GMAT Study & Test Taking Strategies

If you are aspiring to get chosen into an MBA program, then you will be required to take the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). The GMAT scores are an essential part of your MBA application and could very well be the deciding factor in your getting chosen for the MBA program or not. So you need to prepare for the test and know how to take the GMAT so that you have the best chance of getting a good score. Here are some tips to help you out:

GMAT Study Tips

Become familiar with the format of the GMAT so that you know what to expect from the test and which areas to prepare yourself in.

Look up sample questions and retired questions from previous GMATs. These are available online and in paper form as well. Although you will not be asked the same questions in your GMAT, reviewing the sample questions will give you a much clearer picture of the type of questions that you are likely to be asked.

The Quantitative section of the GMAT tests your basic math skills. So if it has been a few years since you studied the subject, you may want to revise basic math topics so that your math abilities are up to date.

The Analytical Writing Assessment section of the GMAT requires you to write two essays. So you can prepare yourself for this section by writing sample essays on topics that have been used in previous GMATs and also on other similar topics.

There are many test preparation courses that you can join, which will help you in studying for your GMAT.

All kinds of GMAT test preparation software and tools are available online for very low costs and sometimes even for free. You should take advantage of these tools that are great for helping you to prepare for the all important GMAT.

Remember that although the GMAT is a test of your basic overall skills and not testing of a particular subject, you still need to study for it. Confidence is good but over confidence, which leads to cruising in for the test without any preparation, may cause you to regret your actions later. Start studying for your GMAT at least 4 weeks in advance of the test date.

Test Taking Strategies

Once you have prepared for the GMAT and are ready to take the test, you need to focus on the test and nothing else. Remain calm and do not be nervous (yes, easier said than done!). Here are some tips on taking the GMAT and some strategies to use while taking the test.

You will be given the number of questions that have to be answered in each section and also the time available. Read these directions properly.

Concentrate on the questions and read them carefully. Read all the answers properly too. Even if you think you have the right answer, read all the given answers. Each question has one correct answer and one that is almost correct. So see all the answers before your response and do not gloss over any answer if you feel you already have the right one.

To guess or not to? This is on everyone’s mind when taking the GMAT. Since your test score is lowered for every un-answered question, you may need to do some guesswork if you do not know the right answer. But keep in mind that wrong answers lower your test score as well. So try and eliminate at least one or two answers, (one answer is almost always obviously wrong) and then guess between the remaining two so that you have a better chance of your answer being correct.

Once you have confirmed any answer, you cannot go back and change it. So think over the question and then answer it only after you have made your final decision.

The quantitative section requires you to make calculations. Try and do only the simplest calculations mentally but use paper and pen for the tough ones. Mental math often results in incorrect answers in test situations.

Keep the total time that you have for each section in mind and pace yourself accordingly so that you have enough time to finish the test.

You are allowed to take only one test each calendar month. So if you quit a test or cancel it, then it is counted as a valid test but your scores are not. So be aware of this while taking the test.