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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7 Daily Practices For GMAT Success - GMAT Guide
Posted on
08
Jul 2021

7 Daily Practices For GMAT Success

By: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Ruzanna Mirzoyan
Date: 8th July 2021

7 Things You Need To Do Daily When Preparing For The GMAT (GMAT Guide)

  1. Visualize success and the value you will get in the end
  2. Review a the GMAT sections
  3. Set a time limit for each day
  4. Do not forget to reward yourself
  5. Forget about the target score only focus on improvement
  6. Give yourself a pep talk 
  7. Evaluate Yourself Honestly

     Achieving a great score on the GMAT exam is not an easy task. The overall preparation process is daunting for a majority of test takers, especially for non-native English speakers. It requires diligent work and a daily checklist that you need to follow. So how do you come up with a plan that works? This article covers seven tips for successful GMAT prep which will guide you throughout the entire process. Even though every individual taking the exam has different expectations, experiences and may be approaching the test in a different way, sticking to a daily routine is an integral part of test success; the most difficult thing is adhering to it, avoiding procrastination and maintaining motivation. Therefore, after learning all the exam basics, such as the timing, the sections, and the preparation materials, it is worth creating a checklist to help keep you on track.

Visualize success and the value you will get in the end

The thought of success can create happiness! Once we attain something that seemed difficult initially, the suspense wears off, and the excitement rapidly grows. By taking time every day to imagine achieving your goal you can stay motivated and on the right path. When we experience happiness our brain releases serotonin, the hormone responsible for happiness. By keeping the picture of accomplishment in our mind, this happiness never fades. Hence, if every day contains even a tiny bit of happiness, even the most complex struggles seem simpler to overcome. Whether the GMAT exam is a struggle or not, happiness and motivation are something that one undoubtedly always lacks. Do your best to look at the bigger picture and think of the steps that will expedite reaching the top.

Review the GMAT exam sections

Whether you have a private GMAT tutor or are studying on your own, be sure to review difficult parts of the overall format of the exam every day before going through your study materials, for example the data sufficiency answer choices. You may do a short quiz on quantitative, verbal, or integrated reasoning to keep pace with timing and question types. You can consider this form of revision as stretching your brain muscles before the main exercise. Doing a simple GMAT quiz each time will make you more cautious about time management and remind you about the type of questions that you may have already mastered in previous study sessions.

Set a study time limit for each day

As it is said, time is the only non-redeemable commodity, so proper allocation is a fundamental key to success. We recommend you have a specific time allocation for GMAT prep each day. That can be some time for weekday preparation and extension on the weekends. Ensure the limit you set for yourself is reasonable because procrastinating one day and doubling the hours the next day does not work out. It does not matter how many months you have on your hands; the significant thing is precise allocation. If you want to get a decent score, you must spend approximately 100-120 hours reviewing the materials and practicing. However, top scorers usually  spend 120+ hours studying. Whether you belong to the former or the latter category, remember that time is the most expensive investment you are making. At the same time keep in mind that your study-life balance should be of utmost importance. 

Do not forget to reward yourself

It is not a secret that the GMAT is burdensome and overwhelming, and preparing for it can be stressful and oftentimes disheartening. Not having small rewards to look forward to can lead to demotivation. Rewards are things that rejuvenate your broken concentration. Try something like the Pomodoro Technique. This technique helps break down time into intervals with short breaks. Instead of breaks, you can think of something ‘non-GMAT related’ that will make you regain focus. For example, by grabbing a quick snack, meditating, or walking around the house or even watching a short YouTube video. Whichever works best for you, make use of it; even brief respites retain your stamina. Finally, never forget about the bigger reward; your final score. 

Forget about the target score, only focus on improvement

GMAT preparation practices do generate plight both in physical and mental states. It is crucial to remind oneself of the improvement phases. We agree that everything you are going through is for the final score. But focusing on the final score too much can frustrate you if you are not making big leaps towards it, which in turn can be counter productive. All successful practices dictate that you should focus on one thing at a time, which improves every day until the exam day. When the exam day comes, you will utilize all the knowledge and effort to get the highest GMAT score possible. Keeping daily track of your improvements relieves some of the burden on your shoulders. Even the tiniest advantage acquired can be a game changer. For instance, finishing each section a minute earlier than before will eventually contribute to achieving more significant results on the exam day, or perfecting a solution path which has you approaching a host of GMAT problems in a more efficient manner. These small wins can be the fuel to keep you going. 

Give yourself a pep talk 

I am sure you receive a lot of support from the people surrounding you. However, self-encouragement is of the utmost importance. Look around, see what others are doing at your age and inspire yourself. Choose wisely between the tradeoffs. Such as choosing to study instead of partying. Giving yourself a daily pep talk will make you more enthusiastic about reaching your objectives. A recent scientific study has shown that talking to yourself dwindles anxiety and stress while boosting performance. This is no less true for GMAT test preparation. Give yourself motivational and instructional pep talks. This method promotes positivity as motivational talks cheer you up and keep up the eagerness to study and strive for more, while a self-instructional talk directs detail-orientation and accentuates what exactly you need to do for that particular day. For example, start every day by loudly stating what should be done for the day. It helps with thinking about the mechanisms of every individual task and visualizing methods to complete them correspondingly. 

Evaluate Yourself Honestly

Of course, you need all the encouragement and self-support to reach your goals, but especially during GMAT exam preparation, you need to be hard on yourself if required. If you need a 650+ GMAT score, you should be aware that it will not be a piece of cake. Give yourself credit for what you are doing right, but also consider aspects of the GMAT problems that you need to elaborate on and master additional skills. The dominant thing is separating the action from the person because you are evaluating your actions and not you as a person; you should not upset yourself but rather detect the triggers of low performance and challenges and make yourself accountable for such actions with a plan to move forward from them successfully. Ultimately, the ability to discern your flaws and work on personal evolution is an inherent quality for capacitating your abilities and aptitudes and pulling it off in life. 

We hope that adding these practical and mindful aspects to your daily preparation will be helpful as when you are preparing for an exam like the GMAT, being in the right mind frame can be as important as doing the quant or verbal practice. Whether you have a GMAT private tutor or not, it is on you to maintain motivation during the entire process. We suggest you develop a GMAT test strategy along with these seven tips to attain greater productivity and manifest superb performance. Make studying for the GMAT a daily habit and success will follow. 

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