You must take the GMAT to be accepted into the top MBA programs at the most prestigious schools. These are our top 10 tips for getting a high score on the GMAT.
1. Set The Date First
Procrastinating about your GMAT preparation can lead to you being a procrastinator. It is important to prepare for it. You should allow at least eight weeks for preparation. Do not fall for the procrastination trap of saying, “I’ll schedule it when I feel fully prepared.” It will never happen.
If you really want to take the GMAT, then sign up first (8-10 weeks in the future) and then begin preparing.
2.Become familiar with the structure of the GMAT
Be familiar with the structure and rules of the test before you begin to prepare.
- Analytical Writing Assessment – (two essays, 60 minutes) You will need to read and respond to a complex argument or issue. There are no right answers. You only need to write analysis. This is the least important part of GMAT. Each one takes 30 minutes.
- Quantitative (there’s 37 Questions, 75 minutes). These questions are logic and math. You will need to brush up on your Geometry, Algebra and Debate skills.
- Verbal (there’s 41 questions, 75 minutes). This is how you learned to graph sentences in seventh-grade. This section can be the most difficult for many people.
A good GMAT Prep guide can help you understand the test’s structure.
3. Find some good practice material
Good practice material is essential. I highly recommend this study guide. It is The Official GMAT Review, published by GMAC (the makers of the GMAT). This book contains a lot practice questions and explains the reasoning behind each answer. It is an excellent reference for studying the subject matter of the GMAT.
4. Get your Practice Tests… Take One, Save One
You will be able to download a tool that can help you prepare for the GMAT test when you sign up for the exam. The software includes practice sections but also two practice exams that are almost identical to the actual GMAT exam. You can only take one test once, so make sure you use them carefully. After reading the study guide, I recommend that you take one test. Next, you can continue to prepare for areas that are not covered in the study guide. Next, take a final practice exam about three days before the actual test. These practice tests score only a fraction of what you will get on the actual test.
5. Do not miss the first ten questions
The GMAT dynamically modifies the difficulty as you take it. This is one of its unique features. The computer will give you more difficult questions if you fail to answer questions in the beginning. If you answer the easiest questions correctly, your score won’t be the same as the score for harder questions. As you prepare for the exam, keep your eyes on the first ten questions. Concentrate!
6. Slowly read the questions
Simply paying attention to the question can help you score an additional 40 points on the GMAT. Do not assume you know the answer. Read it carefully. It is impossible to go back or skip questions so keep your eyes on the question.
7. Keep an eye on the clock!
Although this seems to contradict the previous tip of not to speed up, it is important to keep an eye on the clock. To ensure that you have enough time to pass the test, pace yourself. If you don’t answer all questions, you will be severely penalized. You can catch yourself falling behind if you stop overthinking. If you are able to eliminate two answers but can’t decide between them, follow your gut and move on!
8. Practice, Practice and Practice
Preparing for the GMAT is like training for a marathon. You can work different muscle groups on different days. However, you should still set aside some time for study every few days. In one session, you can only focus on qualitative questions. The next session will be devoted to verbal questions.
9. Keep track of your common mistakes and learn from them
A spreadsheet in Excel with sections, questions, answers, and reasoning behind each answer is a good idea. Before each study session, review the spreadsheet and make mistakes. You will have mastered most of your weaknesses by the time you finish your preparation.
10. Keep the Analytical Writing Prep to the End
GMAT prep can lead to common mistakes. You focus too much on the Analytical Writing at the beginning of your test. It also seems to be the “scariest”! You don’t have to let this happen! This is not something you need to stress about. You can put off the preparation for this section until the week before the test. This section is worth six points and doesn’t count towards your official score. I advise you to prepare but not obsess over this one.
With the right preparation, anyone can score well on the GMAT. Do not waste money on GMAT prep classes. Get motivated.