GMAT Notepad Use

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GMAT Notepad Use

by Abhijit K » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:29 pm
I would like to know what kind of a notepad is provided on the GMAT actual test.

I am used to scribbling a lot of stuff during solving verbal. Will that be an issue?

Also i use the T diagram method used in the Manhattan CR Book. Will this method eat up lot of my precious time?


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by [email protected] » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:26 am
Abhijit K wrote:I would like to know what kind of a notepad is provided on the GMAT actual test.
Hi Abhijit,

You can see the "official" noteboard and pen at 3:18 in the following GMAC video about the testing center:

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by [email protected] » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:54 am
Hi Abhijit K,

The scratch pad that you receive on Test Day should look similar to this:


The pad is 6 laminated sheets (the front of the first sheet has text printed on it, so you won't write on that "face", but you'll have the other 11 "faces" to write on). You can trade in your current pad for a new one at any point during the Test, but you'll likely find it best to trade it in during your breaks (so you won't have to wait for a Moderator to come to you while you're sitting at your desk).

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by VivianKerr » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:28 pm
Hi there,

To address your specific question about "scribbling a lot of stuff." It depends what you mean by "stuff"! :-) Using the scratch pad to break down RC and CR passages in an effective manner is an absolute NECESSITY when it comes to conquering those two Q-types. But obviously not all notes are of equal value. If you're summarizing all the details in an RC paragraph, that's a massive waste of time. If you're writing down the function of every paragraph and the author's point of view, that's a really smart use of scratch paper. Regarding the "T" method, if this works for you and allows you to get 90% or more CR questions correct when you work untimed, then you should definitely keep using it, and do regular pacing drills so you can gradually shave down the time it takes you to put this strategy into action. If you can get your CR done in under 2 minutes, you're in good shape, but don't jump straight there. Maybe start with 4 minutes a question, then 3.5 min, then 3 min, then 2.5 min, etc. Shave off seconds once you've been able to master high accuracy at the previous benchmark. But be accurate FIRST.

When you do practice problems, it's fine to do the lionshare on plain notebook paper, but when you do practice CATs, I'd highly recommend buying a laminated yellow pad so that you get used to using it BEFORE Test Day. It's a little weird at first. You can buy one used on Amazon for $10-15, and I definitely think it's worth it, if only for the psychological benefit. ... 0979017580

Good luck!

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by BestGMATEliza » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:07 pm
I think you should probably have enough room to write your notes on the notepad, and its usually a good idea to switch out for a new one in the breaks even if you haven't used up that much space. In general, writing too much can be a waste of time, especially for RC. All you need to write for RC is the general structure of the passage, so you can find where things are later. I say, write where not what.

Also, another way to conserve space with process of elimination is to create a chart at the beginning to keep track of what answers you have eliminated.
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by manyaabroadtpr » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:21 am
Hi Abhijit,

The note board has 6 laminated double sided spiraled sheets - the first sheet is printed, so you have 5 sheets to write on & also there is a non permanent marker provided to you. You can ask for extra sheets by raising your hand.
It is advised that you use the note board for not only Math but also verbal as it will help you to stay focused esp. in RC & CR. It is is suggested that you just don't randomly scribble but make a note of the main points - don't focus on the details but why the details are given. this will help you save time & be close to the topic.

All the best.

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by ReasonGMAT » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:29 am
I'd like to second what @BestGMATEliza suggested. I think that on Verbal, having a grid to help you keep track of answer choices that you are eliminating is a really good idea and will help you save time. The last time I took my GMAT I remember that I was being a little OCD and kept going over answers that I had already definitively eliminated, so having the grid was very helpful.
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