Taking the GMAT: Easier said than done

Published: February 12, 2011
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GMAT is not your run-of-the-mill exam.

My university deserves credit for teaching me one great skill: passing an exam by studying just a couple of hours before the paper.

However, two years after graduation, as I studied for another important exam I found that I did not have the same focus or zeal that I had in college.

Unfortunately, the exam I was studying for was the GMAT.

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The low down

GMAT is not your run-of-the-mill exam. It cannot be attempted successfully by ratto-fying (or rote learning). If you have a good memory, you might be able to do well in one or two sections of the exam, but you’ll be out of luck for the rest.

I cannot help but admire examiners who constantly design pitfalls for students using simple tools. Many of the hardest questions on the test can be solved using common sense while others can be cracked by careful reading.

The perfect score

There is a reason good universities accept students who score 600 or above (out of 800) on GMAT – despite the fact that one can score 450 without any practice at all. The difference between 450 and 600 is just 150 points but those who have studied for GMAT can understand the significance of this score.

Tricks of the test

Nearly 30 per cent of the total questions on GMAT actually have no answer. They are just test questions that examiners include to see how the student attempts them.

So, if you get a test question wrong but others get it right, you will end up with a high GMAT score. But if you get a test question correct (hypothetically, since there is no correct answer) and other questions wrong, you’ll probably be cursing your luck.

Man versus machine

GMAT is a CAT (Computer Adaptive Test) based exam which means that you’ll be sitting in front of a computer and answering questions. Each correct answer means the following question will be harder, while each incorrect answer means the following question will be easy. This is a good indicator of how hard it is to do well on the GMAT.

So for those who didn’t work hard, don’t have a clue about what to do with their life and are over-confident, GMAT is the perfect trap.

wasio.abbasi

Wasio Abbasi

A business graduate who studied Information Systems, interested in current affairs and politics. He tweets @wasioabbasi

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Deen Sheikh

    Hence i am staying away from Grad schools that requirwle GRE/GMATRecommend

  • abdullah

    students in pakistan find such exams tough coz all they do is rattofying……otherwise its not that tough …………….Recommend

  • http://ictec.wordpress.com M. Uzair Sukhera

    @Deen. Most good ones do need em :) (i mean top notch)Recommend

  • Clean Pakistan

    @Deen Sheikh:

    You are also probably throwing away the opportunity to attend a good grad school…Recommend

  • Eeman

    Nuff said. Recommend