5 Mistakes to Avoid on the GMAT

By Alyssa Laffitte on September 10, 2017

Are you interested in pursuing an MBA? If so, you have likely heard of the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), a standardized test for those seeking to enter a graduate management program (like an MBA). Standardized tests can be intimidating, but they don’t have to be! As long as you prepare, you should do well.

Here are five mistakes to avoid while taking the GMAT.

Image via Isorepublic.com

1. Spending too much time on one question

A common mistake many test takers make is to spend too much time on one question. If you spend too much time stressing over one question, you will lose valuable time to answer other questions. The best way to avoid this is to pace yourself. Keep your eye on the clock and spend only a certain amount of time on each question so you can answer all questions before time is up.

2. Spending not enough time on one question

On the other hand, do not spend too little time on one question. In other words, don’t rush. Make sure you read the directions, each question, and all answer choices thoroughly because it’s too easy to miss a key word. One missed word can completely change the meaning of the sentence and cause you to misunderstand what you are being asked.

This is especially true in a high-stress test taking environment. So don’t spend too much time on one question, but don’t spend too little time on one question, either.

3. Leaving questions blank, if you can help it

Sometimes, you just can’t answer all the questions. But if you can help it, try not to leave any questions blank. The more questions you leave blank, the lower your score will be. As I said before, the best way to avoid this is to pace yourself. If you find yourself in a bind, with only a few minutes left, start guessing. It’s better to make educated guesses or to estimate than to leave questions blank on the GMAT.

4. Trying to determine what difficulty level a question is

The GMAT is a computer adaptive test, meaning that the computer will decide what questions to give you based on how well you answered the previous questions and how difficult the previous questions were.

Some test takers spend precious time trying to determine what difficulty level their questions are. Don’t do this! Spend your time answering the question, not trying to figure out what its difficulty level is.

5. Trying to manipulate the exam into giving you easy questions

Similarly, because of the GMAT’s computer adaptive system, some test takers try to answer these questions in a way that will manipulate the computer to give them easy questions. Again, don’t do this! Your focus should be on answering all the questions and answering them correctly, not on gaming the system to get the easiest questions.

If you have to take the GMAT, don’t fret! Take time to prepare well in advance of your test date, and when it’s finally time to take the test, pace yourself and don’t try to game the system into giving you easy questions. Good luck on your GMAT!

For more information on the GMAT, visit their official website.

How are you preparing for the GMAT? Comment below!

21, ISFJ. Biology student. College lifestyle blogger. Avid reader and writer. Dog lover. Nerd. Boyband enthusiast. Superhero in training. Here to help you become the best you can be!

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