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5 GMAT Prep Mistakes to Avoid

Because the GMAT is very different than most tests students took in school, students sometimes make studying mistakes. Those mistakes can lead to lower scores and certainly lead to wasted study time, so it is important to understand what they are up front, so you can avoid them. A good GMAT score will lead to admission to more online MBA programs and scholarships, so follow these GMAT preparation tips to help avoid making any mistakes.

  1. Not assessing needs

    The best way to understand how to study is to understand your needs. In order to do this, you should take a practice test. You can find free ones on the GMAC website. Use the results from your practice test to plan your study. For example, if you are reaching your target score in quant, you may need to focus your study on verbal, or vice versa.

  2. Not taking notes

    Studies have shown that people understand and remember things better when they write them down, by hand. There are way too many concepts and strategies to remember from passive learning. An essential GMAT preparation tip is for students to write things down.

  3. Not taking breaks

    Studying for the GMAT isn't just memorizing facts. You must also understand the strategies that will help you earn a high score. That is why an important GMAT preparation tip is to take time to digest the information and come back to it with a clear head.

  4. Not going over the answers on practice problems

    An essential element of going over practice problems is to go over the answers. Many students simply do the practice problems, see if they got the answer right or wrong and then move on. This is a big mistake. It is just as important to go over answer explanations as it is to do the problems themselves because they will show you better ways to complete the problems.

  5. Not taking full-length practice tests

    The GMAT is more like a marathon than a sprint, requiring three and a half hours of concentration with minimal breaks. You need to train, just as you would have to with a running marathon. Taking full-length practice tests is like training your brain to concentrate for the time that it will have to. At first, you will probably exhaust yourself by the time you get to the verbal section. However, the more tests you do, the further you can make it through without mental fatigue.

Learn more about the Boise State online MBA program.


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