"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that has nothing to be ashamed of, rightly dividing the word of truth" (JUB).
Education has long been a priority within Christendom. Believing that a rational God created everything that exists, believers reasoned that Creation would contain an intricate, identifiable design. Rather than simply existing with no rules, the universe would operate according to specific laws and principles. This belief, which led to the establishment of the first universities, propelled knowledge and education to the forefront, where it remains to this day. John Wesley, the 18th-century theologian and founder of Methodism, reinforced the importance of education when he said, "The first priority of my life is to be holy, and the second goal of my life is to be a scholar."
Seeking to further your education, then, is a God-honoring pursuit. The Apostle Paul taught his apprentice, Timothy, the value of education in 2 Timothy 2:15. Whatever field of education you pursue, keep Paul's words in mind: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that has nothing to be ashamed of, rightly dividing the word of truth" (JUB).
If your choice is to pursue an MBA or other graduate management program, you may first have to face the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Indeed, thousands of programs at universities around the world require applicants to first successfully navigate the GMAT before entrance is extended.
The GMAT includes four primary sections: analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, quantitative, and verbal. A time limit is allotted for each section, and those taking the test will be required to answer a set number of questions or perform an assignment within those time constraints.
For the analytical writing assessment, test takers are given 30 minutes to provide a critique of an argument. The argument must be analyzed in an essay that will then be given two independent scores. A computerized system will provide one score, while a human expert will provide the second. The two scores will be averaged to provide the final score or, if there appears to be a discrepancy, another human expert will be required. The mark is based on the test takers ability to critically analyze the argument, then provide a clearly communicated explanation of the analysis.
The integrated reasoning section of the GMAT consists of 12 questions, with test takers being given 30 minutes to respond to them all. This section involves four main types of questions: graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, table analysis, and multi-source reasoning. Test takers are marked on their ability to integrate information and use the data to solve complex problems.
The quantitative section of the GMAT evaluates a person's ability to think and process information quantitatively through the use of two question types: problem solving and data sufficiency. The problem solving questions require the use of basic math skills to solve problems. In data sufficiency questions, the test taker is given data to analyze, then must either answer a question or indicate that there is not enough data provided to clearly answer the question. Though the use of calculators is not permitted for this section, test takers are given graph paper upon which to work out the problems.
The verbal section of the GMAT includes reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction questions. For reading comprehension, test takers are rated on their ability to comprehend written presentations and draw appropriate conclusions. The critical reasoning questions test a person's ability to construct and evaluate arguments, then devise a plan of action. Sentence correction questions require the test taker to evaluate a given sentence, then identify if the sentence is best as-is or if alternative wording is necessary.
As entrance into your desired program may depend on your performance on the GMAT, it is advisable that you become familiar with the different sections and types of questions. Sample tests and tutoring--both in person and online--can help you with your preparation. The Economist GMAT Tutor, for example, can provide the support you need on your own schedule. By taking advantage of the options available, you can position yourself to beat the GMAT and gain access to the future you desire.