Wondering what makes the GMAT exam so competitive that people actually dedicate 6 to 8 months or sometimes even close to a year to prepare for the test? Well, in addition to learning the vast syllabus and solving questions in about a minute, you also have to deal with the computer-adaptive nature of the test (the algorithm decides the difficulty level of each question that is presented to you). Hence, this is what makes the GMAT even more difficult to crack. In this article, we will discuss how to practice answering questions of higher difficulty in a short span and beat the GMAT on your test day. But before we begin, let us understand more about the GMAT.
The GMAT is a computer-based test administered by GMAC globally. Most universities and business schools around the world require GMAT scores for admissions. This is a psychometric test that evaluates your logical thinking, critical reasoning, analytical writing and problem-solving skills. Four different sections — analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning — tests these essential skills required for your management programme. While the quant and verbal reasoning sections are designed to test your Maths and English language skills, the analytical writing assessment and integrated reasoning sections test your ability to write critically and analyse data, respectively.
The GMAT is timed at 3 hours and 30 minutes (including breaks) which is a pretty long duration to sit for an exam. Hence, it is essential to take up mock tests so that you get used to the test pattern, questions and of course the time as mock tests simulate the actual GMAT exams. Your performance is scored on a scale of 200-800 — this score is a combination of your raw scores on the verbal and quantitative sections. The scores of integrated reasoning and analytical writing assessment sections, on the other hand, are reported separately.
Now that you briefly know what the GMAT is, let us understand how to prepare yourself for the difficult questions asked on the GMAT.
Two Important Aspects of Preparing for the GMAT Exam
Acing the GMAT requires you to practice two aspects of the exams mainly — understanding the fundamental concepts and learning to manage time.
You can learn the basics of each concept tested from the GMAT official guide; there are many questions available for you to practice during your preparation. If you want to see what questions were asked in the previous years, then you can type — GMAT last year question paper on your web browser and many options would show up. But, remember to choose from those that are credible. You will have access to numerous questions of varying difficulty level; some of them can be paid as well. Furthermore, you can also look for — GMAT practice test PDFs too. You will find questions, solutions and explanations of different types of questions of all sections in these PDFs. But as mentioned above, make sure the source you choose to take the information from is reliable. Practicing from these sources will be really helpful for you. Once you’ve mastered the concepts tested, it is time to solve questions by timing yourself. The best way to time yourself is by taking mock tests. The more mock tests you take, the better you get at answering questions on time. You understand how to strategize all your sections and questions so that you finish everything within the time span provided. Besides, it also familiarizes you with the actual GMAT exam — from the test pattern to the computer-adaptive nature of the exam.