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Best 5 GMAT Study Tips

Online Desk | January 06, 2013
GMAT Study Tips

GMAT Study Tips

Although the GMAT can be very intimidating, those who properly prepare for it can earn their desired score. It's inadvisable to take the GMAT without studying for it.

There are some general GMAT test preparation concepts you should be aware of before purchasing any study guides or signing up for an expensive GMAT preparation class. The following tips can be extremely helpful if you decide against either of the aforementioned preparation options.

Listed below are the 5 strategies you should utilize to prepare for the GMAT:

1) Go to the source.

The best way to prepare for the GMAT is to practice with questions and problems from previous tests. To better help people prepare for the GMAT, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), releases study guides containing problems and questions from previous GMATs. Before purchasing any study guides from other organizations, acquire as many GMAC Official Guides as possible, and begin reviewing the questions and problems contained in them.

It's also recommended to download free GMAT preparation software available at mba.com. Those taking advantage of this software will have access to a couple of practice tests and problems from previous tests, and it utilizes the same algorithms used for actual GMATs. However, test preparers should not exclusively rely on this software. Those taking the practice tests should keep at least one completed test to refer to for future reference and to have an idea of how much preparation is needed to adequately prepare for the test.

Test preparers can also greatly benefit from other resources. The ManhattenGMAT preparation materials can be very helpful. These preparation guides are useful because they provide answer explanations, which many test guides lack. Instead of having to guess or discover the necessary steps to arrive at a correct answer, these guides provide easy to understand explanations and problem-solving strategies.

Study guides containing test questions from previous GMATs are usually effective study resources. Since ManhattanGMAT's study guides have many similarities to study guides released by the GMAC, they are good resources to rely upon for GMAT preparation.

2) Build up, not down.

A common mistake many people make when preparing for the GMAT is focusing too much on difficult or complex problems. Many assume that if they master difficult problems they will have no problem correctly solving easier ones.

Do not fall for this trap. Test takers consistently correctly answering less challenging problems, within the permitted timeframe, usually obtain high scores.

Therefore, it will be to your advantage to focus more on less challenging problems than very difficult ones. If you can consistently find the right answers in the allotted amount of time permitted when you take the actual GMAT, you should do well on the test. It will also increase your confidence on test day.

Those preparing for the GMAT who get to the point where they master less challenging problems usually understand the common mistakes made by test takers, the concepts underpinning each problem, and what is being asked in the questions.

Another way of looking at it is test takers who’ve mastered problems would be able to explain to other people the required steps to find correct answers.

After you are comfortable with your ability to consistently solve less challenging problems within the permitted timeframe, move on to more difficult ones. If you want to obtain an upper percentile score, you must also understand how to solve complex GMAT problems. However, do not focus too much on these problems until you’ve mastered the simpler ones.

3) Turn enemies into friends.

People preparing for the GMAT are often conflicted on whether they should focus more on their weaknesses or strengths.

Although it's advisable to focus on your strengths and weaknesses, if you have limited time, it's best to improve weaknesses.

For example, if you can correctly answer critical reasoning questions with ease but have a difficult time with sentence correction questions, you should focus on this section since the GMAT is adaptive. In other words, if you're correctly answering critical reasoning questions, you'll more than likely begin receiving more difficult questions, which could include sentence correction questions.

Do not be intimidated by difficult sections. With hard work and perseverance, you can turn weaknesses into strengths.

4) Mix it up.

While preparing for the GMAT, appropriately balance your study with both practice tests and topic-based drills. Spending time completing topic-based drills is a great way to hone your strengths and improve in trouble areas. You must also complete practice tests to prepare you for the adaptive format since you'll be given random questions on the actual GMAT.

In other words, topic-based grills improve your skills, while practice tests prepare you for the randomness of the test.

Those who excel at the GMAT learn how to decipher patterns and solve problems in a limited amount of time. After studying for an extended period of time, many people preparing for the GMAT are able to develop their own strategies for solving complex problems.

During your GMAT preparation period, do not complete a daily practice test. Those who take a daily test often do not have an adequate amount of time to review test results, and as a result, they are unable to identify trouble areas. Likewise, taking a daily test can be overwhelming, which can lead to counterproductive discouragement.

Instead of taking a test every day, it's recommended to work through problems from past tests on a regular basis. These problems can be found in the GMAC's Official Guides.

Topics within the GMAC's study guides are arranged by topic and level of difficulty. While taking practice tests or completing drills, practice under test day conditions. In other words, be sure to set a timer and approach each question very seriously. Once you're done, take time to review your answers to see what you did right or wrong. After enough practice you should be able to recognize patterns.

Again, consistency is the key. Take time to practice every day, especially as test day approaches. The more you practice, the greater your confidence will be.

5) Know what you know.

As test day approaches, avoid cramming. Instead, continue to complete practice problems and review your final answers. This will help you improve on weaknesses and sharpen strengths.

Right before the test, do not attempt to comprehensively review everything. Rather, it's advisable to pick a few problems you're very comfortable with and complete them under test day conditions. This is a good way to determine your level of GMAT preparedness. Also, take time to review problems you've struggled with through the course of your studying.

Develop strategies for answering each type of question you might encounter on the GMAT. Be versed enough in each type of problem that might appear on the test, so you can develop alternative strategies if questions are set-up or presented differently than what you practiced during your preparation period. This way, you won't got bogged down and waste time if you encounter a confusing or challenging problem.

A few weeks prior to the actual GMAT, complete a few practice tests, but do not burn yourself out. If you adequately prepare for the GMAT, you should confidently enter the test center.

These 5 aforementioned strategies are effective ways to prepare for the GMAT. No matter how innovative or creative your test preparation may be, hard work and perseverance are indispensible for GMAT success. In fact, according to the GMAC, there is a correlation between preparation time and test results. People wanting to obtain the highest possible GMAT score should expect to spend more than 2 months or 100 hours studying. An excellent GMAT score will require extensive time and effort. শিক্ষা সংক্রান্ত খবরাখবর নিয়মিত পেতে রেজিস্ট্রেশন করুন অথবা Log In করুন।

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