As a prominent competitive exam, the GMAT has accrued a fair bit of misinformation surrounding it. As you begin preparing for your GMAT and interacting with other GMAT aspirants, you may very well come across rumors and myths about the exam that might lead you astray and complicate your preparations. In this short article, we will cover some of the most common GMAT myths and why you must avoid them.
The GMAT Myths
The biggest myth is that GMAT is NOT a critical factor in the application process. Some people may claim that the GMAT is, ultimately, not that important in the grand scheme of things and that your essays, will be the real deciding factor in whether you get admission. The truth of the matter is that your GMAT score is one of the most important factors influencing how your profile will be judged by the application committee. Give the GMAT its due respect.
Another somewhat common myth is that the difficulty of the GMAT is geography dependent. You may have heard that it will be smaller countries receive an easier version of the GMAT and that, if possible, you should travel to such a country to take your exam. There is no truth, whatsoever to this notion. The difficulty of the GMAT is uniform, across geographies.
Similarly, you might also hear that you should plan to take your GMAT in certain months because the difficulty varies throughout the year. More specifically, this myth states that in July, August, and September the GMAT is more difficult, as more students attempt it in this time frame and that the test is easier in February because that is when the fewest applicants sit for it. Once again, there is no truth to this myth; the GMAT's difficulty is consistent, year-round, and your scheduling cannot give you an advantage.
As you are probably aware, one-third of the questions on your GMAT will be dummy questions, meant to gauge the difficulty level of the test, that will not count towards your final score. A pervasive GMAT myth says that it is possible to guess which questions are the dummies, so you will not have to spend much time on them. Be assured this is not the case. The dummies are quite indistinguishable from the real questions. So, take every question with full seriousness.
You may also be aware that the nature of the GMAT marking is adaptive. This fact has given rise to the myth that the last few questions do not matter at all. This is an inaccurate view of GMAT scoring; if you are aiming for a high score, every single question matters.
Finally, one of the most serious myths is that it is better to apply with a low score on your first attempt than a high score after multiple attempts. If you feel that another GMAT attempt will allow you to significantly better your score, always make that attempt. For example, if you get 680 in three attempts and 710 in four attempts, the latter will give you a better chance.
This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to Experts' Global's Stage One videos.