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5 Common GMAT Exam Mistakes to Avoid

Dhruvin Jain

Dhruvin Jain

Nov 25, 2022

4 mins read

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The Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT as it is more popularly known, is used to evaluate individuals in specific areas to determine whether they are eligible for admission to various management programs, such as the MBA. Your GMAT score is very important, particularly if you want to get into one of the best business schools in the world. However, there are common mistakes that students make repeatedly, resulting in a low GMAT score. Luckily, there are ways to avoid these mistakes by being conscious and mindful of them. Here are the top 5 GMAT mistakes you must avoid.

GMAT Mistakes To Avoid

1. Practicing without referring to the CAT format

The GMAT exam is formatted as a CAT (Computer Adaptive Test), meaning that the difficulty of the questions is determined by the examinee. Simply said, the more correct answers you provide, the more difficult the questions get, and vice versa. In light of the fact that it will offer you a realistic feeling of your current position and genuinely prepare you for the exam, taking a mock test in CAT format isn’t just important but also necessary. To prepare for anything that can go wrong during the exam, you must practice in the format of the actual exam.

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2. Using Only The Official Guide for Preparation

The Official Guides by GMAC also referred to as OGs, are a collection of discontinued questions that first appeared on the GMAT. Although using OGs is necessary, many students start their preparation with them and end up relying completely on them. Even after completing all OG questions and going over their solutions, you could find it difficult to reach your desired score. Not all of the GMAT concepts are thoroughly covered in OGs. It is a fantastic question bank that doesn’t give concepts enough attention. Since the original answers are not very detailed for newcomers, students tend to memorize the answers rather than understand them. Knowing the answer by heart is useless on the GMAT because the same question will not be asked again. A rational and concrete approach to problem-solving must be learned in order to answer questions in under two minutes. This approach needs to be learned, then put into practice. OGs don’t concentrate on these techniques

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3. Spending Too Much Time On Individual Questions

It is commonly observed that candidates push themselves too hard to correctly answer every question, especially the first 5–10 questions, oblivious to the fact that they have a limited amount of time. The goal of this exam is not to correctly answer every question, but rather to allocate enough time to complete the test to the best of your ability. It goes without saying that the quant portion and the data sufficiency issues will take a little longer, but you must understand that you only have a limited amount of time, so use it wisely.

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4. Focusing Only On Strengths

You can be proficient in a given section only to a certain degree. Trying to get a quant grade above 95% will always cause you to overlook your flaws. And many quant-heavy GMAT aspirants fall into this trap. Your objective should be to achieve an average score across all of the categories with a few areas where you perform somewhat better. This will also make your application look better.

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5. Trying To Cram

All of us used cramming to pass a few exams throughout our college years. This is pointless for the GMAT. Even if you work a full-time job, you still need to find the time to prepare consistently over several months if you want to do well on the test. If you can commit 10 hours each week, 3–4 months should be sufficient. If you have less time to dedicate, it could take you up to five months to finish.

As you can see, the GMAT prep has a lot of things you should be mindful of. However, if you keep these pointers in mind and prepare accordingly, you shall avoid these common mistakes which will help you get a better score. 

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Dhruvin Jain
Dhruvin Jain

Dhruvin Jain is the co-founder of MastersBuddy, a tech-first platform that has helped over 2500 students find and apply to top master’s programs globally. He is a master’s graduate from IE Business School, and is passionate about education, technology, and entrepreneurship.

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