What is the GMAT scratch paper? GMAT scratch paper is not really a paper but rather a notepad. It consists of a five-sheet pad of laminated grid paper and you can write on it with a marker. This is where you can make rough notes, do rough calculations, etc. In case you have exhausted the space available on your scratch paper, you can request the examination proctor to replace it with a new one. In this article, we are going to tell you how to use your GMAT scratch paper effectively. 

How to Use Your GMAT Scratch Paper?

The surface of the GMAT scratch pad is of non-porous laminated plastic, which is different from a normal page or sheet of paper. Hence you cannot write on it with a normal pen,  you will have to use a non-permanent marker. It can be challenging to use the GMAT scratch paper as once you have written in it, you cannot erase it. But you can use this to your benefit and come up with a classic strategy.

GMAT Scratch Paper Strategy

A good strategy will help you use your GMAT scratch paper in the most efficient manner possible. We have some GMAT scratch paper strategies that help you make the best use of the scratch paper. 

  • Use the grid lines

The GMAT scratch paper has visible grid lines. You can use the grid lines for drawing shapes, graphs, or to solve geometry questions. 

  • Divide the scratch paper into sections 

Dividing your scratch paper into sections is a good way to segregate your work. Once you’ve completed solving a problem, you can use the grid lines to draw a line to make space for more problems. This helps in keeping track of the problems solved and helps indicate where each problem is located on your scratch paper. This will in turn help you in accessing all that information you have put down easily and avoid you from slowing down.

  • Stay organised

The gridlines on the scratch paper helps you in staying organized. For instance, you can put down the answer choices, let’s say A to E in five different grids. As you progress, you can eliminate the answers that seem incorrect to you, till you settle on the right and most apt answer. The elimination method will sort out information based on what the question is asking of you and helps you make a choice if you are confused. 

  • Time Management 

If you are someone who struggles with time management, you can make use of your scratch paper to track the amount of time you have left. You can put down the time you have left to finish the exam in a particular square. For instance, you have 62 minutes to wrap up the Quantitative section of the exam, you can write the time on top of the notepad and segregate two minutes per question. By doing so, you can stay on top of your game and complete all your sections on time.

  • Neat, Tidy and Concise 

When using the GMAT scratch paper, make it a point to keep your work neat and tidy. The gridlines on your scratch paper help in keeping your notes uncluttered and makes your work concise. This way you also avoid over-using the scratch paper. In addition, you can retain important concepts on the paper and cross-check, if you need them for other questions.

  • Use a small font 

When writing on the scratch paper, practice writing in small letters. This will help you save space and help you identify the information that you need within seconds. If you use bigger fonts or letters, the information you put down can seem rather complex and can be confusing to comprehend.

  • Segregate the main ideas 

Segregating the main ideas and putting them down on the scratch paper is an efficient way to use the scratch paper. When you are revising and preparing for the GMAT, try to identify the foundational concept the question lies on. This will help you segregate the question into specific categories and help you solve the question easily. This segregation can be done on the scratch paper using the gridlines to separate one category from the other. 

If at all you find yourself running out of space on your scratch paper, do not hesitate to ask for more. It is also wise to practice with a scratch paper at home, with little notepads before the exam. This will help you visualise how you can use the scratch paper on the exam day. We have listed all the pointers and everything you need to know on how to use the GMAT scratch paper efficiently and we hoped it helped. So, begin your GMAT preparation and ace the exam. All the best!


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