Plan, Prepare, Perform: Tips on taking the GMAT

Lorin Lindell

Are you interested in earning an MBA? If so you are probably aware graduate programs require prospective students to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), which gives you information about your strengths and identifies the skills you need to focus on to be successful in your graduate program.

To get tips on successfully preparing for an MBA program, we consulted with Shanna Johnson who is the Admissions Advisor for Western’s Weekend Master in Business Admission program in Everett. She is not only responsible for helping students within the MBA program, she also helps future MBA students prepare for the GMAT.

A confident, brown haired woman wearing a button down blouse with a geometric pattern stands against a brick wall background
While taking the GMAT can be a stressful thought for many prospective MBA students, there are ways to be prepared. “Taking practice tests can help prepare you and give you an idea of the test format. You are more likely to succeed when you don’t come in blind,” said Johnson … “and you can also identify areas for improvement.”

“Every student has a different schedule but as long as you are dedicated to studying you will be fine. It's about what works with your life,” encouraged Johnson.  Whether you are studying for an hour every day or for a few hours on Sunday, it only matters that you commit and give yourself time to prepare.  “It's all about having a timeline and a study plan,” said Johnson. “Set the date for when you’ll take the exam and try to stick to it.”

Looking for GMAT resources? Look no further then,

  • The Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization that offers practice tests:
  • The official GMAT website offers free GMAT prep software that you can download:
  • Western also offers a great GMAT prep course for a fee:

When you are ready to take the GMAT, Western’s Testing Center administers the test close to the Bellingham campus at 333 32nd Street. More information can be found at