Getting tired of going over the same test material over and over again, day and night, until your eyes start turning Soviet-red? Feeling like you could recite mathematical formulae in your sleep to the point where you could triangulate a signal from outer space? Motivational quotes in your Facebook feed not cutting it anymore? Sounds like you're suffering from GMAT preparation burnout. You need to take a break from conventional wisdom, and listen to some success stories.
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The folks at Crack Verbal have prepared a presentation with 19 tips to help you score higher on the GMAT test. The coolest part? All the advice is given by top performers (ranging from 710 to 760), and they're not keeping to themselves.
Here are 19 amazing, yet simple, tips to climb the GMAT score ladder.
1. Rules, tactics & strategies are key
Establish a ruleset of how you're going to study, and follow it through. Wake up to study every day at the same time, Read and practise in equal increments, and go to bed before your head refuses to absorb more information.
2. Reading class material is sufficient
For those of you who follow GMAT preparation courses, Reading the class/study material is sufficient when it comes to sentence correction (apparently).
3. Don't procrastinate
This one comes from a 760 scorer, so if you had any doubt until now, perhaps now is a good time to concede – procrastination is bad for you. Don't do it. "The score on the actual exam was higher than anything I got on my practice tests, so don't keep pushing your exam date, just make sure you go in with a clear mind".
Vikas, GMAT 760
4. Understand the GMAT test for better scores
Know the concept, know the format, know the challenges. In short, understand the test. And maybe, take a course, too.
Read: What is the GMAT exam?
5. GMAT is a marathon that tests your stamina
This one should be renamed to "GMAT preparation is a marathon", because we all know that preparing takes month, and the test itself lasts only 3 hours and 30 minutes. This, however, does not mean that you're running a marathon in order to ace a sprint. The GMAT will drain you, so you should be Ready.
6. GMAT is a marathon that tests your stamina, part 2
"If you are 90% sure about an answer choice, go ahead and make that choice. If you are 100% sure, you have perhaps spent too time on that question".
Ritwik, GMAT 750
7. Approach study material in a focused manner
Don't just pick some random stuff, study in a concise and concentrated manner. Working on your percentage growth calculations? Good. This is no time for Reading comprehension practice.
Read: How to Prepare for GMAT – Essential Guide
8. Keep your eyes on the 700+ goal
Set achievable goals, but always aim for more. If you get burned out, take a day off. "That moment when you anxiously stare at the screen, which unassumingly displays your score, and see a 750+, is worth all the sweat, stress and sacrifices".
9. Realistic targets
Speaking of achievable goals, perhaps it'd be best if you took some cold-hearted British advice, and try to keep calm. "If you find that you are unable to keep up with your plan, relax"
Kaushal, GMAT 760
10. It's all in the details
The devil is in the detail. Pay attention to what you learn. One small thing you incidentally found out o be true (or false) during your preparation could be the difference between a 700 and a 720 score
Read: The Three Essential MBA Rankings You Should Keep in Mind
11. Don't let frustration get the better of you
Better than gym motivation: "GMAT is a difficult test, it will try and beat you down, but you have to get back on your feet. There are folks who score 760-770 with a one-month study. I knew I was not one of them. I knew I had to grind it out and do it the hard way. Every day, slowly but steadily I would chip away."
Subhankar, GMAT 710
12. Practice, practice & more practice
Try to constantly move ever higher up the score ladder. Practise every day, but do not be satisfied with what you reach. More practice will inevitably lead to higher scores.
13. Don't be too hard on yourself
Not only do you have to learn to take it easy on yourself with the actual scores, you got to learn to manage your time-induced stress. This is important. Try to give your best in the allotted time. With practice, you'll start scoring higher in the same time frame. Deadline frustration, however, will lead you to nowhere. Besides, there's plenty of that in the office.
14. Heed good advice
When professionals tell you how it's done (e.g. prep course tutors), you ought to listen.
15. Pre-prep advice
Speaking of pros, there is a certain way you must approach the course to get the best of it. Make detailed notes, ask questions, write an email, identify your weaknesses, set a prep-plan. Basically, you first have to learn how to learn.
Read: How to Stand Out with Your MBA Application (VIDEO)
16. Classes are worth the effort
Now, this comes from a prep centre, so surely, they'll say that, but truthfully, these kinds of courses really can make the difference between a mediocre score and a stellar one. Consider a prep course, no matter what. In the end, Taking it or not, is your decision.
17. Have confidence in yourself
It's quite simple, really. "Often we feel that we score less because we lack concepts, the reality is that we lack confidence!"
Anuj, GMAT 710
18. Be practical
This comes from someone who aimed for a 700-720 type of business school (and got it). You could say their solution is quite practical indeed: instead of trying to cover a broad amount of questions, focus on the ones you know you can score more. You know, "I'm bad with numbers, I should become a writer", kind of solution.
19. Negate self-doubt
Do not, ever, get into the vicious spiraling mindset of "What if I answered that super-easy question incorrectly?" and "I should have given Verbal more time". When it comes to the test itself, you must be absolutely resolute.
Do you know what AMBA stands for? How about Employer Endorsement? Familiarise yourself with all the important terms in the MBA lexicon through our short guides here
The Quick Guide to MBA Glossary, Part I
The Quick Guide to MBA Glossary, Part II