GMAT Pitfalls & Tips
Before you go on to the GMAT Study Material and the Questions (using the Links to the left), here are a few Pitfalls to avoid and some Basic Strategies that will help you get a higher GMAT score.
- Double check EVERY answer for the first 10 questions
The GMAT is an adaptive test, which means that the level of difficulty of a question changes depending upon your performance. The weightage of the first few questions is much higher than the last few questions. Many students make the mistake of treating all questions as equals.
This is probably the most important pitfall to avoid. You need to be doubly sure about the first ten questions than the ones that come later, especially at the end.
- Do NOT leave any section unfinished
The penalty for unfinished questions is much higher than incorrect answers. Do NOT become emotionally involved with any question. Even if you think the questions is outrageously difficult or outright incorrect. Just guess and move on.
It is not simply that you will NOT get marks for each unfinished questions, on the other hand you are highly likely to be Penalized for leaving a section unfinished.
You need to be very careful of this pitfall and if running short on time, take a random guess and try to finish the section, rather than leaving questions unmarked.
- Know that time can be your biggest enemy
Certain questions by their very nature take more time to answer. The first step to better time management is to recognize these questions.
While doing your practice tests, try to become more aware of how much time you have taken to answer a question. You will soon begin to develop an Internal Clock that will help you meet the pacing requirements of the GMAT and reduce test anxiety.
- Make good use of the Scratch Paper
Many of the GMAT questions, in both the Verbal and the Quant sections, require use of the Scratch paper. Please keep in mind that you may not be able to get as much scratch paper as you need. Learn to confine your rough work to a minimum in order not to run into problems at the actual GMAT Exam.
- Compare & Discard
This is immensely useful for the Verbal section of the GMAT Exam. While there may be a ‘Perfect’ answer to a question, it may not appear as one of the options. What you need to do is compare the different answer choices and choose the best one available. In fact you can usually zero down on two choices and discard the ones that are distinctly different from these two.
- Use Short cuts Only when necessary
As I have explained in detail in my book ‘Ways of the GMAT Winners’, it is extremely important to be aware of all the possible shortcuts that are available to you. However, these are to be used with extremely caution, especially for the first 15 questions in each section. This is important if you need an overall score of 700+.
Our free Full Length GMAT Test will help you identify your strengths & weaknesses and enable you to work out a study plan that is most suitable for you.
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- Managing Test Anxiety
More than anything else, the GMAT is an test of your nerves. There are hundreds of brilliant students who score MUCH lower in the GMAT than they do in their practice tests. It is important to manage your test anxiety. You can try using techniques like ‘Thought Stopping’, ‘Self-Talk’ and ‘Visualization.
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