Can I pass GMAT without preparation?

Exam: Test Prep GMAT Test - Graduate Management Admission Test: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Quantitative section, Verbal section


Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is standardised test for admission in top business schools across the world for business and management programs. The test is being administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAT) for the past 60 years and is aimed at assessing the skills and knowledge of a candidate for pursuing higher education or career in the field of business and management. The GMAT test score is accepted by over 6,000 programs across the world. There is no passing score in GMAT and the admissions in business schools require a minimum qualifying GMAT score specific to each program.

A good GMAT score assures a stronger position for a candidate in the admission process of business schools. While for schools not featuring in the list of top 25 business schools a good score would mean a score above 700, however, for the top 10 business schools a score of 700-730 GMAT score is the average. Achieving a good score in GMAT requires a lot of preparation for at least few months for a candidate to utilise this opportunity of succeeding and joining a reputed business school. The preparation for the GMAT includes various aspects including:

Daily sessions over crammed preparations

Taking up a GMAT for a good score not only demands through knowledge of the concepts and skills to take up the test but also requires the confidence and swiftness to use them. Thus, to improve the skill to be able to apply the concepts and knowledge quickly to solve questions, a consistent pattern of daily preparations is better than intensifying the preparations before few days of test.

Creating an Effective Timetable for preparation

An effective approach towards creation of a preparation timetable is gradually increasing the time for study and preparations as the exam approaches. The best option is to select a test date that falls on a date just after the end of a holiday period so that there enough time to completely focus on the exam, especially for working candidates.  For others, the week before the exam is an excellent time to review the concepts and the difficult practice questions once more for being more confident to take up the exam.

Maintain a progress note

Noting down the difficult preparation questions in which a candidate took long time to solve or could not answer correctly, is a great way to understand new concepts and tricks of solving GMAT questions. Taking time to write down the correct answers for such questions and understand the concept in it and the easiest way of solving such questions can be helpful in constantly reducing the weaknesses and taking up the exam more effectively.

Acclimatize using Laminated Drawing Board:

As most of the test centres only offer laminated drawing boards, it is important for the candidates to familiarising themselves with it to avoid any mess in writing calculations and notes during exam. Not being used to with the erasable overhead marker can cause smudging of notes and thus delay in finishing the exam. Acclimatizing using a laminated drawing board would, thus, help in avoiding surprises on the day of test.

Avoid overestimating the prep test results

Preparation tests, especially the ones in the official website of GMAT, are considered to be a reflection of taking the real GMAT tests. Though prep tests are excellent source for the candidate to understand the question pattern of the exam and assessing their strength and weaknesses, it is better not to overestimate the score results of prep results or assume that the prep test results will be replicated in the main GMAT exam also by them. The prep tests results are not adapted to the actual exam results.

Educated Guessing

Educated guessing involves quick ranking of the answer options and excluding the options which are wrong for sure and then guess the right answer from the left options. This is an effective way of dealing with the questions for which a candidate is uncertain about the answer. However, to apply this technique quickly during the test, it is essential to practice it during the preparations.  This technique is especially useful in the verbal section of the GMAT test.

Measured Focus on Weakness

Most often the candidates in the preparation process tend to spend more than required time to improve on their weakness areas. The best way to spend time on improving on the weaknesses is to spend a certain amount of time in the everyday routine to work on them by taking up one topic or question type each day. This would ensure that sufficient time is spent on all areas of the test.

Aim for surpassing the required GMAT score

The GMAT score that a candidate targets is completely dependent on the scores required for admissions in his/her preferred business schools. It is always advisable to direct the preparation aiming to surpass this target score by at least 50 points. This is required because usually the test scores tend to be 30 points up or down from the expectations of the test taker due to variation in the performance on the test day depending on their mental and physical state.

Time Management

Time management is the most important tool to take up the test effectively without running out of time to complete the test. A simple way to outdo such situation is to set specific milestones of completing a reaching a certain question number within a stipulated time. This helps the candidate to make out early if may run out of time for completion and have more time and better chances to make up for coming back to schedule  gradually by the improving the reaction time for the remaining questions


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