What’s Quant Got to do With it?

Daily, professionals need to be able to competently read, analyze and then apply data to solve pressing issues. This is quantitative thinking. So how does one understand their quantitative reasoning (QR) skills? The GMAT.

For many, the GMAT acronym initiates a fear-induced paralysis. A feeling of inadequacy and hopelessness. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT), which is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council, is an adaptive test, the score of which correlates to success in graduate business programs – like the MBA. It assesses a candidate’s analytical, quantitative, verbal and reading skills. The intent of the GMAT is to apply basic mathematic skills to the interpretation and analysis of real-world quantitative information. As a test-taker answers a question correctly, the test gets more difficult. And, with every wrong answer, it gets easier. The score (200-800) indicates one’s quantitative reasoning abilities.

For many it’s the math that seems to be the stumbling block of the test. Many a MBA recruitment officer has heard “But I’m bad at math” or “I haven’t used math in years.” Formally, that may be true. Very few business professionals are performing advanced calculus or trigonometry at their desks. But, they are analyzing data. From sales reports to consumer trends, quantitative reasoning is an important part of their daily work.

Still, applicants try to avoid the GMAT like the plague. Many fear that the math will stop them. Others just don’t like the structure. But, the test is not only doable – it’s a great way for business leaders to understand their own quantitative reasoning strengths.

And while it has math in it, the GMAT is about so much more than math. It helps schools and employers to determine a candidate’s quantitative reasoning. It illustrates an individual’s ability to think critically and apply basic mathematics and statistics to understand the data they have, and make recommendations for the future.

As part of the MBA application, preparing to challenge the GMAT should be taken into account. According to GMAC, it takes on average 92 hours for a candidate to score between a 600 and 690 on the test. At the Lazaridis MBA, we provide a number of free math and verbal refreshers, as well as bootcamp classes in partnership with Quantum Test Prep to help our applicants succeed. And, if your first test doesn’t yield the results you were aiming for – have no fear. The Lazaridis MBA only looks at your best score, and GMAC allows you to take the test up to five times annually, with 16 days between tests.

To tackle the pressing business problems of today – and the future – we need quantitatively strong leaders. The GMAT is a way for you to understand your quantitative strengths, and to instill confidence in your success while pursuing your MBA.