Guide to the GMAT exam

The GMAT is a computer-adaptive standardized test of reasoning that is used by B-schools to compare applicants. The key word here is adaptive, as the level of difficulty of each subsequent question depends on how the test taker has performed on the previous question/s. While both the Quantitative and Verbal sections are adaptive, the Integrated Reasoning Section is NOT computer adaptive.

At the start of the Quant /  Verbal section of the exam, the test taker is presented with a question of medium difficulty. As the test taker answers each question, the computer scores the chosen answer and uses it - as well as the other responses given to any preceding question - to determine which question type to present next and the difficulty level of the next question. Because the computer scores each question before selecting the next one, you cannot skip; return to; or change your responses to previous questions.

Correct responses typically prompt questions of ‘increased’ difficulty, and incorrect responses generally result in questions of ‘decreased’ difficulty. This process will continue until the test taker completes the section, at which point the computer will have an accurate assessment of the ability level of the test taker.

Top tips for the GMAT

Master each section of the GMAT

  • Know  the content and skills required for each section
  • Master the material with relevant material, drills and tests
  • Prepare for the AWA with essay grading

Focus on strengths and challenges

  • Maximize performance in your strong areas; ensure that you work through easy and medium questions as well
  • Improve upon your challenge areas
  • Review your tests and take the help of reliable test experts to analyze each question
  • Plan to work on specific areas before  you take the next test

Earmark preparation time

  • Set aside time each day for your GMAT prep
  • Erratic preparation may not yield the results you are looking for

Mock tests

  • A critical step in your path to a good GMAT score
  • Plan to take a test a week in the run-up to your exam
  • Proper pacing is critical  for the GMAT
  • There is a severe penalty for not completing all the questions in a section
  • Review  your tests with the help on an expert to pinpoint areas of improvement