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10 Mistakes that can Restrict Your GMAT Score below 700

... Snigdha Aggarwal Shah

You have dreamt about getting into a certain genre of business school and are gearing up to emerge victorious with a 700 plus GMAT score. How easy is this target? GMAT tutors and counselors have shared pearls of wisdom from their years of experience in dealing with a variety of candidates. They say that the GMAT exam is not an easy one and very often can be cracked by working hard no doubt, but also working smart!

Here, we list down 10 mistakes that you can avoid to ensure that your GMAT preparation is in the right direction: -

2 Weeks Of Prep Can Help Me Crack The GMAT Exam

Are you one of those who believe in this maxim? You may be planning your GMAT preparation with certain preconceived notions about it being simple and that two weeks of slogging is enough to crack the exam but this may not be accurate. It’s true that individual capacities differ but with the GMAT exam pattern being what it is, you could be heading for disaster here. The GMAT exam requires enormous effort and can take up to a few months of preparation.

So you may wonder, what is the ideal duration of a GMAT study plan? 100 hours of GMAT preparation is usually a good benchmark. Most students who undertake the GMAT prep course are working professionals who obviously cannot study for 8 hours a day. The good news is that spending 1.5 – 2 hours a day, which adds up to 10-15 hours a week, should help you scale the GMAT mountain. A simple math calculation will tell you that it will therefore require around two and a half months in all.

The Weekends Are Sufficient For GMAT Preparation

Very busy professionals put off their GMAT preparation to the weekends. This could actually make them lose out to others. Going 5-6 days without opening your GMAT books is not the greatest study technique. Downloading GMAT practice questions and utilizing small tranches of free time during workdays like commute time, lunch breaks etc. is a good way to work around this. Even getting up to an hour done a day in small bite sized chunks and catching up with more time spent on GMAT practice tests etc. during the weekends is advisable.

Focusing On Just One Out Of GMAT Verbal Or GMAT Quant?

According to the GMAT official guide, the GMAT exam pattern contains four sections: -

  • Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Quantitative
  • Verbal

Anyone who assumes that their work exposure or previous credentials will help them sail through the MBA GMAT exam, has to think again. For instance, engineers and accountants deal with numbers all day in their jobs and may therefore take the GMAT math and quant questions for granted. Similarly, those with a great command over the English language might lay less stress on the GMAT verbal questions. It’s crucial not to be taken in by such myths. Covering the entire GMAT study material and attempting enough GMAT sample questions and GMAT practice tests covering all sections is a foolproof strategy.

Taking A GMAT Practice Test & Ignoring Debriefing

Any GMAT prep course involves undertaking several GMAT practice tests which maybe GMAT online tests or free GMAT practice tests available. Taking the test is one part of the job done and you feel that you have invested a lot of your time in doing so. But how many candidates actually review and debrief post taking a GMAT mock test?

Two scenarios crop up here. You may have bombed your GMAT practice test and therefore don’t feel like going back to review. The second is that you may have a GMAT score of over 700 and feel on top of the world anyway, eliminating the need to review. Both these scenarios need to have different behavior outcomes from you. Reviewing a GMAT mock test or GMAT sample questions presents enormous learning opportunity.

Reviewing Only What You Scored Wrong

So we have stressed on how vital it is to review your GMAT mock tests after attempting them. We know and understand that time is a constraint, a big one. But do not make the folly of reviewing only the GMAT practice questions that you got wrong. Reviewing the entire GMAT practice test will enable you to learn new ways of attempting a question that you may have also scored right, which maybe the best and quickest solution to the question. By going through the model answers provides you ammunition for your GMAT exam day.

Not Choosing the GMAT Study Material Well

Have you laid your hands on the best GMAT prep book available? Invest your time in some valuable research here, before you zero-in on your GMAT guides and study material. The best way would be to evaluate the best fitment to your GMAT study plan and decide accordingly. Remember, not only is money being invested in the GMAT material, but so is your valuable time and future career growth prospects. 

Improper Time Management While Taking GMAT Practice Tests

A good GMAT exam strategy is essential while taking GMAT practice tests so you are familiar with the mechanics of the GMAT exam. Spending too much time on one section versus the other can leave you in a difficult spot. Try and strike a balance between trying to score well and managing time during the GMAT mock tests as well.

Assuming That The GMAT Exam Is Easy

Some candidates assume that since the GMAT exam is based on high school level Math and English, they will navigate it easily. Stop for a moment here. The GMAT exam has proven to be quite challenging even for the most fancied students. Not only does it test concepts but also tests critical thinking, pattern recognition and decision-making.

Taking Notes Is Not Important

It is a proven fact that students who prepare for their GMAT by taking had written notes perform better that those who do not. Taking notes helps in imprinting concepts in your mind that come back when most needed. It is not really possible to memorize all the concepts needed for the GMAT quant and GMAT verbal sections by simply reading them.

Cramming On The Last Day

If you are not feeling fresh and well rested on the day of your GMAT exam, chances are that you may bungle up questions that you had easily answered while solving GMAT practice questions. Make sure your GMAT study plan ensures enough room for rest before the big day.

How many of these pitfalls do you see yourself getting into? Try and alter aspects of your GMAT study plan to make it super effective. Remember, putting in the required hours is one side of the coin and the other is to use each hour effectively to make it count.

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