# Succeeding on the Test by Living Learning

- Apr 17, 07:37 AM Comments [0]

When it comes to test preparation, it seems that a lot of folks have got it all wrong. Buying some book on Amazon, cracking it open and praying for osmosis isn’t going to do much for you. I’m a big fan of reminding students what the GMAT and GRE are trying to test. Anybody can memorize formulas or a list of vocabulary words. Big deal. If these exams tested you on your ability to regurgitate information they wouldn’t exactly be useful for admissions committees, would they? Getting into grad school is becoming more and more competitive, and it’s just a fact that schools have to reflect that in their selectivity. The GRE and the GMAT strive to be the indicators of a student’s potential for knowledge acquisition and, more importantly, information dissemination. So how do they indicate such an amorphous skill? Logic. Guess what? It’s pretty hard to learn logic flipping through the pages of even the best GMAT books. Now you’re scratching your head. How are you supposed to improve that?

So what’s my recommendation? Adopt a learning mentality in your daily life. Here at Magoosh, we happily spend our free time together playing vocabulary games and challenging each other with difficult probability questions. We all are also avid readers of the news and books. At least a couple of us write fiction (and others have studied it). Mike McGarry, who is a superstar over at the forum side of GMAT Club cranks out regression analyses for “fun”. When I walk home, I like to calculate all the possible permutations of my trip home. Okay, so we might not be your typical group of geeks, but this kind of thinking makes answering those difficult Critical Reasoning questions and tricky Problem Solving questions ever so slightly easier. In fact, the most common GMAT questions are much, much simpler if you really absorb learning into your daily life.

So what’s the takeaway? Well if you’ve got only one week until your test, maybe don’t heed so much of this advice (though you might find grad school a challenge), but if you’ve got time before your test, you better start eating, sleeping, and breathing the tenants of these crucial tests. Don’t just keep your nose buried in a book, but embrace learning. If you don’t like learning, it’s going to be a tough couple of years for you in graduate school!

This post was written by Chris Swimmer an analyst at Magoosh who spends his time helping folks out with their math hang ups while studying for the GRE and the GMAT.