GMAT is a psychometric test and the answer choices are designed to function as traps for every question type that you would encounter on the three-hour-and-seven-minute-long test. The computer-adaptive algorithm that dictates the way the test sets its difficulty around your abilities, makes it even more difficult if you commit a series of errors on any of the two main sections of the test.
While the analytical writing section and Integrated reasoning section are equally tough, they’re not based on the computer-adaptive algorithm. It’s the verbal and quant sections that need most of your attention as this is what comprises most of your score and is where the GMAT gets challenging.
Hence, it is essential to practice well and enhance your skills and knowledge to get your dream score. In this article, we cover five essential tips that you should be mindful of when preparing for the GMAT to prevent yourself from falling into a trap and committing major mistakes during the test.
Here are the Five Tips to Avoid Making Mistakes on the GMAT
1. Confidence is a strength but overconfidence is a flaw
Often GMAT aspirants are found to be overconfident after successfully scoring on the mock tests. Although these mock tests are taken to build your confidence and knowledge to succeed on the actual test, scores on these mock tests do not reflect the actual scores you might receive on the actual GMAT. Hence, even if you find yourself scoring a 680+ on the mock test, you should continue to analyse your areas of improvement and rework your GMAT goals to score higher on the actual test. Remember, working harder and scoring higher has all the benefits, however, scoring even a few points below the average required score could weaken your application. Hence, it is better to be safe and take the necessary steps to stay focused and confident rather than be overconfident and overlook the importance of the right preparation.
2. Not having a study plan and taking an unbalanced approach
While preparing for GMAT, most test-takers focus too much on areas of the test where they either are most comfortable or the weaker sections and neglect to build their strengths where scoring could be easier. Both approaches are wrong to obtain desired results. When preparing for the GMAT an all-around balanced approach is crucial. It is essential to note here that GMAT provides a section-wise break up of scores and each school has its methodology for weighing these scores. The GMAT test scoring pattern follows a unique pattern; it includes the number of questions you answered correctly from each difficulty level of the sections of the test and grades your performance. Hence, being able to answer questions correctly from a higher difficulty level increases your scores. To successfully practice in a balanced way, having a dedicated study plan is quintessential.
3. Analyse your strengths and weaknesses
Most times test-takers take tests but do not spend enough time analysing the answers even if they have answered them correctly. The importance of analysing your strengths and weaknesses cannot be emphasised enough when preparing for the GMAT so much so that we give this top priority on our list of five tips for not repeating mistakes on GMAT. After having taken a mock test, the online tool provides a detailed explanation of each question. Analysing your answers not only helps you improve over where you went wrong but also strengthens your understanding of what you did right.
4. Studying at the last minute
Indeed, achieving any goal requires time and persistent effort. If you think you can achieve your dream score by studying in the last few days of your test, then you’re wrong. Unless you’re a math and verbal genius. However, even geniuses tend to practice a lot before taking the GMAT. Hence, it is imperative to have a study plan of at least 3 months and study for a minimum of 10 hours a week to build your foundations and skills. Avoid cramming everything to the last minute, since this will do you little good.
5. Avoid excess stress and take sufficient rest
GMAT is an aptitude test and to ace it, you need to work smart and not just hard. It is advisable to start preparing for GMAT six months before the test dates you’ve registered for. Don’t prolong the test preparation process this will make you tiring and exhaustive. Stress can disrupt all the hard work you’ve put in. So, remember to take sufficient breaks and get a good sleep before the day of your test. Studies have proven that test-takers who sleep well after preparation remember well during the test session.
There you have the 5 tips to avoid making mistakes on the GMAT. Now that you know about what are good practices to adopt when preparing for the GMAT and the mistakes to avoid, you’re better positioned to plan your preparation and ace your GMAT.
All the best!