GMAT - Tips to nail your Dream score
To ace the GMAT, one of the most coveted examinations, you should, not only know the concepts and the application of those concepts well, but should also know how to structure your preparation. But, before we discuss the preparation tips for you to ace the GMAT, let’s brush up on what GMAT is.
GMAT or the Graduate Management Admission Test is a standardized test conducted by GMAC for admission in graduate programs such as an MBA. GMAT envisions assessing the knowledge and thinking capacity of the candidate in areas that are prerequisites and vital for management and entrepreneurial success. While, each year, more than 200000 candidates take the test, what distinguishes the top scorers from the rest lies in their strategy and preparation.
What importance does GMAT hold?
Not just confined to MBA admission, the GMAT is your initial yet most vital step toward a successful career. Accepted by over 7,000 business and management schools across the globe, the GMAT exam examines and demonstrates your logical, analytical, and management acuity.
GMAT scores not only serve as a benchmark by Business-Schools across the globe to determine admission decisions, but it is the most preferred and trustworthy measure of academic performance in MBA and other graduate studies.
The GMAT structure?
GMAT Exam syllabus is divided into four sections:
- Analytical Writing Assessment—measures your ability to think critically and effectively communicate your ideas
- Integrated Reasoning—measures your ability to analyze data and evaluate information presented in diverse formats
- Quantitative Reasoning—measures your ability to analyze data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills
- Verbal Reasoning—measures your ability to read and understand written material, to evaluate arguments and to correct written material to conform to standard written English
In total, the test takes just under 3.5 hours to complete; this is inclusive of the two optional breaks.
Top 14 tips to nail the GMAT exam
The first 7 are preparation tips while the last 7 are tips to implement during the test.
- Forget the word ‘Procrastination’
While we all have days of fatigue and exertion, it is of utmost importance to not push everything to ‘tomorrow.’ Experts have attributed ‘discipline’ as a key factor in performing better than the masses. Getting started is always difficult and requires extra effort, but with will & determination, nothing can keep you away from your goal!
- Know & work on your ability
The first & foremost thing you should do is measure your ability or competence level. Measuring your starting GMAT ability is essential to understand how much preparation time you will need.
- Chalk out an achievable preparation plan
Once you know your current GMAT ability, it’s time to figure out how much time will it take you to reach your target GMAT score. This will help you to craft a fool-proof study plan and accordingly choose a suitable GMAT date.
- Practice like there’s no tomorrow
Practice taking the adaptive tests often. With a lot of official practice material available, make it a ritual to practice real or similar GMAT questions. Be it mock tests practice questions, reviewing your performance is pivotal in filling up the gap of knowledge. Practicing will also get you in the habit of focusing on time.
- Make achieving your weakest point your strongest goal
Practice gives you a glimpse of your strengths and weaknesses. When you have practiced enough, you will understand your strengths – concentrate on what is keeping you behind. After every practice session, give yourself an aim: every trial test will be better than the previous one. Ask yourself – what is it that you need to work on? Choose the materials that target the weakest points in your skills and target them during preparation.
- Manage your time
Always set a timer while practicing because controlling time is as important as answering correctly. Try to answer 20 questions in 50 minutes, then 20 questions in 45 minutes and keep decreasing the time until you can answer in the minimum possible time.
For instance, while practicing math, make sure you know how to calculate fast mentally – this is one area people hardly pay attention to and it eats up a lot of time. Learn and master mental math as the GMAT uses a set of simple numbers. When it doesn’t, you can usually approximate.
- Practice Reading
Dedicate a couple of hours every day to reading. Reading English business newspapers and magazines will not only improve and enhance your sentence structuring and vocabulary usage, but will greatly increase your attention towards texts. Experts strongly advise to not skim through the exercises. The texts in full have all the necessary information to answer the tasks hence you might miss out on something if you skip it.
Tips to implement during the test
- The first ten & the last ten
The greatest fluctuations in your score depend on the first few questions because that’s where the computer will adapt to your pace. These are the make or break ones and you must dedicate yourself sincerely to these questions. However, prioritize your time correctly, and do not leave any questions unanswered – it is not advisable to lose points.
It is noteworthy that the last ten questions are as important as the first ten. Not only would you require giving a correct answer, but also giving it within the allocated time frame. This race against time will be extremely crucial to your GMAT score. Not finishing the test on time or getting a slew of wrong answers at the end will spoil the good work that you may have done earlier.
- Making assumptions while solving a problem
Most GMAT questions have some trick element which is often overlooked by the students. Also, the wording is such that the students make assumptions which they feel are obviously true. Thus, students often end up misinterpreting the question and get an incorrect answer.
Make sure not to make unwarranted assumptions. For example, when a question talks about a number, there is no reason to believe that the number is an integer or a positive number. The number can be negative, can be a fraction and even zero!
- Confusing answer choices
The test makers know the mistakes the students would make and accordingly create the options. In the Quant section, the wordings used are such that induces mistakes and corresponding wrong options are also placed. Also, in the VA section, the answer choices in Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning can be made to appear very similar, confusing the students. As a student, one should read the question carefully, with an open mind – without making any assumptions.
- Trying to cross-check each answer
To ensure high accuracy, students often waste too much time on a single question. They end up reading the same question multiple times and solving the same question in different ways trying to confirm the answer. Also, if a question seems easy, they end up scrutinizing it thinking there is some trap. This behavior disturbs the time available for the other problems in the section.
- Wasting too much time on a tough question
In a timed test like the GMAT, it is important that the students don’t lose track of time. If confronted with a very difficult question, the best way to proceed is to use logic along with the option choices and try to eliminate at least three if not four of the five options and then mark best of the two remaining options. If one finds that after spending two or more minutes, there is no progress, it is best to mark an option and move on.
- Using Math over logic
In the GMAT, understanding the logic is paramount; the knowledge of formulae is secondary. Students would be able to solve problems faster if they focus on the concept and logic rather than formulae. This is particularly true for Arithmetic problems involving percentages, rate and work, speed and distance, averages and ratios. Also, option choices can be very effectively used to arrive at the correct option by the process of elimination.
- The Data Sufficiency Trap
Data Sufficiency is tricky by nature. It is unfamiliar to many students and demands lateral thinking. Fortunately, the mistakes one makes in these questions can be avoided with practice. The most common mistake students make is they make unwarranted assumptions and also confuse the information mentioned in the statements.
If you are thinking to take the GMAT in the future, we suggest you focus on the basic concepts and build a preparation strategy that ensures high accuracy. At One Click Prep, we make sure that the basic concepts are adequately stressed upon. Also, with over a couple of thousand relevant practice problems, we make sure that your GMAT preparation is right up to the mark. Hope you keep the above points in mind and ensure of a top score in the GMAT! Check out our course details here.