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Useful tips to crack GMAT

Last updated on: August 11, 2011 11:23 IST

Useful tips to crack GMAT

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Appearing for the GMAT this year? Suchitra Surve, Counsellor and Director of Global Education Counsel discusses the GMAT test pattern and offers tips to students on solving each section of the paper.

The GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test. It is administered by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and is primarily a multiple-choice test.

GMAT is required for admission to most U.S.A, Canadian, and European and many business schools for MBA programs globally.

The GMAT is a standardised test that most MBA programs use to assess applicants. The test has three main sections, namely, Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing. The test can be given as per your convenience and preparation throughout the year with prior registration and subject to availability of dates.

The test pattern

The following table represents GMAT test format.

Section

Number of Questions (Total)

Length

AWA (one Issue and one Argument)

2

30minutes for each essay

Verbal

41

75 minutes

Quantitative

37

75 minutes

Scoring pattern

The two major parts of the test are scored independently. You will receive a

Verbal score (0 to 60)

Math score (0 to 60).

Total score (200 to 800).

Analytical writing score (0 to 6).

GMAT registration

Students should login on http www.mba.com/mba and can register for the test online.

The other ways for registration are through phone, mail, or fax.

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Exam preparation

GMAT has gone online from the past seven years.

There are various reference books and notes available for students to prepare.

Generally the time needed for preparing GMAT is 2 to 6 months it depends on student to student. Student should concentrate and prepare well to achieve the best score. Students need to practice a lot and give as many mock tests as possible, before taking the actual exam so that they can work on their weak sections where they are not able to score.

Mostly, students prepare well and take the test and try to get the best score if not then they can retake the exam but many business schools may consider the higher score or average of the scores.

Tips to consider before the exam

Please consider the following before appearing for GMAT.

General Tips

  • Try and relax before the test.
  • Getting to the test centre on time is vital. Try and get to the test centre 15-30 minutes before time.
  • Wear comfortable clothes to the test centre. It might be a good idea to carry a sweater or a jacket, in case students start feeling cold.
  • It is important that you do not panic. You must try and keep your cool all the time, even if you realise that you don't know the answer to a few questions.
  • If you panic, chances are you might even answer the easiest questions wrongly.

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Tips for solving Verbal Section

Below given are section wise tips for solving the Verbal Section

Critical Reasoning

Read the statements on which a question is based very carefully, with close attention to such matters as (1) what is put forward as factual information, (2) what is not said but necessarily follows from what is said, (3) what is claimed to follow from facts that have been put forward, and (4) how well substantiated are any claims to the effect that a particular conclusion follows from the facts that have been put forward.

Determine exactly what the question demands; in fact, you might find it helpful to read the question first, before reading the material on which it is based.

Read all the choices carefully before deciding upon any one choice. Any assumption regarding the choice made by you may prove dangerous. 

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Image: Read all the choices carefully before deciding

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Reading Comprehension

Even though the content is familiar to you, do not let it influence your choice of answer to the questions. Answers should be based on what has been stated and implied in the passage.

Look for key words and phrases, and concentrate on what is being discussed.

Read the questions critically; make sure that you have understood the question. Read all the choices carefully, never assume that you have selected the best answer without first reading all the choices.

Sentence Correction

Go through the entire sentence carefully. Get to understand the specific idea or relationship that the sentence may express.

Since the part of the sentence that may be incorrect is underlined, concentrate on evaluating part for errors and possible corrections before reading the answer choices.

Read each answer choice carefully. Try to determine how well each choice corrects whatever you consider wrong with the original sentence.

Make sure that you evaluate the sentence and the choices in terms of general clarity, grammatical and idiomatic usage, economy and precision of language, and appropriateness of diction.

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Image: Get to understand the specific idea or relationship that the sentence may express

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Tips to solve Quant Section
  • Although time is limited, working too quickly can damage your score. Work as carefully as possible. So pace yourself well.
  • Use the erasable notepad provided since you can't write on the screen, you will need to transfer some information to solve many problems. If diagrams or figures are not presented, it may help if you draw your own.
  • Read each question carefully to determine what is being asked.
  • Scan the answer choices before attempting to answer a question.
  • Focus on the question; think about what information would be sufficient to answer the question.
  • Do not waste valuable time solving a problem.
  • Be very careful not to make unwarranted assumptions based on the images represented.
  • The key to performing well on the GMAT is not the number of questions you solve, within reason, but the percentage you solve correctly.

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Image: Focus on the question

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