The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test (CAT) that is available year-round at test centers throughout the world. Like all standardized tests, preparation for the GMAT is essential. However, the form this preparation takes varies from student to student. The GMAT is a timed test with complex directions. It will, therefore, be essential to familiarize yourself with the kinds of questions and the instructions for each section. The GMAT Website contains sample questions and outlines the sections of the test. It gives directions EXACTLY as they will appear on the actual test. There are also review books and commercial prep courses available.
If you are planning on attending business school the fall after graduation, we strongly recommend taking the GMAT in the summer before your senior year. This will allow you to have your scores early enough to make effective use of on-campus visits by business school representatives, select or add to your list of schools to which you apply or retake the test if your score is exceedingly low. (Please note that business schools will receive your scores from any GMAT administration within the last five years, the test should only be retaken if you are convinced you could increase a low score substantially.)