Well, you have started your preparations for the coveted GMAT. You are daunted by the test.
So you go online to research shortcuts. You come across dozens of tips to conquer this test or details that “no one else knows about”. You are not sure which of these are real and which ones are a waste of time. So how do you verify?
Myth Number 1
“GMAT is an IQ test.”
So you either have an aptitude for it or you don’t. And if you don’t, then no amount of preparation can get you a good score. That is completely wrong. GMAT is a test of your problem solving and critical thinking skills. So you can and you should prepare for it. In fact, the more you prepare, the better your chances for a good score. That said, the preparation should be right: rote memorization usually doesn’t help here.
Myth Number 2
“You should pay special attention to the first 10 questions as they count more towards your score.”
Well, GMAT is an adaptive test and it will keep evaluating your skills throughout the exam. So even if you get all the questions right in the first part of the test, your overall test score might be low. You should do your best on each question that comes your way. I would suggest that if a question is extremely difficult and you have no clue how to solve it, then guess and move on. But do it with extreme caution.
Myth Number 3
“If you are a math wizard then you don’t need to prepare for the Quantitative section.”
Or, a language expert does not need to pay attention to Verbal preparation. Well, the concepts tested in GMAT’s quantitative section are high school level. So you don’t need to be a math wizard. And even if you are one, you might need to improve your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The same goes for English language experts. Sure, you will have the advantage of knowing the grammar rules and maybe you even have a faster reading speed. But you also might need to boost your comprehension and critical reasoning skills.
Myth Number 4
“Practice modality – only practice tests or only practice problems.”
Either of these extremes does not work. You should start your preparation with a mock test. It will help you find your weak points. Then practice questions, focusing on those areas of improvement. GMAT is also a test of focus and perseverance. Full tests prepare you for both. Another important benefit of taking full tests is to get your timing right. But if you keep taking tests without first mastering the concepts and the question types, then you are wasting your time. On the other hand, if you focus only on learning concepts and solving problems, without taking tests, you are missing out on some crucial preparation for the ultimate day.
Myth Number 5
“Multiple attempts of the test look bad on your profile”
And business schools look unfavorably towards such candidates. Well, first thing first: if your GMAT score is not to your satisfaction, you should definitely attempt it again. A higher score is ALWAYS more advantageous to your profile and schools care only about your highest score. In fact, in my conversations with some admission committee members, I have learnt that multiple attempts of the test at worst do not impact your profile and at best show that you are serious about your application, especially if the scores have improved each time.
I hope this article helped clarify myths and your understanding of GMAT better. Get in touch with us if you want to take a mock test or need help with your GMAT preparation.
This article was written by Manisha Misra, HEC Paris MBA Graduate, Senior Counselor and GMAT expert of EduSmith.