First of all, I wanted to make sure that my time management strategies were in place. I often find myself rushing through my study in the last couple weeks before testing time. If time management is your problem, set up a strict schedule of when you will study. Keep in mind that you don’t always have to study at the same times each day. I’ve learned that I can study late at night if necessary, and that it’s possible to study well in the morning or early afternoon as well. Make a schedule that works best for you.
The second trick that worked for me was keeping notes and short lists of questions. I didn’t spend any time during the test trying to figure out how to answer them, so I didn’t leave myself with anything to get good answers to. I just kept track of the different areas I needed to look at, so I could quickly go over them. I wrote down my question and the best answer for each area. So if I needed to look at the “grading rubric” for a section, I would write that down, as well.
Another thing I did to prepare myself was to create a plan of action when class was not in session. For instance, I would often find myself taking a GMAT practice test at night or early in the morning. And I also would review the entire test in my spare time. During this time I would also review all of the topics I learned during practice tests. It really made a big difference that I had planned my studying ahead of time.
I did spend some time doing lots of prep reading. When I reviewed the GMAT test, I was surprised at how much time the test actually took me. For some people, this may seem like a long time, but it really wasn’t. I spent about 2 hours on each section, so it definitely made a huge difference.
Another great thing I did was really sticking to the schedule I created for myself. I actually started studying about a year and a half before the exam. When I got into class, I read the directions and looked up the practice tests. I followed the directions and I prepared all the material, except for the test itself.
There were a couple things that really threw me off. First of all, the exam is timed, so you really need to get acquainted with how to pace yourself correctly. And second, I studied for two hours before I took the actual exam, which obviously gave me less time to complete the study material. Luckily, I was able to solve most problems in those two hours, so it definitely helped me out.
You should definitely make sure you spend a fair amount of time getting familiar with the GMAT format before taking the exam. You also want to make sure you have covered all the topics in the GMAT prep books you buy. However, if you don’t know what questions are on the test and how to answer them, you might not have as good of a score as you could get. However, if you take the time to learn these two things, then you will be ready to ace your GMAT.