10 Ways to Improve your GMAT Score
Every aspirant who takes the GMAT goes through a gamut of emotions while planning his prep, scheduling his exam, choosing a prep course and finally taking the exam on the D-day. Planning out well is not only essential but also crucial to the entire process. For those who have already taken the GMAT it becomes much simpler because they understand the format, the GMAT scoring and know what to focus on during their prep. Nevertheless, for those of you who want to improve your GMAT scoring and are working from scratch, and even for those who have already appeared for the GMAT, here’s a 10-step guide to help you sail through and improve your score.
- A) Schedule test date sensibly: Your entire preparation routine will depend on how well you have scheduled your test date for the GMAT. Keeping a good distance between the D-day and the beginning of your preparation is a wise decision. Ideally a 6 month period is a good duration for the entire process of scheduling the date, starting your prep, applying for B-school and appearing for the GMAT.
- B) Time it well: A 6-month time period should be good because that gives you ample 3-4 months to prepare for the GMAT, with one month extra in case you need to take a retest if your GMAT scoring is not up to the mark and a one month time to work on your B-school application essays because those will be equally crucial to your admission to a good B-school.
- C) Prep Plan: For a consistent game plan, you need to make time within your daily routine and incorporate practice/learning sessions within that time. You can’t be working on weekdays and studying on weekends. It might not be in your best interest to burden your entire weekend studying. Taking out 2-3 hours from your daily routine to either take practice tests, solve problems or practise sentence correction is a great idea to be focused and consistent with your preparation and to eventually help you out with your GMAT scoring.
- D) Prep Material: Choose your prep course and study material wisely as there is a plethora of information and materials that might confuse you. Depend on reliable and tested study guides and practice material to help improve your GMAT scoring. Look up the official GMAT website www.mba.com to find out more on practice materials, the official prep guides for GMAT and also an insight on the GMAT scoring system. There are also plentiful courses available with reputed prep companies like the Princeton Review, Kaplan GMAT and the Manhattan GMAT, where aspirants can enrol in prep courses.
- E) Practice: The value of practice can never be over stressed, especially when it comes to timed, computer adaptive competitive exams. The aspirant should take regular timed tests to better understand and focus on his weaker sections and not waste too much time on the stronger ones. Also, the aspirant needs to give ample time to the AWA, but only during the end days of his preparation, to understand the format and structure more than anything else and read through the sample essay list at http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/schedule-a-gmat-appointment/pay-for-the-test/test-structure-and-overview/analytical-writing-assessment-section
- F) Use Flash Cards: Long proven to be a fun way to learn, flash cards serve a dual purpose for the aspirant with being regular reminders of formulae, sentence correction rules, equations, etc and also making them ensures that the aspirant has put pen to paper which guarantees it registers well with the brain and is remembered for longer. It a simple, creative and fun way to help you improve your GMAT scoring.
- G) Socialise: An important aspect of your GMAT preparation is to stay fit and healthy both mentally and physically. Many aspirants fall in to the trap of isolating themselves completely from people. This can affect the brain negatively, as meeting friends and family helps stimulating positive vibes and relaxes a person. This is also very important and aspirants must ensure they have a break-time as part of their preparation. This along with good sleep and healthy eating habits will guarantee a calm and positive approach to the GMAT.
- H) Online Forums: Join online forums to discuss problems and hurdles in your prep with fellow test takers or experts in the industry. Learn from the experiences of others and gain an insight into what others did to help improve their GMAT scoring. This can also be part of your break-time activity as it will not occupy much of your time and many a times valuable and relevant information can be accessed through these forums.
- I) Simulated Tests: Before you start your preparations for the GMAT, download the GMAT Prep software from the official GMAT website. This software will have two tests; take one of them before you start your prep so that you know what areas to focus on. Take the other simulated test two weeks before the D-day and see how your GMAT scoring has improved from the time you took the test for the first time. This will help you figure out if you have prepared well or are there still sections that need your attention.
- J) Don’t Be Stressed Out: Panic, haste and worry are traps any aspirant must avoid. Relax and practise consistently for the GMAT and treat it with seriousness but not with a do-or-die approach. Caution yourself at the risk of an over preparation burnout and be relaxed and not stressed about giving the GMAT.
Agreed, that there is no fool-proof plan for success, but a well thought-out plan with a calm and intelligent approach can surely prove to be beneficial in improving your GMAT scoring to a wide extent.
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