Friday, October 9, 2015

4 Things NOT to Do When Studying for the GMAT

By Jordan Friedman
World Education Services

If you’re an international student planning to pursue a graduate business degree in the United States, you’ll likely have to take the General Management Admission Test (GMAT). The GMAT is one of the most important components of an MBA application, so it’s important to do it right and maximize your potential.
The exam itself consists of four main sections: Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. You can learn more about the different sections of the exam and what they entail here.

While it’s important to focus on what you should be doing to study before the big day, it’s also important to understand what you should avoid doing in that timeframe. Here are four things not to do when you’re prepping for the GMAT:

• Waiting until the last minute: Like any test, avoid waiting until the day or week (or even month) before the exam to start preparing! Your GMAT preparation should be more of a marathon than a sprint. Also, the GMAT is a lengthy exam
it's four hours long. You should ensure that you have the mental endurance to sit through an entire exam, and that means taking the time to practice by taking full-length exams. Waiting until the last minute can cause you to burn out quickly, so be sure to plan ahead. 

Also important to note: GMAT data shows that students who score in the 600s and 700s typically spend an average of 92 and 102 hours, respectively, preparing. This is typically done within a few months’ time.

• Getting stuck on (and obsessing over) single practice questions: There may be times when you come across a question in a practice book or exam that seems like it’s written incorrectly, or that you simply don’t know the answer to it. However, it’s counterproductive to spend all your time on one question when you have an entire exam to prepare for – especially when that particular question won’t show up on the actual exam. You can definitely get a second opinion, but after that, move on. Losing your precious time won’t be worth it in the end.

• Enrolling in a broadly focused GMAT course: According to an article on, most test-takers tend to be stronger in certain sections and need help prepping for the sections they are most weak in. The article states, “Few people need equal preparation in Quantitative and Verbal. Despite this, GMAT courses are formatted so that equal time is spent on each section.” These courses, which typically have a number of students, can’t focus on individual student needs. One-on-one tutoring is, according to Forbes, a better option for many test-takers.

• Practicing taking only certain sections of the exam: Again, it’s essential that you have the mental endurance to sit through the entire exam. So, you need to practice taking the exam from beginning to end – not just those sections with which you are having trouble. So set aside some time in your schedule for them.

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