How to manage your time wisely - GMAT

Started by sajiv, Nov 26, 2008, 07:50 AM

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The main way to develop GMAT time management skills is to practice taking the test. You will repeatedly see us return to the theme of practice throughout this website. It is very hard to over state its importance. Therefore you are strongly encouraged to take at least a few mock GMAT exams, in the computer-adaptive format and to try to simulate the actual testing environment. (That means refraining from taking food breaks, engaging in telephone conversations,etc. until you have completed a section.)

Spend adequate time on the first 5 questions
Earlier, we discussed how the GMAT CAT's underlying algorithm determines the difficulty of questions you are asked, based on your performance in answering previous questions. Difficult questions are weighted more heavily in scoring than easier questions.The first couple questions in any GMAT CAT section are used to determine the range of questions that the program 'thinks' you are able to handle.

After you have answered these first few questions, the testing software will give you questions to fine tune your score within that rather narrowly pre determined range.Thus, your answers to the first 5 questions will makea HUGE difference in your final section score.

It is imperative that you answer the sepivotal questions with extra care. Always double check your answers to these questions. Verify that the answer choices that you judged to be incorrect are indeed incorrect. If you are unsure of the answer to one of these first questions, at the very least, take a very good educated guess using process of elimination.

Prepare yourself to finish the test - at all costs!
There is a huge scoring penalty for failing to finishany section of the GMAT. For example, say you're in line to get a score that will put you in the 70 percentile of test takers, based on your test performance so far - but then run out of time and fail to answer the last five questions in the section. That failure will lower your score to about the 55 percentile.

The lesson to take away from this is to prepare yourself to finish the test at all costs.Answering a question incorrectly will hurt you, but not as much as leaving the question unanswered will.

Train yourself to work your best within the time limits of the exam. But train yourself, too, to be able to recognize when only a minute or so remains on the clock, and at that point to just answer "C" (or whatever your lucky letter is) for any remaining questions. As the GMAT's Chief Psychometrician put it to us, random guessing is like shooting yourself in the foot - but leaving answers blank is like shooting yourself in both feet.

Don't waste time
This advice probably sounds selfevident. However, we mentionit because we've had clients tell us how they inadvertently wasted test time by revisiting the help screen or requesting extra scrap paper after they began their test. These activities, if undertakenonce the section has begun, will take time away fromworking on the questions.

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