Are you taking the GMAT? Not sure how to manage your time during the exam? We will provide you with GMAT time management tips that will come handy while taking the GMAT.
Managing your time is crucial when you attempt any exam so that you do not miss answering any questions. With the GMAT, you need to be extra cautious as each section is timed and you have to finish attempting it within the given time frame. So, let us first understand the duration of the GMAT and the time allotted for each section. The duration of the GMAT exam is 3 hours and 8 minutes. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning are both timed at 65 minutes and 62 minutes respectively. The Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment are both timed at 30 minutes each. You are allotted two optional 8 minutes breaks in between the exam.
It is important to note that the GMAT strictly adheres to the time allotted to each of its sections. If you exceed the time allotted for a particular section, it shall be deducted from the time allotted for the next section. Hence, it becomes even more crucial for you to be able to manage time well while writing the GMAT.
Time Management Tips for the GMAT Exam
Here are some tips for time management while writing the GMAT:
Develop a Strategy for Every Question
The GMAT can consist of complex and lengthy questions. Now if you take your time in solving them, you will lose out on time. It is recommended that you develop a strategy or shortcuts to solve such questions to save time. Additionally, if you are well versed with the fundamental concepts and can identify the underlying concept, you can easily solve the GMAT questions without losing any time.
Eliminate Improbable Answer Choices
The GMAT is a multiple-choice test. This means for every question, you will have at least 5 to 6 answer choices. If you are feeling stuck or are spending too much time on a particular question, you can use the elimination method to arrive at the right answer. So what is the elimination method? For example, you have six answer choices and let’s say, two of these answer choices are improbable or are clearly incorrect, you begin eliminating them. Now you are left with four answer choices, you identify which ones are likely to be right and eliminate the rest of the choices. You keep doing this till you arrive at the right answer or appropriate answer. This will help you solve the question quickly and efficiently.
Use Multiple Strategies
The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test, this means as you proceed, each section of the GMAT is more difficult than the previous one you have attempted. Most candidates struggle with the advanced questions as it takes them longer to solve them. Now, we have already mentioned that you have to develop a strategy for each of the GMAT questions. However, with the advanced questions, using a single strategy is not enough. You might have to use two or more strategies to solve the question quickly.
Skip the Question
Due to the computer-adaptive nature of the GMAT, some questions might be more difficult than others. You might end up spending a lot of time-solving them. This will hinder your performance on the test and you will run out of time. Hence, in such a case, you need to know when to skip a question and move on to the others. You can risk skipping a question or two as the GMAT has no negative marking. However, spending all your time on a single question will put your entire exam at stake.
Time Your Mock Tests
Taking mock tests is the best way to learn how to manage your time well. Each time you take a mock test, track the amount of time you spent on each section and how long you take to finish the test. With each test, track your progress and check if you are particularly spending extra time on a specific question type. Once you have identified the question type, practise similar question types to familiarise yourself with them so that you can solve them quicker.
The final mock test you take before the actual GMAT, should be taken just like how the actual GMAT would be conducted. This means you should schedule breaks just like in the actual GMAT and time your sections as well. Attempting mock tests like how you would attempt the actual GMAT will help you get a glimpse of how the exam takes place and how you can equip yourself to perform well within the given time frame.
These are some time management tips for the GMAT exam to help you. If you incorporate these while preparing for the GMAT and while attempting the GMAT, you can easily finish the exam in time with an ample amount of time left for a quick review as well.