Successfully answering GMAT questions is a function of concentration. There are no magic pills to improve concentration, but most test takers have improved their performance by sitting through dense and boring passages, GMAT 800 problems, tricky GMAT Sentence correction questions, and confusing critical reasoning section.
Before we go into tips, answer the following questions:
1) Does external noise – both loud and routine, easily distract you?
2) Do random thoughts take your focus away from the text on the screen?
3) Does the timer in the GMAT test screen distract you?
Now if the answer to all the three questions above is Yes, then let us look at some of the potential reasons for this behavior.
External Noise (Loud)
Almost all readers will be distracted by the loud construction or plumbing work in the neighboring room. Luckily, for such noises, GMAC provides earplugs in the test Centre. Some test takers have developed the habit of converting noises to background noises with limited interference on their performance. If you are such a test taker, then you don’t have to worry. Practice reading comprehension...
GMAT is a grueling test that requires heightened alertness to spot quant and verbal concepts, and consistency of picking the required formula and shortcuts to solve the question in less than 2 minutes.
Test takers might be familiar with the feeling of uneasiness when they make a careless mistake. Studies show that as test takers what influence their ability to make a comeback from careless mistakes & conceptual errors depends a lot on their test taking personality.
There are four broad categories: Aggressive, Panic Driven, Calm & Complacent, and Calm and Focused.
Loss Aversion in GMAT Test Taking
When we make decisions, our tendency to avoid losses are much higher compared to acquiring gains. More than the aversion to loss, the psychological impact of loss is twice more powerful than wins. The classic example is how we attempt the next GMAT question when we are 90% certain that the previous question was wrong. Depending on the personality type, we address the next question differently.
For aggressive test takers, the Loss aversion is much higher, and the psychological impact of...
The Problem Solving (PS) section of the GMAT may not be as quirky as the Data Sufficiency section of the test – but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to study for it! PS questions require more “straight math” than Data Sufficiency questions; in other words, they’ll probably be more like the questions you’re used to seeing on high school and college math tests. The best way to study? Master the basic concepts from geometry, algebra, statistics, and arithmetic — then check out these 10 helpful tips!
1. Make sure your fundamentals are strong.
The GMAT doesn’t allow you to use a calculator—which means you need to be quick and accurate with basic calculations. Be able to multiply and divide decimals. Know common higher powers and roots. Have fractions down to a science: Knowing right away whether 3/8 is less than 5/12 will mean you have more time later to work on more complicated calculations.
2. Choose numbers wisely.
Even questions that don’t contain variables can still be tackled by choosing numbers wisely. For example, if a question asks you about “a multiple of 6,” it’s probably quicker...
CAT environment, especially GMAT CAT environment is different from your traditional paper based exams. Remember the following tips before you write your GMAT
1) Don't Stare at the Computer
First, you will find that you are spending a lot of time looking between the screen in front of you and your dry erase board. USE YOUR PEN AND DRY ERASE BOARD (but do not waste valuable time writing needless things down). One of the worst things you can do is to waste time staring at the screen. Do not make this mistake. Instead, you should get in the habit of immediately writing down ABCDE on your board for every question (When studying, I used pencils and paper, but on test day you will have dry erase markers and a laminated sheet that you can use to write things down). This should be a habit as you study for the GMAT, they don't give you material to write things down for nothing.USE IT! This way, you can immediately eliminate answers that you know are incorrect (And on a separate...
You may feel confident with the most commonly tested grammar rules on the GMAT Sentence Corrections - subject-verb agreement, verb tense, pronoun reference, pronoun number, misplaced modifiers, parallelism, idioms, false comparisons, and quantities. It’s hard to imagine any other grammar rules that could possibly be tested, but you can bet the GMAT test writers are pretty exhaustive. Here are four grammar rules that don’t receive as much attention; you’ll need to master these if you’re going for a top score.
1. Subjunctive Mood
You won’t see the subjunctive mood tested on college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT; it’s purposely reserved for the GMAT for good reason. Most of the English verbs we use are in the indicative mood - that is, verbs that have happened, are happening, or will happen. The subjunctive mood is used to express wishes or possibilities that have not happened.
The most common subjunctive verb that you might encounter is were, the subjunctive form of was.
Example 1: If he were athletic, he could make the football team. (He is not actually athletic, so the verb communicates an idea that does not really exist).
Notice that “If he was athletic…” would be incorrect, even though you may not reconize such an error in speech or writing.
Example 2: The teacher requires...
1. Prepare: This one is on the obvious side, but too important to leave off the list. The most important things you can do to prepare for the GMAT is to understand all the concepts tested and to be familiar with all the question types. There is no magic formula–the best strategy is to spend a lot of time beforehand practicing and familiarizing yourself with the various concepts and question formats.
2. Be confident: If you know the right answer, stick with it. Often on, say, a Problem Solving question, you’ll need to figure out the right answer before you even get to the choices. Don’t waste time second guessing yourself when you see a different answer that looks appealing; you studied for this, you did the question properly. Select your answer and proceed to the next question.
3. Don’t spend time on calculation: This one is obvious but often overlooked. Data Sufficiency problems ask you to say when you have enough information to answer the question in the prompt, not to actually compute the answer. Sometimes you need to work all the way to a solution, but often, all you need to know is how to get the...
Ever heard of a Math problem that you actually don't have to solve. If you have just started your GMAT prep, then this can be confusing. Don't worry! With some practice, your mind will be trained to think like a DS Wizard. Follow these 10 tips and you will be on your way to mastering GMAT Data Sufficiency.
1. Familiarize with the Answer Choices
No excuses: On Data Sufficiency, they’re always the same! Know in the blink of an eye what choice C is. On test day, if you find that Statement 1 is insufficient, be able to cross out choices A and D without hesitation.
2. Takes notes efficiently
Each statement alone will be sufficient if both of the statements on their own contain all the information necessary to answer the question. The statements will be sufficient together if they contain every piece of necessary information between them. Take the area of a parallelogram: Do you need to know every side length to determine the area? If you have every side length, can you find the area?
3. Don’t look at the statements together.
Statement 2 may tell you that x is negative, but that fact has no bearing on Statement 1 when viewed by itself. Explore all the possibilities offered by each statement individually. If you’ve...
GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are complicated and boring texts that will test your concentration and stamina. It is easy to lose your focus after an energy draining AWA and Math section. Most GMAT test takers will start to zone out at this stage and will just stare at the screen, re-reading the same sentence again and again. This is a sure shot step to crash your GMAT 700+ dream.
Follow these four preparation and test day tricks and you will learn to keep your focus for a long duration of time
Start practicing GMAT-like texts
It’s obvious that a reading comp passage won’t be as thrilling as your favorite Dan Brown novel, but the GMAT actually makes RC passages boring on purpose. The test-makers go out of their way to make the text complex, and they like to use natural science and social science topics with which potential business-school students may not be familiar. To prepare yourself, start reading real-world texts that mimic GMAT passage structures. The Economist, Scientific American, and The Wall Street Journal are good places to start, and magazines like Time and Newsweek feature editorial articles that can help you learn...
The GMAT finds much of its competitive advantage in its ability to wear down its unsuspecting challengers, who perform unnecessary calculations on the quantitative side and reading and analyzing unnecessary verbiage on the verbal side, while all the while the GMAT packs its "knockout punch" in the form of a subtle uniqueness in the line of questioning that a tired examinee is unlikely to notice.
In order to combat this opponent, be sure to seek out opportunities to save time and energy when possible:
• When answering a Data Sufficiency question, once you know that you will get one definitive answer, you can stop performing the calculation. The actual answer does not matter, as the question is only concerned with whether you will, indeed, arrive at an answer.
• When calculating the answer for a Problem Solving question, consider the answer choices and whether an estimate, or a property of the correct value (does it have to be even? Must it be negative?) will be...
Your performance on the GMAT, like all peak performances tend to come in a familiar three-step pattern: ready, set, go; bump, set spike; game plan, warm up, perform. All signs point to I came, I saw, I conquered.
The GMAT begins with the AWA essays, a pair of 30-minute writing samples designed to test your communication ability, and for which the scores are used sparingly in MBA admissions. Effectively, the biggest threat to your MBA candidacy from the AWA section is not necessarily the essay score itself, but more likely the way in which that hour will impact your overall performance on the ever-important Quantitative and Verbal sections, which combine for your score between 200 and 800. How can you use the AWA section as a competitive advantage, and not a threat?
Assume that the AWA section comes first for a reason - in spending an hour writing about generic topics, students are apt to lose track of (or at least worry that they'll lose track of...
1. Read the labels first. Mentally categorize each graph, chart and table. (EX: “This is a graph showing the change in the price of gas per gallon over the course of one year.”) Do not just skip the statistics entirely and go straight to the question! While you may think this will save you time, it actually significantly decreases your accuracy.
Data Interpretation questions are like an open-book test. You wouldn’t skip a Reading Comp passage, so don’t skip the data. Make sure you read every tiny piece of writing on or near the data, including titles, the labels for the x and y-axes, column names, and even footnotes. Scroll down to make sure you’ve caught everything.
2. Note the units. Once you understand the labels, take special care to note the units (mph, m/sec, cm2, etc.). Are we dealing with seconds, minutes, or hours? Does one graph represent the month of June, while the other graph represents the entire year? The units may change from graph-to-graph or chart-to-table. Especially note any given information about percentages, as DI questions frequently require you to work with...
A common belief is that the first ten questions “count” the most in each section of the GMAT, and that in light of this “fact,” you should spend more time on these early questions than you do on the rest of the test. Unfortunately, this belief is false, and its implied course of action could actually be detrimental to your score. Put plainly: you might hurt your score by spending more time on the early questions that you do on later ones.
Some people continue to believe this legend, despite all the evidence to the contrary. If you still think that the first questions count more than later ones, or if you’re still not sure what you think, then read on. You need to know the facts of the matter if you’re going to succeed on the GMAT.
1. The GMAT itself states that the first ten questions don’t count more.
If you have your Official Guide handy, open it up to page 17, bottom right. There’s a text box there with the header “Myth vs Fact.” Here the test maker specifically says that it is a myth that you should invest all your time in the first ten questions, and adds, “all questions count.”
F1GMAT: The best strategy to get in your GMAT prep mode is to fix a date for your GMAT exam. Now many things can happen on the GMAT test, you might exceed your expectation, you might get + or -20 on your estimated score or you might bomb your test. Whatever it might be, we as human beings have excellent intuition. We usually know which three scenarios mentioned above might happen to us. Based on our intuition , we have two choices, to cancel the score or accept the score.
Canceling the Score
You should follow the basic three rules for canceling the score:
1) You will have the motivation, time and money to retake the GMAT again
2) You would not be happy with another school with lower standard of admission
3) You are certain that with the current score you would not get into the top 3 schools that you have selected in your list.
Implications of canceling the score
All events related to your GMAT exam would be under a single record. Even if you cancel or retake the exam, it will be recorded. Now what are the implications of canceling your score on your admissions? A single cancellation of score can be justified with lack of preparation, illness or other relevant circumstances. However, if you are canceling the score more...
Now that you’re convinced of your reasons to pursue an MBA, the next step would be to decide which school and what intake you want to aim for. A large majority of students aim for the September intakes, when the majority of B-school admissions occur. The focus was always on US schools. The spring admissions have been considered to be fewer in number and financial support harder to get during that period.
However, with the B-school umbrella now spread over Europe, Asia and Australia too, September is not the only realistic option left for aspiring management gurus. Many schools around the world have rolling admissions- in which they consider applications all year round. Some schools have one batch starting in September and another starting in Jan/March.It comes down to your choice of college and your convenience, to finally decide which intake to target.
As a rule of thumb, it’s a good...