Saturday, January 10, 2009

Are You Ready to Play the Game of GMAT?

Are you ready to play the game of GMAT?

I am Narendran, a verbal faculty for GRE/GMAT/ TOEFL/IELTS and SAT. Herein I wish to share some thoughts about preparation for GMAT.

GMAT is a bench mark test. In the entire world, there is no test that can match its intrigue, complexity and deception. The GMAT odyssey is wrought with so many pitfalls that many ordinary mortals simply fall by the way

Very often, we can hear people lamenting, “On the test day, GMAT in the test hall is very different from what it is in the classroom”. The problem perhaps lies not with the test per se, but with the test taker, who did not play the game of GMAT in its letter and spirit.

GMAT- A dicey game

Let us appreciate a few basic tenets of this dicey GMAT game. Its sole purpose is to fail you and filter you. So GMAC won’t spare any trick up its sleeve to achieve that end. Please expect the test to be hard and nerve-racking.

Here lies the crux of GMAT. The biggest ever problem is pacing your time in the test hall. Assuming that one can spend one and three quarter minutes to each question in the verbal, any time you take more than that, is going to be critically troublesome. In addition, the student has to allocate some three minutes for each of the reading passages. From where is he going to get that time? So re-jig the average time to one and half minutes per question so that the reading passages can be comfortably gisted.

On the dilemma of spending more time for the first 10 to11 questions, because they are supposed to be measuring the test-taker’s wavelength, I may only caution that any extra time the student gambits away in these portions, must be recouped later by some quick-fix strategies. Also be aware of the maxim that what you can not solve within reasonable time, you may never solve with more minutes. In other words, do or die, develop the knack of going to the next question impulsively at the end of your own stipulated time.

If you did not answer some five or six questions altogether in the end, there is a double penalty for skipping the questions, and you will end up even lower than if you had answered them wrongly. The result will be that your score would have proportionately come down to an abysmally low end. This is what happening to bulk of the low performers.


1. Judicious preparation is the key to success.

2. Those who can manage confidently through self-study can go ahead and do it. But to most others, self-study is an adventure. Join some institute, which has the best of the facilities and faculties in the town. Faculty's contribution is a prime factor in GMAT; so ask previous students of the institute about the infrastructure, course materials, and above all the faculty's worth. The old students are your best guides in this regard.

2. Please realize that most of the preparation materials available in the market are rather medium level tools, which can not carry you beyond 650 at best. Your preparation must include a good number of tough question materials. The tougher they are, the higher the score is likely to be. I think that this single factor makes the difference between the performers and the out-performers. Beg, borrow, steal, but be sure to gather enough of 750 plus materials.

3. With some 16 or more questions, one couldn’t agree more that a poor performance
in SC is a sure step to the test taker's downfall. If you can not get at least 12 to 13 questions correct in SC, do not expect to cross 600.

4. Your performance in the Quants sections should be as close to 400, if you want to score 750 plus.

5. When it comes to mock-testing the GMAT, there is no substitute to the GMAC-generated GMATPrep. After all it is from the makers of the test, i.e. GMAC.


1. GMAT is an endurance test indeed. Especially those who are not good at computer typing can get very tired at the end of the AWA session. The subsequent nerve racking quants and verbal will be all the more demanding. If required, tone down the stress on the AWA; after all, the scored sections are relatively more important. Save that valuable energy for the ensuing quants and verbal sessions.

2. Take good rest the day before the test, so that you do not feel drowsy during the exam. Take vitamins pills, if you want, for the day to boost up you nerves and muscles. May be, it ism good to carry some glucose to have a shot or two in the break time, so that you don’t break down later.

3. Never be intimidated by the GMAT. Develop the "KICK THE GMAT" attitude. Heavens will not fall, if you went low on GMAT score. There is always the next month to re-write it. I do not mean to say that you can take GMAT casually; only thing is that it is important for you not to allow the GMAT to piggyback you.

These are my personal opinions drawn from empirical experience. I earnestly welcome more ideas. Good Luck.