Cracking the GMAT

How Can You Crack The GMAT?

Cracking the GMAT is illusionary for most candidates appearing for the GMAT. After you have decided that you want to appear for the test, it is best to take a diagnostic test to check your aptitude for the test. Thereafter, your preparation will be geared towards cracking the GMAT with a high score. This article aims to provide you with a few tips that will help you focus on cracking the GMAT.

Enjoy your Preparation

You must be motivated enough to prepare for the examination. You need to maintain the pace of your preparation until you have appeared for the test. You must be diligent, focused towards your preparation, and enjoy it at the same time. You must start your preparation early enough to cover all the subject areas. Make sure that you understand the syllabus and all the concepts covered. The key to cracking the GMAT is to practice as much as you can. Practicing from varied sources (book, software, online) will expose you to a wide range of questions. This is especially important because the questions in GMAT are tough and the practice questions available are only the tip of the iceberg. It is important that you determine your level of preparedness and then the required actions thereafter. It might be useful to join tutorial classes or online forums to clarify your doubts.

You must resist the temptation to buy all the available books for GMAT. It is important that you focus on material that targets concepts of specific topics, such as prepositions for the Verbal section or geometry for the quantitative section. Cracking the GMAT with a high score is possible only when your concepts are clear and you can apply them within the limited timeframe.

The importance of time cannot be stressed enough. All through your preparation, keep a tab on the time spent on each question. In the initial stages, you might take longer but as you progress in your preparation, make sure that you divide your time in such a manner that you can attempt all the questions.

Preparation Strategy

  1. Even if you are familiar with the concepts, study them again. This will ensure that you have the concepts firmly ensconced. Do not imagine that you know the subject/topic well and that you need not read it again.
  2. Use the concepts to identify the type of question. Recognizing the type of question related to a particular concept will allow you to easily solve the question using the concept. For example, if you identify a question type that should be solved using algebraic methods, you can solve the question easily.
  3. Learn to read everything carefully; most questions in the GMAT test attempt to confuse the reader. Read all the instructions, questions, and choices cautiously; especially the multiple choice answers. It is easy to lose focus while attempting the test, especially when your mind slows down. Keep an alert mind, read the question, and answer choices carefully. It is best to avoid reading the question, passage, or answers repeatedly because you will run short of time.
  4. Because the GMAT is a computer adaptive test, you must answer the first few questions well. This will define the level of the next set of questions for you. If you miss out questions, the level of questions becomes lower, which leads to lower scores.
  5. Practice adhering to the time limit. Try to answer each question within the time limit of 1.5 to 2 minutes. Make sure that you do not spend more time on a section than you are supposed to. Doing so will create a backlog of questions and you might not have the time to answer all the questions. For example, GMAT 2012 will have the following format:
    - Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): 30 minutes
    - Quantitative Section: 75 minutes
    - Verbal Section: 75 minutes
    - Integrated Reasoning: 30 minutes
  6. Avoid guessing the correct answer. This is one of the common blunders candidates make during the test, usually due to time constraints. Even if you need to guess the correct answer, you must do so intelligently.
  7. Make sure that you complete the test; mock test or otherwise. Cracking the GMAT is not about answering questions or sections you are good at. You need to attempt all the questions in all the sections to be able to gain a high score.
  8. Ensure that you sleep well before the day you take the test; a rested mind thinks clearly.

Preparing for the GMAT is not a process that can be competed in a short span of time. Allow yourself at least 3-6 months to prepare yourself adequately for the test. It is a tough process that demands regular practice on a daily basis to acquaint yourself with the types of question formats. In addition, you must make your concepts clear about the subjects because it is essential that you learn to recognize the concept behind the question for you to answer it correctly. To do this, nothing substitutes practice. Last but not the least, develop a positive attitude about your performance and work towards achieving realistic scores. If you have prepared well, there will be no difficulty in cracking the GMAT.

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