Use this video as an index of final tips before the test. While there is no alternative to structured preparation, these guidelines will make things a lot easy for you on the test.
Final Tips Before the GMAT
In this article, we will recap all that we have covered thus far on GMAT strategy, to provide you with a final list of preparation and test-taking tips.
Here we shall provide the tips, as per the time period related to your GMAT, ten days before the GMAT, two days before the GMAT, two hours before the GMAT, during the GMAT, and at the end of the GMAT.
Ten Days Before the GMAT
Roughly a week and a half before your GMAT, take a fresh, official GMAT-Prep test to understand our level of preparedness. Honestly introspect on whether you are ready for the test. If not, you may want to reschedule your GMAT.
Hopefully, that will not be the case, and you will be able to proceed with the test, as planned. In this case, you must watch your routine and regulate your sleep cycle. Ensure that you are mentally active during the time of day that you have scheduled your GMAT for. For example, if you have scheduled your exam for the 9-4 slot, start getting up early and being mentally agile during that time of the day.
While preparing, stick to the official questions. Work on the official guides, verbal/math reviews, question pack, and GMATPrep exam pack. Try to study in periods of four hours to get habituated to such long sessions. GMAT is a four hour long exam and will test your stamina.
Two Days Before the GMAT
At this point, you should start taking it a bit easy. You have done all the hard work and the preparation of the last two days is not what will determine your score. However, stressing yourself out could have a negative impact on your performance. Avoid overstressing, and calmly make your final bits of preparation. Revise your short notes, take another official test, and decide what score you are going to accept/cancel on the GMAT.
One day before the GMAT, take it really easy. If not studying stresses you out, then study a little but avoid tiring yourself out. Ideally, you should spend the last day before your exam unwinding. Watch a movie or get some fresh air, whatever works for you. You must get a good night's sleep before the exam; if at all possible, try to get in a good 10 hours. If you haven't visited your GMAT center yet, it might be a good idea to take a trip there and see exactly how long it will take you to get there.
Two Hours Before the GMAT
On the day of the exam, be sure to carry two forms of valid id. In many areas, you will need to present your passport. For example, in India, passports are the only form of identification that is accepted at GMAT centers. You might also want to carry a print out of the appointment confirmation email, although it is not mandatory. Carry a drink and a light snack to consume during your breaks. You will be assigned a locker there, to store your personal effects. Dress in something light and comfortable, avoid tight, restricting, or overly warm clothes. You do not want any type of physical discomfort distracting you, during the GMAT.
Report 30 minutes early, to be on the safe side. If you are more than 15 minutes late, you will be considered a no-show. However, do not arrive too early either, as waiting around can cause you to become anxious. If you do arrive early, check with the administrator if it would be possible to begin the test a few minutes early. Don't get stressed by the serious atmosphere of the GMAT center, and the non-smiling faces of the staff; they are doing their job, you focus on yours. You will be under camera surveillance and will have to undergo a fingerprint scan every time you enter or exit the testing area. Additionally, you may come across other students who appear sad or distressed. Don't let any of that bother you, and just focus on your performance.
Just Before the Test
Immediately before the test, be sure to use the facilities and freshen up. Avoid consuming excess liquid during the test. Stay hydrated but only take a few sips. Have the names of five schools ready, where you wish to forward your score. At this stage, mention your back-up and practical schools. If you get a good score, you can always forward it to your dream category institutions later. As you enter the test-taking area, think about your parents, your inspirations, or whatever else motivates you.
It is very important to begin taking the test with the right mindset. Most importantly, avoid stress. No one will die if you do not score well. In fact, it would be best if you approached the GMAT, as just another mock test. Assuming that you have rigorously been taking the practice tests, doing so should put you in an appropriately serious mindset.
Please avoid doing anything new, fancy, or special on the GMAT day. The section order should be the same that has worked for you on the mocks. Avoid checking your answers several times, spending extra time on the first few questions, etc. If you have to try Red Bull, try it during your mocks, and see if it works for you: do not try it during the real GMAT.
During the Test
While giving the GMAT, pay special attention to the first ~10 questions in the quant and verbal sections. Remember, if the test feels too easy, it is a bigger problem. So, if you are having to sweat, it means that you are doing well and the software is throwing the difficult questions at you. Do not be intimidated by the difficulty of the test and just take it one question at a time. Avoid judging your performance, as you are taking the test, and just focus on the question before you. Have faith that if you do well on the questions from here on out, wherever you are in the test, you will do well.
Do not stick to any one question for too long. This is the most important tip that we have to give you. If a question takes you more than two minutes, mark an answer at random and move on. Remember, you can score in the 99th percentile on the GMAT, even if you get ~20% of the questions incorrectly. Make sure that you complete the test, even if you have to mark the last few questions, blindly. This is because the penalty for leaving the GMAT incomplete is higher than that for getting a few questions wrong.
If the GMAT somehow feels different to you, the concepts do not seem to apply, the difficulty level is different, or the questions just "feel" different, so do not worry. This is perfectly natural. Many students feel this way because while taking the GMAT mock tests they encounter some repeat questions, and this causes the real GMAT, which never has repeat questions, to seem unfamiliar. The test could also just feel different because of the exam pressure or because you are doing well, causing the GMAT software to throw difficult questions at you. Just hang in there and soon you will realize that all that you have learned is applying and the test is not alien.
Utilizing the Breaks
We would advise you to make use of both the long breaks. However, do not use them to analyze your performance. Rather, just focus on relaxing and preparing yourself for the rest of the test. Have the food and drink that you bought but do not overeat. Don't let the fingerprint scanners and the serious faces stress you out, and crucially, be back on time. The test will re-start after the stipulated time and if you do not get back by then, you will lose time and that may just stress you out further.
End of the Test
Before taking a look at your results, close your eyes and think about your loved ones. With any luck, you will have gotten a good score. If the score is acceptable to you, take an unofficial printout of the result and celebrate with a nice meal.
Remember the battle has just started, so take a minute to pat yourself on the back for the effort that you have put in and start thinking about your applications. Remember, it is never too early to start application work.
All the Best!
This is the last of Experts' Global's GMAT Prep articles. We would like to thank you for all your hard work and for choosing us as your guide to the GMAT. We here at Experts' Global would like to wish you all the best, for your upcoming exam and future career.