GMAT Exam Day Tips

GMAT RC FocussedGMAT 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...

Categories : GMAT Exam Day Tips

Right- it was time to move forward. Time to charm the pants off the evaluators with my essay writing skills. I hadn’t practiced it a lot, and was hoping that my English skills would be good enough to do the trick. Before I took the TOEFL exam, I had started a blog in order to practice my writing skills. No such bravado this time around, probably because I had more work to do during the morning hours at my company. There were a few questions about the value of having an International MBA, and another about cultural diversity and its implications. I ended up finishing the essays five minutes before the allocated time.

Two ten minute breaks are provided during the GMAT exam. One, after the AWA section and one, after the Math section. Going out when fewer people were around, I did my thing, and got back in quickly. Before which, I had downed half a bottle of the RedBull and grabbed a couple of bites of the Cadbury that I’d kept in my backpack.

The Quant section warranted all my attention. The proceedings started off well, with the questions getting progressively harder. That’s always a...

Categories : GMAT Exam Day Tips

GMAT Test Concentration TipsGMAT is a grueling exam that last three and half hours if you discount the 10-minute optional breaks between integrated reasoning and the Quant section (5 Minutes), and Quant and Verbal sections (5 Minutes). Develop a strategy to focus for four hours on the GMAT. Here are some useful tips that you can apply.

Good Sleep

The reason why most GMAT prep companies, and experts’ advice against staying up late before the exam is because good sleep improves focus, and problem solving skills. It would be especially useful for an exam like GMAT, where your left-brain is required to work at its optimum to score 700+.


Most expert meditation practitioners have cited the conflict of two thoughts to be the reason behind test anxiety. The thoughts can be conflicting view of scoring 700+ and bombing on the GMAT. Fear can be a good motivator for test preparation but on exam day, undivided attention should be on the question in hand.

Proper Diet and Exercise

This is not a test day advice but if you have given emphasis on balancing diet with the right...

Categories : GMAT Exam Day Tips

I used this time to write down the structure to my essays. I had already read all the GMAC and Pearson information online so I did not need to re-read it.  Use this time wisely.  If they are going to give you the time, do not just throw it away.

Since I reviewed the AWA guide and I had my structures already down on the dry erase pad, this was pretty straight forward. I fumbled for a few minutes, but found my ground and I was able to complete some solid essays. On the issue essay my second and third points were very similar (essentially the same) but I used slightly different reasoning and different examples. I worried about this a little, but then I remembered IF YOU ARE WITHIN 5 MINUTES DO NOT MAKE MAJOR CHANGES such as deleting multiple lines or an entire paragraph. I left it how it was.

The Break
Went to the bathroom and got some water. I did not realize as soon as you re-enter the room they type their password in and your time begins. You do have 60 seconds to review the instructions before the 75 minutes start, but I just did not realize the break just ended.

So many things to say here. First off, I missed the first question. I remember the question and...

Categories : GMAT Exam Day Tips

The day of reckoning has finally arrived. You’ve practiced long enough,  honing your skills against similar opponents. The last few months have all been leading up to this moment. You’ve gathered whatever knowledge or insight you could gain into the way the adversary operated. Your strategies have been formulated.  Time to pit yourself against the machine- you got that right- it’s a battle of wits against a machine. You are going head to head with the GMAT engine, prepared by the folks at MBA.com.

My preparation for the exam started three months prior to the actual d-day. I pored over all the forums, from MBA.com through Pagalguy - looked up the suggestions given by high scorers. Some sounded insane, and some downright condescending. As if, you are gonna take it easy on exam day! The butterflies would have gone into hyperdrive mode, by then, in your stomach. That’s only natural. I came across a guy who had mentioned chocolates and another one who had mentioned using an energy drink. I had my concerns on the effects of combining the two, on exam day. Thankfully I tried it on the penultimate day. It was not something I’d do normally.

However, I was still standing, and not doubling up or running around...

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...

Categories : GMAT Exam Day Tips

Handling Nerves on GMAT Test DayTest day is no different than any other GMAT prep days. You have to be focused, prepared and give your best shot. But we are not robots, we are humans. So it is natural to feel a little bit anxious. But if you feel: cold sweats, night terrors, the shakes, and so on, then you are showing signs of acute anxiety. Knowing what to expect in the testing center will help you relieve some of the unnecessary anxiety. Here is Knewton's minute by minute breakdown of what to expect in the test center.

1. Arrive early, but don’t plan on studying at the testing center. 30 minutes before liftoff

Show up to the test center 30 minutes before the official time, as the GMAC suggests. Although this may mean waking up even earlier than expected, avoiding any feeling of being rushed is priceless. However, many testing centers don’t allow studying in the waiting room, so don’t plan on getting there early and reviewing notes. Use the time before the test to relax and focus on the task at hand.

2. Locker Room. 10 minutes before liftoff

After presenting your identification and test reservation, you may be given...

Navigate F1GMAT

F1GMAT Services (MBA Applicants) 

F1GMAT's Books

MBA Salary(Latest Salary Data)
MBA Admission Interview Tips



MBA Application Essays

MBA Recommendation Letter

GMAT Tutorials

GMAT Question Bank

Top MBA Programs

Get F1GMAT's Newsletters (Best in the Industry)
Included in the Newsletter:

  • Ranking Analysis
  • Post-MBA Salary Trends
  • Post-MBA Job Function & Industry Analysis
  • Post-MBA City Review
  • MBA Application Essay Tips
  • School Specific Essay Tips
  • GMAT Preparation Tips
  • MBA Admission Interview Tips
  • School Specific Interview Tips
  • Funding Guidance and
  • Special Consultation Service (only for Subscribers)

Subscribe to F1GMAT's Newsletter