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5 GMAT Mistakes You Should Never Make

GMAT is one of the most popular standardised tests for students worldwide. But, there are common mistakes everyone makes. Which ones? Read more to find out.
BY Mehal Yadav |   29-01-2016
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized test used for admissions by more than 5,200 graduate management programs worldwide. The exam gauges your ability in the following areas:
  • Analytical Writing
  • Verbal Aptitude
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Integrated Reasoning Skills
It’s not unusual to see B-school aspirants toil hard to get a perfect GMAT score, which can ultimately help them pave their way to a successful management career. But while most students focus on what to do to ace the exam, they often overlook certain simple factors which can end up having a major effect on their scores.

So, here’s a list of 5 things you should avoid while you’re preparing for the GMAT:

  1. Not Just About  GMAT:    Most students fixate on one perfect GMAT score and think if they don’t get that score, they won’t get a college of their choice. In reality, fewer than 50 in 200,000 students who give the test get a perfect score of 800. The fact is that the odds here are largely against you.

    But what you need to understand is that your GMAT scores are just one small part of your entire application package, which will include undergraduate records, application essays, interviews, letters of recommendation and more. You may have a good score in GMAT, but you still might not get in if you have, say, a low GPA in your undergraduate studies. So, work on making your entire application competitive.
  2. Imbalanced Preparation:  Everybody tends to be better in one area or subject. For instance, you might have strong language skills, but  be weak in Quantitative Aptitude. If you think you’re already competitive in one area, then great! But don’t completely ignore the weak area either. Keep working in a balanced way so you don't fall prey to overconfidence or underconfidence.
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice: Once you are done with brushing up your concepts and doing sample questions, start with the practice papers. This helps create the environment you’ll face at the time of the test and reduce last minute panic. It teaches you how to keep the time.

    Some students start giving practice tests, find they score poorly and go back to solving sample questions. This is a big mistake.

    DO NOT get scared if you don’t score well when you start giving practice tests. It will take time for you to get into the proper mode and start devising strategies on how to attempt the test. So, keep at it, practice as much as you can, and don’t be afraid to score less.
  4. The Math Myth:   It is a common notion among students that you need to have very advanced Math skills to score well in the GMAT. This is a myth. You don’t need any extra skills than what you learnt at school! All you need are very basic concepts of algebra, geometry and arithmetic. The test  judges you on the ability to apply your logic and analysis, and not the usage of complicated formulae or theorems.
  5. Don't Give Up:  Always attempt the whole paper. There is a severe penalty for not completing the GMAT exam. For instance- Not answering 5 verbal questions can bring your score from 90th percentile to the 77th percentile. So, while it is obviously important to answer all questions correctly, don’t leave any question. If you can’t answer anything, just take your best guess and move on. If you’ve answered incorrectly, the algorithm of the test is such that you’ll be given an easier question, which you will be likely to answer correctly. In this way, the test will keep estimating and giving questions matching your ability.



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