GMAT Test Prep

This article deals with preparation for management aptitude exam which is not very easy. Since the introduction of the GMAT CAT in 1997 by ETS, the test has become more challenging and demanding. This exam has become more accurate and reliable way of measuring the skill levels of the students. Since the test is formatted in a way that the questions adapt themselves depending on the intellect of the student, complaints of the test being easy or hard is avoided. Disregarding the popular belief, Students can attain high score in the GMAT CAT. This can be achieved only through proper and complete preparation. Preparation for the test can be classified into different phases. Let’s go through these phases one by one in detail

The first and the foremost thing the student has to do is to acquaint himself on the instructions and the layout of the test. Only if the student is familiar with this, he can aim to go ahead with the test comfortably. Knowing the pattern and sections of the test is another important step in preparation. The most important of all is the understanding of the adaptive nature of the CAT format. Once the student familiarizes himself with these, 50% of the training is complete. Time management will complete the rest. To achieve this, the student will have to repeatedly practice the complete test on a computer. These practice tests have to be an exact replica of the original GMAT CAT test structure and the same time duration.

GMAT test prep – Position analysis & improvement

It is important to evaluate one’s position prior to actual GMAT test prep. This can be achieved by taking a practice test and finding the areas of weakness by calculating where the student makes more mistakes. It is crucial that the student concentrates not on the score but only on the assessment that the test results provide.

Once the strengths and weaknesses of the student have been established, the student can concentrate on improving on his weakness and betterment of strengths.

The best way of achieving this is by reviewing the textbooks of school level, without going in-depth. Since grammar and math work is built on the foundation of a rather well-defined set of rules: it is good to become familiar with them. By working on this foundation for a couple of months, a student stands gets the concepts right, clarifies all his doubts. It helps to work through solved and unsolved examples of mathematical problems & verbal questions.

The student stands to gain a lot by familiarizing himself with the types of GMAT Test questions that would be asked and the common misconception about them. The details of the test sections and the question types with examples and explanations can be found in the website. It is necessary for students to go through these details before attempting to practice math and verbal skills

GMAT test prep – Time management

Time management is the most crucial point in GMAT. The most important way of achieving this skill is through Practice. With each practice the students learn to answer more effectively and most importantly, learn how to complete the test on time. The student can manage to master this skill by practicing sample questions in an environment that’s recreated as that of the original exam. This means there should be not be any disturbances or diversion and the time limit should be strictly adhered to a in the examination hall. This means no telephone calls, or snack break etc.

GMAT test prep – First 5 questions

The student cannot afford to underestimate the importance of the first five questions of this test. Since the CAT format is designed to adapt itself to the test taker’s ability, it is vital that the student gets the first few or at least the first 5 questions correctly. The score range for the difficult questions are higher that the easy ones. As the computer decides what set of questions to put forth to the student depending on the correct answers to the first few questions, it becomes mandatory that the student gets at least the first 5 answers right. This is so because once the computer gets correct answers for the first few questions it informs the student that it would adapt to the higher level test questions as programmed. Since it’s of high importance to get the first 5 questions right the students are advised to spend more time and energy on these questions.

GMAT test prep – Finish on time

It is of utmost importance that the students learn to finish the GMAT CAT on time. This is crucial because unanswered questions could lead to a lesser score than choosing  wrong answers. Even if a student is performing well in the exam, unanswered questions will lead to a decline in his score that could affect his overall performance adversely. It is highly recommended that the student click on any one of the choices for the question even if he does not know it’s answer.

GMAT test prep – Avoid time waste

Many students have regretted later for having wasted time during the test. Wasting time is not the same as not finishing on time. Many students do not realize how much time gets wasted every time they revisit the help screen or while requesting for extra paper, etc. This wastage when calculated adds up to make an immense difference when answering the test. Such wastage could be avoided by proper preparations like understanding the contents of the help page entirely on the first visit and requesting for extra paper before starting on the test.