appointments.

To address the uncertainty of future test centre closures and to provide more flexibility to candidates, the GMAC (the makers of the GMAT) and the ETS (the makers of the GRE) developed online versions of these exams.

The home exams follow the same structures and use the same scoring algorithms as the test-centre exams and are monitored online by human proctors. The online versions of the GMAT and the GRE are here to stay, so even when things revert to normal you can choose to take the exam at home or at a test centre.

How do they improve the test-taker experience and performance?

The at-home exams offer more flexibility because they can be scheduled 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For most people, taking the test from the comfort of their own homes will help reduce anxiety and improve performance. Moreover, unlike in a test centre exam, you could have water in a clear container during your GMAT exam – a welcome change, as staying hydrated during your exam may improve your focus and concentration.

When scheduling the online exam, please be aware that your computer needs to meet certain technical requirements. Be sure to download and run a system check available on the GMAC or ETS websites.

How is sitting a home online test different from that at a test centre?

Even though the exam structures and questions are the same in both versions of the exams, the test-taking experience will be slightly different.

When taking the exam at home, you will need to make sure that you are in a room alone and that nobody can disturb you during your exam. No other person can enter the room while you’re taking the exam. You will need to remove all study materials and other unapproved items from your test area. However, you are permitted to have an erasable whiteboard with a dry-erase marker to take notes during the exam.

At the start of your exam, a proctor will check you in, ask you to show a 360-degree view of your room, and will then activate your exam. You’ll need to always remain in the field of vision of your web camera and your entire exam will be audio and video recorded to prevent cheating.

MBA: GMAT or GRE at Home? Yes, Please!

What are some of the traps that test-takers should avoid in their preparation?

The biggest issue that most people face on the GMAT or GRE is poor time management. Almost everyone I speak with, who is coming to Admit Master for advice after self-studying for a while, says that they are comfortable with the basics and that the only issue they have with the test is timing.

However, poor time management is a symptom of a problem, not the cause. Most people spend too much time on questions not because they are bad at time management, but because they are using long, inefficient strategies they’ve learnt in school. This is why learning more advanced strategies that save time, improve accuracy, and help you find the right answer quickly are critical to your success on the test.

Moreover, learning these strategies in advance is extremely important. Many people approach studying for the GMAT or GRE the same way they would prepare for a college-level exam – by memorising a lot of theory and/or by doing lots of practice quizzes. However, practising without learning better ways of approaching questions tends to only reinforce bad habits that become harder to break in the future.

Which type of preparation is most effective and when: self-study, group classes or private tuition?

Because learning “good” strategies and developing “good” habits from the start is so important, immersing yourself in a structured learning experience usually yields better and quicker results. Enrolling in a well-structured group class often provides the best return on investment. However the quality of group classes varies greatly, so make sure you do your research and attend demo classes to see if you are comfortable with the style of teaching. Here at Admit Master we offer demo classes twice a month. They are free and available anywhere in the world.

If you are unable to come to a live class, your next best option is to invest in a quality self-prep programme that includes instructor support. For example, we offer on-demand versions of our courses that let you watch recordings of live classes and work 1-on-1 with a dedicated instructor for a fraction of the cost of a private tuition package. You can watch free demos of these courses on our website at

Lastly, if you have limited time but a large budget, working with a private tutor will help you study efficiently and get the most out of your prep time. Whether you have been studying for some time and just need an extra push, or you are starting from scratch and require undivided attention from your instructor, working with a private tutor will help you save time and reach your goals faster, while letting you study at your own convenient schedule.

If you’re serious about doing an MBA or a Master’s degree and taking your career to a whole new level, start by taking a free practice test on our website and signing up for a 1-on-1 consultation – we’ll be happy to help you figure out the best study plan that will fit your schedule and your personal goals. I look forward to speaking with you soon! Good luck!

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