Are you planning to take the GMAT? Are you struggling hard to get a good score? Is it that, in spite of studying hard, you are not able to score well in the practice tests that you take? The reason is most likely, not lack of efforts on your part, but the way you are putting in the efforts!
Don’t choose it randomly
The first is to choose authentic Test Prep material. You cannot do without the practice material from the makers of the GMAT – the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). Even at the risk of beating our own drum, I would say that The Princeton Review’s practice material is a very close simulation of the retired questions released by the GMAC. GMAT questions follow certain conventions. If you find any set of practice material not following such conventions, that set may not be very reliable.
Use it wisely
It’s a bad idea to exhaust all the practice material too early during your preparation period; it’s also a bad idea to keep everything for practice just before your actual GMAT exam. Pace the practice material over the entire period of your preparation. Go a bit slow in the early stage of your preparation and focus more on understanding the concepts. Pick up pace as you approach the test date.
Timed practice is most important, but it’s equally important to learn how you should pace yourself throughout the test. Because of the adaptive nature of the test, it’s not just the number of questions you get right or wrong that determines your score. The difficulty levels of the questions that you get right or wrong and the number of questions that you answer determine your score. Learn to pace yourself wisely.
Do it on paper
While preparing for the GMAT and at the time of taking the test, do your scratch work on paper. Accuracy is more important than speed; practice under exam conditions.
Last but not the least, avoid unrealistic expectations. Avoid being overconfident while preparing for the test and at the time of taking the test. While taking the test, you may have to guess on a few questions; that’s part of the game. Don’t take it to heart. Focus on one question, one section at the time of taking the test.
- Don’t just practice; practice the techniques.
- Don’t just practice hard questions.
- Pace your practice material; practice regularly.
- Balance your preparation; do not practice only math or only verbal.
- Take full-length practice tests; do not skip Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) and Integrated Reasoning (IR) sections.