When 8 = 6.5: Timing your breaks and other GMAT numbers to know

By - Oct 6, 09:00 AM Comments [0]

As you’re preparing to take the test, you become very familiar with numbers, and I don’t mean just the numbers within the quantitative question. Can you recognize the significance of the following numbers?

1) 700

700 is a 90th percentile score. The average GMAT score for top 10 b-schools is right around the 700 range, so it’s a good score to set as your target if you’re looking to attend any of those schools. If you knew this, that’s great. You’ve probably already started looking at business programs you’re interested in. If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to take a practice test to see what range you’re scoring in and how far you have to go to reach your target score.

2) 75/37

75/37 refers to the GMAT quant section being 75 minutes long and containing 37 questions. In this handy format, it reminds you that you have an average of 2 minutes per question. If you knew this, you’ve probably cracked open some prep material and you might even be cognizant of time management being a crucial skill for GMAT success.

3) 8

8 is the number of minutes for each of the two breaks you’ll have on the GMAT. The first of the eight-minute breaks will be after the Analytical Writing Assessment section, and the second will be after the Quantitative section. If you knew this, you may already be engaged in some intense preparation and have completed a practice test as well.

You may be thinking “I care about hitting a 700, and it’s good to know the 75/37 thing, but why do I care about 8?” The best test takers are those who utilize every minute of the exam to maximum efficiency. During the breaks, you need to stretch your legs, clear your head, and get yourself pumped up for the next section. Lastly, for the breaks remember that 8 = 6.5. If you exceed the eight minutes, the test will start again, with or without you! So what I always tell students is to think of the 8 minute break as a 6.5 minute break. You want those extra few seconds as a buffer before starting again; otherwise, what you did to relax during the break is negated by the fear of “did the test resume already?!”

Arthur Ahn
Kaplan GMAT

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