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# Top 20 GMAT Tips - 5th Edition - ExamPal

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MBA Section Director
Affiliations: GMAT Club
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Top 20 GMAT Tips - 5th Edition - ExamPal  [#permalink]

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04 Nov 2018, 04:47

GMAT Tip of the Week:Top 20 tips - 5th Edition

This topic is a part of the GMAT Club Tip of the Week Series

81. Don’t settle for ‘one-size-fits-all’ - the GMAT is adaptive: virtually every question you see on the test is a result of your performance until the point that you answer it. Books, of course, are not and cannot be adaptive, and neither are most courses. The GMAT is pluralistic: usually, there is more than one relevant answer strategy -Precise, Alternative or Logical – per question. Books, and most courses, reflect none of this, as they tend to provide us with one explanation per question, assuming that what is good for the test writer or teacher is good for all. The GMAT is flexible; it is constantly presenting us with questions with radically different levels, subjects, lengths and required answer tools. Books - and most courses - offer no help at all in analyzing and selecting the best solution tool for us.

82. Apps to the rescue I know, apps on your phone are the main mind distractor you are struggling to avoid in the first place. Yet, some apps can help your preparation become a lot more effective. So, without naming any names, here’s what the right apps can do for you: generate to-do lists; turn your handwritten notes into editable text; generate flashcards; or even correct your grammar.

83. How can you tell a Reading Comprehension answer is wrong? The problem is not with the obviously-wrong answers. Many times you’ll find yourself with two or more answer options which sound perfectly right. What we must do is choose the one that matches the text itself and not things we know from our own experience. Answers that are ‘out of scope’, ‘add additional information’ or ‘are partially correct’ are wrong!

84. The best way to overcome anxiety during the test. Breathe. When you feel your test anxiety creeping up, it’s easy to lose control of your thoughts and begin imagining all the possible things that could go wrong. No matter where you are, whether it’s studying at the library or in the test room about to start the exam, just take a deep breath. By redirecting your focus to each breath, you allow yourself to take back control of your mind. Remind yourself how far you’ve come and that you will succeed.

85. The best way to overcome anxiety throughout your test prep. Exercise. The GMAT is probably going to be one of the most important tests you’ve ever taken, so it’s natural to want to drop everything and dedicate every waking moment to studying for it. However, you must allocate time each week to get some exercise in: this will reduce stress and release some feel-good endorphins. It’s worth it.

86. Push the button Did you know that every mobile phone comes with a special ‘Test Prep’ button? Most people are not aware of this, but in order to utilize the Test Prep Mode, all you need to do is press this button on the side of your phone. Yeah, right there. Now you can sit and study with genuine peace of mind.

87. How can you read Reading Comprehension passages only once? Take notes while reading! That’s active reading: while reading the passage, we’ll stop once in a while to make sure we’ve understood what we’ve just read, ask ourselves questions to make sure we understand how one paragraph connects to the other, and most importantly, take short notes about the main message of each paragraph or sentence.

88. Let the scratch pad do the remembering Ever heard about ‘stack overflow’? A stack overflow is an undesirable condition in which a particular computer program tries to use more memory space than the call stack has available. Your brain does the same thing: load it with too many tasks and it becomes slower and slower. Write down what you’re trying to remember, and you’ll work faster. Calculations, equation simplification, the content of a reading comprehension passage, the rival theories in a Critical Reasoning question - anything that the scratch pad remembers for you leaves your brain available for other stuff. You’ll work faster and with a lot less so called ‘stupid mistakes’.

89. Be your own tutor If you aren’t studying with a tutor, then you are, in effect, your own tutor. This means you have to force yourself to do all the things a tutor would make you do, even the unpleasant ones, like forcing you to slow down and pay more attention to the things you don’t understand. Simply plowing ahead skips the entire process of evaluation, which is a crucial component of success (if you haven’t learned this before applying to b-school, hopefully you will after you get accepted!).

90. Ask for feedback Effective study needs to be geared towards our personal progress and challenges. This may be true for any test, but the GMAT’s adaptiveness makes it all the more the case: the GMAT is going to react to our personal performance by feeding us questions that match it. Shouldn’t our study regime do so as well? Books, of course, do none of this - aside from telling us whether we got a question right or wrong, they give us no insight into the reasons for our mistakes, or into our study progress. This is where other people - or an interactive software - come in: we need someone to evaluate and comment on our performance.

91. The one thing you must do on your test day Arrive at the test center 30 minutes early. This way, you have time to relax and get into a positive mindset before you begin your test. When finally doing the test, don’t panic and don’t worry about who is ahead of you. It is important to re-read questions and go at your own pace. If you feel your test anxiety sneaking up, just remember to take deep breaths and take it one question at a time.

92. How should you use GMAT forums? If you’re already preparing for the GMAT, sooner or later you’ll find yourself in one of these crowded forums, bombarded with advice. The good thing about them is that if you want to see different solution approaches to the same questions, you’ll get lots of them. The bad thing is that you’ll get lots of everything… When it comes to advice, stick to professionals who have been in this field for a few decades. They do not just relate to the one question that you are struggling with, but to its dozens of different variations over the years. If you want to avoid GMAT-phobia, don’t just wander around, as you will most likely end up confused and frightened. Go to these forums hunting down specific answers, and be skeptical about the advice you get. Don’t scavenge for advice on just any question you get - study strategically and systematically.

93. GMAT extras: time, breaks & more The GMAC states it is willing and able to make accommodations for those who need them, for reasons such as learning and cognitive disorders or physical or psychological disabilities. These accommodations can include additional testing time, an additional or extended test breaks, a reader who can read items to you, a recorder which can record your responses, or software which can provide a zoomed version of the text. To access these accommodations, you must submit a request ahead of time.

94. What can you learn from your mock tests’ scores?  Predicting your test score is not the main reason to take a mock test. That being said, it’s perfectly natural to want to know what score you can expect. The good news is this: the GMAC CATs are, by far, the most realistic tests out there: they are simply the only mock tests that accurately mimic the way the GMAT scoring works. The bad news: even though they are the most realistic, there is a limit to how predictive any test can be. Some people react well to the excitement of actually taking the test and do better, others - especially ones who have not studied in a way that prepared them for the GMAT’s adaptive nature - stumble on test day and end up scoring lower than they did on mock exams.

96. The art of guessing Did you know that the best answer choice to guess is always  (C)? Just kidding… The art of guessing is really about -- not guessing at all. We should decide strategically before the test how many questions we are going to solve in each section, which is really deciding how many to skip, and which questions to skip. You either read and answer or simply guess and skip without reading. In the rare incidents in which you read the question, allowed yourself enough time to try and solve, but didn’t even start to understand what to do - guess the answer and continue. Wise guesses? If you have no clue, it is just wise to guess. If, on the other hand, you have a clue, and you just need some more time to complete the solution - take the extra time. This time is worth more here than in a question you didn’t even start reading.

97. Avoiding ‘stupid’ mistakes Don’t you hate it when you get everything right, and when you analyze your mistakes you see that someone must’ve marked the wrong answer. No way it was you. Making stupid mistakes is not stupid - it is only human. Making the same stupid mistakes over and over again, on the other hand… It doesn’t matter why you got it wrong, you still lose those points. So don’t cut yourself any slack - analyze your mistakes and come up with productive ways to avoid them in the future, such as: writing down every calculation in your scratch pad; circling these tiny minus signs so that you don’t miss them; copying special aspects of the question to your scratch pad , such is ‘which of the answers is NOT equal to…’, ‘what is the AREA…?’ (rather than the perimeter), etc.

98. Taking a mental break Test takers are sometimes so anxious that when they get to the instruction screens, what they do is… read the instruction! You don’t need to read the instructions! You already know them. You’ve been practicing them for weeks. This is the time to take a mental break and recite your strategy: how many minutes you plan to give each type of question, what strategies you plan to use, how many questions you plan to skip. This will make you calm and focused in those crucial minutes in the beginning of each section.

99. Get into the right mental state before the real test Be proud of yourself! “But why?” you ask. “I haven’t even taken the GMAT yet.” Well, let me tell you why. Preparing for the GMAT is a difficult journey that may seem overwhelming at times. However, you have stuck with it because you know you need it in order to progress towards your future goals. This is what you deserve to be proud of already – not giving up. So the next time you’re stressed out and feeling sorry for yourself, remember why you haven’t already given up, and remind yourself of your ability to excel and reach your goals.

100. What shirt color should you wear on test day? White. It will keep you optimistic. You have all the reasons in the world to be optimistic. You just finished watching 100 tips on how to crush the GMAT.

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Top 20 GMAT Tips - 5th Edition - ExamPal   [#permalink] 04 Nov 2018, 04:47
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