Posted on
28
Jun 2022

3 Most Common GMAT Mistakes Made During the Exam

The GMAT is a unique type of exam that tests a broad area of knowledge as well as various skills such as time management, working well under pressure, and strategy building. You will be given a relatively short amount of time to answer each question, and you need to be well aware of how you should approach each type of question. You may already feel that many things can go wrong during the exam. While it is normal to make mistakes, being prepared for the exam by knowing  potential exam “traps” will help you deal with any unexpected situations. One of the best ways to prepare for such situations is by learning from others’ mistakes. Thus, we’re going to walk you through some of the most common GMAT mistakes that test-takers make during the exam and give our advice on how to avoid them.

1. Memorized Answers 

A common GMAT mistake that test takers make while preparing for the exam is memorizing the questions and answers from the practice exams rather than understanding and learning from each question. This strategy is pretty useless as the same exact questions from the practice tests will NOT  repeat on the official GMAT exam. Also, this strategy is prone to causing real problems to test takers during the exam since they (most probably) will have a limited array of techniques to use to tackle different question types. 

Keep in mind that you have about 2 min per question. Because of this you should have a strategy and logical method of tackling and solving each question type before the exam takes place. During your GMAT preparation, you should understand the question types and what you are required to do on each of them. The questions from each section have aspects to them which can be tricky to understand at the beginning. If you find yourself struggling to understand  questions and solution paths you can always look for professional help. For example, private GMAT tutors are people who have extensive experience when it comes to taking – and studying for – the GMAT. A proper private GMAT tutor can give you valuable advice on how to avoid common mistakes on the different GMAT sections.

2. Wrong Time Strategy

As the GMAT is a time-constrained exam, having the right time strategy is crucial during the exam. Knowing that they are pressed for time, many students tend to allocate their time wrongly which negatively affects their performance. Having a short amount of time to answer each question means it may be tempting to look for shortcuts to save time. For example, many students try to save some extra time by scanning questions in order to get a rough understanding of what is being asked. In this way, they believe they will have more time to analyze the option choices and  find the right answer faster. Unfortunately, this strategy rarely yields the expected results because students get stuck between 2-3 choices, meaning they will have to re-read the question. Hence, answering just one question will take more time than they had anticipated. 

The remedy for this common GMAT mistake is a combination of a proper timing strategy and a proper approach for solving different types of questions. Instead of looking for ways to solve the question for the least possible time and compromising the accuracy of your answer, try to find the right approach to solve the question. Having the right approach means that you will spend just the right amount of time. While preparing for the GMAT exam, pay enough attention to problem solving methods as well as the time you take to solve each question. 

3. Refusing to Admit You Don’t Know Something

Another common GMAT mistake hides in the students’ inability to admit that they don’t know the answer to a particular question. Instead they attempt to guess the answer. This is, of course, an action of last resort. Nevertheless, it’s naive to think that even if you have studied for hundreds of hours, you will know the answer to every question. Keep in mind, the GMAT exam is not designed for you to answer every single question right. The GMAT test has a computerized adaptive format, meaning it employs a special algorithm to adjust to your level of proficiency as you progress through the questions. It will give you several easy, intermediate, and hard questions, and you have to try to give an answer to all of them.

Instead of agonizing over a few questions and wasting valuable time trying to solve them, you have to take your best educated guess and move on. Otherwise, you are losing your chance of getting other questions correct. It is far more important to get through the entire exam rather than to answer every question correctly. Your score will be calculated collectively from all questions and it won’t be determined only by the questions that you don’t know. Show what you have learned and don’t worry if you can’t answer all the questions.

Conclusion

The GMAT is a challenging exam because it hides many potential traps that can easily mislead test-takers who, under pressure, often make careless mistakes. You should understand that making mistakes is normal and be prepared to make some yourself. Here at Apex, we are more than happy to support you on your GMAT journey and assist you in every step of the process. You can sign-up for a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with one of our instructors who can help you ace your exam and learn strategies to avoid GMAT mistakes!

 

Contributor: Diana Materova

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GMAT Exam
Posted on
30
Dec 2021

Before Taking The GMAT Exam, You Should Do These 3 Things

Imagine that you wake up on a sunny day, you feel energized and positive about where your day is headed, and you have a plan in your head on how to organize your time efficiently so that you can begin preparing for your GMAT exam. Then, suddenly, you realize that you only have a few days left before your GMAT exam date. You start overthinking about what you know or don’t know about the exam, its procedure, the dos and don’ts, and you feel yourself getting stressed. This is a normal feeling for most people who have exams coming up and feel like they lost track of time. But no need to panic – We gotcha!  Here are a few things you can do to help with the process.

1. Get yourself accustomed to the GMAT exam procedure

It is of utmost importance that you know the GMAT exam procedure by heart before taking the test. This can help by making sure the exam goes smoothly and you don’t get worried about making silly mistakes.

So, how is the GMAT structured and what are its procedures?

Here is a brief recap. The GMAT has 4 sections:

The total time it takes to complete the GMAT, with breaks, is usually 3.5 hours. If you’re interested in knowing how the scoring of the GMAT goes, you can watch this short and comprehensive YouTube video.

2. Take the GMAT practice exam during the same time as the real one

Having routines in life helps us manage our time efficiently. The same can be said for the GMAT exam. It is crucial that you know what time your real exam is going to be so that you can start preparing and practicing during the same time of the day. Why is this important? Let’s say you usually wake up at 11:00 AM and start studying around 1:00 PM. If your exam starts at 10:00 AM, you’re going to have a hard time functioning to the best of your abilities. Thus, it is suggested that you create a routine around your exam time so that your brain and body can get used to it.

3. Revise your previous GMAT mistakes, but don’t acquire new knowledge

Cramming in new information a few days before taking the GMAT does not usually result in effective learning. It is a student’s habit to start learning new material at midnight, but this will not help you solidify your knowledge. Your GMAT exam procedure needs practice and time, and you simply cannot learn new things in a span of a few hours. That is why it is better to go over what you have learned thus far, which will help in remembering what you already know. If this makes you feel like you have to have a plan, that is great! You can start with study plans months or even a year beforehand. Take a look at this 3-Month GMAT Guide to help you start your journey with preparing for the GMAT.

Final Thoughts

It is often easy to get stressed before the exam and lose track of time. To feel prepared to take the GMAT, it is advised that you get accustomed to the exam procedure, take the practice exam during the same time as the real one, and revise your previous mistakes, but don’t try to acquire new knowledge a day or two out. These are only a few GMAT tips to help you feel more confident about the big day, for more, you can check out our other articles. 

Some people feel more assured about taking the GMAT when they have instructors. If you can do it on your own, then good job! If you are thinking about having an instructor help you with the GMAT, you can sign up for a complimentary consultation call. Our tutors at APEX have all scored 770+ and are professional in the field. In this consultation call, they will guide you in your GMAT journey. Rest assured, you will be in good hands!

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