What is the workaround if you feel that your academic history does not rightly reflect your calibre to B-school? The short answer is, a good GMAT score. For international students, especially the ones who have not graduated from the top 100 universities in the world, b-schools actively factor in the applicant’s GMAT score to assess their academic potential. So in this blog, we will cover actionable tips that can help you score better on the GMAT. Let’s go!
IN THIS BLOG:
- Mastering visual literacy during preparation
- Level-up with advanced questions
- Optimise test environment
- Tackling Passages through Critical Reasoning
- Strategy for 700+ on GMAT
Mastering Visual Literacy During Preparation
GMAT would be considerably easier without the ticking clock! So naturally, it makes sense to seek methods that optimise your performance. Practising visual literacy is one such method that can help you be more efficient on the test. What do we mean when we say ’building visual literacy’? Here it refers to building the ability to interpret visual data like symbols, charts, and tables quickly.
Mastering visual literacy is especially helpful for Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, and Two-part Analysis questions in GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section. These questions require you to use both quantitative and verbal reasoning, either separately or in combination, but an added visual literacy for the graphical content of the questions can significantly decrease the time you need to process such questions.
Let’s get to the next obvious question now, how do you enhance your visual literacy? As repetitive as this may sound, the key is to practise more. Such questions are designed to test your ability to integrate and process data and exposing yourself to complex problems will simply increase your efficiency. Also, be mindful of the techniques that you learn during test-prep that help digest visual data faster and keep note of the non-standard mathematical notations that you encounter along the way.
Level Up With Advanced Questions
If you are doing well on the regular GMAT practice test questions, that’s your cue to escalate the difficulty of the questions you are working with. GMAT is famously a computer-adaptive test with a huge bank of questions to pull from. This implies that the actual exam will adjust to increase its difficulty level if you perform well on the test. So it only makes sense to push your limits with advanced questions during the preparation because if all goes well, you will definitely encounter them.
Optimise Testing Experience
As you may already know, test takers are allowed to change the order of the sections, and you can use this to your advantage to optimise your performance on the test. Select a section order that gives you more control so you’re able to test at your best, especially if you feel restricted by the default order of the GMAT sections – Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and finally, Verbal Reasoning.
Technically, students are asked to take on the most challenging section first, followed by an order of sections that gets progressively easier for the test-taker so as to tackle the mental fatigue that builds up during long stretch exams like the GMAT. To avoid this fatigue, you are advised to try and switch the order of the sections during your practice mocks to find the order that works best for you.
Tackling Passages, Through Critical Reasoning
Are the reading comprehension questions giving you a hard time? If only there was a quick fix for getting better at it, and there is! It’s called Critical Reasoning. That’s right, practising more critical reasoning questions can actually help you score better on RCs as well. This is due to the fact that CR questions test you on exact skills that are also required to ace reading comprehension questions.
Just like CR questions, GMAT reading comprehension questions expect you to analyse an argument and find the logical solution to the question stem. Practising more critical reasoning questions conditions your mind to approach the GMAT verbal section in the right way. GMAT already tests you on critical reasoning skills with around 10-13 questions on the test, so you don’t need to go to any lengths to find extra reading material than you already own.
How GMAT-ready are you?
Strategy for 750 on GMAT
750 on GMAT is a difficult score to achieve. Still, top b-schools usually expect a score around this from the Indian demographic based on the applications they receive from Indian applicants. Regardless, a 750 on GMAT is a competitive score that can significantly advocate your profile to some of the top b-schools like Stanford, UC Berkeley, Columbia CBS, and Harvard. That being said, there is no one strategy that fits all but if you are looking for a place to start, here is a way to go about it:
- The first step towards your target score of 750 is choosing the right resources to study from until you attempt the Official GMAT mock test; your resources acquaint you with the format and difficulty level of the test.
- After all, you are only as evolved in problem-solving as the materials you choose to expose yourself to, and the same goes for mock tests as well. We suggest GMAT Club Forum and GMAT Advanced Questions to practise. Although they are more difficult than the average GMAT questions, eventually, they will be your shield against GMAT’s adaptive test format.
- Next up, figure out your problematic sections & areas you need to work on, and note down the type of questions that you got wrong during your daily practice and weekly mocks. Analyse this list to find patterns or areas that you need to work on, and take time out of your routine to perfect these areas.
- Your weekly mock tests would help you build up the stamina required to sit through 3 ½ hours without experiencing the slightest mental fatigue. Spacing your mock test is also crucial, as this gives you time to rework your strategy based on the results of your previous mock test.
- Three weeks before the test, you should ideally be scoring above 700 on any of the GMAT mock tests. In the last few weeks, revisit your notes and take the official GMAT Mock test. Its test score should give you the closest score to your actual GMAT score and you are good to go!
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