Is your turn to crack the GMAT fast-approaching? I am sure you must be working hard to score 700+ to secure your admission to one of the top B-schools in the world. You are not alone – there are hundreds of other test-takers in the same boat as you!
All of you have great potential, face similar challenges and have to overcome similar constraints. Yet, the bottom line still remains unanswered – why are some test takers able to score the 99th percentile while others languish in the lower 600s? What factors influence your getting that extra-edge to not just crack the GMAT, but to crack it commendably?
Once you are well-versed with all your English and Math fundamentals and the know-how to apply these strategically on the GMAT, you are half-way through! But the problem with most students is that they stop here, assuming they have conquered the GMAT!
But remember, only half the battle is won; the other half is still to be experienced – that of taking as many full-length practice tests as possible to achieve mental vigor and excellent time management.
Why are full-length practice tests so imperative?
GMAT exam – A computer adaptive test!
As GMAT is a computer adaptive test, it is essential for you to be familiar with the actual GMAT pattern. You need to be well-versed with the user interface of GMAT including how to scroll up and down, submit answers, move between sections, exit a section and quit the test; even a minor mistake may mess up your precious GMAT. Only full-length practice tests will give you this much-needed familiarity.
GMAT – A good 4 hours long test!
Most test takers tend to lose their concentration and attentiveness halfway through the test itself, which could make it quite difficult to hit the 700+ score. Full-length practice tests will improve your mental stamina and attention span to endure this 4 hours long test (including the short breaks you take in between).
The SWOT Analysis!
Once you are done with your practice test, you can see and analyze your results -which questions you got wrong and which you could nail. Thus, full-length practice mock tests help you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, which sections you are more comfortable with and which question-types you need to work on more.
Conquering the AWA section!
AWA is one section where you need to accelerate your thinking and typing speed the most. Here too, only mock tests will help you out to assemble your thoughts logically and articulate them skillfully in the AWA section.
Get more answers RIGHT!
Once you have taken a couple of mock tests, you will be able to identify the GMAT’s requirements thoroughly. You will gradually acquire the skills to eliminate wrong choices and select the best answer choice. Full-length practice tests will also lessen your chances of making silly mistakes.
Exposure to all question types!
The more full-length tests you give, the more you will be exposed to different types of questions at different levels of difficulty that can appear on the GMAT. In turn, you will learn how to approach each type of question and how much time you need to devote to it.
Ironically, time tends to run faster than usual while taking your GMAT! This is because of the stress you are under and the length of the test itself. If you are practicing only particular sections of the test, it will be of hardly any use, as only a full-length test can teach you how to manage your time on the GMAT.
More and more practice will enable you to finish your test within the stipulated time, as nothing is more frustrating than losing out questions due to lack of time. Imagine losing out 5 questions just because you were 5 minutes short of time! Isn’t it heartbreaking?
Some Do’s and Don’ts to approach the GMAT practice tests:
1. There are quite a few reliable GMAT practice tests available in the market and on the internet.
Practice GMAT sample questions to improve your scores.
2. Before beginning the test, read all the instructions carefully.
3. Try to take practice tests at the exact time at which you have scheduled your actual GMAT. This will help you to consider and make allowances for factors such as sleepiness, hunger and low energy levels and reschedule your GMAT accordingly.
4. Make use of scratchpads while taking practice tests.
5. After taking each practice test, review and appraise your performance without fail.
6. Use an approved timer while taking your practice tests.
1. Use of calculators and mobile phones during the test is a big no-no.
2. Don’t think that mere practice will help you enough to crack the GMAT. It is equally important to evaluate your performance and sketch out a course of action to improve your scores.
3. Do not take unnecessary breaks in between.
4. Practice, but too much of practice can lead to adverse results too! Avoid getting exhausted and take appropriate gaps between practice tests.
5. Try not to leave out any question. Remember the thumb rule: getting a question wrong on the GMAT is better than leaving questions unanswered. So, instead of getting flummoxed on the D-day, follow the above best practices and face your GMAT confidently.
Remember, it is useless to run 100 meters 100 times if your aim is to run a 10Km marathon. To win it, you need to practice running 10 kilometers at a stretch and spot your strengths and weaknesses. It is not just practice, but full-length practice that will accelerate your chances to get impressive 700+ scores!
Hope these techniques make a positive difference to your GMAT prep! If you’d like to share what works for you and what doesn’t, please leave a comment in the comment section below.
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