How to Improve Your GMAT Score

by Target Test Prep, Apr 22, 2022

Are you wondering how to improve your GMAT score? If you’ve been studying for the GMAT exam for a long time or have taken the test numerous times but your GMAT score is not improving, we’ve got you covered.

Having a stagnant GMAT score is discouraging. The good news is that there is still hope for getting a great GMAT score. This article will help you get over the hump and achieve your desired GMAT score. We’ll discuss the various reasons why your GMAT score is stuck in place, as well as strategies for improving your GMAT score.

Let’s take a look at the 7 important questions that you can answer to determine how to improve your GMAT score.

#1: Do I Have Any Skill Gaps?

There are hundreds of concepts that you must master in order to improve your GMAT performance. You have no way of knowing which concepts will be tested on exam day. Thus, you must be well-versed in all of them prior to taking your GMAT. In addition, if you’ve practiced any GMAT questions, you likely now know that a single quant or verbal question can test you on several concepts simultaneously.

As a result, identifying any skill gaps you have is critical to improving your overall score. Your ability to employ multiple skills when confronted with any category of GMAT question increases in direct proportion to the number of skill gaps you close.

So, let’s discuss how to identify your skill gaps.

Identify and Address Specific Weaknesses

Identifying skill gaps can be difficult, especially if you’re incorrectly answering questions that require you to apply multiple concepts to a single problem.

Quant Weaknesses

To identify your weak areas, you may need to break down a question into its component steps. For example, when answering a quant question about a shape plotted in the xy-plane, you may be required to complete the following steps:

  1. Analyze the figure in the xy-plane.
  2. Use a geometry formula to answer a question regarding some aspect of the shape.
  3. Create an equation.
  4. Use the rules of roots and exponents to simplify the equation.

What would happen if you were solid all the way up to step 4, but you misused the rules of roots? Unfortunately, you’d get to the one-yard line but not score the touchdown, right?

A big mistake would be to assume that you’re struggling with Coordinate Geometry or Geometry questions. Before making this assumption, you must do a further analysis of where you went wrong. You want to pinpoint the fact that step 4 was your sticking point. If your issue truly is just Roots, then you can go back and work on that topic. And since the topic of Roots spans many math concepts, you’ll improve not only on questions directly involving Roots but also on questions from topics such as Geometry and Coordinate Geometry.

Verbal Weaknesses

In the Verbal arena, it is equally important to identify one’s weaknesses. For example, one key aspect of success in Sentence Correction is your understanding of how different types of modifiers work. Modifiers and how they are used can have significant impacts on the structures and meanings of sentences, Understanding how different types of modifiers work is necessary for determining whether sentences are well constructed and convey meanings that make sense.

As an example, let’s say that you went through a Sentence Correction question and saw the following sentence version:

For a homeowner who plants a garden, maintaining it well, the garden may provide a surprising abundance of vegetables.

If you were not aware of how the modifier “maintaining it well” works, you might decide that the sentence is correct. In reality, it conveys an illogical meaning, which is that a homeowner plants a garden by maintaining it.

If you’re able to identify that the reason you got the question wrong was that you didn’t realize that the use of the modifier is illogical, then you’ll know that you have a knowledge gap in Modifiers that you must remedy. Otherwise, you’ll have significant difficulty answering SC questions that require knowledge of modifier rules.

Maintain an Error Log

Maintaining an error log is an effective method of identifying your skill gaps and ensuring that you systematically address them.

Maintaining a thorough error log entails keeping track of the types of questions you get wrong and the reasons for your mistakes. For example, if you are analyzing a quant question that you answered incorrectly, you might ask yourself the questions below:

  • Is it possible that I did not fully comprehend the content on which the question is based?
  • Was there a specific formula that I needed but could not remember?
  • Did I forget how to perform a specific mathematical task (for example, solving a quadratic equation)?
  • Did I misunderstand the question that was asked?
  • Did I fall for a trap choice?

Each time you identify a weakness in your math abilities, you move one step closer to your GMAT target score. The more times you identify a weakness in your math or overall abilities, the closer you’ll bring yourself to your score goal.

It’s critically important to analyze the results of practice tests or problem sets. To catch your errors, make sure to review each question you answered incorrectly and determine exactly what went wrong.

It’s likely that you’ve been keeping track of errors throughout your GMAT prep. If you haven’t, it’s not too late to start now. Of course, if you’re currently using TTP, we provide an error log that allows you to easily track your errors.

Examine the Results of Your Practice Tests

When you are reviewing your GMAT practice test result, it is especially important to thoroughly analyze each and every question in order to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Each practice test contains only 31 quantitative questions and 36 verbal questions, so don’t take any questions for granted.

When you’re reviewing answers, it is critical to be completely honest with yourself. Don’t give yourself credit for a lucky guess. If, for example, you answered an Average Rate question by backsolving, don’t tell yourself that you have mastered Average Rate questions. Take the time to review the concept of Average Rates to fill in any knowledge gaps.

Remember that, while some of your guesses may be correct on test day, you cannot rely on being able to “fool” the GMAT in any way. If, between practice tests, you don’t put in the necessary work of identifying and correcting any gaps in your skills, you shouldn’t expect your score to improve from one test to the next.

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