These 12 tips should help carry you through the stages before, during and after the GMAT test.
• Plan your test date well in advance
Admissions offices will have a deadline for score submission and candidates often push back their test to that latest possible date. As test centres fill up quickly, this either means they find themselves having to sit the test far from home or else without enough time to re-sit if disaster strikes on the day.
• Make a revision schedule and stick to it
Little and often works best. Rather than wade through an ominous revision book, opt for a free online revision course and set yourself a few daily drills.
• Learn to recognize question types
The same type of questions pops up in each exam and if you can learn to spot their disguise, you’ll know to tackle them in the same way.
• Don’t under-estimate each section
Because of their logical way of thinking, Engineers and Scientists naturally find the Quantitative section easier than those in more creative roles such as Marketing or HR but this said, no one should under-estimate the Maths. While the level is little higher than Grade 11, you will need to brush off your algebra and geometry cobwebs and perhaps review some technical vocabulary, especially if English is not your mother tongue. For the Verbal section, full marks even for native English speakers are rare so remember The Hare and the Tortoise.
• Don’t ease off the revision when you hit your target score.
Increase the amount of revision you do towards G-Day. On the day of the test, nerves can take over and candidates typically lose 30-40 points.
• Do nothing new a week before the test
A week from the test, don’t take on new question styles. If you can’t master them your stress level will rise and your head will swim. Concentrate on what you know already and review and review and review.
• Warm Up
The integrated reasoning section comes before the quantitative and verbal sections so if you’ve got the confirmation from your targeted business schools that they don’t use this section, use this section as a warm up for the rest of the test. Focus your attention and try to do your best but use it to steady your nerves at the same time.
• Know your CAT
Remember the GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test (the questions get harder or easier depending on how you do in the previous question). Spend time on the first 5 questions – they are the most important. If you get them wrong, the CAT algorithm will make the subsequent questions easier and therefore worth fewer points.
• Keep your eye on the clock.
After the first few questions, pace yourself well and note that even native English-speakers find it hard to get through the verbal section in time. Divide the remaining time over the remaining questions and check you are on time every so often. In the Quant section, one hour from the end, you should be at Q7, 45 minutes from the end, you should have finished Q15 etc. Give yourself longer for the last few questions if possible as it’s also important that you complete the test entirely and wild guessing at the end also costs points.
• Copy Carefully
You’re allowed a dry erase board for scrap paper but copying hastily from a screen to paper can lead to careless mistakes such as inversed digits. Verify you’re working with the right figures before you start the calculation.
• Eliminate wrong answers (P.O.E.)
The Process of Elimination is just a fancy way of guessing and it’s the best way to handle difficult questions that you know you just can’t work out. Eliminate the answers that just can’t be right – if everything else ends in a 0, don’t choose the 3, if everything else is negative, don’t pick the positive.
AFTER THE TEST
• Once completing the test, the computer will immediately issue a test taker copy of your score report. Show consideration to your schools by sending them this by scan while waiting for the official score to arrive 2-3 weeks later. Most schools will appreciate this gesture. If you’re disappointed with the results, know that you can retake 31 days later.
The EDHEC Global MBA’s guaranteed scholarships policy
encourages candidates to perform well on