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Your Ultimate Resource for GMAT Tips!
It is a known fact that a top MBA program opens greater avenues for any individual not only in terms of opportunities but also financially and socially. This is where GMAT is so relevant. Although being a top class student with a lot of good work experience is generally considered to be enough, the GMAT exam demands that you follow certain ways of practice and preparation without which you will just end up with an average score. Here are a few invaluable GMAT tips that will take you a long way.
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- Start now!! You are always well off by starting the prep as early as possible because you can never get enough practice. Get the books you need, like the official GMAT review and Kaplan, and start right away.
- Take a test Try to begin with a sample test (it isn’t a waste of time as some of you may think!). It helps you to get a feel of the exam pattern and also tells you exactly where you stand in terms of your weak areas. You can then start working in accordance with your results.
- Make decisions… You need to decide on how much you want to score depending on where you want to apply and how much does that particular university ask for an admission. Having a particular figure in mind will be a beacon for you and you should direct your prep accordingly.
- Have a schedule This is probably one of the most important GMAT tips you will get and you definitely need to follow this. You cannot hope to get a good score without following a proper prep schedule. You are absolutely free to decide the timings but once you are done stick to it! Although it is advisable to join an institute like The Princeton Review or The Manhattan Review, there is nothing to suggest that you can’t score well without them. Only thing is to be consistent on your schedule.
- Find a partner Two is always better than one. This will make your preparation fun and also give you that competitive feeling. Even when you don’t feel like studying your partner can always help you out. Select someone you are comfortable with.
- Understand… The only essential difference between a good score and a great score is the understanding of the core concepts in the various sections especially in quantitative section. You generally tend to solve problems based on formula knowledge which is very dangerous. Only after you have aced the concepts should you attempt the examples and when you feel your concepts are strongly into place then you just have to keep increasing the difficulty of the problems that you practice.
- Judge yourself When you attempt a few mock tests you clearly get the idea where you are weak. Make a critical judgment of yourself and remember this will be the area that will be the pivot in deciding your final GMAT score, so don’t take it lightly. Spend more time on it and take help from experts.
- Be selective There is a plethora of books available out there for GMAT but remember that the official GMAT guides are an invaluable resource. Only after you have finished with them should you go for any other books. Kaplan is another book that is suggested as it covers a large variety of questions ranging to different difficulty levels. Be selective and do a thorough research before you select your books.
- Self study?...not a good idea Although this is totally up to the individual, statistics will tell you that in most cases self study just doesn’t work. The reason being that GMAT isn’t an exam where you can prepare intuitively. You need to have certain amount of guidance from experts in your preparation. Try and invest in a good GMAT training program even if it is a bit heavy on your pocket because the best instructors come at a cost. It is strongly advisable that even if you don’t have the time to attend the course at an institute, try and get in touch with some people who are in the business and be in touch!
- Timing is everything! Whenever you sit down to practice or to take an exam always keep a timer. This is absolutely essential! It not only tells you about your timing in solving various patterns but also helps you to improve in the future so essentially you can do a comparative session with yourself as a competitor. Practicing a 1000 questions without time management is a complete murder of your preparation.
- Are you intelligent? Think again… The most important thing you should know is that GMAT doesn’t test only intelligence. So those of you who think you are very intelligent, hang on! You haven’t aced GMAT just yet. It is the methodology and pacing with which you write the exam. Don’t be naïve enough to neglect this GMAT tip. It is one of the major reasons why students who are excellent with their academics end up with only average scores on GMAT. So don’t make the same mistake!
- Analyze… Get attuned to the 4 hour environment by taking tests periodically and spend a considerable amount of time to analyze your results-the good and the bad. The good will tell you why you succeeded and that principle you can apply to the bad ones in your test next time.
- This isn’t CAT! Several aspirants make the mistake of confusing CAT prep with GMAT. There are a 100 differences!! If you are clear with the concepts you will have enough time in the exam to deal with the problems. Use pen and paper generously unlike CAT and don’t depend entirely on shortcuts. Write down your process if you are not sure about it (don’t worry, you will have time).
- Pass the passage.. When you attempt the passage in the verbal section, try and get involved in reading and it doesn’t matter even if you have to spend some time on it because it is time well invested. If you can’t understand the technical jargon in it try and get a brief idea of what the writing is trying to convey in a general sense.
- Early bird The early questions in the test are most important ones because GMAT being an adaptive test will throw you into a lower difficulty level if you don’t get the first few right. So even if you get the next ones correct your score won’t increase much as they have lower weightage. Even if you have to spend some extra time on the early ones it is worth because it doesn’t hurt to be sure.
- Relax!! This GMAT tip is applicable throughout your preparation as well as on the D-day. Always be in a relaxed state of mind tension will only help you in minimizing your GMAT score. Do watch a movie, have a drink and then get back to your prep again. When you feel like taking a break, do it.
On a concluding note, these GMAT tips are only guidelines that will help you constructively in your preparation and exam but eventually it is up to you to implement them as far as possible for you and make good use of them. All the best!!
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