Every year, thousands of GMATers experience high anxiety when preparing for (and ultimately taking) the GMAT. While that type of agitation is understandable, the more positive way to define that response is to view it as ‘excitement’. The positive response and extra energy can actually be used to help you perform at a higher level overall.
Once you learn these simple GMAT hacks, you’ll see that there are a variety of aspects to the test you can take advantage of.
1) You will never face a question that will destroy your score if you get it wrong. By extension, you can’t over-commit to any one question or get too upset by it. Once a question has been answered, you have to move on and focus on the next. In that same vein, you can get the first question wrong in both the quant and verbal sections and still score an 800. Overall, it’s clearly better to get questions correct than not, but making a mistake or two won’t keep you from scoring at a high level.
2) Most questions don’t actually require that much work to solve. The GMAC have created the quant and verbal sections so that you can reasonably complete them in 75 minutes each. Most prompts just require that you have a reasonable reading speed, the capacity to take some decent notes and the ability to do a bit of ‘math’ (or connect ideas in verbal).
3) With GMAC’s new score reporting rules, you can see your scores and then cancel them right there (in the computer lab) if you choose. AND nobody, including top business schools, will ever know that you took that test.
4) In addition to the new score rules from the GMAC, the waiting period between official GMATs has been reduced to 16 days, so if you have a ‘bad day’, you don’t have to wait too long to retest.
5) Even the worst case is manageable. Remember that the worst thing that can actually happen to you during this process is that you end up having to apply to your top business schools during a later application round or during the next application cycle. You are NEVER truly eliminated from getting into your top business schools.
The GMAT has always been a predictable test, so you CAN continue to study and train to score at a higher performance level. Whatever challenges you might be trying to overcome, they are not insurmountable – you just need the proper guidance to figure out how.