Are you interested in a career in management? Is it your ambition to become an entrepreneur? Then, rather than simply researching the best management schools and the admissions process, the first and most important step is to prepare for and take the GMAT.
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is an assessment test taken by students who want to study management at one of the world’s business schools. Almost every business school has a similar application process, in which students submit an application form as well as their GMAT score.
THIS BLOG INCLUDES:
1. Top 10 GMAT Study Tips for Your GMAT Preparation
2. GMAT Preparation Tips & Tricks to Nail the GMAT Exam
3.GMAT Tips to Follow on the Exam Day
4. Important Tips to Improve Your GMAT Reading Comprehension Performance
5. Can I Skip the Long Passage?
6. What to do if a Passage Comes at the 30th Question?
Does the thought of GMAT prep timeline and taking the exam make you nervous? Chill! With the right course, first-rate techniques and strategies, and an appropriate study plan, we at Manya will pave the way for your GMAT success.
Below given are the 16 tips on taking the GMAT Exam. The following GMAT Study Tips will unquestionably lead you to a great score:
There are many steps towards getting admissions to MBA – You need a decent GPA score, essays, letters of recommendation, SOPs, resumes, etc., but the major step is having a GMAT score ready.
Set the GMAT preparation timeline right so that there is time for each and every step in the Application process and nothing is done haphazardly. Target a month or two for taking the GMAT and work backwards to initiate the GMAT Prep tips. Structure a study plan, be it by weeks or months, but draw the schedule.
You have to get familiar with the sections in the test and understand what each component tests. There are 4 sections to the GMAT:
What is the best way to study for the GMAT? The best way to prepare for GMAT is to begin your GMAT prep with a full-length mock test and to face the question types in a given timed condition and feel the experience. This will help you formulate an opposite Study plan.
How to study for GMAT? There are a plethora of online resources for preparing for the GMAT, but one needs to go for the best books for GMAT preparation strategy. The GMAT course with Manya here is one of the best resources. The fundamentals of the GMAT syllabus are comprehensively captured in our course books. Well-researched and tried techniques and strategies illustrated with questions in the books and practice material provided for GMAT preparation timetable via a student portal are far beyond those in any other resources for basic GMAT online preparation.
The only way a student can measure his performance and analyze his strengths and weaknesses is by taking a lot of GMAT practice tests. Manya provides a student portal that has 10 simulated full-length mock tests with the flexibility to select the order of the sections. Not only this, but the portal also helps with adaptive lessons and drills to evaluate a student’s grasp of the techniques and strategies.
A comprehensive interactive score report on the click of the submit button is another add-on to understanding one’s progress in individual scores of both Quant and Verbal and also the level of difficulty he/she is at.
A thorough analysis of each test taken reflects the student’s strengths and weaknesses and thus helps adjudge the focus areas.
Many other GMAT Online test series can also be sought after for practice.
Through the practice tests, finding out which skills are most critical to work on is of great importance. One might be strong in Sentence Correction, but might not be very good at reading comprehension. Similarly, Data Sufficiency questions might give the jitters to a student, but the Problem Solving questions might just be a cakewalk.
The GMAT test pattern is such that every question type contributes to the overall score. One cannot be compromised for another.
You have to be consistent in your strong areas, yet on the other hand, work hard and focus on your weaknesses. Practice on topic-wise questions can gradually enhance performance.
Now that you have practiced on a lot of tests, what next becomes of paramount significance is pacing the test. You have just over one and a half minutes for each question in the verbal section and just about two minutes per question in the Quant section. So the only way to balance and manage time is to spend less time on the easier known concepts tested in questions and keep more time for the harder questions. Passages require more time as solving questions of a passage would need an effective reading of the passage.
One more point to be kept in mind is that initial questions on the GMAT need time spent wisely and cautiously. On them. Remember, the GMAT is a computer adaptive test- the more questions you get correct in the beginning of the test, the higher the difficulty level per question becomes.
So, keep in mind that you not only look at getting accurate answers but also focus on completing the test. That means you need to pace the test wisely. Distribute time and manage time across the GMAT.
The only global strategy to reach accuracy is by the process of Elimination. Every question has four wrong answers and only one right answer. The more sure you are of the wrong in an answer choice, the closer you are to the right answer.
Focus on identifying the wrong in the answer options. You are bound to get to the right answer in this manner. Master yourself in understanding incorrect answers.
Often, the smooth going of the test gets disrupted because you are stuck between two answer choices and know not what to do. Well, here is where you need to use the Process of elimination more forcefully. Look for a way to remove one of the answers by finding what makes it incorrect. Now let’s say time keeps ticking by and you are not able to give a valid reason to eliminate an answer. Make use of this weapon of guessing on one. That’s one of the best ways to study for GMAT. You can’t afford to do this often, but sadly, you can’t even afford to spend more than two and a half minutes on any question.
In fact, let me tell you, 1 guess in every 10 questions is not going to mess things up very badly.
If you are aiming for the elite 700+ score on the GMAT exam, you have to practice on a lot of high-difficulty level questions. A lot of Online GMAT resources are available and can be downloaded to practice. When questions get difficult, GMAC is not using a very out-of-the-blue concept to test us. It is just testing the same concept more tortuously. Hence, working on such questions will help ace the 700+.
How to focus on GMAT preparation? Believe in your goals and yourself. The road to achieving success does have many hindrances. However, determination and focus will always outweigh these obstacles. So remember that perseverance can conquer all weaknesses.
The GMAT exam is a Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT), meaning it keeps a running tally of your score as it goes, based on the number of questions you get correct and their levels of difficulty. The computer-adaptive sections always begin by giving you a medium question. If you get it correct, the computer gives you a slightly harder question. If you get it wrong, the computer gives you a slightly easier question, and so on.
Beware! Because the test is taken on a computer, you must answer each question to get to the next one. You can’t count on skipping a question to come back to later as a part of your GMAT study strategy. However, you can choose your test section order.
There are two important factors that can affect your score on the computer-adaptive sections of the test:
If you’re stuck on a question, be a smart guesser and use a process of elimination to get rid of some of the wrong answers. Wrong answers are often easier to spot than correct answers. Sometimes they just sound weird. Other times they’re logically impossible. While it is rare to be able to eliminate all four of the incorrect answer choices on the GMAT, you will almost always be able to eliminate at least one of them. You’ll have a better chance of selecting the right one.
The GMAT is constructed with incorrect answer choices that the test writers think you might like. If it’s a mistake a person might easily make on a problem, it’s probably an answer choice. If a question seems easy to you, STOP and reread the question. Make sure you haven’t fallen into a trap.
Because there is a penalty for unanswered questions at the end of the GMAT, it makes sense to guess on any remaining questions rather than to leave them blank. If time is running out, you will almost certainly get a higher score by clicking through and answering any remaining questions at random. This is because the penalty for getting a question wrong diminishes sharply toward the end of each adaptive section (when the computer has already largely decided your score).
First and foremost it is important to understand the structure of the test. GMAT is a question adaptive test. As and when you answer any particular question, your performance in that question decides the level of difficulty of the next questions. For example, if you perform the first question correctly, the next question you are going to get will be of a higher difficulty level. Thus, in the GMAT test only the first question is decided.
You must understand that in a GMAT adaptive test you must get the initial questions correct. For example, you are taking the verbal section questions and targeting 650+, be sure that you get at least the first 10 questions correct. Similarly, if you are planning to target 700+, make sure that you get your first 20 questions absolutely correct as it helps you to achieve your target score. Also, focus on the remaining 20 as they will help you to maintain your GMAT score.
You also need to answer all the questions asked. In GMAT, the penalty for leaving a question is higher than answering it wrong. Many people believe that up to 25% of questions asked on the GMAT are experimental. However, this is not confirmed by GMAC. The experimental questions are given in order of the test-taking purpose. That means you are not marked by these experimental questions and neither do they actually contribute to your score. Therefore, don’t assume a particular set on the GMAT to be experimental. Try to perform well and concentrate on your preparation.
Since July 2017 there is a new feature in GMAT given to us for our benefit. On the test, you are allowed to have three different arrangements to pick the segments. This means you need not go by chronological order of any section, you can select your sections. Here observing your pattern is really important. Do not wait for the GMAT test date to decide which section you will be going to start with. So right from the first test, be selective. You must know the subjects you are comfortable with.
You need to decide which arrangement suits you better. Starting with the verbal and then the math, the essay and IR in the end or starting with math, verbal, AWA and the IR in the end suits you better. Sequencing is a choice, but using it to your advantage is your own prerogative. It is very important to get comfortable with one sequence.
A good scratch paper helps you to minimize the careless mistakes and keeps you on track throughout the test. However, many people avoid using scratch paper and that too for no reason. It’s just that they are not into the habit of using scratch paper and find it time-saving to do calculations in their head. Here are a few Tricks to nail the GMAT.
You must understand that GMAT does not give you extra marks for doing calculations in your head; therefore, you don’t need to do tough questions in your head when you can do it on paper. There is no need not to remember every calculation if you are using a scratch paper.
In fact, not using the scratch paper, especially when you are running out of time can make it more complicated. Therefore, instead of avoiding scratch paper, make a habit of using it. It not only helps you in solving the questions but also helps to revise your calculations. Also, you will come to know the type of questions you have got wrong. Therefore, as advice, you must handle difficult questions on paper rather than doing them in your head.
Organizing your scratch work is important in both the quant and verbal as this helps you to check your calculations again. It is not possible for a human mind to remember each and everything in your head. So make a habit of using scratch paper even when you are taking the test. Organizing your scratch work enables you to check your careless calculations and helps you to rectify them. Doing one question on one corner and doing the other question somewhere else will only make it difficult for you to revise.
You will be getting some more tips and tricks to crack the GMAT in our upcoming blog series.
Why is the regular test important? You will need to take a test to find out the answer. Taking the test regularly gives you an opportunity to analyze your test so that you can focus on the key areas you need to improve. By taking the test regularly and analyzing it thoroughly you will know that on what questions you end up spending more time. Here are other Tricks to nail the GMAT exam.
Often, students are scared that if they take a test before completing their course they might get a low score which can demotivate them. However, taking a GMAT mock test can help you check whether your score is improving or not. Taking a test will help you to know the type of questions on which you are making more mistakes so that you can improve on such questions. Thus, analyzing the test is very important to know how much you are actually prepared for the test.
Another important thing is to have a realistic approach towards your score improvement. For example, scoring 540 in the first test and then expecting to score 700 on your next test is not realistic. You need to keep practicing, focus on the things you are weak in and keep practicing hard to improve. This is the only best way to study for GMAT in order to achieve your target score. If you need a good score on GMAT then taking a mock test regularly is important.
The most common questions asked by students preparing for the GMAT Quant and Verbal includes what’s the syllabus and what is the difficulty level of these questions in order to nail the GMAT . GMAT does not ask questions based on calculus and the integration, differentiation, and complex numbers nor does it ask to do typical math such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. However, the aim of the quant section is to check whether a student can solve a quantitative problem or not. As a student, you need to have a basic understanding of arithmetic, elementary algebra and some basic concepts of geometry.
The two types of questions asked on the GMAT are; the problem-solving question and the data sufficiency questions. A problem-solving question is the one where a word problem is given and you have to pick the answer from the 5 answer choices. In order to deal with the data sufficiency questions on the GMAT, you should know what is a Data Sufficiency question? A data sufficiency question does not ask you to solve the questions and find the answer. There will be two statements attached where you need to find out if the information given in the statement is sufficient to answer your question attempts or not. Remember that a DS question doesn’t ask you to solve the question, however, it asks you to judge whether the information in the statement is sufficient to answer the question or not.
One of the best ways to approach such questions is to understand the answer choices instead of learning what the answer choice means. Knowing the common facts about the geometric figures and learning the ADBC approach can help you to solve the questions. There are many difficulty levels in quant, wherein you will have easy questions, medium questions, and hard questions. GMAT is a timed test, therefore, it is important that you check the time you are spending to answer a particular question. While solving a quant section there are some questions that are important and some questions that need to be solved in less time as compared to other questions. Time management is a very important part of your quantitative section. Try to save your time for the difficult questions and do not waste the time on easy questions, especially the ones that you can still do in less time.
You have been prepping for your GMAT exam and you are all set! What to do on test day? Read on to make sure you are prepared for every aspect of the exam experience.
As with any exam, your performance on an actual day is strongly dependent on how well-rested you are. So, make sure you eat well, sleep adequately and exercise in the days leading up to the exam. A week before the actual exam, you can drive to the test center location, on the day of the week and at the time that you would travel for the actual exam (the following week). This can help you become familiar with not just the route but also the potential traffic conditions at that time. On test day, at the test center, your photo and a scan of your palm will be taken. So, avoid putting any henna or mehndi on your hands before the exam day.
There are many things that you need to research or think through before the day of the exam. Using the lists below to make sure you have done the necessary things before the day of your exam.
The official website clearly mentions a list of items that you are allowed to bring and a list of items that you cannot bring to the test center. Do remember to check the list when you pack for the test day. Food and drink may not be allowed in the test room. Remember to pack the following items:
It is important to reach the test center at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam to complete the pre-exam formalities during the test:
If you suddenly see a question that is very easy do not assume that you are doing very poorly. Similarly, don’t panic if you see a very difficult question. Remember that around 25% of the questions in the verbal and quant sections are experimental questions (these do not contribute to your final score). While taking the exam focus on the question in front of you and try to do it as quickly as possible.
Before the start of the exam, check whether your capping pen (marker) is working properly and not dry. You can always raise your hand and ask for a new pen if needed. Use the note board given to you to make eliminations and get to the correct answer. You can also use the note boards to take notes as you read and do calculations. You can always ask for a replacement note board if you have completely used up the one provided at the start of the test.
You have two optional breaks which can last up to 8 minutes each. You are not allowed to leave the test center or look at your electronic devices during the break. Do make use of the breaks to refresh your mind. But do remember that if you exceed the allotted time, the additional time will be deducted from the next test section.
You are already aware that time is critical on the GMAT. If you do not complete all the questions in a section within the allotted time, there will be a penalty for not completing the section. So do not get stuck on one killer question and spend a lot of time. You should also keep track of the time during the breaks and any timed tutorials displayed on the screen.
After the test, you will have two minutes to decide if you want to accept or reject your scores. The default option is to cancel, so you need to quickly accept the score, should you want to do so.
In case you feel overwhelmed, look away from the screen and take a deep breath. Then work to finish the question in front of you as soon as possible. You have put in a lot of effort towards your GMAT but only your test day performance will determine your actual scores. Use these suggestions to ease your exam day experience. Now you are all set for your test day!
When it comes to the GMAT Reading Comprehension (GMAT RC) strategies, students do get stumped, overwhelmed, sullen, depressed, anxious, and this attitude continues. There could be so many reasons for this, yet Reading Comprehension is a significant part of the GMAT Verbal section, with 13 questions to solve from 4 passages! That is almost a third of the total number of GMAT verbal questions. Given this, shouldn’t the attitude towards RC change? Indeed!!
Let’s look at how you can improve your performance in passages of GMAT Reading Comprehension with these GMAT test taking tips:
The Topic of a Passage Should not Impact the Way we Read a Passage-
You are bound to get topics such as physical sciences, social sciences, history, astronomy, business, etc. Not every such topic could be interesting, but that shouldn’t create any resistance or passivity towards passages. Every passage has a say in your score, so no discrimination.
Let’s look at how you can improve your performance in passages of GMAT Reading Comprehension with these GMAT test taking tips:
There should be a purpose for reading the passage. It’s certainly not to gain knowledge or test your knowledge on certain topics that you read a passage about. Read the passage to get the answer to what it conveys to you. What do you get to know about the topic? What was the takeaway from the reading of the passage?
These questions can be answered only if you can cull out the author’s statements in the passage that usually come in the form of conclusions, suggestions, objections, or mere opinions made from facts, evidence, or data given in the passage. There may be several such statements in the passage, but who matters most to us is the Author of the passage.
The verbal questions on the GMAT revolve more around the author’s statements in the passage.
When we have to get to the main point of the passage, skimming works best. It helps us track information about the passage’s topic and get the more important points faster. By skimming, you can get an outline of the passage, the flow of ideas in a passage, and the author’s stance on the topic.
Scanning on the other hand helps us in getting specific pieces of information from specific parts of the passage. Some lead words or phrases stand out while reading and help us get more details about that part of the passage.
So by this process of skimming and scanning, you will be able to answer the more general questions which ask about the entire passage and even the specific questions that focus on particular sections of the passage. You learn the art of reading more efficiently during your GMAT preparation.
So when we skim, we look for the topic of the passage which is almost always the first thing a paragraph or passage begins with. Now it doesn’t stop there. What did the author want to convey about the topic to the reader? What does the author want the reader to know?
Some reading passages may have just one paragraph, yet others may have two, three, or even more paragraphs. Every paragraph will introduce a new topic or at least a new idea. That is what we need to look for first. Once we get that, we just need to check whether what follows goes along with the same idea or contradicts the idea in any way. The direction of the flow of ideas gives us a way to understand what information the author wants to pass on through the introduced topic. Tracing that information is done via Active Reading. Look for marker words-thus, so, indeed, of course…these support or take the idea in the same direction. Other marker words such as however, yet, but, although, nevertheless….these take the opposite direction and change ideas. Our eyes need to search these keywords to keep track of the structure of the passage and get to the main idea of the passage.
So three points need to be kept in mind to get to the main idea:
If you see that the additional detail supports just one main statement or sentence in the passage, then you have spotted the main idea.
Of course, we do! Once we get the main idea and the flow of the passage, we move to the questions. Going through the questions doesn’t mandate knowing the answer without looking back. In fact, that is exactly what GMAC is waiting for – You are falling for memory traps!
Never should you click on an answer that seems just apt or more likely or better….these types of answers are the laid traps for you. Always go back to the passage for PROOF. An answer MUST be supported by the passage-not halfway through but in full.
On the GMAT Verbal, the passages remain along with each question till you answer all of the questions – 3 or 4 in number under a passage. So get the information from the passage that will backup your answer and lead you to accuracy. Remember to use the process of elimination to come to the right answer, not choose an answer that seems like the passage or more appealing as an answer.
Initially, we saw that Reading Comprehension questions cannot be compromised as they contribute to a third of the 36 questions in the GMAT Verbal section.
This means that we have to be cautious and calculative about which passages will matter most in a test. GMAT is a computer adaptive test. But there is a twist here; when it comes to RCs, the adaptiveness is per your performance in all the questions under a passage. Depending on how many questions out of 3 or 4 you got right, the difficulty level of the next question after the passage will be determined. Therefore, passages that come early in the test will obviously matter more to keep the difficulty level at a consistent level and not let it dip miserably at the beginning itself. If this damage is done quite early, it becomes very difficult to reach a respectable difficulty level. So, it’s best to concentrate on at least the first two passages in the section to maintain or boost the level of difficulty and keep it at par. Care has to be taken through to see that in the bargain, you don’t spend too much time in the two passages. You ought to know when to get out of a question. Pacing the test is of significance too!
Well, you know that options that do not have the support of the passage cannot be the right answer. Then how does GMAC construct wrong answers? Not one but four of them?
GMAC has to use only the information in the passage to do so. So how can an answer speak like the passage and still be wrong?
You can’t skip any question on the GMAT; only probably give a random guess and move on.
Yes, if the long passages look threatening and very complex, it is a good idea to try doing a few specific questions, which don’t require the reading of the passage upfront. Try to get rid of answers that seem too strongly asserted by their use of words, or that use too many words of the passage literally. Then take a guess. This time saved would be better spent on questions that you can work on and get right. After all, you need to answer as many questions as you can correctly and finish the section on time too.
Fret not! Check out how much time you have at that moment. If you just have say 5 to 6 minutes left, your focus then should be on completing the test and not on performing well in every question. And we know passages take a lot more time than other question types.
In the 30th question, the difficulty level of a student is already gauged and will not vary significantly with mistakes. So if passages aren’t your forte, do not read the passage, work on maybe one or two questions that are paragraph specific, and guess the rest to move quickly to do justice to the completion of the test.
All the above points are the GMAT studying tips you need to keep in mind and practice to help you perform better in the GMAT Reading Comprehension questions. You are sure to see a marked improvement in your reading skills and subsequently in your GMAT scores very soon.
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