After all those months of research, digging every blog on the internet, scanning every comment thread on poets&quants, MBA.com and pretty much every resource available on the internet, you have finally decided to apply to IE Business School for your MBA, either because you want to experience living overseas, because you want to learn another language or simply because it was the cheapest choice among the top business school in Europe after considering the cost of living (although ESADE’s fees are lower, trust me, Barcelona is comparably more expensive than Madrid).
Obviously, the next step (among many) is applying to GMAT and start some serious study, right? Well, not so fast. For those of you who already made the decision of which school you are planning to apply, you should know that there are other options apart from GMAT. As a professional working full time, it is very hard for me to find the time to prepare for the GMAT as rumour says you need to spend a serious amount of time practicing and studying in order to get a reasonable score.
IE offers its own entrance examination called ieGAT (IE Global Admission Test). It actually is what the website says: “There are no authorized or official centers that can prepare candidates to take our ieGAT“. Despite what the website says, you still want to know from someone who took it what to expect and how to be prepared anyways, right?
What to prepare?
A pencil, an eraser and a calculator for very (and I say very) basic calculations. But don’t worry if you forget to bring the pencil and the eraser, as the test administrator will provide them anyways. What you should not forget is your ID (DNI, IFE, ARC, National ID, etc.) and your passport. You will be safe if you bring your passport with you. This is all you need.
Oh! and don’t forget chewing gum. It actually relaxes you and helps you with your concentration.
How much time is alloted for the process?
You should arrive 15 min prior to the scheduled time (at least), in order to be seated and your ID verification processed. After you are all set, you will spend 5 min reading the instructions and two sample questions. After that, you will have 80 minutes in total to solve 60 questions. So if you are planning your day, consider a maximum of 2 hours in total.
What is the test format?
They provided me the test in a sealed envelope, which contained the ieGAT booklet, the ieGAT answer sheet, a personality test booklet and its corresponding answer sheet. For the ieGAT answer sheet, you need to fill up details such as your name, gender, nationality, ID type and number (e.g. Passport and passport number) as well as what type of program are you applying for.
Basically you have two types of series of questions: one is an article from where you should extract information both verbal and quantitative in order to answer that type of questions. The other type of questions consists of logical diagrams with the exact format as the sample questions in the website (please note that I’m saying format and not the same logical connectors).
The test is divided in four sections, each with 15 questions. The level of difficulty increases on each section. Ok, probably you are like me and are getting confused here. A sample would be:
- 1st Section: 15 questions (about 9 questions from the article provided and about 6 logical questions). Difficulty level: easy (you can choice either 1 or 2 answers for each question)
- 2nd Section: Similar as the previous section (about 9 article questions + 5 logical). Difficulty level: slightly more difficult than the 1st section.
- 3rd Section: Similar as the previous sections. Difficulty level: more difficult than the previous.
- 4rd Section: Similar as the previous sections. Difficulty level: more difficult than the previous 3 sections.
What strategy should I use during the test?
Remember, you only have 80 minutes to complete 60 questions, that gives you about 1 minute and 30 seconds to answer each question (including the time you spend reading the one page article).
I read that many people don`t get to finish the test. It is true, I also didn’t finish it all. Speed, and more importantly, accuracy are very important. The first thing I was told is that I shouldn’t worry about answering all of the questions, but most importantly to make sure that I get the right answers. Don’t panic if the clock is ticking and you still have questions to complete. Leave it blank if you don’t know the answer. To be honest I followed the test administrator’s advice after reading all those blogs out there of those guys that passed the ieGAT. Many of them reported that they didn’t focus on answering all of the 60 questions, but they focused on making sure that those that they answered were right answers.
And the personality test?
After I completed the ieGAT, I had a 5 minute break before I started the personality test. Of course, it is a personality test, there is no right or wrong. I just answered spontaneously. It took me about 6 minutes to complete the personality test (about 120 easy questions).
Do you get your results right away? what´s next?
You don’t get your results right away and definitely they will not give you a score; they will let you know if you are suitable to continue with the admission process (interviews, etc.) or if you need to consider other options like the GMAT.
Did I pass? Well, I am not sure. I just finished the exam a couple of hours ago, and I answered 44 questions out of 60. I was told that I need to complete the application process in order to find out the results. I will make sure to update this post as soon as I find out. Wish me good luck!