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What High GMAT Scorers Have in Common

June 2015

Those who receive an almost perfect GMAT score are spoken about in the same reverential tone reserved for Nobel Peace Prize winners and visiting heads of state. These high scorers are perceived to inhabit a rarefied realm, where complex math calculations are tossed off with aplomb and dense passages read like a Sunday morning comic strip.

While that may apply to a very select few, in reality many high scorers got there not because of some innate genius, but because of an ability to learn from their mistakes and knowledge of how the test is constructed. In other words, they possess skills that are, to a large extent, learnable.

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Learning from mistakes


High GMAT scorers tend to treat an incorrect answer as a crime scene. They are the detectives and they must analyze every clue, from exactly what thoughts were going through their heads the moment they missed the question to the way in which the GMAT has created the answer choice - both the correct option and the incorrect ones.

For these types, reviewing a test is not a quick process in which they slap their foreheads, thinking, "I shouldn't have missed that one." Rather, they analyze in detail why they made a careless mistake. They even look at questions they correctly answered, if they weren't 100% sure.

From this process, high scorers internalize lessons so that they will not make similar mistakes in the future. They also learn to think the way that GMAT "thinks". That is, they look for patterns to correct answers and notice patterns to incorrect answer choices. That way, when it comes down to two very similar answer choices, they don't just trust their gut - or outright panic. They arrive at an answer based on logic, and familiarity with the test.

Using the best resources (and using them wisely)


High scorers are also savvy to the best GMAT preparation material out there. They don't think that enlightenment will come from the explanations at the back of the Official Guide. There are far better sources - from forums to supplementary explanations - that will bring epiphanies. Most importantly, they know that it is in dissecting what went wrong - looking for each clue at the crime scene - that they will truly understand the material.

In addition to the Official Guide (again, for the questions), top scorers seek out the best online GMAT preparation resources, particularly focusing on any areas in which they need a tune-up. By understanding the structure of the test, they will also be less trusting of sources with questionable content.

Final takeaway tips


Getting a high GMAT score - or even improving your performance significantly - is based on many skills that are actually learnable. Yet, many make the mistake of believing that GMAT prowess is a question of genetics. Such a mindset prevents them from learning skills that can actually help them significantly improve on the GMAT.

So, to transform yourself into a high GMAT scorer, you first need to believe you can do this. Then, dedicate yourself to truly understanding the test, practice, learn from your mistakes, and draw on a range of GMAT preparation resources to sustain your progress.

Tips to crack the GMAT Exam are


1. Students generally find it difficult to answer all the questions in the allotted time (Especially for the Math Section) which is the primary reason for losing marks in most cases. This problem can be generally solved by timing yourself and giving yourself 5 minutes less than the allotted time when you solve the questions for practice.
2. Generally students try to remember all the formulae they can lay their hands on and end up confused. Remember these exams use only your basic formulae of Algebra, Geometry and Arithmetic only their application varies from case to case.
3. Your presence of mind in the exam makes a difference of 5%-10% of the marks. On the day of the exam a student who has prepared extremely hard will also falter if he/she is not calm
. 4. The English or the verbal section is the section where many students make errors. The important thing to remember is that the grammar used is US grammar and not UK based grammar that is generally followed in Indian organizations. So considering the books by Wren and Martin as your guide for English is not the best idea.
5. Reading comprehension is another challenge for many students who find the passages to be lengthy and boring. This is generally solved if an hour a day is dedicated for reading magazines based in US which have topics related to science, history and economy.
6. Learning around 25-30 words everyday will help you improve your vocabulary. Dividing the words to be learnt like medicines over the day will help you recollect them better. Eg: 10 words in the morning, 10 in the afternoon and 10 after your dinner.
7. The Analytical writing section is where maximum errors are made because its a common myth that only the essays with big gerunds and words are scored well. The Essay is scored only on the content that is related and how well the topic expressed to the reader.

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