Cracking the GMAT is no easy feat. It takes discipline, dedication, and hard work. The GMAT is notoriously the hardest standardised test for study-abroad, and is often seen as requiring rigorous preparation. While it’s true that the GMAT requires more work than many other tests, there are ways to effectively navigate your test preparation without breaking your back or feeling overwhelmed. In this article, we will discuss some GMAT tips and preparation strategies that top scorers use to get their target scores

## Understanding the GMAT Focus Edition

You may already be aware, but the classic GMAT is a thing of the past. The new GMAT Focus Edition has replaced the previous iteration, and is a shorter and improved version of the same. It consists of three sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights. The GMAT Focus Edition also does not include an AWA or Essay component at all, and is only 2 hours and 15 minutes long.

For a detailed break-down of the GMAT Focus Edition, click here.

## GMAT Focus Edition: Cracking the Verbal Section

The Verbal Reasoning section of the GMAT Focus Edition comprises 23 questions that need to be answered within 45 minutes. In this section, you will encounter two types of questions:

• Critical Reasoning

Here are some things you can do to get a good grasp of the GMAT focus Verbal Reasoning Section, like GMAT top scorers do:

• Master Reading Comprehension strategies: Since Reading Comprehension is a significant component of the Verbal section, develop effective strategies for quickly extracting key information, identifying main ideas, understanding the author’s tone, and comprehending passages across various subjects.
• Refine Critical Reasoning skills: Critical Reasoning questions often involve analysing arguments, identifying assumptions, and evaluating evidence. Practise these skills diligently to become proficient in dissecting arguments and recognizing logical flaws.
• Improve vocabulary: A strong vocabulary remains essential for understanding complex passages and reasoning in the Verbal section. Continue to build your vocabulary through regular practice.

## GMAT Focus Edition: Tips to Ace the Quant Section

In the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GMAT Focus Edition, you will have 45 minutes to answer 21 questions. So, you don’t exactly have the leisure to think about each question in depth. As you prepare for the exam, you’ll have to make sure you know how to answer the various types of questions in this section with accuracy and efficiency. Here are some tips that GMAT top scorers use to ensure that their quant prep is watertight:

• Master the Basics: Ensure you have a strong grasp of fundamental mathematical concepts including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data interpretation. Review basic formulas, rules, and properties regularly to build a solid foundation.
• Practice, Practice, Practice: Regular practice is key to success in the Quantitative Reasoning section. Solve a wide variety of practice questions covering different difficulty levels and question types to improve your skills and build confidence.
• Focus on Time Management: Develop efficient strategies for managing your time during the exam. Practice pacing yourself so that you can complete all questions within the allotted time while still maintaining accuracy.
• Avoid answering questions mechanically where you can avoid doing so

What does this mean? Well, your first instinct while answering a GMAT Focus quant question may be to solve the question the old fashioned way, i.e., using a step-by-step, methodical approach. Often, you don’t need to spend time doing so at all. The fact that this section is called “Quantitative Reasoning” and not “Math” should tell you something. Sometimes, using the elimination method, for instance, may be quicker. Here, you’re not solving for the missing variable and then selecting which answer choice matches your own answer. Instead, you’re working backwards and plugging in possible solutions into each answer choice to see which one fits. Why should you do this? It’s simple. To save time.

• Memorise Key Formulas and Concepts: While understanding concepts is important, memorising key formulas and concepts can help you solve problems more efficiently during the exam.

## GMAT Focus Edition: Data Insights Tips & Tricks

GMAT top scorers use these approaches for the Data Insights (20 questions, 45 minutes) section of the GMAT Focus Edition:

• Study Graphical Representation: Focus on understanding how to interpret various types of graphs commonly used in the Data Insights section, such as bar graphs, line graphs, scatter plots, and histograms. Pay attention to labels, scales, and trends depicted in each graph.
• Learn Probability Basics: Dedicate time to mastering fundamental probability concepts like conditional probability, permutations, combinations, and probability distributions. These concepts often appear in data analysis questions and are crucial for understanding the likelihood of certain events.
• Practice With Data Tables: Spend ample time practising with data tables, especially those that contain complex information or multiple variables. Learn to extract relevant data efficiently and identify relationships between different data points.
• Focus on Data Sufficiency Strategies: Since Data Sufficiency questions are a significant part of the section, develop strategies for quickly assessing whether the information provided is sufficient to answer the question. Practice identifying key data points and understanding what additional information is needed to solve the problem.
• Improve Calculation Skills: Enhance your ability to perform calculations quickly and accurately, especially for arithmetic operations, percentages, and fractions. Strengthening these skills will help you solve problems more efficiently during the exam.
• Analyse Data Trends: Practise identifying trends, patterns, and outliers in data sets. Look for relationships between variables and understand how changes in one variable affect others. This analytical skill is crucial for answering questions that require you to draw conclusions based on data analysis.
• Use Logical Reasoning: Develop your logical reasoning skills to approach problems systematically and eliminate incorrect answer choices efficiently. Think critically about the information provided and evaluate the logical validity of each option before making a selection.
• Utilise Shortcut Techniques: Familiarise yourself with shortcut techniques for common types of data analysis questions, such as quickly calculating percentages or identifying the most efficient way to solve a problem. These shortcuts can save you valuable time during the exam.
• Review Data Interpretation Strategies: Study specific strategies for interpreting data effectively, such as comparing different data sets, identifying trends over time, and understanding the significance of variability in data distributions.

## General Tips

In general, GMAT top scorers tend to accommodate the following tips and strategies to ace the GMAT Focus Edition:

• Start by tackling questions without any constraints

When you begin your GMAT prep journey, start by solving questions without worrying about time or strategy. This will give you a good idea of how prepared you are to begin with and which areas you need to focus on.

• Create a GMAT prep study plan and follow it!

Now that you have identified your weaker areas, it’s time to create a study plan. Make sure you stick to this plan: ensure that your study goals are achievable, and try to stick to the timelines as much as possible. Remember–discipline is key when it comes to GMAT prep! Take a look at Jamboree’s GMAT Study Plan.

• Master each topic by leaving no bases uncovered

Study each concept from scratch, no matter how redundant this may seem. Even if you know the topic well, study foundational concepts as if you’re approaching them for the first time. You won’t fare well in the GMAT if you only memorise the formulas for a particular quant concept, for example. Questions in the GMAT require you to apply the concept in order to solve a question, not just the formula. It’s crucial that you have a thorough understanding of all topics, and it helps to be familiar with their real-world applications too.

• Switch to timed practice

Once you have an idea of where you stand with regard to your GMAT prep, it’s good to start timing yourself. This will give you a sense of your speed as you answer questions, and will let you know which areas you tend to get stuck on. Plus, writing your mock tests or even practising a particular section under actual GMAT Focus time constraints will help you acclimate to actual testing conditions.

• Keep revisiting your mistakes

It’s good practice to keep coming back to questions or topics which tend to stump you: after all, they do require a little extra attention! When you do so, don’t just memorise how you’re going to answer a particular question type–spend time understanding the foundational concept. Once you’re totally clear on what the question is asking of you, you’ll be able to answer it with ease. Over time, you will get used to your weaker areas and could very well end up perfecting them!

• Simulate Test Conditions: Practice under realistic test conditions to familiarise yourself with the exam format and build endurance. Mimic the testing environment as closely as possible, including timing, breaks, and distractions.
• Develop Test-Taking Strategies: Familiarise yourself with various question types and develop effective strategies for approaching each type. Learn to quickly identify key information, eliminate incorrect answer choices, and make educated guesses when necessary.
• Stay Calm and Confident: Maintain a positive mindset and confidence in your abilities throughout the exam. Stay calm under pressure and avoid dwelling on difficult questions. Trust in your preparation and focus on doing your best.
• Seek Feedback and Support: Consider working with a tutor, joining a study group, or seeking feedback from peers or mentors. External support can provide valuable insights, motivation, and accountability in your preparation journey.
• Take Care of Yourself: Prioritise self-care during your preparation and on exam day. Get enough rest, eat healthily, and manage stress effectively to ensure you’re in optimal condition to perform your best!