Five things that you should know about your GMAT exam

 Today, I want to share with you 5 insights about the GMAT exam. Now, these are the basics and the fundamentals of the exam that we tend to ignore. At least, I did when I was preparing for my exam. As a result, I had to give GMAT multiple times. Therefore, it is a good idea to pause once in a while in your preparation and ask yourself - 'What is it that the exam expects out of you?' I hope this article will help you answer just that. 

 

Five things that you should know about your GMAT exam

The first one - Never expect the unexpected on the GMAT exam. Now there are really two kinds of surprises that you might anticipate before giving any exam. The first one, the exam-related, and the second one, the exam center related. So, let's tackle each of them one-by-one. The first one, the exam-related. I have given GMAT multiple times and in each of my attempts, I have never been surprised by - What I saw on my screen. 

 

Five things that you should know about your GMAT exam

So, I can confidently suggest to you that if you follow the latest OGs and give the official mocks you will know exactly what to expect on your D-Day. When I say, you’ll know exactly what you can expect on your D-Day. I don't mean that you'll know each and every question But, definitely, you'll know about the exam pattern syllabus, and the question types. 

 

So, don't get anxious about discussions or the over-analysis around these topics on different social media platforms because What you don't see on your OG or on your official mocks. You will not see it in your exam. Now, moving onto the second point, which is exam-center related surprises. Now, these are more unpredictable, dependent upon chance, and out of your control. I have had a fair share of giving my exam in a bad center. 

So, I can suggest to you that... it's a good idea to choose the variables that are most important to you. The ones that were important to me were... The noise in my exam center The friendly behavior of the staff and most importantly...The desktops which they used. I prefer slim ones over the round ones. So, choose the variables that are important to you, compare the centers around you, and then take an informed decision. 

Chances are, you'll be able to mitigate most of the unwanted surprises that you might expect on your GMAT. So, to conclude this point - Don't be anxious about the surprises that GMAT might throw at you, most likely, it will throw none. 

Second point - Less practice, more analysis. Now, this is very much counterintuitive to what we believe. We think that solving more and more problems helps our cause in any given exam. But this might not be the case on the GMAT because in GMAT we are really stuck with a limited number of good problems - if I consider the problems from the OGs and the mocks. 

Therefore, it is a good idea to extract as much juice as possible from each of those questions. In order to do that, you have to know the question very well. You have to understand each and every option.

You have to know - Why the right answer is right. And know - Why the other options are wrong. If you reach a dope level, you might as well understand the answer keys in the OG and the official mocks. So, in conclusion - it is not a good idea to be in a hurry to solve your OG without much analyzing the problems in it. 

Also, it is not a good idea to solve everything that you find under the sky because most of the things are unrelated to the GMAT or are coming from an unreliable source. So, be cautious of what you solve, but be sure to analyze whatever you solve. 

The third point - Don't blame it on time. Now, time is a very easy target to blame on when you have a low score in your actual GMAT or in your mocks. Don't do that! Be sure to thoroughly analyze each and every attempt off of yours. 

In most of the cases, if you think that the time is the concern, you will find that there are two reasons behind it - The first - either you spend too much time solving certain kinds of problems and that is because either you don't have the knowledge to solve that problem or there are gaps in the understanding of your concepts that are required to solve that problem. Second, you spend too less time solving certain kinds of problems. 

And that is because you failed to adopt a problem-solving methodology that you can apply across most of the problems that you solve. In other words, you go by your instincts. In either of the cases, we see that time is not the actual concern other things are like lack of knowledge, gaps in the current understanding of the concepts, or failing to adopt a problem-solving methodology. So, pluck in those weak points and you will see that time is the least of your concern. 

The fourth point - Strive for accuracy. Now, having a stellar accuracy or not having one both is measured in great quantities on the GMAT. But to build that accuracy - you need to make conscious efforts, have patience, and do a lot of hard work. But if you want that great score on the GMAT, you need to have that stellar accuracy. 

The bigger problem with the accuracy on GMAT is that it is a very difficult gauge during your preparation phase. That is you might be doing very well on easy kinds of problems, but not so much so on the medium or the difficult ones. To tackle this problem, it is a very good idea to maintain an Error Log. 

An error log will not only help you to analyze the mistakes, but will also help you to find patterns in them. That is to say - You might be making silly mistakes in your easy problems or might not have the concepts for the hard ones. 

In either case, you have actionable items to work upon. So build that stellar accuracy, and you shall do well on your exam.  

The fifth point, don't take performance pressure. We all know that you can give GMAT multiple times in a year and in your lifetime. So, why take that extra performance pressure? Yeah! I know, it does take a lot of mental effort and extra cash to appear for that retake. But think of it as this way - For your MBA, you are already ready to spend thousands of dollars and are open to learning new things. 

So, why not start it with the GMAT? Enjoy the process of learning, be open to learning new things, and enjoy giving your GMAT exam. As a final note - Don't take GMAT as a competitive exam. Your 700 score today is very much comparable to the 700 score of the person who scored it two years back and of the person who will score two years from now. 

So, rather, focus on the self-journey, your own personal development with the learning that comes with the GMAT exam, and the enjoyment of the process of giving the GMAT

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