# Land Your Score: Importance of GMAT Prep:

by on January 12th, 2017

At Kaplan, we don’t really believe practice makes perfect; we have found that practice makes permanent. Much like practicing a sport or a musical instrument, GMAT prep makes performing on Test Day feel almost automatic. Being prepared begins with understanding the test, best accomplished through a GMAT prep course and practice test.

When it comes to success on the GMAT, timing really is everything. A good GMAT prep course will teach you how to maximize your time and efforts on Test Day—including familiarity with the test, answer selection strategies, pacing, and stamina. Let’s discuss them in turn.

## Test familiarity

Raising your comfort level with the content tested on the GMAT is, of course, essential. Brushing up on geometry formulas and proper grammar is always smart, as these concepts are tested. But equally significant is simply becoming familiar with the structure of the test. Not knowing what Data Sufficiency problems require you to do will cost you time as well as points on test day. Know the question formats and timing strategies in advance by taking a practice test.

Knowing the GMAT question formats allows you to begin solving quickly. Knowing how to parse the answer choices allows you to save time as well. For example, answer choice A in Sentence Correction is always the same as the underlined portion of the sentence. Data Sufficiency answer choices never change.

Kaplan’s live online GMAT practice test is followed by a strategy session that allows participants to see some of the methods and strategies Kaplan students learn. Certain set-ups in a word problem provide time-saving clues if you know how to read them.

## Pacing yourself

Kaplan pacing guidelines work alongside test familiarity and answer selection strategies to help you streamline your approach most efficiently. In Quantitative Reasoning, you should average a little under two minutes per question. Being aware of your timing per question, without panicking about it, is a skill you gain through practice tests.

Pacing is significant in Verbal Reasoning as well, because the average time per question shouldn’t be the same across all question types. Answering Sentence Correction questions should not take as long as answering Critical Reasoning questions, and unless you practice, you are likely to spend too long on Sentence Correction.

Becoming comfortable with the passing of time during a test can only happen by taking one or more practice tests.

## Stamina building

Lastly, taking a Kaplan free online practice test allows you to experience the marathon otherwise known as the GMAT. Participants in Kaplan practice tests frequently comment on how exhausted and brain-drained they felt before the end of the Verbal Reasoning section.

The GMAT is a long test, and no one enters a long race without first taking at least one practice run through the race’s course. Likewise, taking the GMAT without having first taken a practice test, especially a practice test that is computer-adaptive like the actual GMAT (and is FREE), seldom ends with a satisfactory score.

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