Monday, September 8, 2008

GMAT Abroad

This is it. I take the GMAT test tomorrow in preparation for business school applications. I'd ideally like to enter business school in Fall of 2009 and specifically focus on sustainable business. I spent this past summer studying and reviewing things like ratios and percents (and non-calculator math!) and brushing up on my grammar. Carnegie Mellon Qatar was also nice enough to give me a Kaplan Prep Book (although I more highly recommend and prefer the GMAC's Official Guide for the GMAT Review, 11th Edition).

My GMAT experience should be fairly typical compared to a graduate entrance exam in the States, except there's only one place in the whole country where I can test and they only offer the test twice a week. So- not quite as convenient as the States but miles (or should I say, kilometers?) above the GRE for convenience.

See- there is nowhere in Qatar to take the GREs. No place. What so ever. So, any prospective grad students from Qatar (or teaching/working in Qatar) have to fly to another country to take their GRE exams. Carol from Student Affairs took her GREs in Kuwait I believe. I've heard of others going to Dubai. Still another employee, Dave, originally spoke of flying to Saudi Arabia to take his GREs and now instead is flying to Syria. That makes an already expensive test even more costly. In Dave's case, it will be around $130 USD for the exam, $130 for the Syrian Visa, $500 for the plane ticket and then some more for a hotel and expenses. That's probably close to a $1000 for a 4-hour event. Yipes. Makes my $250 exam look tame in comparision.

Supposedly the test centers abroad are not as stringent as in the US. For example, students sometimes get another individual (perhaps professional test-taker) to take the test for them. This could explain why the GMAC is unveiling a palm-reading (not fortune-telling) identification system for test-takers and starting the program in India and Korea. I have no idea what my testing center will be like tomorrow. All I know is that it took a 20 minute drive in the non-existent traffic after sunset, so I'm giving myself 45 minutes in tomorrow's morning traffic.

I'll update you tomorrow on my experience. Send me some good vibes please! :D

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