Five common mistakes to avoid on GMAT Exam

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There are so many ways to keep your GMAT score on a lower side, but we hope that you don’t follow any of them. Here we come out with a list of five most commonly made mistakes.

Studying for only 2-3 weeks

The first mistake students make is to study for just 2-3 weeks before appearing for GMAT, people have the misconception about how difficult or challenging GMAT is, they have the misconception about how fast they are or how good they are with numbers, however, studying for just two weeks will not cut it. Many of you will be shocked to know how much effort goes into the preparation of GMAT. It takes several months to prepare for it although people have their own capacity & speed to grasp/learn things. A rough guide is to study for 100 hours; I assume that most of the GMAT takers are working professionals so investing 2 hours a day is a reasonable time as you don’t have 8 hours. For people who even do have 8 hours a day for preparation should go for small size chunks rather than going for 8 hours a day at a stretch. Break it & set weekly targets. 100 hours should be segregated into weekly targets like 12 hours each week.

Studying only on weekends

We understand the fact that working professionals are quite occupied and when they are back home after rigorous working hours, they sure are way too tired. We live in a 24*7 world where clients & bosses keep on pushing you off limits & work hours are demanding. But you don’t want to wait for weekends to study. As I mentioned earlier, you need to set some targets for yourself.  If you let 5-6 days without studying, you will break the momentum & will be playing catch-up. Keep Chanting “I will not wait for the weekend & start revolving my schedule around my daily targets.”

 All concentration on one Section

Besides the study plan and the timing aspect, it’s very important to focus on all the topics and how you can get more out of it. A very common mistake people often make is that they focus only on one section. Say an engineer would say “I need to work on my verbal skills; I work all day with numbers and I shall be able to crack it. I need to focus more on the verbal section.” But the fact is that the lawyers, English teachers, and journalists and similar people who read and write for a living find verbal section more challenging when it comes to GMAT and similarly people from Accounting and Engineering backgrounds find Quantitative section challenging. Baseless of whatever has been your forte in the past, you may use it in the application process but for GMAT, it will help only to a certain extent. Focusing on just one section based on one’s past experience is not advisable. Work on all the sections simultaneously and it’s important as it helps you keep your brain fresh. Let’s say there is one section of your brain which helps in understanding quant and the other section of your brain helps in understanding verbal, focusing on both sections simultaneously will keep your brain fresh & ready to go. Give it a shot and keep taking practice tests. You will see the results soon.

No Debriefing after Practice Exam

When people discover that they want to apply for an MBA program, they start reverse engineering things; they see deadlines and start thinking about GMAT. This lets them appear for the diagnostic GMAT test and it’s not a bad idea to analyze your strengths & weaknesses. But biggest mistake that most of the students end up making is that they don’t go back and review the practice tests. Other extreme to this is when students score a 700+ in the practice tests and think that they have nailed it and don’t need to analyze the test. Since we live on the internet and there is no shortage of tests out there. All we need to do is to take some time out and go back to analyze the test given regardless of how well have you scored. It’s good to spend 100 hours in studying but the major portion of learning comes with the practice tests where you discover new things. You should do 100s & 1000s of the practice questions before the actual test to time yourself and know where you stand. However, all will be in vain if you don’t go back and analyze the test.

Reviewing only wrong questions

GMAT aspirants are generally busy professionals who take out time of their busy work schedules to study may be at night or on lunch breaks or while traveling. With time, economics students only review questions that went wrong during the practice tests and tend to skip reviewing the questions which went right. Students think that they got the question right and hence can overlook those. You may have got it right due to many reasons –

  • Guessed it right – your guesswork did magic for you.
  • Your one strategy but that might not be best of this question.
  • You used the best strategy but used different numbers or scenarios.

Your way may or may not match the model solution but there is no harm in going through explanation once as it’s a great way to give yourself different layers of context.

It’s really difficult for strong test takers to take this advice as they are already scoring 700+ in practice tests but trust me you would not regret once you follow this. A lot of people ask me what’s the best skill for GMAT test takers and I advise them:

  • It’s an individual’s ability to consume and process the information quickly.
  • Ability to recognize

Ask yourself what you know & what you don’t. GMAT is notorious for giving information which is not related to helping you solve questions but it’s equally notorious for omitting information which is needed to solve that question. There are several tips for GMAT but I focused on the 5 common mistakes which students generally tend to overlook. You will not find them in any book or any coaching manual.

Happy Learning!

– Team Leverage

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