On Wednesday, September 26, 2012, I will be taking the GMAT. Don’t worry! I am not planning to leave Magoosh to attend business school. Rather, I am taking the test as a way of gathering information on both the test itself and on the test-taking experience, so as to provide even better service to the Magoosh customers.
In this article, I’ll just highlight a few of the things for which I’ll be looking.
This will be my first time sitting for a live IR section. I am curious to see the breakdown by question types (MSR, TA, GI, and 2PA). I know time will be precious on that part: each of the 12 IR “questions” has multiple sub-question parts, and I only have 30 minutes for the whole schmiel, so I will be looking for time-saving tricks I can use in gathering information from graphs and tables. Although a calculator is available, I will probably use it sparingly if at all.
In SC, I’ll be looking for multiple splits among the answer choices. For CR, I will be looking for common CR question types. For the RC, I will make an outline, remembering the strategy: map, don’t memorize! I am curious to see what exotic vocabulary may be used, and what the range of topics is on the sentences and passages.
On DS, I will be looking for ways to answer to the sufficiency question without having to do a full numerical calculation. Throughout the math section, I will be looking for shortcuts (e.g. estimation) that allow me to answer without having to do a long complicated calculation. I am curious about how many data-based questions I will see, given that the IR section is designed for data-based questions.
Perhaps most important will be to go into the exam in the right “head space” – awake and energized, but not stressed or anxious. I will have to get a solid night’s sleep not only the night before, but for a few nights before. I will eat a good dinner the previous night, and a good solid breakfast that morning. I will use my breaks for stretching, and I will try to remember to continue deep breathing even during the test itself.
Any comments? Advice you’d like to give me? Things for which you’d like me to scope out the GMAT? Comment on this post and let me know!