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How important are mock tests for GMAT preparation?

Introduction

GMAT is a crucial exam that business schools globally use to select the most suitable candidates. In one sense, the GMAT exam is the instrument that will help aspirants realise their dream of getting into some of the best business programs. GMAT not only tests your aptitude for management sciences but also your stamina and mental toughness in those 3.5 hours. Mock tests are designed to make the real GMAT seem easier.

The Mock Test Advantage

Let us consider how mock tests can help in GMAT preparation.

  • Provides familiarisation with GMAT timings and break patterns

GMAT mock tests are practice tests that replicate the GMAT exam style of conduct. It helps you become aware of the section-wise timing and the stipulated break times.

  • Provides experience of the real exam during the same time slot.

By planning to attempt a mock test in the same time slot as that of the real GMAT, you can get a feel of the actual GMAT test and also be aware of the effect that time slot has on you during the exam.

  • Provides awareness of your physical and mental stamina

Most GMAT candidates are working professionals. They are now no longer used to gruelling three-plus hour exam schedules having minuscule break timings. So it is difficult for them to give the GMAT exam without any practice. Full-length mock tests will provide them that exposure. It will help them to evaluate their physical and mental stamina, speed of answering, the capability to think hard in such a pressurised environment.

Mock tests can help you analyse your mental toughness. You can practice techniques to improve concentration and handle stress accordingly.

Type of food, adequate rest and hydration impact your well-being and concentration during the exam. The mock test also gives you a chance to understand the impact better and accordingly plan for these aspects before attempting such a prolonged duration exam.

  • Provides a better understanding of the adaptive exam style

The mock tests offered by reputed GMAT classes reflect the changes in GMAT format. There is a gradual progression in difficulty level of questions being attempted. Your performance on the previous question will determine the difficulty level of the ensuing question. These tests are non-repetitive. This implies, if you improve on your weak areas, then in subsequent mock tests there is no repetition of questions, as it is performance-driven. So mock tests simulate the real GMAT.

  • Helps to explore the “Select section-order” feature of GMAT

One of the changes introduced by GMAC is the “Select section-order” feature. This provides the flexibility to select the order in which you wish to attempt the four sections of the GMAT exam. This helps you to make the order choice based on your strength and comfort in tackling the different sections.

  • Provides means for feedback

On completion of the mock test, an institute specific score report is generated. It is a comprehensive report on the student’s performance. It provides scaled scores in the various sections, details of each question in terms of area of focus, difficulty level, correctness and pacing (time taken). This report helps the student identify their areas of strength and weakness. Some institute reports also provide detailed explanations for the questions.

  • Provides inputs for test strategy revision

The score report also gives you the inputs for creating

  • test attempting strategy in terms of the order of sections to be selected
  • time management strategy to improve pacing
  • learning plan focussing on areas needing more focus for future study
  • Identifies energy-draining sections

A full-length GMAT mock test helps you also attempt the Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing sections. These sections are graded independently. Though the scores in these two sections are not included in the final reckoning, these are quite energy-draining and time-consuming. Hence these sections should also be attempted earnestly.

  • Identifies distraction patterns

Distractions are likely to pop up during the GMAT mock tests, and you need to be able to identify and learn about provisions made at the centre to tackle them. E.g. earplugs option

  • Timely identification and correction in exam approach

The earlier you start attempting mock tests, the sooner you can take corrective actions and improvise. By frequently appearing for mock tests, you can test your progress and ensure that your preparation is on the right track.

Ensure that you attempt the mock exams with full sincerity and dedication. Your approach in handling GMAT mock tests and not just the mere count of mock tests you attempt will enhance your ability to perform in the real exam. They help you optimise your GMAT preparation time. They help you gain a better understanding of GMAT. This will boost your confidence to face the real GMAT.

Manya–The Princeton Review provides excellently designed mock tests. Their trained faculty will provide a detailed diagnosis of improvement areas based on the score report and help create effective learning plans.

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