GMAT preparation – avoiding the common prep mistakes !
When beginning the GMAT preparation, we usually start with a lot of hustle bustle, and the prep is also carried on by most test takers with a lot of enthusiasm. However, what we usually tend to overlook is the area of common mistakes while preparing for the GMAT!
Lets get to the common mistakes of GMAT preparation, and how to avoid them!
1. Don’t try and study or solve every problem under the sky! True, there is ample study material available for you to be able to solve hundreds of questions, but the trick lies in mastering those few problems which you actually devote time to studying. Pick up a few problems you feel are difficult for your standard, and study them in detail. Variety is important to know the kind of problems that are tested, but do not be flooded with them. Spend apt time studying those few problems, trying to figure out alternative approaches of solving them and more efficient techniques for the same questions.
2. Space your GMAT preparation over a comfortable span of time, say 3 to 4 months. Usually, the kind of semester mode study we do, getting used to cramming whole subjects in 2 to 3 nights is the need of the hour and is sometimes also able to get us through exams; but in GMAT prep this does not work!
Studying 2 to 3 hours a day for 3 to 4 months is worth much more than 10 hours in 2 weeks. For an effective schedule, try mixing up your study hours with different sections of the GMAT, say 1 hour of verbal with 1 hour of quant. Again, I’ll lay stress on the trick of spending more time reviewing the solved problems than solving more and more of them. Remember, longer work sessions lead to diminishing returns 😉
You may also want to have a look at our tips to a killer GMAT score! They may help you to plan a good GMAT preparation!
3. Do not be misguided into taking too many mock tests. It is a wrong notion that taking practice tests makes you more well-equipped for the exam, than studying the actual material. Practice tests help you build stamina, and make you more set to the time constraints, but they cannot be a replacement for the actual study material.
Use practice tests that give you diagnostic information. We at Studycopter lay special emphasis on providing you step by step diagnostics of your performance.
4. Do not forget about your timing. Most students will focus on getting the problems right, and not getting them right in the right time! A personal advice is to use a wrist watch with an alarm, doing every question timed by the pattern of GMAT. A friend of mine adopted the same trick, and scored a 96 on 100 in his accounts exam! 😉
5. Pay attention to your weaker sections and do not drool over the sections you’re acing. Its good to ace the section you feel confident about, but you must get going on the sections you are not so confident about. If you are weak in one section and weak in another, then the GMAT’s adaptive nature will put a ceiling on your strengths because of your weaknesses.
For example, if you are data sufficient but weak at solving logical reasoning, the IR section will not show you a 700-level data sufficiency question with a 500-level logical reasoning score. Keep that in mind for your GMAT preparation.
While practicing, do not get clouded by the myth that the first 10 questions are the most important ones. Each question has its importance. Remember, GMAT is a computer adaptive test, so the questions you receive will be determined b the questions you have already answered. Practice is the key to acing the exam; pacing yourself will enable you to answer all questions.
You would do well to learn how to read and then act to the questions. The GMAT’s strategy is to present the subject matter in a twisted and turned way, so as to trick the test takers! While reading a question, you must first try to figure out your role rather than reading the prompts before. Smart Learning teaches you to find your role first and then search for the relevant details to help you perform the role.
Understand that the GMAT aims to trick you by throwing questions other than those it thinks you would have assumed as expected! So be very careful and practice questions for your GMAT preparation. A simple geometry question on isosceles triangles may be asking you to find the base angles, but the trick may be to find the vertex angle; you are likely to miss the last if you are not well-versed with these little tricks.
Happy studying! 😉