Here are 5 practical tips to help you prepare for the GMAT exam:
- The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test (CAT), which is very
different from a paper-and-pencil exam. The CAT programming will
zone in on your proficiency levels and continue to ask you
questions within those limits.
- Take your time on the first 5 questions in each section.
Since it's computer-adaptive, the program uses these first few
questions to determine the level of difficulty that it thinks
you can handle. Correct answers to more difficult questions earn
you more points so don't be in a rush.
- Major GMAT sections are Quantitative and Verbal with scores
ranging from 200 to 800, in addition to two Analytical Writing
Assessment essays scored separately. The overall average score
is 529 and 67% of test takers will score between 400 and 600.
- You want to find a local testing center and schedule your
exam well in advance. This gives you plenty of time to reserve
your seat and prepare for the exam. Many don't know that certain
metropolitan areas will book up several months in advance. You
want to make sure you reserve your seat in time to meet your
- There is no substitute for preparation. Learning and
practicing the material tested within the GMAT will help you to
achieve a higher score and settle nerves and anxiety. Using a
study guide will allow you to work through the principles and
take timed practice tests. Try alternating between studying and
taking computer-adaptive practice tests, focusing specifically
on your weakest areas to make efficient use of your study time.
6 Tips for Test Day
Understand the directions for each question type before you
take the test. This will save you valuable time. Test-prep
manuals and other tools help you with this.
Take your time with the questions at the beginning of each
section. The questions at the beginning of a section affect your
score more than those at the end. Once the computer determines
your general ability level with these initial questions, you
will be able to improve your score dramatically.
Be completely sure of each answer before proceeding. You
cannot skip a difficult question and return to it later on the
computerized test. Nor can you review responses to questions
that you have already answered. If you are totally stumped, then
eliminate as many answer choices as you can, select the best
one, and move on.
Pace yourself. To finish both sections, you need to establish
a pace that allows you to spend, on average, just under 2
minutes per item.
Be prepared to receive a mix of different question types
within each section. The computer may select one of several
question formats, depending on whether you answered the previous
question correctly or incorrectly. So be ready.
Write well and write quickly. Because your essay is graded by
computer, be sure to set up a logical structure and write with a
clear and direct style. This is not the place to be funny or