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GMAT: Test-Taking Strategies

Each test taker must decide what approach to take when preparing for and taking the GMAT exam. The following suggestions would help ease the process.
  • Use the allotted testing time wisely by becoming familiar in advance with the test, the kinds of questions asked, and directions for each section. Become familiar with the formats and requirements of each section. Once you start the test, an onscreen clock display will count down the remaining time. You can hide this display, but it is a good idea to check the clock periodically to monitor your progress. The clock will automatically alert you by turning yellow and, if hidden, reappearing when five minutes remain for the section you are working on.
  • Read all test directions carefully. The directions explain exactly what is required to answer each type of question. To review directions during the test, click the Help icon, but be aware that the clock will continue to run for that section of the test.
  • Read each question carefully and thoroughly. Before answering a question, determine exactly what is being asked, then eliminate the wrong answers and select the best choice. Never skim a question or the possible answers; skimming may cause you to miss important information or nuances. However, if you do not know the correct answer, or if the question is too time-consuming, try to eliminate choices you know are wrong, select the best of the remaining answer choices, and move on to the next question. Keep moving through the test and try to finish each section. The best strategy is to pace yourself so that you have time to consider each test question and make your best answer choice. You may not skip questions, and randomly guessing answers to questions at the end of each test section can significantly lower your scores.
  • Once you have selected your answer to a question you will be asked to confirm it. You should confirm your answer only when you are certain that you want to move on to the next question. Remember, you cannot omit questions or go back and change answers. The computer selects the next question you see based upon your previous responses.
  • Pace yourself so that you have enough time to answer every question. Pay attention to the number of questions and the amount of time remaining during your testing session. On average, you have about 1¾ minutes for each verbal question and about 2 minutes for each quantitative question. (If you do not finish in the allotted time, you will still receive scores as long as you have worked on every section. However, your scores will reflect the number of questions answered, and your score will decrease significantly with each unanswered question.)
  • Your GMAT scores will depend on several characteristics of the questions presented to you, including difficulty level, your answers to those questions, and the number of questions you answer. Adaptive test score calculations do not assign any differential credit to questions depending on where they appear in the test. The questions in an adaptive test are weighted according to their difficulty and other statistical properties, not according to their position in the test.
Published date : 15 Dec 2011 01:02PM

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