The GMAT exam is more than just an exam. It is more of an opportunity to showcase yourself to reach your highest aspiration while realizing your potential. As you must be aware of the fact that the GMAT exam consists of four sections: an analytical writing section, a quantitative section, an integrated reasoning section, and a verbal section. So, cracking GMAT may seem like a mystery for many students, but if you follow a proper strategy, you can definitely ace this exam without much difficulty.
Here are some of the preparation tips that you must follow to get a high score in the GMAT exam and enter into your dream college.
Strategies you need to know
The first step is to familiarize yourself with the test environment and pattern. In order to get an exceptional score in this exam, you should have a sound approach and understanding of the content and format.
1. How computerized testing works
Each section of the GMAT can only be answered in a computerized format, even the writing assessment, as there is no paper version available for this exam. So, you must have some basic knowledge about computer, and you are good to go. Now talking about the adaptive nature of the exam, every section of the GMAT begins with an assumption that the student has an average skill set to correctly answer medium-level difficulty questions. Now, if the test-taker answers majority of the easy and medium difficulty questions correctly, the test offers more difficult questions and adjusts the student’s GMAT score accordingly. If the student answers medium-level questions incorrectly, the test will provide more number of straightforward questions, and then again adjust the score accordingly. As you don't have any control over this algorithm, it's better not to think about it.
2. How GMAT questions are designed
As discussed earlier, an in-depth understanding of the content is essential for an exam like the GMAT. You should be thorough with the format of the different questions. The best way to understand the format of the exam and type of questions appearing in it is to give an initial diagnostic practice test. After completing the test, just go through the analysis to find out your mistakes. The GMAT experts usually do this analysis, so you will get a proper understanding of not only the concept being tested but also how the GMAT will try to test it.
Some common mistakes to avoid in the exam
1. Not taking notes
Many students make a mistake by not using the GMAT scratchpad, which may seem to be a time-saving approach initially, but it actually results in adding more time afterward. For example, in case of reading comprehension, if you have made a short summary on the scratchpad, while attempting the question, in case if you have left some questions in that comprehension unanswered, you can always return and answer those questions just by referring to this short summary. You don't have to reread the whole passage. This, in turn, saves your time to a great extent. To develop this habit, take notes during your practice drills, quizzes, and tests so that you’re comfortable in doing it in the actual GMAT.
2. Rushing through the questions
Some students think that they can score maximum if they attempt every question of a particular section. So, they try to save their time by rushing through the problems without concentrating on the problem statement. This is a very common mistake. You need to read every single question with full attention. This is essential for two reasons: to keep track of all the information provided in the problem statement and to help you know what the question is asking you to find or determine. Skimming through the details can lead to very negative consequences, especially in the case of critical reasoning questions.
3. Refusing to guess an answer
Some test-takers refuse to guess even when they are left with only two option choices after eliminating the others. You must know that GMAT is not designed for you to get every question right. It has a good level of difficulty, and it's almost impossible for anyone to be 100% sure of every question that they answer. So, we will advise you that if you’re having trouble with a particular question, try your best at using the process of elimination to increase your chances of getting it right, but don’t waste too much time on it.
Some key takeaways
Always start your preparation with a diagnostic practice test, so that you are aware of your current preparation level. On the basis of it, analyze your strengths and weaknesses and make a proper study plan accordingly. As you continue your GMAT preparation, try to connect the dots, and see the patterns in the kinds of questions that always confuse you so that you can avoid making similar mistakes in the future. Brush up on the fundamentals after every few weeks to develop a strong foundation before attempting the actual exam. Moreover, you should always keep track of your performance by giving timely practice tests in the actual GMAT environment. You can even maintain an error log, in which you can write the common mistakes committed by you, that needs improvement.
We believe that you will definitely get some useful insights regarding the GMAT exam preparation from this article.
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All the best for your exam!