13 Common mistakes made by GMAT test takers and how to avoid them

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The GMAT exam is a bit difficult, and it is easy to make mistakes while making preparations until you write your exam. Let’s see what are the common mistakes made by GMAT test-takers which will help you to know how to study as effectively as possible.

GMAT Preparation Mistakes

  • Studying Without a Plan

Some test-takers take practice tests after practice tests and think that will be enough to improve their GMAT score. Doing this, you run the risk of simply repeating the same mistakes over and over without any improvement. Your GMAT preparation needs to be geared towards your personal needs, how much you need to improve, and what specific skills you need to build. When it comes to GMAT preparation quality matters more than quantity, and quality means making a plan and a specific schedule and studying accordingly to be more specific and make goals for yourself each week.

  • Not Using Computerized Adaptive Practice Tests

One of the mistakes GMAT test-takers do is Not Using Computerized Adaptive Practice Tests.  It’s important to try out the exam conditions of the GMAT when you study. Preparation books are certainly helpful in providing a detailed explanation of each section and test-taking strategies, but to get a realistic, reliable sense of what your score will be on the exam, you will need to take practice tests in the same format as the original test.

  • Not Focusing On Your Weaknesses

Some test-takers concentrate on all sections and question types equally or spend more time on the sections in which they are already excellent and want to boost their score by gaining a few extra points. Instead of this, you should sharpen the skills in the areas in which you are weakest. Test-taking problems such as pacing or calculating solutions in your head, and/or a fundamental skill set, such as grammar or basic math should be taken into consideration. Your GMAT study plan should be focused on those weaknesses, and the majority of your preparation time and energy should be spent on the areas you struggle with the most.

  • Cramming

One mistake made by the students is they overload themselves trying to hit all the GMAT preparation into the last few weeks before the exam. You should not cram. Preparing for the GMAT needs time, a proper routine, and a plan for study. It is best to study for at least ten hours a week over several months. Plan for at least three months of studying when you create your GMAT preparation schedule.

  • Not taking the needed Rest

Don’t forget to pay attention to your emotional and physical health while you prepare for and go into the exam along with your mental preparation. Students often don’t focus on their rest while preparing for the GMAT test. The week before the GMAT, you should still be prepared, but not more intensively than in the previous months. The day before the exam, you should take enough rest in order to give your mind a good concentration on the next day i.e Test day. Here are the things you should do and you should not do: Do’s and don’ts before and On the GMAT Test day

GMAT Strategy Mistakes

  • Refusing to Guess

Some students have a habit to worry over GMAT questions they are struggling with. The GMAT is not designed to get every single answer correct. It is more important to complete the entire test than to answer every single question you are given correctly. If you are struggling with a question, try your best at implementing the process of guessing, but don’t waste too much time. Guess the best answer, you think, and move on to the next question.

  • Not Taking Notes

Sometimes, test-takers make the mistake of not taking notes on the provided scratchpad as they read a question or figure out the answer. It seems like it will save you time, but not taking notes might actually take a longer time. For example, you might forget some important points from the passage, causing you to select the wrong answer choice or you have to go back and read the passage again. To avoid such a situation, take notes during your practice tests so that you get used to doing so by the time you appear for the original test.

  • Rushing Through Questions

Many students try to save time by rushing through questions and answer choices without reading them fully, which is a big mistake. You need to read the passage and each GMAT question fully to keep track of all the given information, including any significant details, and know what the question is asking you to do. You are doing wrong to yourself and risking making careless mistakes if you skip any part of the question. Here are a few useful tips for you: Time management of 3 Hours 30 Minutes in the GMAT

  • Focusing more on hard questions

Some students focus more on hard questions than on easy ones, this is a distraction. It’s a waste of time, effort, and focus more on the difficult question as time is limited. Just keep answering each question you think is best, guess if you need to, and don’t worry about the outcome.

GMAT Section Mistakes

  • Never Choose Sentence Correction Answer Choice (A)

Questions of Sentence correction come with an initial sentence that may or may not have an error. Many GMAT candidates are wary of answer choice (A) on sentence correction questions and avoid it. Don’t do this, look for the errors that may not be present. Answer choice (A) is as likely to be the correct option of such a question as any other answer choice on sentence correction questions.

  • Calculating on Data Sufficiency Problems

Problems of Data sufficiency ask you to discover whether the given statement's information is sufficient to answer a mathematical question. Many students spend so much time on specific calculations and solving the equation, even though the question doesn’t ask them to do so, which wastes your valuable time. This means that spending time on specific calculations is usually wasteful and unnecessary, or may even cause you to get confused and answer the question incorrectly.

  • Too much assumption in the Critical Reasoning Questions

A common mistake that candidates do in the critical reasoning questions is making assumptions that go too far. To avoid assuming too much, concentrate only on the given information to you in the initial argument. Don’t depend on the outside knowledge, or take the information you are given to an extreme.

Some candidates of GMAT think that rushing to write as soon as the time starts in the essay section would be better. But it is wrong. You should always take the time to build an outline before you start writing your GMAT essay. Making an outline on the given scratch paper is an important step in the writing process. It will not only help you to keep your thoughts organized and structure your essay in a way that makes sense but also help you to avoid rereading essays and address all the points you need to. Outlining the answer should not take more than 5-6 minutes, and will save you time in the long run.

So the final word for you is to make sure that you have understood the GMAT format totally before you move into the testing center. Make a good strategy for each type of question that you can use on every practice test and on the original GMAT. Feeling prepared for anything will give you confidence on the test day and is the best way to avoid common GMAT mistakes. You must also check this: 13 Common mistakes made by GMAT test-takers and how to avoid them