24 Powerful GMAT Test Day Tips to Maximize Your Score

May 1, 2024

We’ve had several students who scored 615 or so on the GMAT practice tests. But by some miraculous twist, they scored 655+ on the day of the GMAT!

On the flip side, we’ve also had students who consistently scored above 655 on their practice tests but ended up with a final GMAT score that was 30 to 40 points lower than what they had expected.

These kinds of instances make one wonder: how are some students able to achieve their desired score on the GMAT?

And why are others not able to do so?

If you’ve been preparing for the GMAT, you know that taking the GMAT is much more than just paying the $275 fee; it’s also about the tremendous mental effort that goes into the preparation for the exam. Most importantly, you also have to face the stress of the fact that all your future plans will go for a toss if you do not score well!

You probably have your GMAT day scheduled, and you are probably wondering what you can do to improve your chances of success on the day of your exam.

Don’t worry! In this blog, we are going to give you a total of 24 GMAT tips that will help you give your best performance on your test day and get you that dream GMAT score.

We are not claiming that we have invented the magic sauce behind test-day success, but this list is our attempt to distil all the “good stuff” that has helped our students find success on the GMAT.

To make things easier for you, we have divided the tips into:

Before we dive into these questions, let us answer the question that is on your mind right now: Can I really improve my test-day performance?

The answer is YES!

While we believe that learning the strategies and skills required matter the most in improving your GMAT performance, we know that it will be your ability to maintain your focus on the D-day that will play a more important role in ensuring that you put in your best.

Let us keep things simple and have a look at those tips, shall we?

Grab your free copy of ‘Demystifying GMAT Focus Edition’

Grab your free copy of ‘Demystifying GMAT Focus Edition’

What to look out for before you register for the GMAT

Is your passport valid?

You need to present your valid passport as identification if you want to take the GMAT.

It’s not enough to just have a passport; you need to present the original copy of your passport if you want to take the exam. Soft copies, scanned copies, or physical copies will not be accepted as identification.

Also, if the validity of your passport has expired, documents that show that your passport has been accepted for renewal will not work as a substitute for a valid passport.

We have seen so many examples of students whose passport validity expired a few days before the GMAT or who submitted their passport for visa stamping just before the GMAT. We even had a student who left his passport at his parents’ house in his hometown for “safekeeping.”

All these students assumed that they would not need to bring the original passport since they had already scanned and uploaded their passport while registering for the GMAT. They had to learn the hard way that candidates are instantly rejected, and their exam is canceled if they do not have their valid, original passport with them. What’s worse, they will lose the examination fee since they failed to read and follow the instructions given during registration.

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So, the very first thing on your GMAT checklist should be to ensure that your passport is valid for at least 3 months and that you TAKE THE PASSPORT WITH YOU ON THE TEST DAY!

Is your GMAT registration name the same as in your passport?

One of our students came to us a few days before his GMAT.

“I mentioned my name as ‘Gopal K’ while I registered for the GMAT. But my name is mentioned as “Gopal Kalyan” in my passport. Is that okay?”

Our answer was simple: No, it’s not okay.

When you are registering for the GMAT, make sure that you are mentioning the first name, middle name, and last name exactly as they are mentioned in your passport (especially if you are from South India or from one of those cultures where names can get really complicated). If the name you provided during registration is not the same as in your passport, you will not be allowed to take the GMAT, and the fee amount will not be refunded.

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Note: A few of our students have told us that the administrators have been kind enough to let them log into the portal and change the details in their registration. But this may not happen for you. Why stress yourself out on the day of the test if you can avoid the problem altogether?

Should you take the GMAT online or at a GMAT test center?

If you’re the sort that thrives under pressure, then taking the test at a GMAT test center, where’ll you’ll come across many other test takers, may be the best step for you. In most centers, time slots are available from 8 in the morning to 4.30 in the evening.

But if test-taking is a stressful exercise for you and seeing other test takers looking super prepared can make you feel underconfident, then it may be a better bet to take the exam at home. This is especially true if you are an early bird, a night owl, or a full-time worker who has no time to go to the test center to take the test. Online test slots are available 24×7, and you can book any slot that suits your convenience.

By the way, some Indian schools, such as the IIMs and ISB, do not accept online GMAT scores, even though foreign schools do not have a problem with either kind of score. So make sure you do your research on the requirements of the schools of your choice before you book your test.

Find out more about the pros and cons before you make a decision.

Which slot should you book for the GMAT?

Are you a morning person? Do you feel you are at your best at about 9 am?

Or are you an evening person whose energy levels peak as the day progresses?

The answers to these questions will help you decide which GMAT test slot will work best for you.

If you are someone who prefers to get your work done or study in the morning, you’ll probably be at your best in the morning. But, in contrast, if you are the sort whose energy levels increase as the day progresses, it’s best to book a slot that is a little later in the day.

No matter what the time slot, you should take the exam when you know your mental ability will be at its sharpest. Something as simple as the time you take your test can play a big role in the score you finally get.

What should you be careful about on the day of the GMAT?

Have you slept well before your GMAT test day?

Test-day jitters are very real, and it is almost impossible to calm down and go to sleep the night before a test. But you absolutely need to get enough rest the night before you take your GMAT.

If you find that you cannot unwind, you can get hold of a few relaxation and meditation apps that can help you relax your brain and let you put down your mental baggage for the night. Or maybe you could take a nice, warm shower before you go to bed so that you can get a good night’s sleep.

Whatever it is, make sure you find a way to relax the night before the test day, because feeling well rested before the test is a key factor in performing well.

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When should you wake up on the day of the GMAT?

It is recommended that you wake up early on the GMAT test day, but is that really the best idea?

Let’s do a reverse calculation using an example:

  • Let’s say that you have booked a morning slot for, let’s say, 8 am
  • Let’s assume that you need to leave your house at 7:00 am to reach the centre by 7.45 am
  • That means you will probably have your breakfast at about 6:30–6:45 am
  • And that means you need to wake up at about 6:00 am

What if you are someone who wakes up at 8 am every morning? Do you think it will be easy for you to get up at 6:00 am? Do you think you’ll be at your best if you wake up 2 full hours before your usual time?

And what if, in spite of all the relaxation techniques you tried out, you were not able to get a good night’s rest?

You will also probably wake up before the alarm goes off because you will be hypersensitive to the fact that it’s your exam day.

All of this will just add to your brain fog.

So here’s our advice to you: please wake up at the time you wake up every morning.

And make sure you book a slot keeping this in mind.

What should you have for breakfast on the day of the GMAT?

We are not qualified nutritionists, but we have read plenty about how to get your body into a “peak performance state” just before your GMAT.

One way in which you can get into such a state is by having a light breakfast to ensure you remain active and focused throughout the exam

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You can have a light meal like idlis with sambhar.

Or you could have poha or upma.

Or corn flakes with milk.

Or parathas with curd and pickle.

Or egg and toast.

Or whatever else you would have on a normal day.

Just make sure that it will fill your stomach and let you think nimbly.

Don’t eat junk food the day before the GMAT or the night before. You don’t want to upset your stomach.

Note: Don’t have a chocolate bar because you’ve read somewhere that the hit of sugar will give you additional energy. Sugar tends to make you go on a “high,” but then you also end up crashing to horribly low levels of energy. Imagine if that happens right in the middle of the exam!!

What should you not consume on the test day?

Different people have different habits. Some people love coffee, while others prefer tea. Some people smoke, while others do not. Then there are a few people who believe that energy drinks and protein bars can help them function better on their test day.

Either way, it’s better to not drink any energy drinks or caffeinated drinks on the day of the GMAT, especially if you are not used to it. Such stimulants can adversely affect your performance on the day of the test.

If you are someone who smokes or has coffee on a regular basis, remember that you might not have those options at the GMAT centre. So, maybe you can carry a nicotine patch or any caffeinated drink with you to have during the break.

What should you wear to the GMAT Center?

Whatever you choose to wear, make sure you are dressed comfortably. If you are uncomfortable, you’ll probably not be able to focus and will end up subconsciously rushing through the exam (and maybe selecting the trap options) because you just want to get the exam done and over with.

We have had students tell us that the A/C in the GMAT centre was set at the lowest temperature. So you should consider taking along a jacket or a sweatshirt to wear on top of whatever you are wearing. You can always choose not to wear it if it is not so cold.

On the other hand, we have sometimes also heard that the test centre was very warm.

It may be hard to change or control such situations, but it is better to be prepared for the worst.

How early should I reach the GMAT centre?

Whether you’re taking the test in the morning or the afternoon, check Google Maps and figure out the average time it will take you to get to the GMAT centre.

Imagine your exam is on a Wednesday at 8 in the morning.

Check the travel time for Wednesdays on Google Maps to get an understanding of how long it would usually take to get to the GMAT test center on any given Wednesday. Make sure you check Google Maps on the day of the exam as well. You don’t want an unexpected traffic jam or rain to topple your travel plans.

If Google Maps shows that it will take a 30-minute drive to get to the center, plan to leave by 7:10 a.m. This will give you an extra 15 to 20 minutes to find the test center, park your car or bike (or say goodbye to your Uber driver), and check in. Try to arrive early at the test center to ensure that you have enough time to get settled and organized before the test begins.

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While it is a great idea to arrive a little early, it’s best not to arrive more than 20 minutes before time. We have had students reach the GMAT test center an hour before and then realize that they’ll have to wait outside the center for 45 minutes, not knowing what to do. The waiting around will do nothing but increase the sense of anxiety.

If your test center is far away from where you are and you want to reach the center before time to be on the safe side, take time out a few days before the exam to conduct a reconnaissance to find a place within walking distance where you can potentially relax. Hanging out at a cafe is a better bet than standing outside the test center, waiting to be let in.

Look, if you arrive a few minutes late, no one’s going to stop you from taking the exam. But arriving a little before time will make you feel less stressed. So, try to be punctual.

Should you drive to the GMAT Center?

The day you take the GMAT is an important day for you, and you cannot let any external factor impact your performance on that day.

So, what is the best way to travel to your GMAT centre? We have narrowed it down to four options:

  1. Drive yourself
  2. Take public transport (bus, metro, etc.)
  3. Take a cab
  4. Get dropped off

In terms of comfort and risk involved, we would say: 4 > 3 > 2 > 1

On the day of the GMAT, the last thing you want is to stress yourself. If you can get someone to drop you off, you won’t have to worry about where to park, what to do if the bus or train is not on time, or if the cab driver cancels the trip at the last moment. You can just relax and focus on the test you are going to take.

Getting dropped off at the center is the best commute option, but if that is not a choice you have, just make sure you leave early enough to reach 15 to 20 minutes before your exam time.

What should you eat at the GMAT Center?

Many students, especially from India, read online forums like GMAT Club and find stories about people scoring 735 or 755 on their test after eating a Snickers bar or drinking a Red Bull during their break.

A simple question for you:

If you were hungry on a regular day, would you have a candy bar or an energy drink?

If your answer is no, then please don’t go for such an option on the day of your GMAT either, no matter what these forums say.

Just have a snack that you would normally have. Usually, a banana, a few biscuits, a low-sugar protein bar, or some juice or water to help you stay hydrated throughout the lengthy examination would be good options.

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Keep in mind that, as per the GMAC exam policy, you’re not allowed to bring snacks into the examination room. You can store your snacks in the test center’s temporary locker. Feel free to eat your snacks during the 10-minute break.

P.S: It is also important to note that you should not bring any testing aids, including study materials, notes, calculators, blank sheets of paper, stopwatches, and flashcards, to the GMAT testing center.

What if you feel sick at the GMAT center?

You might be a very healthy person in general, but exams can get the better of you. What if you get a headache or a stomach ache at the GMAT test center?

The simplest way to take care of this is by carrying a small medical kit with you. It does not even need to be a complete kit. You could just keeap a few essential medicines in your bag, such as aspirins, antacids, and even a lip balm for if it gets too cold.

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But if you feel very unwell and need more than basic medication, be sure to alert security and go home. You can always take the test later, but your health always comes first.

What should you do with your mobile phone at the GMAT center?


If you do take your mobile phone to the center, you’ll need to store it in the temporary locker since you are not allowed to take mobile phones or any other electronic device into the testing room. Be sure to switch the mobile off before you put it away in the locker. Now, you may think that you can put your mobile phone on silent or in aeroplane mode so that you can quickly check your messages when you are taking a break.

But why would you want to do that? Checking messages during the break will just take you out of the test-taking zone that you are in. Why bring in such a distraction?

More important than that, keep in mind that you are not allowed to use your mobile phone or any other electronic device during your break. If you do, your test can be cancelled with no fee refund.

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Here’s a very interesting (and unfortunate) incident that happened to one of our students:

He had attempted the Quantitative and Verbal sections and then took the 10-minute break before going in to attempt the Data Insights section. He walked out of the test room and opened the locker to grab a quick snack. He had not switched his phone off, and he made the mistake of checking his phone. He was shocked to see six missed calls from the same number. So he called the number to find out if there was an emergency.

While he was talking on the phone in the centre, one of the administrators spotted him and cancelled his test!

(And the worst part is that the missed calls were from an Amazon delivery agent!)

These are all small points, but we have noticed that sometimes they can cause problems. You do not want your months of GMAT preparation to go to waste over a mobile phone!

What should you keep in mind during the GMAT?

How should you decide on the GMAT section selection order?

There are six options for you to pick from:

Quantitative Reasoning > Verbal Reasoning > Data Insights

Quantitative Reasoning >  Data Insights > Verbal Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning > Data Insights  > Quantitative Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning > Quantitative Reasoning > Data Insights 

Quantitative Reasoning > Verbal Reasoning > Data Insights

Quantitative Reasoning > Data Insights > Verbal Reasoning

What most candidates don’t know is that they have just one minute to select their preferred section selection order . If they don’t choose within a minute, they will have to take the test in the default order: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights.

Which section you choose to take first depends on what you are feeling and the kind of person you are. If you are at your best at the beginning of a test, it might be a good strategy to start off with a section that you are really good at so that you can maximize your score. If you are someone who takes time to “ease” into the exam, maybe you could keep the tougher sections for later. It’s very important to know your patterns, strengths, and weaknesses so that you can make a decision that is most advantageous for you.

Whichever order you finally decide on, we suggest that you take a couple of practice tests in this order to check the outcome and your comfort level.

A word of caution over here: Suppose you take two practice tests using two different section selection orders, and let’s say there is a difference in the scores between the two tests. Before you jump to the conclusion that one order is better than the other, make sure you analyze your performance and confirm if the difference is genuinely because of the section selection order and not because of other reasons.

How do I tackle the GMAT experimental questions?

Experimental questions are new questions that the GMAC has created and wants to test. The GMAC adds these questions in the exam to recognize the difficulty level of the questions.

The tricky part is that you will not be told which questions are experimental.

But it’s perfectly alright that you cannot recognize which questions are experimental; these questions, whether you get them right or wrong, are not scored and do not count towards your final three-digit GMAT score.

However, here is something that we do know for a fact:

The experimental questions will typically appear in the middle of a section.

So, if you are going to guess answers, you probably shouldn’t do so…

  1. in the beginning of the section, and
  2. at the end of the GMAT.

So the best time to make a guess is somewhere in the middle of the test.

How can you manage background noise during the GMAT?

When you are in the middle of the GMAT, you may hear other candidates either clicking with the mouse or murmuring while solving the questions.

You may also hear some noise from outside the test centre. All of this will be highly distracting.

If you are taking the GMAT at a test center, you can request for ear plugs or headphones on the day of testing. But these might not be enough to block out all the noise. So, mentally prepare yourself for distracting background noise.

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Taking GMAT practice tests in a somewhat noisy place could help you get used to background noise. While taking these tests, you can even use apps that play background sounds so that you can learn to focus even with noise around.

But if you feel that the noise or disturbance is too much in the test centre, you can definitely report the problem, and the test center personnel will hopefully find a solution to it.

While ear plugs are allowed while taking the test in a center, you are strictly forbidden from using any kind of earplug or headphones if you are taking the test online. This is a rule even if the background sound is making it difficult for you to concentrate.

On that point, try not to take the online test in a noisy space. It’s not just that you won’t be able to focus; the proctor could think that all the noise could mean that you are trying to cheat in the exam, and the proctor could cancel your exam.

How should you pace yourself / time yourself on the GMAT?

First, let us look at what a pacing chart is.

A pacing chart is essentially the number of questions and the amount of time available for each question. Remember that on the GMAT day, your timer is going to be a countdown timer. That means it’s not going to count up from zero, but it will count down from 45 minutes to zero.

You don’t want to stress out on the day of the GMAT. So let us create a simple pacing chart for your test, in which we will see how you can constantly check if you have enough time on hand as your exam progresses.

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This chart means that when you have finished the 6th question in any of the sections, your timer should read 34:00, indicating that you have 34 minutes left to complete the rest of the section. If the timer shows a higher number, you can afford to slow down slightly. But if the timer shows a lower number, you may need to speed up a little and even guess a few answers.

As mentioned earlier, it is better to pepper your “guesses” throughout the test. Also, remember that most of the experimental questions will usually be somewhere in the middle of the test. So it’s better to guess in the middle rather than at the beginning or the end.

How should you time and use your break on the GMAT?

You have one 10-minute break during the GMAT Focus test. You can take the break after the first section or after the first two sections.

No matter which section selection order you choose, it’s usually recommended that you take the break between the Quant and the Data Insights sections. There’s quite some overlap on topics in these two sections, and taking a break between these sections will help you “cool off” a little and avoid any confusion that could arise.

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Having said that, if you have discovered during your practice tests that taking the Quant section and the DI section together helps you stay in the “math zone”, taking the verbal section first and then taking a break before the Quant and the DI section would help or taking the DI and Quant sections first and then taking a break before the Verbal section would help

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Many candidates decide not to take a break at all. In such a case, you can skip the break and the next section will start within a minute, but the GMAT is a very strenuous test, and taking a break will give you the breathing space that you need.

During the break, you can:

  • come out of the test room and stretch yourself for a bit
  • go to the washroom
  • go to your locker to grab a snack

Remember that you are not allowed to wear a watch during the test. So if you choose to step out of the test room during the break, don’t spend too much time outside. The test will resume after the 10-minute break. If you end up overshooting your time, then you might end up losing a few precious minutes on the GMAT. A few minutes of lost time is not really a make-or-break factor. However, having a good time management strategy and getting back to your test computer on time can help you stay calm and focused and lead to better performance.

The same rules apply if you are taking the test online. You are allowed to leave your desk during the break, but you are expected to keep the camera on and to leave the physical whiteboard at your work station.

How should you use the GMAT scratch paper?

At the GMAT test centre, you will be provided with something similar to a big spiral notepad. This is the GMAT scratch pad.

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Each pad contains 5 laminated sheets and two dry erase markers. Make sure you scribble to check if the pen writes well. If not, you can always ask for a replacement.

Make sure you use the sheets optimally. While you may end up using the sheets during the Verbal section, you will surely use them extensively during the Quantitative and Data Insights sections. Since you have 21 and 20 questions in the Quant and DI sections, respectively, you could divide each sheet into 4 quarters and use each quarter to solve 5 questions each. This will help you avoid wasting time erasing your scratch work.

Make sure that you ask for the scratch paper in advance. You just need to raise your hand, and the proctor will come over to help you.

If your taking the exam online, you’ll need to get hold of a physical whiteboard no larger than 12 x 20 inches, or you can even use the online whiteboard that will be provided.

No matter which format you choose to take the exam in, you must practice using the laminated sheets or the whiteboard so that you are more comfortable during the exam.

How can you get yourself to peak performance during the GMAT?

Have you heard of this phenomenon called “decision fatigue”?
To explain it simply, think of your brain as a mobile battery. The more information you consume, the more battery power you consume.

Similarly, the human brain also has limited battery power. This is why you might have noticed that sometimes, at around 6-7 pm after a very tiring day, you feel “brain dead”. This is because your brain is just feeling the heaviness of all the decisions that you’ve made all day.

So, how do you conserve your energy on the day of the test to ensure you are in your peak performance state?

First, don’t leave any decision-making for the morning. As mentioned earlier, ensure you have made all the logistical checks the evening before — packed the passport and the GMAT appointment letter, picked out the clothes to wear, food to eat, the route to take, etc.

Second, don’t engage in difficult conversations with anyone on your test day. Don’t try to do any other work before you take the GMAT, especially if you have chosen the afternoon slot for your test. On the GMAT day, you should have near-perfect mental energy and composure to ensure that you will perform at your best. This applies to both first-time test takers and retakers, as maintaining a positive mindset and avoiding distractions is crucial for peak performance on the GMAT.

Evaluate your fitment For GMAT Focus Edition

Evaluate your fitment For GMAT Focus Edition

What are the points to consider after taking the GMAT Focus Test?

Should you cancel your GMAT score?

Did you know that there is an option to cancel your GMAT score?
We agree that nobody wants to walk into the test centre with the mindset that they will have to cancel their score. But it’s better for you to have some kind of “cutoff” in mind.

Let’s imagine that 655 is your cutoff.

Immediately after your GMAT, your score will appear on the screen, and you will be asked whether you want to accept or cancel your score. At that point, it becomes very important to make a quick decision, as you are only given two minutes to make up your mind. If the time expires before you make a decision, your score will be automatically cancelled for free. So, be ready to make this decision before you sit down to take the GMAT.

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Let us assume that you accepted your score at the GMAT centre. Can you cancel it later? Of course, you can. You can cancel your score up to 72 hours after the completion of the exam. But you will have to pay a fee to cancel your score.

And what if you cancelled your score at the GMAT centre and you want to reinstate it? You can do that too within four years and 11 months from the time of completion of the exam.

One simple piece of advice. If you are confused, it is better not to cancel your GMAT score. You can always retake the GMAT and score much better! So when you finally send your scores to a B-school, they will clearly see the improvement in your score, and this will surely work to your advantage.

It is not that difficult to score better on your GMAT in your next GMAT: Retaking the GMAT: five effective strategies to score better

How should you select B-schools on the day of the GMAT?

Did you know that you can view your total score and send it to up to five B-schools or programs for free after the test? You can judge your score and then choose the schools or programs that are most likely to accept your application.

Before you take the GMAT, consider preparing two lists of potential B-schools or programs you would like to apply to. List A should have a list of up to 5 schools that, as per your research, would probably accept your application if you hit your target score, and List B should have a list of up to five less aspirational schools or programs that would accept your application even if you have a slightly lower score.

Let’s imagine that your target score is 645. If you reach or exceed this score, focus on applying to the schools in List A. However, if your score falls below 655 and you decide that you do not want to cancel your score, consider applying to the programs mentioned in List B. Tailoring your applications based on your GMAT performance can enhance your chances of securing admission to institutions that align with your academic profile and aspirations.

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Remember that you can send your score to up to 5 schools for free. If you wish to send your GMAT score to more than five B-schools, you can do so by paying a fee. So make sure you have done your homework before you come in for the test.

Also, you don’t need to remember the B-school code. You just need to know the name of the B-school and the program you wish to apply for. They will have a search bar where you can find the schools of your choice. Say, you are applying to IIM-A. Then there are two programs: PGPX and FPM. Both take the GMAT score, so they will each have a different code. You just have to search for the program of your choice and apply.

As was mentioned earlier, some Indian schools, such as the IIMs and ISB do not accept online GMAT scores, even though foreign schools do not have a problem with either kind of score. So make sure you do your research on the requirements of the school as you create your lists.

Want to know how to select the right B-school for you? Know the six factors to consider while selecting an MBA program.

How can you be an optimist on your test day?

What time you go to bed, what you eat, how you get to the center—all of this might affect your progress. But there’s one more factor that will have a huge impact on your performance, and that is having a positive mindset. This will help you in ways that you might not even realize

Here are a few tips to help you maintain a positive frame of mind on the day of the GMAT:

The first thing is to read all the student debriefs written by those who have actually done very well on the GMAT. It talks about what they did and how they prepared for the GMAT. And when you hear a good story, it automatically makes you feel more positive.

You can check out our students’ success stories. These are stories about people just like you who went on to overcome every obstacle that came their way. You’ll definitely relate to their experiences and also be inspired by them.

There’s a famous belief that dreams are made twice. Once in your mind and once in reality.

  • As you prepare to leave for the test, visualize yourself sitting down to take the test. Imagine yourself answering one question after the other with relative ease; you’re keeping up with the time, and you’re doing really well!
  • Imagine yourself during the break. In your mind, run through the things you’ll do. You go out of the exam room, freshen up, have a protein bar, and come back to your seat with renewed energy. Now imagine yourself looking at the next set of questions.
  • Now, finally, imagine yourself clicking on that submit button!
  • Now, in your mental eye, try to see a score of 765 on the screen. Trust us when we say that this will make a difference in the way your brain processes your entire test attempt.

What we are essentially telling you is that you should not underestimate the power of positive thinking. You can already visualize your success in your mind even before it happens!

With the twenty-four tips coming to an end, we would like to let you know that the tips mentioned above have been curated by us based on the knowledge we have acquired over our decades of industry experience.

We have seen students struggle at the last minute despite completing all the preparations, and we wouldn’t want that for you. If you consider these twenty-three tips, we guarantee that you will be able to give your GMAT in the most organized and efficient manner.

If you found these tips useful, please share our post with your fellow GMAT-takers. Let them also have a stress-free GMAT day experience.

Want to find out more about how you can ace the GMAT Focus test? 

Talk to our Expert GMAT Advisor.

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Frequently asked questions

What should I do the day before the GMAT test?

The day before your GMAT, it’s best to relax and not overstudy. Review your notes briefly, get your test materials ready, and try to rest early.

How should I study one day before the GMAT?

Limit your study to a light review of notes. Avoid intense studying or learning new material so that you can keep your mind fresh for the test day.

What are some last-minute strategies for the GMAT?

Focus on your strengths, review key formulas and concepts, and confirm logistics like test center location and travel time.

What are the best last-minute GMAT tips?

Stay calm, trust your preparation, get a good night’s sleep, and have a healthy breakfast. On the test day, read each question carefully and keep an eye on the time.

What documents should I bring to the test center?

Bring your GMAT-approved photo ID and appointment confirmation letter or email. It’s also a good idea to bring along a list of up to 5 pre-decided B-schools to send your scores to after the test.

What items should I bring with me on the GMAT test day?

Bring a valid photo ID, appointment confirmation letter or email, snacks for breaks, water, and any necessary medication. Also, consider bringing a list of MBA programs to send your scores to.

Should I arrive early at the test center on the test day?

Yes, arriving early is recommended, as you’ll need to go through a check-in procedure. Aim to be there at least 15-20 minutes before your scheduled exam time. Being 15 minutes late could result in not being allowed to take the exam.

What is the check-in procedure?

You’ll need to present a valid GMAT-approved photo ID. The test center will then take your picture, signature, and fingerprints and have you sign the GMAT Examination Testing Rules & Agreement.

What am I allowed to bring into the exam room?

You can’t bring personal items like your mobile phone or wallet into the exam room. While you can bring snacks and water, they must be stored in a locker during the exam and can only be accessed during the break.

Will I be given something to write on during the exam?

Yes, test centers will provide you with pens and a laminated scratch pad. If you are taking the online GMAT, you can use the on-screen whiteboard or a physical, pre-approved whiteboard.

Do we get breaks during the exam?

Yes, there is one scheduled 10-minute break during the test. It’s suggested that you use this break to clear your mind and have a snack for an energy boost.

Should I give more time to the first ten questions of each section?

It’s not recommended to allocate more time to the first ten questions; instead, manage your time evenly across the entire section to complete all questions.

How can I stay calm on the day of the GMAT?

Practice deep breathing, maintain a positive mindset, and take 10-second breaks as needed during the test to manage stress and stay focused.

What if my computer stops working during the GMAT?

Don’t try to fix it yourself; raise your hand and inform the administrator immediately.

How do I handle disruptions during the GMAT?

Disruptions will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. You might be offered a retake or a refund. For minor distractions, practice in uncontrolled environments to improve concentration.

What do I do if I am not feeling well on test day?

It’s best not to take the GMAT if you’re ill. If you need to reschedule, you can do so for an extra fee.

How many times can I take the GMAT exam?

You can take the GMAT up to 5 times in a 12-month period, but it’s not recommended to take it more than 3 times, as it may not improve scores significantly and could send the wrong message to business schools.

Want To Know More About GMAT Focus Edition?
What should I do the day before the GMAT test?

The day before your GMAT, it’s best to relax and not overstudy. Review your notes briefly, get your test materials ready, and try to rest early.

Written by Arun J.

Arun, India's leading GMAT and MBA expert, has coached over 30,000 students in his 20-year EdTech career. His alumni have made it into top business schools including Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and ISB.


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