Top 5 Time Management Tips for the GMAT
How many times have you heard the adage, “Spend your time wisely”? Certainly, this saying applies to real life as well as the GMAT. Timing, pace, and speed is critical on this exam and should be a hallmark in your course of study and preparation. How much time are you spending on each question? What’s your absolute limit in order to complete the test on time? Do you have a general idea of your own pace for each section and ways to improve it?
These are all important questions to mull over as you prepare for test day. Since timing is such an indispensable element for success on the GMAT, take a look at the following top five “timing tips” to help guide you throughout your study.
- Ruminate on your results.
It’s highly recommended to keep a notebook of your GMAT progress, particularly your scores from each practice test. Make note of your problem areas, particularly if you’re unable to finish a question or section on time. If your records reflect directly on your time management, make sure to observe how long it takes you to complete each question and where you fall short. If there are particular questions that are easier for you to answer, take note of those, as well as the ones who are causing you delays. Keeping these statistics will assist you greatly in looking at your abilities objectively in order to make the most improvements.
- Know Those Per-Question Time Limits.
A great way to make sure you stay afloat of GMAT time limits is by giving an actual time limit to each question and section. For example, it’s advised for sentence correction questions to spend anywhere from 45 seconds to two minutes; for reading comprehension, anywhere from a minute to 2.5 minutes. Make per-question time constraints a cornerstone of your GMAT preparation and be sure to time yourself with a stopwatch as you practice.
- Know when it’s time to move on.
In general, you don’t want to spend more than three minutes on any given question. If you find yourself reaching this mark, make your best guess and move on. In this case, it’s always best to look forward to the next question instead of remaining stuck on one.
- Understand GMAT scoring.
Remember, you’re penalized most when you don’t finish the test, which is why timing is so crucial. In addition, your score is hurt more by getting an easier question incorrect than a harder one. Also, keep in mind that getting several wrong answers in a row will affect your score more than getting the same number wrong dispersed throughout the section. These are all important GMAT scoring-specific reminders that are important when studying and working on your time management.
- Know when to skip a question.
This is a last resort, but let’s face it, skipping a question happens. As a general rule, if you’re staring at a question for 45 seconds or more having absolutely no idea where to begin, then it’s highly recommended you consider skipping it and moving on. Of course, it never feels good to skip a question, but sometimes it’s necessary when it could seriously affect your ability to answer other questions correctly.
Remember that time management on the GMAT is something most students struggle with, so if you’re having trouble in this regard, know that you’re not alone. The best strategy is to practice, practice, practice and become more familiar with the exam, question types and sections and its accompanying time constraints. Hopefully, these top five tips served as friendly reminders and were a help in your GMAT preparation.
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