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GMAT Articles

Inducing discipline in your training for GMAT: Be organized
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If you are preparing for GMAT all by yourself then the two major challenges that you will face are, first to understand how much time you need for your preparation and second how you can make the efficient use of your study time. These two points play an important role in your preparation and so they will be the persistentsubject of my advice, speciallythe efficient use of your study time. In this article I will concentrate on few important notions to give you the proper start.

Estimating sufficient study time:

There isn’t any fixed answer to this question. How can someone else estimate how much time is sufficient for your preparation, you have to decide it for yourself. However there are two major factors that should be taken in consideration while trying to calculate study time and they are:

  • From what point to which point you want to upgrade your scores.
  • How efficiently you can use your study time.

To set a goal for yourself is a matter of discussion in itself, so assuming you have an understandable picture of your score goal for GMAT and are dedicated to achieve the targeted goal. I am also presuming that you’ve given a diagnostic test and know your present status. Your target improvement points are from this point (what you score in the diagnostic test) to your goal score. A convenient formula to estimate the time you will require to reach your goal can be calculated as “Number of Hours = Number of Points Improvement X 2.”

This is to help you to estimate the required time, it’s not fixed. If you are not very good in one subject and you want to reach a score of 450 from 400 points then you may require that much time. If you are targeting to reach the mark of 750 from 700 points then you will require much more time and of course it will all depend on how efficiently you use your study time.

How to get the most out of your time:

Many of these advices may look like nothing more than common sense to you but trust us, these simple yet efficient tips will help you maximize your efforts. There are many students who ignore these basic advices and regret later on.

  • Find for yourself, the time when you feel you are fully alert, it may be early in the morning or late at night or even at midday, whenever you feel your mind can register effectively what you will learn, is the best time for you.
  • Fix this as your study time and study every day at this time only.
  • Do not let anyone disturb you. If you share an apartment then let your mates know it’s your study hour and let that be the case at your home too. Your spouse or other family members should know clearly that at this time they should not disturb you. If possible switch off your mobile phone as well as your internet connection. Every disturbance will cost you 10 to 15 minutes to get back into the rhythm you previously were.
  • You must study every single day regularly. If for some unavoidable reason you could not study in your appointed time, still do something that day, even if it’s for 15 minutes or half an hour, you must study daily.
  • Try to find a place that is peaceful and organized for your study time. If your study time is during your office time, at lunch break or tea break, then you may not find one, but at home make sure your study corner is neat and clean, it accelerates learning.
  • However tempting it may be to go out to a coffee shop, malls, or other recreation joints on a holiday, do curb your temptation. Motivate yourself and study with concentration.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Preparation for GMAT DRIVEN BY ACCURACY STAMINA AND DISCIPLINE
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A set of difficult yet very common questions that everyone asks is “What can they expect on the D-Day? How close to reality will the practice tests/questions take them?” These questions are difficult to answer as everyone has his own quotient of perception and reaction. No two persons’ preparation is similar, as what they assimilate from same content always varies. Nevertheless one thing that is sure and it would also be wise if you remember is that  “GMAT Is Going To Surprise You.”  This is because it is designed to do so! The test makers want to be sure that you deserve the scores that you get. So, they do pack the actual test with some surprise element, it need not be difficult, but it will challenge you or may even put you under stress and no one can predict how you will react under these situations.

Let me explain this to you through an analogy.Let us consider a tennis game. Every player desires to win. Every player will do his/her best, to make his/her opponent feel inadequate and will make it as hard as possible, for him/her to face the force of their hit. They would add speed or varied movements to hit the ball so that the opponent cannot estimate where the ball will land. If you move towards right they will hit more towards left. If you have a weakness, then they will take full advantage of it. Similarly, how well you anticipate and prepare for GMAT the test makers are going to do their best to make it difficult and catch you off guard!

Every day practice and practice tests do give you a clear picture of what a GMAT test is all about but to achieve distinction and reach the top, you have to be adaptable. This is where we step in. Ourcurriculum is designed to give you its maximum worth. We not only help you to practice difficult questions, we coach you to feel like a test-maker! To think what he/she probably would. The more you study with us, in our classroom or with our trainers, the more you will learn and then master the skills of adaptation. Your thinking process will be so well sharpened that you can adapt and work positively in any surprised or stressed situation. You cannot replace Quality with Quantity in any practice. Just like practicing shots by hitting balls from ball machine requires no art even if you do it for hours, similarly going through your practice for hours without critical quality thoughts will develop no skill in you. For this, you need to develop skills in three areas namely: DISCIPLINE, ACCURACY, and STAMINA

DISCIPLINE:

You are required to sharpen your wisdom and put your knowledge to practical use. For example when you approach a question, you should instantly recognize the strategy required to solve it. Do not lose your focus or do not get confused by the way it is asked, they are doing their best to confuse you and you have to do your best to work out the best approach.

ACCURACY:

Mastering Quant and verbal, in this context are not different, both require same skills, fundamentally they are same as you are required to discover the motive behind the question, order behind the ciaos! With us you will develop your Higher Order Thinking skills, so that you perform better than the others.

STAMINA:

Applying those skills to build the muscle is really important to win the game. Let your mind not develop the fatigue. I conquered my fear of GMAT by working on practice test with Higher Order Thinking. The conquest comes not because you have practiced speed and calculations, but because you know exactly what is to be done within the allotted time frame. Now take the example of tennis, it’s not your skill of running fast or hitting the ball that will make you a champion. It’s when you are able to anticipate your opponents move, be mentally alert, concentrate on your game, and overcome your own weakness that you come in the league of champions.

This is a level where you acquire the knowledgebycultivatingthe art required for excellent performance, through various skills and speed, mastery in arithmetical questions, logical questions, andsituational questions, learning the correct strategy for the questions and last but not the least sharpening one’s skills to recognize the errors effectively.

GMAT also requires you to understand the logic behind the question, to perceive the connection and relation between the question asked and information provided to acquire the answer.Out of this confusion you have to create order removing irreverent things and getting a clear vision of the required task.

Finally remember,to achieve success you’ll have to develop skills in above mentioned three areas,especiallyHigher Order Thinking. Test yourself and take help from an experienced coach or the teacher to understand where you are lacking. Similarly,do what all tennis players do before a big game. They study films of various crucial matches. Study their opponent, his move and behavior and develop a fine strategy for them. In a GMAT test too, you will have an advantage if you can start thinking like a test-maker,develop your insight and confidence, and start loving what you are doing.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Long-Term Goals should be Rational and Attainable
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Generally it’s an effort for an applicant to define his/her Long-term career goals for his/her admission application essay. The short term career goals can be comparatively specific but the long term goals should be extensive and challenging. Whatever your short term or long-term goals really are you have to show them in the perspective of ’cause and effect,’ to define this relationship is very crucial. It will puzzle the admissions committee if your long term goals lack strong basis. This in no way means that you cannot change your location or the industry throughout your career. You are free to choose which ever direction you want to go, you simply have to convince the admissions committee that, that direction is the logical outcome of your plan.

Now let us just consider the situation where the applicant has the aspiration (or short term goal) to become a management consultant. Now can that applicant show a logical connection for his long term goals to be:

  • Become a partner in some highly reputed consulting company.
  • Open his very own highly reputed consulting company.
  • Or may be leave his very highly paid consultant job to run a non-profit organization.
  • May be even buy a company that is not doing well and manage to bring it back in business.
  • Or reach the top level in a competitive corporation.

Yes, the applicant can definitely convince the admissions committee for any of the above long term goals (in-fact for many more!) He /she has to show how the experienced he/she will gain during the path of his/her career will prepared him/her for the new venture. You do not have to restrict yourself. You simply have to show a logical connection that is attainable, farsighted and motivated.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Should You Tell About The Incidents That Took Place More Than Four Years Ago
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In your MBA applications for B-schools you are required to talk about different experiences and incidents that shaped you. The MBA admissions committees is looking for incidents from all aspects of your life be it from – school/college, office, society, extracurricular activity, sports, international or even personal and we persuade our candidates to share the story that truly reflects what he/she is. The incident that changed the way you perceive things, individuals or incidents, incident that taught you to grow even if at that point it looked like a failure.

However while doing so many candidates come up with the questions ‘If they could write about the incidents that happened in their high-school days? Or if they could tell about the incident that was more than four year old?’ there is no fixed answer for this except if it is specified than one must stick to it. If you are asked a question based on family history (or something personal) then you may (depending how relevant your story is) write about it even if it took more than four years back. But it is generally seen that the MBA admissions committees are more interested in knowing what kind of a person you are at present, how mature you are, what are your thoughts or perceptions, things that make you what you are right now. In these conditions what was relevant in your high-school/ pre college may not be so relevant now.

So when you sit down to write about the incidents, ask yourself, ‘Does it talk about the real me? Does it say how mature I am? Is it relevant right now? Will it impress the MBA admissions committees?’ Remember the incidents that looked big in high-school may not appear so right now. What was called an achievement for a high-school child may not sound so impressive right now. But for instance you started some group, movement or business in your high-school/ pre college and it grew to become a rage, or so huge in size you had to hand it over or sell it, then this is worth sharing. Thus you must choose your story carefully.

This is a simple test, we suggest the candidates to answer honestly in-order to help them select their story. However it is certainly that this calls for your judgment, as you have to decide what you want the MBA admissions committees to know about you.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Two Weeks Before The Exams
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One does not give the GMAT exam by studying overnight or on last few days. It is a methodical preparation of the weeks. And keeping this in mind, we suggest that the last two weeks, should have and excusive timetable. To get the best out of your last couple of weeks you must formulate a strategy to analyze your strengths and weakness.

Developing a strategy:
In the last two weeks your focus should be in polishing and reinforcing what you are best at. Your strategy should be, to be the best in what you are and come over your weakness; you should avoid learning new things or dwelling too much on your weakness, it’s time to focus on perfecting your dexterity. Also remember, at this time if you focus too much on your weakness you will not be able to reinforce your strength.

What to analyze?

The first important step of formulating a strategy for the last two weeks is to carefully analyze your strength and your weakness. Be honest in admitting -‘yes I am good at this’ or ‘I am not good at this’. Do you have problems with questions on probabilities or with questions on critical reading? Are you able to do them in the required average time? Or do you struggle with the question? This is what you have to analyze. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses. The more honest you are the better your chances to develop a perfect strategy for yourself.

How to analyze?

How to analyze will depend on what you are analyzing, are you looking out on your strengths or on your weaknesses? Remember not to evaluate both together, it will create confusion. Also remember when further in this article we talk about a low-grade or a high- grade questions it simply means the ones you find easy to do will fall under low-grade and the ones you feel are difficult will be high-grade, because when you are actually doing the test you do not know the weightage of that particular question.

Analyzing your weaknesses:

So while assessing your weaknesses you know the topics that are difficult for you. In those topics too there may be certain type of questions that you are able to do (low-grade) and the ones you find tricky (high- grade). Your aim should be to do the low grade questions correctly in the average time allotted for the questions and for the high grade questions do some calculative guess work within the estimates average time. Remember do not take more than the average time allotted for each question. Revise the general content and stick to your techniques to solve questions pertaining to different types. At this point do not study any new advanced material. Strengthen your position on the questions that you can do within the time frame correctly. Learn to identify what you cannot do at all. For such questions train yourself to do calculative guess work and move on.

Note the average allotted time per questions in the GMAT is generally 2 minutes. But we recommend that the low grade questions should be done in at least 20 -30 seconds lesser time. So that you may get 20-30 seconds more for the high grade questions. Do not be in a hurry to do them in just 20-30 seconds as you may end up making some silly mistake also do not take more that 20-30 seconds extra to do the tricky high grade questions as this will mean you will have lesser time for the questions that are of low grade.

Another thing that you should note is that a ‘calculative guess’ means that you do not know the right answer but can identify at least one of the wrong choices. So eliminate that wrong choice and then make your guess. Do not hesitate to leave the high grade questions (particularly when you do not know) and move on, especially so if you are behind your average time and that too when it falls under the topic of your weakness. You can spend some time but don’t waste your time if you have no idea at all.

Working on your strengths:

The topics that you have a good grasp in are your strengths and while doing the questions on these topics your aim should be to answer low-grade questions accurately in less than the allotted average time and to do as many as possible high -graded correctly in the average allotted time.

While doing the low-graded questions you ought to work upon being more proficient. Try saving few seconds without compromising on your accuracy. Learn about their techniques and shortcuts and to be able to spot them everywhere. Know all about the clues, hints the question gives. Learn all about the twisted language so that you do not jump into the wrong conclusion and do not make any silly mistake.

As for the high-grade questions, be thorough with most advanced content and answering skills so that you are up to date with everything. Once again recognize the questions that you can or cannot do. Revise and be sure of your strength. But then also be prepared to understand there may be question that you are not capable to answer in that case identify it fast make a calculative guess and move on. Do not waste unnecessary time when you may be able to do other questions correctly in that time.

Track your speed:

It’s very important to track your speed during the exam. You should not rush too much, least you end up making silly mistakes nor should you be too slow to miss out on question you could perform well. So how do you track your speed? Well you cannot practically monitor yourself after every question that would be a waste of time. We know the average time is 2 minutes per question. So it’s better to check your clock after every 15 minutes. This way you will know if you have done the right no of questions, or you could even track your speed after every 10 questions and see if the time that you have taken is justified. Whichever ways you feel comfortable choose for yourself. In these last two weeks you should practice tracking your speed in your practice sessions. Get into the habit of checking yourself in every 15 minutes or after every 10 questions.

Now, what if during your practice you discover you are not keeping the required pace? Say you are too quick you are doing the questions in much less time than required. If so, it’s time for you to be more methodical and efficient so that you do not end up making silly mistakes, compromising on accuracy and loosing marks. Be careful, write all you’re working in your scrap paper, make notes as well as write down your answers to confirm you are on right track. Be sure to answer the questions asked.

And if you are slow, you need to speed up without compromising on accuracy or else you will not have enough time to do all the questions. Where ever you find you are taking more than the required time skip it, if you have time you can come back later or else it’s not worth wasting your time. If you are way too slow you may even have to skip few questions to pick up so that you can finish rest of the questions on time. Do not rush up and do the entire set of questions in speed or become nervous this will only increase your chance of making careless mistakes. While reading the question whenever you get the feeling that it will take more time just do the calculative guess, do it quickly and move on. This will help you save some time and you will be able to do the questions you know well in time.


Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Few suggestions to deal with the Stress pertaining to GMAT
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Exam stress is the worst kind of stress any student has to go through. Its worst than the stage fright or the fear of public speaking. In both the cases you can relax if you can convince yourself that there is no audience. But in an exam you cannot convince you yourself that there is no exam or a test paper in front of you!

So today we give you seven commandments to keep the GMAT exam stress at bay. They will help you relax and let you give your best in your GMAT exam. For its not only about studying well it’s also about performing well.

Be ready:

Once your ground work on actual test, its format, its syllabus and how it’s taken is done, do some more research. Find out the actual location of your centre. How far it is from your house? What would be the best mode of transport to take? And how much time will it take for you to reach the centre? If possible go and see the centre, this will help in reducing the actual test day anxiety. Give a thought to the kind of weather and thus the kind of cloths you will be comfortable in. Wear something that you are comfortable at, something that does not make you conscious and stuffy.

Do more preparation, be fully ready:

Whenever a question in a Reading Comprehension passage asks for the key or main purpose, this is usually mentioned in the answer choices through a verb. For instance, likely answers might be- a) to describe a complex scientific idea, b) to propose a new function of a scientific theory, and c) to support the new use of a scientific theory. Now even before you read the full answer choice you get your hints through the verbs like describe, propose, support etc. These verbs tell you that the author has a strong opinion but if the passage is just giving you information then verbs like summarize or report would be the best choice. Thus comprehending these verbs correctly will help you eliminate your answer choices in comparatively lesser time.

Calm down:

Do what calms you down – imagine yourself in a beautiful location (some were you always want/love to be!) or go for a long walk or listen to some soothing music or close your eyes do some deep breathing you can even meditate or chant some mantra. Do what helps you to stay relaxed and calm. Do it regularly for few days before your sit for the test so that you are completely relaxed on your test day. Avoid building up of any kind of anxiety. Remember one more thing you cannot mug up everything so do not overwork on the last few days. Follow a simple routine of revision and time management.

Pamper yourself:

Yes! Pamper yourself on those last few days. Take rest, go to bed early or get up after good long hours of sleep. Just relax, eat healthy food, have lots of fresh vegetables and fruits take some supplements if required, in short take care of your physical health as well as mental. A relaxed mind and healthy body helps in performing better.

Plan something for yourself after you have given your GMAT exam:

We all agree its time and energy consuming preparing for the GMAT exam. Sometime one does feel a little blue for such moments do plan something to look forward to after you have given your exam. You can plan to meet a friend or plan an outing. You can even go and watch a game or movie. Do what you like the best after all you deserve it, you have been working so hard for past few weeks and you have taken your first big leap towards your dream, it’s time to celebrate a bit!

Do not lose your cool if you get stuck:

The most awful thing about exam stress is that it needs no pushing up, it is self-generating. One thing leads to another and it blows up into an unmanageable proportion. So beware of it, do not fall in its trap. For example if you are caught in the very first question do not panic, move on, do the next one, do not lose your confidence. Tell yourself the exam is supposed to be tough and it will be tough for everyone. Do not be hard on yourself just keep going.

Keep in mind GMAT is just an exam:

Yes, it’s an important test, but at the end of the day it’s just the test not your whole life! Keep it to that, work hard try and do your best because nothing else is in your hand, do relax and let what should happen to happen.

The test is just one part of your application process. It’s important but not everything. This does not mean you don’t have to work hard; it just means you do not have to be unnecessarily worried, anxious or stressed out about it. If you do not do well you can always reappear, nothing is lost.

If none of the stated points help you to relax. Just close your eyes take deep breath and imagine any funny scene that can make you laugh. Let yourself shake in a good laugh and throw the stress out of your system.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Top 10 Time Savers for the GMAT
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Tips To Save Time In GMAT

Your accomplishment in GMAT is based not only in solving the problems correctly but also in doing them quickly. Thus managing the time factor effectively is the ladder to your success because typically you get only two minutes per question. This leaves you to solve the most difficult question in just two minutes. To manage this average effectively you must not only solve the most difficult question in two minutes but the easy ones in much lesser time so that you can balance the odd when you are stuck. So every second that you save in an easy question is the second you earn for the tricky ones! Without compromising with the precision there are means that can help you save time!

While preparing with us you will learn many approaches that will aid in coming to the correct answer and that too in less time. Our educators and instructors are specialized in teaching you the time saving skills. These skills are common but mostly forgotten or rarely used. Today in this article we will discuss 10 most useful time saving tips. It covers all the aspects of the exams along with the exam approach to typing tips. These guidelines will help you to save time and give you that extra second required for the tricky questions helping you elevate your score.

1. Do not try to straighten out complex language unless it is but necessary:

While reading the passage if you come across some lines that are difficult, do not waste your time in comprehending them immediately. Understand the gist of what is been said and carry on. Only when a question referrer’s to these lines go back and decipher their meaning. There may be a chance that no question is asked on those lines; in such a case trying to comprehend them would be a waste of time. The aim is to save time and only go back if and when necessary.

2. Concentrate on verbs:

Whenever a question in a Reading Comprehension passage asks for the key or main purpose, this is usually mentioned in the answer choices through a verb. For instance, likely answers might be- a) to describe a complex scientific idea, b) to propose a new function of a scientific theory, and c) to support the new use of a scientific theory. Now even before you read the full answer choice you get your hints through the verbs like describe, propose, support etc. These verbs tell you that the author has a strong opinion but if the passage is just giving you information then verbs like summarize or report would be the best choice. Thus comprehending these verbs correctly will help you eliminate your answer choices in comparatively lesser time.

3. Be well acquainted with the keyboard shortcuts:

Keyboard shortcuts help a lot in saving your typing time. Even if you think and solve the questions fast it is of no use if you are slow in typing. These shortcuts do save a lot of time so start getting familiar with them. Know what CTR-X stands for. Some of the most useful shortcuts are CTRL-C for copying, CTRL-V for pasting, CTRL-X to cut, CTRL-Z to undo, and CTRL-Y to redo. Remember the entire keyboard shortcuts do not work in GMAT. To get the correct picture we advise you to download the official GMAT practice test from mba.com and practice keyboard shortcuts to write your AWA essays, as while writing essays one does require to shift things from here to there thus one will have a fair ides of how these shortcuts work.

4. Make your choice and go to the next question:

It is quite possible that you may not know the answer to some of the questions. At such times do not waste those precious minutes reading the question and thinking hard or just looking at it, this won’t solve your problem. So think quickly, can you do it in the allotted average time? Is it worth taking the risk? If your answer is in negative than please make a guess and pick your answer and move on. It’s much more advisable to move on than keep staring or reading the question again and again.

5. Try scanning the passage:

Re-reading the passage takes up a lot of time. If you read the whole passage every time for a question you will be wasting your precious time. Try and scan for the information required. You can easily train yourself for it during your practice session. Try and remember where you read the particular word or information asked for and then give your attention to that particular line. Developing this skill helps you locate the correct information without rereading the whole passage.

6. Try and make groups of the given answer options:

For example, in a sentence correction question three options may start with ‘it’ and rest with ‘their’ or three may start with the singular and rest with plural antecedent of pronoun thus looking at them you can easily put them in different groups now reading the sentence it’s easy for you to eliminate one group, now your answer choice will be limited making it easy and quick for you to find the right answer.

7. Chose your approach:

Many a time, few questions have multiple options to derive an answer. There is nothing like a good option or a bad one. Do not waste your time is debating which one. Just start doing the one you know best and stick to it. This will help you save your time.

8. In Data Sufficiency, to actually solve the problem is a waste of time:

This is the most commonly over looked point. You are not supposed to calculate the actual answer, yet many do it! Do not solve it; it’s a waste of time.

9. Be sure of yourself:

This is very important. You should be confident of yourself and all the hard work you have done during your practice secessions. Do not get confused when you look at the tricky questions or similar looking answer options, after all this is what you have studied for, select your answer with confidence and move on.

10. Be familiar with the test:

Last but not the least; be familiar with all the aspects of the test, its structure, its content and its style. Though, it’s the basic, sometime while preparing one overlooks the simplest point or postpones it for the last moment. There are no shortcuts, study hard, prepare well and you will definitely succeed.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Stop Worrying About The Difficulty Level
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To me, analyzing the difficulty level of each question while giving your GMAT, is a pure waste of time. Instead you should be concentrating on completing the questions as correctly as possible within the allotted time. Don’t you already have enough on your plate? Why add this unnecessary stress?

Most of the companies, who help and guide the students through their test preparation, do often try and find ‘timesavers’ such as assessing the difficulty level of each question. May be they believe if one understands how hard the question is then they would be able to determine what strategies they want to employ! Whatever is the reason, it a very popular practice. They try and teach the students to identify under which difficulty level, the questions fall. For example first the candidate categorizes the questions supposedly in the group of ‘600-700’ level and now he or she is supposed to determine which tools they require to answer the questions!

I feel it’s totally a wrong practice. Firstly because how can you decide a difficulty level without doing the question? Secondly it’s totally a waste of time and increases the stress unnecessarily.

Do Not Complicate:
Is it not enough for a candidate to solve the questions correctly in the allotted time? Why should the whole process be complicated by determining its difficulty level? It is true different questions have their own complications, but how can you crack that GMAT code? How can you outsmart GMAT in its own strategy? Is it not better, to concentrate on doing the question correctly within the given time frame? Why complicate it further by determining its difficulty level?

Difficulty is a Personal Perspective:

To each of us difficulty has its own level. What we may find easy the other may find it difficult so one cannot categorize it. For example, a 680 scorer can find a problem of so-called 600-level difficult while on the other hand another person who is a 580 scorer may do the same problem correctly in just the required time!

The only benefit that I see of this whole exercise is that if you see a difficult question and you are not sure how to solve it then just skip it. Do not waste your time attempting it. At this point it does not matter if the question is of 500 level difficulty or 600. You do not have the luxury of time to contemplate on it. A difficult question is a question that you are not sure about and thus you will not know how to solve it so you must not waste your time trying to do it!

Difficulty is Subjective:

Take some time to answer this question- does it really matter, what is the level of difficulty of the question if you are able to answer it correctly within the time limit? I am sure your answer will be no, it doesn’t.

As a trainer and professional I have done all levels of GMAT question for years now and I think they are totally scholastic questions. So whenever I see a test question, I always first think of the best approach then while assessing how difficult it would be to solve -I think from the prospective of the students I am helping. Some may find it easy while others may find it difficult!

To analyze a level is not easy. Having said this, then why do we need to add this extra burden? All one needs to know is how to solve a problem, difficult or not it should not matter. If you can solve it, it’s easy for you, why do you need to assign a level to it? And as I said earlier how can you outsmart GMAT in its own strategy!

Think Straight:

Even if, all the questions in the GMAT CAT are of certain difficult level but then to think of them in this way will only do you harm. It will only add on to the stress and pressure that you face before the exam.

But yes while doing the questions, when you come across the one you find difficult do not dwell on it much and move on. Look for the key words that help you solve the questions, the hints that are present in the questions. May be the question points towards it being a ratio question, then you know how to handle it. In Sentence Correction may be its parallelism that you have to look for in its options.

Thus you must concentrate in understanding the question rather than its level of difficulty. If you correctly comprehend it, it will then be easy for you to solve it correctly in the given time. Because on the exam day only thing that is important is how many questions you do correctly and not how many difficult ones. The more questions you answer correctly the better is your score.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Time Management For Verbal Section
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GMAT Verbal Section as you all know tests your skills of English Language within the timeframe of 75 minutes for 41 questions. Some candidate rush through it and finish this section much before the required time while others just do not know how to do all those question in 75 minutes!

The target should be to complete 41 questions in 75 minutes. The chances are if you complete the section way ahead of time, say almost 20 minutes before, you may miss some important thing and again if you cannot manage all those questions in 75 minutes you will miss getting good scores. Thus time management is very important here and to do your best you need to plan so that you can efficiently use your time.

Do Not Create an Inflexible Plan:

One must have an outline or a plan to complete the questions within a time frame but you cannot be too fixed about it. For, each question under each head will differ in its complexity and requirement of time to solve it. For example all passages under Reading Comprehension differ in their length and topic then again some sentences under Sentence Correction can be more complicated than the others. Let us now discuss time management according to each section.

Sentence Correction:

Under this section there are almost 16 questions. Your plan should be to solve them in around 1 minute. But as said earlier some questions are more complicated than the others and may require more time. But then again some will be easier and you will be able to solve them in less time. For example you read a sentence and spot the error in an instant, then that question can be solved within few seconds, however another one may be complicated and you may take more than a minute. That’s ok; the aim is to have an average speed of 1 question per minute.

Critical Reasoning:

Under this section you get around 12 or 13 questions. These questions roughly require a time slot of around 90 to 120 seconds per question depending on their complexity. Thus the average time for each question in this section should be 2 minutes. Sometimes, some candidates feel that they are spending too much time in this section and hurry up even when they are spending the right amount of the time required, do not rush through. There are common ‘traps’ and you may just fall in one of them if you scan and move on! Carefully use your time to consider the right answer choice. It’s worth the effort.

Reading Comprehension:

In this section there are around 4 passages with 12 to 13 associated questions. On an average each passage should be read in 3 minutes and the questions should be answered within a little less than a minute. But then each passage is of varying length, and few questions are tricky so the time taken to do a passage may be less while in others it may be more. The important aspect as we keep talking is the average. So when you do your practice try and identify the kind you do quickly and the ones in which you take time. This will help you to formulate your plan and help you to manage your time.

Tracking the speed:

It’s not easy to tack your speed in a verbal section as it is in Math. This is due to the various forms of questions, thus naturally you cannot pin-point accurately at what time you should finish first three or four question.

But because there is always the same number of questions in each set thus an average always works out fine. Now if we see the total questions then an average of 105 seconds per question is your required speed. In another words roughly a set of 4 questions should be done in a little more than 7 minutes. In this manner when you have done almost half the number of questions, say around 21or 22 your average time for them should be anything between 35 to 37 minutes. Thus you will have another 38 to 40 minutes to complete the remaining questions. This would be the best way to track one’s speed. You can track it in the group of 4 to 8 questions quite effectively.

Thus keep this approach in mind during your practice sessions and see how close you are in reaching the required speed.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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How will Integrated Reasoning Influence Your Score Card?
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GMAT is adding a new section to the exam called ‘Integrated Reasoning.’ This will substitute one of the two essay questions. This also means that there will be another added section to the score card assessing your skills regarding ‘Integrated Reasoning’.

Most of the students are in a state of panic because it’s so latest and no one knows much about it. They want to be the top scorers, the ones with 90 percentile, to achieve admission in their dream college-but now what? How do they prepare?

Personally, I do not think there is anything to worry about. GMAT is quite stressful so do not add more, for yourself. Remember, each candidate who is going to sit for this exam is facing the same vagueness. No one has any more information than you do!

Another important aspect to keep in mind (and maybe you will feel relaxed after reading this!) is that even the MBA admissions officers do not have a very clear picture of it! In a ‘standardized test’ the admissions committee uses the ‘standards’ set by previous candidates to evaluate your stake. They see how the previous candidates with your grades preformed in the college. Now for this section they have nothing to refer to!

According to me, it will take at least one full academic year or may be even two to set such standards. Only then the impact of this section will be seen in the score card. Then also, I feel, it will work more or less like the Analytical Writing Assessment does – used simply as an extra measure.

Candidates do not lose their seat in the college of their dreams if they get a 4.5 instead of 5 in the Analytical Writing Assessment. Similarly a candidate will not lose its seat, right now, on the bases of the percentile score of Integrated Reasoning even if they get a 60 instead of 80.

You should be logical and most importantly relaxed on the test day. Do not let your apprehension regarding the section weigh down your performance. Get accustomed with the question style; train yourself for the style of reasoning required by this section. But more than anything else concentrate on performing your best in the Quant and Verbal sections for they are very important.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Methods To Counterattack Stress Related To GMAT
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For us humans, stress and anxiety are the basic elements of our everyday lives. It’s our second nature and we cannot help but feel it presence in all circumstances! It’s ok to feel stress and anxiety in moderate form. To some limit, anxiety is important as it helps us to survive and become cautious in a dangerous situation. For example if you stand at the edge of a ledge at a certain height you are bound to feel stress and anxiety. Your mind perceives the danger and alerts you by sending the signals so that you can take the necessary actions. Similarly during the test the stress created due to the anxiety to do well amplifies your alertness of the situation and aids you to concentrate on the exam. This actually helps you to achieve your goal effectively.

But for few, this anxiety takes dangerous form. Instead of helping them to focus and perform well, it generates the feeling of fear. So when they are actually preparing for the test or giving it, their level of stress and anxiety magnifies and takes a dangerous form. This has a negative effect on their body and mind. Mind is agitated and goes void while body shows symptoms like palm sweating or shaking, rapid heartbeat and one may even have difficulty in breathing. This is also dangerous as it creates an endless loop the more you fret about the exam the more anxious you become and then the more anxious you become the more scared you are! Because I have been helping many students prepare for GMAT for many years now I have seen this condition more than often. In one extreme case one of my student, who was regularly scoring between 35-40 in quantitative section, during her practice tests got just 6 in her actual test! From a 60 percentile bracket she came down to 1 percentile bracket. When she was questioned she said “I went blank!” She was so stressed out that when she could not comprehend the first question she panicked. Her mind stopped working and she could not concentrate and focus in understanding the problems. This kind of thing happens with many students who let the anxiety take the better of them. They are not able to do their best and thus do not achieve what they are capable of.

Thus today through this article we will focus on methods to counterattack stress so that you are fully prepared for the test to give your best.

1. Train yourself thoroughly:

The very basic of success in any kind of test is to train oneself thoroughly. The more trained you are, the more familiar you are with it and as a result less anxious you are. Therefore you should start preparing way ahead in time. The more time you have the less stressed out you are. However cliché it may sound you have to study hard to do well. If you think you can learn all the things just a few days before the exam then this will definitely create a high level of stress and anxiety. The best antidote for the high level of anxiety is to study thoroughly. You must put in all your efforts honestly. Work hard to achieve your goals. For this you must practice hard in an atmosphere that is very close to the actual exam. Where you get the real feel , thus you will not be so scared on the actual day. We will not discuss here how to prepare as we have already done that. Today we will talk why some people still feel stress and anxiety even after they have put in sincere efforts of training themselves.

2. Some fundamentals to remember:

Many students while preparing for the exams, like GMAT, develop an erratic routine. They have no fixed time to get up or sleep. Their eating habits do not take in the account of nutrition required. There neglect physical exercise. Preparation for exam consumes all their time, not that they are studying 24×7, it’s just that they are always so preoccupied that they ignore their fundamental biological needs.

This is very wrong. While preparing for an exam you must not ignore your biological needs. You must eat well (nutritionally).Too much of junk food, high in sugar or fat are not good. They create erratic mood swings. You must avoid them as they also make it difficult for you to focus. Have a fixed routine of getting up, studying, taking a break, eating and even exercising. This keeps your mind alert and it helps you focus properly. A well rested body and mind always retains better this will help you to remember what you have learned. Take out sometime from your schedule and meet your friend. This will break the monotony and you will be able to study with concentration. Studies have proved that a good social life reduces the stress and anxiety from a person’s life.

Later in some other article I will discuss ‘specific anxiety reduction tools.’ As you cannot master the GMAT content overnight, similarly controlling anxiety can also not be done overnight. You need to practice in order to achieve it.

3. Be positive:

If you are preparing sincerely and working hard no one can take what you deserve. So do not stress yourself unduly by thinking negatively. It’s just a test, worst that can happen is that you may have to retake it. But if you keep fretting about how you will perform and thinking that you won’t make it. You are filling yourself with undue negative vibes that are not going to help you; instead they will only add up to your stress and anxiety and lead to a poor performance.

So be positive. Surround yourself with happy thoughts. Prepare honestly and have faith in you ability. If negative thoughts appear push them over by talking to yourself about how you are preparing hard and that you are going to answer the questions to the best of your ability and be affirmative. Your anxiety will start diminishing, you will again feel better and then you can focus in your studies again.

Note down some of the positive thoughts and talks that you have with yourself and then read them aloud daily, this will keep anxiety away all the time. It’s a very good exercise. You can write affirmative sentences like, “I am working hard and will do my best by answering the questions to the best of my ability.” Or, “I know my content. So I will do well in my exams” Or anything that you feel will create positive feelings in you. Then say these sentences daily and whenever you feel the stress. It will help you.

4. Do deep breathing exercise:

Deep breathing exercise is one of the most effective calming techniques. One feels relaxed just after few deep breaths. It is also called diaphragmatic breathing.

To practice this you must follow the following steps.

  • You must sit still with your eyes closed and a straight back.
  • Put one palm on your chest and the other one on your stomach.
  • Now take deliberate, deep and long breaths. (Your mouth should be closed and you must breathe through your nose.) Feel the air filling your stomach and then your lungs. You will feel the palm on the stomach and chest rise and fall with the rhythm of your breathing.
  • Each time hold your breath for a little while.
  • Then exhale slowly. As the air leaves your body, imagine it to carry away your anxiety and stresses.
  • Do this exercise for at least 2-5 minutes or till you feel better.
  • The idea behind this exercise is to build a method for relaxed breathing which can be used in stressful circumstances.

Before we talk about how to use these methods just before the exam and during the exam itself, we will talk about one more calming exercise. When one becomes stressed or anxious these feelings start accumulating in the muscles. They become tight and stiff. You may get cramp, and feel the tightness around the chest and stiffness around shoulder and neck. ‘Progressive muscle relaxation’ helps to reduce the tension from within the muscles.

5. Progressive muscle relaxation:

Progressive muscle relaxation is a very effective method to reduce the signs associated with anxiety. It is one of the best ways to remove the tension and anxiety that collects in particular muscle groups in the entire body.

To practice this you must follow the following steps.

  • First create tension in a particular group of muscles by stretching them and then tightening them. For example, if you want to do Progressive muscle relaxation for the lower part of your body then sit comfortably in a chair. Put both your feet in front, pointing toes and stretch them and then tighten the muscles of the calves. This creates tension in all of the muscle groups in the lower part of the body.
  • Retain this tension for a little time. During this period take in a deep slow breath and then release it equally slowly and then take a deep breath again.
  • On releasing the breath for the second time relax the muscles that you have tightened. As the tension leaves your body, imagine it to carry away your anxiety and stresses. The muscles are now relaxed. Notice the difference in them.
  • Each time hold your breath for a little while.
  • Now take two deep breaths concentrating on the relaxed muscles and feeling the difference.
  • Do the above mentioned steps with all the muscle groups found in the body. So that your entire body is relaxed and calm. The anxiety is thrown out of it and you can concentrate well in your studies and be cool during your exam.

To progressively relax the upper body muscles of your chest and stomach bend your back a little and tighten your abdominal muscles. To progressively relax your arms pull them out and tighten your fists. To tighten the neck and shoulders muscles lift your shoulders towards ears and to tighten the muscles of the face first tighten the muscles in the region of the mouth and cheeks then tighten the muscles of the forehead. By the end all your muscles will be relaxed and you will be tension free.

This will need regular practice until you are able to release tension from your body instantly. So that if you do feel stressed out during the actual exam because of some unforeseen reason, you are able to control your anxiety and do your best.

A day ahead of actual test day:

For most of the students this is the day when their anxiety and stress is at its peak. So do not let this create panic within you. Use the skills that you have practiced and mastered by now to curtail it. Eat good nutritional food throughout the day. No caffeine and junk food. Caffeine makes you feel nervous and jumpy, the brain may pick this as the sign of anxiety and stress, related to test and increase your nervousness. (Creating the endless loop.) Go for fresh fruits vegetables and whole grains.

Do not make the mistake of studying the whole day. Just go through your doubts or things that you have already scheduled for today. But do not go overboard with your revision. Trust your preparations and hard work. Rather let your mind relax. Go out with friends. Stay for sometime in a light atmosphere with them.

Thirdly get enough sleep. A mind can only work well when it is totally relaxed. By staying overnight and revising all that you can will only lower your confidence and increase stress and anxiety. Now even after doing all the above mentioned things you still feel anxious and stressed out then spend some time practicing one of the relaxation exercises.

On the D-day

This is one of the most important day in your life, till now, so relaxed and have a good healthy breakfast after getting up. Do not over indulge in it nor just take too little. After breakfast take some time out before you travel to your test centre to do some relaxing exercise this will develop your state of serenity. If you have physical workout secession, do that. The point is to remain in a calm and relaxed state. Do not think of learning new things or doing last moment revision. This will only increase the stress and anxiety. Arrive at your test centre a little before time. If you reach the centre at nick of time, this will cause heart rate to increase and brain may start sending wrong signals. Our aim is to remain calm and focus.

Finally do not forget to reward yourself after your test is over. Have one of your favorite thing, as you deserve it for staying focused for a long period of time.

While taking the test:

If at any point during the test you start to feel anxious then remember your relaxation exercise. Do that and it will help you to get back your attention to the task in hand. You can also create positive feel by doing some positive self talk. Tell yourself you can do it, you have worked for it and you are prepared to do the questions to the best of your ability. Tell yourself right now you have to give the test, later you can be as anxious as you want to.

You can also combine deep breathing with positive self talks. For the moment exactly like this we have derived a short method which has just two steps. First take a deep breath through your nose filling the lower abdomen and then the lungs while exhaling tell yourself you are capable of doing it and you will do it successfully. If you know a short prayer or a Mantra you can even recite it at this time. While doing so feel the tension and anxiety leaving your body and making you stress free.

Now for the short method of progressive muscle relaxation exercise, promptly see which body part of yours is feeling stiff due to stress. Tighten the muscles of that area and take a deep breath. Then loosen up and exhale, feel the tension and anxiety leave your body and making you stress free.

Last but not the least, remember it’s just the exam, you are more important than any exam. You have to remain mentally and physically fit and that can only happen when you are stress free. So do your best and do not fret about the outcome. Go out and have your treat, the reward you promised yourself!

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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GMAT Its a Marathon ,not a sprint
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A few days back I was sitting with my friend, who is a professional runner, and over the cup of coffee we had a passionate discussion on our professions. While talking to him I realized how we too, while preparing for GMAT could follow the same strategy that a marathon runner does! In-fact the training schedule and procedure they follow is quite appropriate for a GMAT candidate. This made me think that all the time talking about test, exams, studies and course just gets into ones tense nerves! So to talk about something different and yet so relevant would be a better option!

I hope you will find this comparison as interesting as I found. Even though you may say running is all about your physical strength while the GMAT is related to your mental ability, you will be surprised to see the similarity. In this case, my friend was telling me about an 18 week training program designed for a marathon runner (let me mention here this program is specially designed for a long race and not a short one)which is divided into four stages namely Fortitude, Pace, The Contest Training and To Slow Down.

You will be surprised to see how these same things can be applied to your GMAT training program. Firstly think of GMAT as a Marathon and not a fast race for short distance.

. Stage One: Fortitude

The very first requirement to win any competition is to build up your skills. A marathon runner cannot achieve his target if he can not actually run the miles required. Similarly you cannot crack the GMAT if you do not know your basics.

Thus before you enter any competition you must have a strong foundation. You must study and re-study if required the basics of Math and English grammar. If there has been a gap in your studies then you need to pay more attention to your preparation and build up a regular study plan. (Well even those who do not have a gap in their studies also need to have a regular study plan!)

Thus in this section a student will develop fortitude buy working on ‘Total GMAT Math’ and ‘Total GMAT Verbal’, specifically created to brush up your skills and take you to next level with confidence.

. Stage Two: Pace

Another vital requirement to achieve success in a competition is timing, be it a marathon or a GMAT. Just to complete it, should not be your target. Your target should be to conquer it, to the best of your ability. For that you have to work on your speed.

So once you know your basic and have developed a regular study routine for yourself take a step ahead. It’s one thing to solve your problem successfully but its altogether different thing to solve them successfully in the allotted time!

In this stage I advise my students to study from the ‘The Official Guide.’ It gives you more realistic picture. The questions are designed keeping the actual test in mind. Thus it becomes a little difficult to solve them as they appear and in their time limit. In this stage you have to carefully record the time you spend practicing each question.

. Stage Three: The Contest Training

In this stage a candidate prepares for the actual contest, be it the marathon or the GMAT. No one can expect to win the marathon by simply practicing on the treadmill or running alone on track. To win a race you have to actually run the race! Similarly to be ready for the actual GMAT you must take a few practice tests.

These practice tests tell you – where exactly you stand, what you should expect or how much more hard work is required. You will learn what skills you have to work upon. Thus taking practice tests are very crucial for your preparation.

. Stage Four: To Slow Down

The fourth and the final stage is to slow down. Athletes follow this religiously, just before their final performance they taper down in-order to avoid injuries and also burn out, but candidates sitting for the GMAT trend to do the opposite. Try and remember it’s good for the athlete because it helps to prevent physical exhaustion and it’s good for the candidate sitting for a high level stress exams because it helps to prevent mental exhaustion.

I have heard stories from number of students sitting for the GMAT on how they burned the midnight oils on last few days. This doesn’t help in-fact it does but only harm you. You must have a strategic learning schedule of weeks taking each stage in detail and thoughtfully. Work carefully towards your goal by building endurance, speed and stamina. And just before the D-Day let your mind rest, relax and soak in all you have acquired. Go to your exam without stress and with confidence.

With careful planning and methodical studies there is nothing that will stop you from achieving your goal.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Setting Targets For The GMAT Scores
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It’s not easy to set a GMAT score target for oneself. But just because it’s not easy, one must not ignore it all together. Many a times candidates randomly fix a target score that is somewhere near the average score of their target school and its MBA program or the magical number (700).

This is not correct. One must choose their target scores keeping their personal capability and the amount of time they can dedicate to studies in mind. True, everyone wants to score that magical number -700, but it’s not practically possible.

• A Novel Technique:

To set a practical GMAT target score first you must discover your present capacity level, for this you can take any diagnostic tests even the ones given at the beginning of ‘The Official Guide’ would do. No, I am not saying this will be your target score. Of course there is tremendous scope to improve from this level (and one must always target for it) but this scope is not unlimited!

Second important point to consider is the time you can put in your studies. It has been seen that if you want to go up by 10 points then for that you have to add 20 hours of studies. (This may sound a little frightening but it’s a fact!) This is an average ratio, if your present score is quite low it may take less study time to add 10 point to it but then if you are trying to push yourself up from 690 to 700 then sometimes even 100 hours are also not enough!

Set A Target Of Three Scores:

Now having analyzed the present day situation set a target of three different scores for yourself.

Let’s start for the lowest score. Think of a number that would be just enough for you to not go in for a retest. This would be in the lower side of the ‘middle 80 percent’ that the school you are targeting requires. This will be the lowest score target, yes this will not be thrilling or exciting but this will prevent you from taking a retest.

The next target would be considered a good one. This would help you get admission in your targeted schools and so this should be the average required there.

Yes! On top would be your dream score. A target you would love to achieve.

Let’s just assume the three target scores that you have set are,

590 on bottom level 640 on middle level

and 675 is your dream score.

Now note them down and work hard and honestly towards achieving them.

Reviewing Scores After GMAT:

After giving the GMAT when you get your score, go back and see the target scores that you have noted down.

If you score anything between 590 to 610 then you made it. It may not be the best but you managed to avoid sitting for a retest.

Now if you managed to get something between 630 to 650 this is excellent.

And if you scored anything around your dream score, you have a right to feel on top of the world!

The most important thing of this exercise is to identify the least required scores that will save you from taking the retest. This should be realistic. And you must stick to it. Most of the candidates, who score in the lowest range of their set target scores, spend a considerable time in contemplating whether to sit for the retest or not, when they could be using the same time in some other useful activity.

So if you have actually given a good thought to your target scores, it helps you save the time and the agony of to do or not to do! Once decided, stick to it. You know your requirement. Now work on the other important parameters like your admission applications, even if you achieved the scores on the lower side. And if you managed to come near your dream score, you know its worth!

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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ODDS AGAINST GIVING THE GMAT AGAIN
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Just like preparing for the examination is a personal process in the similar manner reappearing for a GMAT exam too is a matter of individual choice. But there are few important questions, that one must ask oneself if one wants to retake the exam. Today in this article I will highlight those questions for you.

It’s not all that rare for the candidate to appear for the exam and not to score as desired. And many factors may be responsible for it. It’s not that the candidate is not sufficiently prepared but sometimes circumstances could be such that they become victim of it. For example there could be some strange accident at the exam hall, or a well prepared candidate may just turn blank seeing the test paper. Many strange things many take place, one cannot explain all but the very basic thing that a candidate must answer honestly is “Will his/her, performance improve if they give a retest?”

What Parameters Can You Improve Upon?

If you have an honest answer to this question, then maybe it’s a good idea to take a retest. It means you know where you fell short and can work upon it. If so, you may be able to improve your score. May be you had a timing issue and had to rush though the last few questions in almost no time and because of that your expected score dropped down, in this case you have a chance to better your score.

But just in-case you have no idea about the parameters that you are capable of improving upon then appearing for a retest may not be such a good idea. If according to you, you have practiced perfectly and done as many as practice questions and tests that you could then preparing again in the similar manner may not help in elevating your scores.

Can You Concentrate?

Most of the time, when a candidate appears for the GMAT exam, he or she has undergone the intense practice secessions of weeks if not months. They have practiced on daily bases and followed a demanding schedule. Taking the test again means following the same schedule and undergoing the intense training once again. This may not be easy. One trends to lose one’s concentration. If you actually decide to go for a retest then I would advise you to take a short break first. Refresh your mind and then start with full dedication. For once you start there is no looking back! You have to follow the rigors study schedule.

But this may not be a cakewalk. Each candidate has his/her own limitation. Be totally aware of yours. You cannot effort to burn out. Take into consideration, can you keep the same focus if your study schedule has increased from a 9-week to 16-week? Have you been postponing important agendas because of your demanding study plan? Do you have to attend to them now? Do you have time and energy to do it? And if you cannot, then there is not much scope for an improved performance the second time.

What is Your Position Regarding The Application Process?

This is a big question. The admission not only depends on a good GMAT score but also in all the parameters regarding an Admission Application. If you have been preparing for the GMAT and postponed getting recommendation letters, writing essays for the last moment and now you just have a month left, you have to think if you have enough time for everything? Do you have time to take a retest? Will it be worth the time and energy spent on it or can you make a better use of it?

You have to judge very carefully what is more relevant at this time- a strong GMAT score or a strong application put together. This is your personal decision and would depend on the requirements of your targeted school. For example if your targeted school demands an average of 650 GMAT score, and you are no were near that score then you have to take a retest, but if you are very close to the average then it would be advisable that you spend more time in strengthening your application package.

The most important point is to be totally aware of the requirements of your targeted school and how they analyze your score-do they see the best score or do they consider the latest one or an average score? Each B-school has its own requirement and criteria and you should be fully aware of it before you consider taking a retest. , going through explanations and moving to the next question bank. But this very difference proves to be of huge usefulness.

If You Finally Decide to Take a Retest

If you have finally reached the conclusion of taking a retest then it is advisable that you must avoid doing too much and burning out yourself. Many students start from the scratch and practice doing their questions in great speed. They believe the more they do the better will be their score. Whereas this is not true!

Remember your previous preparation has given you a base; you do not have to disregard it. Do not start from scratch and think of doing everything in great speed. It will create unnecessary stress. Instead think carefully of the parameters you have to brush upon. And work on them. Carefully craft a timetable for yourself and stick to it.

If you have enough time in your hand you can always act as if the first GMAT you took was to test the grounds! Now you will be giving the real test and thus prepare accordingly. Be focused about your goal and clear about your target school and work towards strengthening your weakness. This will help you improve your score tremendously.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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WHAT SHOULD BE A REASONABLE SCORE THAT ONE SHOULD AIM FOR?
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I have seen in so many years that most of the candidates, sitting for the GMAT, have just one figure in their mind and that is “700”. For them it’s like a magical figure that would help them get admission into the best B-School of their dream. Of course some students do achieve that figure while some fail to reach that score mark in their GMAT result.

The Bunch That Sits For GMAT

Whenever you decide to give the GMAT test do keep in mind that all the candidates who will be competing are very apt. In fact this bunch of candidates will be in reality much more competent and well prepared than any other candidates preparing for any other exams! So remember even if you have a score of 95 percentile in SAT or a 3.9 GPA in a top graded university, this does not naturally mean that you will be able to score a “700” in GMAT. All the candidates you will be competing against have the same ambition and they too may have the same scores like you in SAT or an exceptional GPA.

In this test where 680 score stands for a 90 percentile it also means that only 10 percentage of the candidates would be able to achieve it –this is a fact! Now to set a target for yourself you have to understand how skilled you are and where you stand in-order to be among that 10 percent.

What Score Can a Candidate Expect to Achieve?

All most all the candidates sitting for a GMAT want to know how much they will be able to score in the test. When a candidate comes to work with us, we usually go in for a “diagnostic test.” Through this test we try and give a clear picture to the candidate regarding his true capacity. In my experience most of the candidates improve up to 40 to 50 points in a combined session. Sometimes few candidates may cross this limit. But that’s the average. Few candidates who want to study individually usually improve on an average of 80 to 100 points (and sometime even more.)

(If a tutorial company boast improvement of scores more than that then you can make your own judgment.)

Now, if your goal is that magical number “700” and your diagnostic score says 500 you can decide for yourself how far your journey is and work accordingly.

What are the Chances to Succeed?

I would say it’s not that bleak, you still have some hope left. Especially for those candidates, who got low scores due to “mismanagement of time” and because of that were unable to complete half of one section. Then with methodical practice and guidance they may expect an addition of 100 scores. But of course they will have to concentrate exclusively on time management and if they work sincerely they may have a good chance to succeed!

Even those candidates have a good chance to succeed and improve their scores who have had a gap in their studies. Supposing you have been out of college for almost 10 years and have not given any standardized test for many years, then there are chances that you may score low in the diagnostic test. But if you were good in studies and know your math then there is great probability that your score will improve tremendously. It may take some time and practice and then you will find your skills returning and your scores improving.

How much hard work is optimum?

There is no limit for the hard work but one should only work according to ones capacity. Too much will burn you out and instead of showing an improvement it may have a negative impact. There is always a point from where you start losing concentration, for preparing for a high stress exam does have that effect on people. An intense 12 week (minus or plus a week) preparation program does have that risk. More so if you have to improve your score even if they are around 50 to 80.

This is not meant to discourage anyone from following what they dream for. This is instead meant to alert you against your competitors. As you are well aware, the admission procedure of the top B- schools of the world is the most aggressive one. The cream of all the universities or colleges applies for their course. Which naturally make the competition tough. Everyone is as intelligent and hard working (if not more) than the other. Thus to have an expectation of a 90 percentile score because you are hard working and intelligent is putting too much pressure on yourself. This may in-fact become the very cause of your failure.

Embrace Yourself for Victory

With all said and done this does not mean you must not aim for a higher goal or look forward for success. Yes you must. You must work hard to improve your score and for that you must do careful planning. Give yourself adequate time. And prepare yourself to embrace success and be victorious. And for this set some realistic goals.

By all means apply for the best B-Schools you want to but at the same time apply into a few that may be a little less demanding. Where, something less than 700 or 650 score will also do. Never take a practice test just a few days before the exam date. Nothing can be more demoralizing than seeing that you fall a way low in your target goal and have so little time to work on it. This will increase the stress and you will not be able to perform your optimum on your D-Day. Thus with methodical planning and right practice you will be able to approach your exam with confidence and be stress free to do your best.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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WHEN YOUR GMAT DOESN’T GO AS YOU EXPECTED
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If one keeps a track of the search engine one finds many candidates searching for clue on what to do if their GMAT didn’t go as they expected. There are many terms candidate uses for it like, ‘crashed’ or ‘bombed’ their GMAT. It could simply mean anything to anyone it doesn’t have a fixed meaning but most of the candidates feel and express it in this way. Many candidates who come to us have taken the test once. Thus multiple scores are a common occurring and each school has its own policy regarding it.

But today in this article we are going to concentrate on what should be your next move ‘when your GMAT doesn’t go as you expected’ and you have decided to sit for it again. (Appearing for the retest is a very personal and difficult decision and an altogether different topic that we have already covered before.) So today we will discuss what you should do if you decide to take the retest.

Kick Back

Yes, it’s necessary to relax first. Take some time off from your demanding preparation schedule and cool down. When you have undergone some intense preparation program for weeks or even months and you do not perform as expected it’s but obvious that you will be upset. Thus to start studies again in such a frame of mind will not help. So do take the necessary break, refresh yourself and then only start studying again. A break of a week or so won’t harm, it will rather help you to start your studies with renewed energy. But do not let your break stretch for too long!

Don’t Go Over The Top

Just because you did not do as you expected does not necessarily mean you have to make a fresh start by studying from all together new books or tutors. Do not overreact and do all the different things (or may be even opposite) the second time! Just relax and reason out if it is actually required. Think, did something in past not help you, may be polishing it up may give you the required edge. Don’t discard everything that you did first. Make a careful assessment of the situation and then come to the reasonable conclusion.

Decide Upon A Fresh Date

According to the GMAC rule you cannot take a retest before 31 days. So you have to wait that long. I too think one should take the retest in about that time or maximum within 40-45 days. It’s no use waiting for a longer period until you have a very valid reason for it.

So set a date for yourself as soon as you are ready. This gives boost to your studies and an aim to work towards. The earlier you set a date the better. It will also help you to come over your disappointment and work towards the new goal.

Study From The Actual Guide Book
Even if you have done it before, see what you missed out and redo the questions from the ‘The Official Guide.’ Many candidates do the mistake of picking up the popular books from the market and practice from it. Well we do not say it’s wrong but it just doesn’t help everyone. They are commercial; the real practice materials are the official guide and ‘my sets of practice problems.’ They will give you the correct understanding of the questions and build the confidence required to go ahead in your preparation. In ‘my sets of practice problems’ the questions are very much based on the actual available questions of GMAT exams. Thus practicing from these resources helps you to be in track.

Be Optimistic

It’s understandable that after preparing hard for the exam if you do not succeed you tend to be disappointed. But once you decide to sit for the retest be optimistic. Do not look back and surround yourself with failure, disappointment or negative thoughts. What’s done is done, now focus on success. Without the aim of success you cannot work towards it. The more positive you are, the more you will gain from your preparation time. Your frame of mind determines the efficiency of your study time, thus be optimistic.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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THE ART OF DOING PRACTICE PROBLEMS
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Buying lots of books and working on as many practice problems as is humanly possible seems to be the most popular mantra among the students in-order to achieve success. If not all, then most of the students who approach me for GMAT counseling do follow this pattern. Yes granted, it does work for some and on few occasions but cramming all those books and going through a horde of question is not the surest way to get the best scores.

I always warn my students that, “Practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect” so one should not fall in that trap. Your aim should be to practice perfectly. You are about to sit for a standardized test that generally creates high- anxiety and high-pressure and thus only perfect practice gives you the best results. Timing plays a very crucial role in your practice sessions. If you are not getting the answers right in exactly the same time that you would require in your actual exams then your practice is obviously not perfect.

Steps to be taken while preparing of a successful practice sessions

The very first step is to understand your potential. Do not over do. Aim for an achievable target. Give a considerable thought to the number of practice problems you can solve in a day, week or a month. I would say if you practice anything between 500 to 800 problems on the whole, it is a good number to prepare you for your GMAT. Just because you have a stack of preparatory books and in them almost five time the number of practice questions you don’t have to do them all!

Secondly always follow the pattern you are supposed to follow for your exams. Remember you are preparing for the actual test so your practice should also be that real. Always work on the “scratch paper” that has been provided in the books. Never write in books or question papers. Adjust your book to a higher level rather than keeping it flat, so that it feels like you are looking at the screen rather than the book. Set a time for yourself. This will give you the correct idea of how many right answers you got at a certain time and how close (or far) you are to the required speed. This will help you to set your time and speed for the actual exam.

The third and final step is to set a practical target for one session. Here, by one session we mean one sitting without any breaks! This target will depend on how difficult the problems are in relation to your own progress. This target may vary for each session and that’s ok. But still my personal suggestion is not to do more than 40 problems in one session. It is a waste of time to create an energy level for anything more than that, remember we are trying to make our sessions more real and you won’t be doing more than that in your actual test. So invest your time and energy in proper manner.

Now the actual art of going through the practice problems

The steps you have to take while actually solving the practice problems are, first set a timer for yourself. Do not rush to finish it at the allotted time, work in your normal speed. Do not worry if you are not able to complete it in your set time. This is your practice section. But once you have completed all the problems, on your scratch paper note down the time you took to complete the questions along with your answer. The next most important step is to make a mark of any kind like a star next to the question in which you had a doubt of any kind, any concern regarding your approach or understanding of the question.

Now that you have completed one session you can sit back and relax. You can let these problems lie for few hours or a day, but not more than a day. After that you must return back to the problems you have solved for the crucial part of your practice session starts only after this.

Reviewing the practice problems

This is a very crucial step and you have to be very honest with yourself. Reviewing the problems helps you to improve and helps you achieve perfection with each practice. So when you start reviewing your scratch paper you will find three distinctive categories of problems. First, those that you solved incorrectly, second, the ones you have made a mark on (like a star) and the ones you did correctly but took too much time in doing. One may feel great after doing a math question right in five minutes. But it’s a useless achievement as you have to answer 35 questions in 75 minutes in another word here in GMAT you have an average time of 2.2 minutes for each question. So it is important that you learn to do these problems more effectively.

Also while reviewing the paper that you have attempted, you will see some of the question that you got wrong or missed doing were because of some careless mistake. You missed reading the question correctly or forgot to add the carry over number. Or may be after you did the question you realized that the simpler and faster method was different. Whatever may the reason be, for all the questions you missed or did wrong or took too much time in doing so you must rework them.

Yes! The only way to perfect the practice is to rework on them- all over again.

Before you plunge into reworking all those problems I would suggest that you go over the explanation first. Most likely, among them, there would be quite a few problems that you did not understand quite well. If you are taking tuition then the best time to do these problems is with your tutor. There may even be few problems that even after reading the explanation you may not understand perfectly, don’t worry or waste your time attempting them all by yourself. Keep them aside and do it when you find someone who can help you with them.

Sometime reviewing the scratch paper and going through the explanations takes up a long time. You may need a break before you sit down to do your problems the second time. Do so, by all means. However when you rework on the problems, remember, your strategy would be the same as for the first time—doing all the work in scratch paper, setting a timer, marking the questions and noting the time.

Apparently this procedure takes much more time than simply solving the problems, going through explanations and moving to the next question bank. But this very difference proves to be of huge usefulness.

The constructive consequences of solving the problems in this manner are

When you solve the problems for the second time, especially the ones that you got right but took too much time in doing so or you were not sure of your approach, this time when you do it your mind will register it clearly. The correct method will be reinforced in your brain. Then your scratch paper will also be neater than it was in the first round. The learning takes place through all senses while the brain registers what we practice the eyes too register the visual clarity of our work and subconsciously helps us to remember effectively.

While it’s not practically possible to flawlessly practice GMAT problems all on the first round, that’s why it is important that you take out considerable time from your study hours to review your paper and redo it. This helps you in perfecting your practice. When you do the problems the second or third or even fourth time your answers are more correct, you are confident and efficient in your approach, your scratch paper is neater, your timing improves and you are much nearer in accomplishing success.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Ten clandestine facts pertaining to GMAT
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There are many important facts pertaining to the GMAT Test itself that a candidate should know beside the facts he/she learns in his/her grammar or arithmetic book. I personally do not advocate “beat the test” policy loudly, my focus is more in helping the candidates to comprehend and study the curriculum. So let us discuss the ten most important facts that each candidate should be aware of.

Efficient Management of Time

Answering the questions correctly does not matter at all if you do not answer them correctly in the allotted time. In another words learning to manage time is of uttermost importance. If you manage to go through the 37 questions of the math section and 41 questions of the verbal section within the allotted time frame the probability of high score is great.

Give Equal Importance to The First and The Last question

Do not live in the illusion of the myth that the first five question “make or break” your score. All questions are important. It’s just that if you get those first five questions wrong you may not score very high and that is not because of the questions but because of your personal skill level. Spending more than the required time or just concentrating in few questions is always a risky business.

90th Percentile Scores Does Not Mean That You Score a 90th Percentile

Sounds shockingly contradictory? But it’s a fact! If you score an 80 percentile in both the sections (verbal and math) your exam scores will be better than that, in-fact it will be higher than the 90 percentile.

Give Due Importance to Rates and Ratios and Not Just to Combinations and Permutations

In the GMAT exam, the math section covers various topics extensively. If you concentrate on just a few and ignore the others thinking they are simple you may miss the chance of scoring a good grade. Most of the test preparatory courses in the market are designed in such a manner that they concentrate only on few so called hard topics. Remember no topic is simple give your attention to all.

The Two Choices in a Verbal Section are ‘Correct’ or ‘Incorrect’

In the verbal section there is nothing like “nearly right” or “approximately right” or “kind of right.” There is just one right answer, all others are wrong. Do not go by what the instructions say, no answer is almost right, there is only a right one or a wrong one and it’s as simple as that.

It’s Not a Prep Course That Helps You Get a 700

Most of the prep courses are designed to include a wide range. They target all kind of students even from the range of 600 and around. We are not saying you cannot get a 700 score after taking a prep course, we just want to say that it’s not the prep course but your own sincere and honest effort that gets you that kind of score.

Do Not Worry, There is Enough Scratch Paper

Using both sides of the six scratch papers that you are provided with is generally enough for the students, until and unless you have a very big handwriting, in that case we suggest you try and do something about it. Any way even if you need more you can always ask for it and you will be provided with it, so this should be the least of your botheration.

Each Section has Experimental Questions

On an average there is at least one out of four questions that is an experimental one. This means there are as many as 8 to 10 such questions in each section. Thus instead of wasting your time you should make intelligent guesses and move on to the next one.

Do Not Think of Science Passages as Exceptionally Demanding

You don’t have to learn or memories science for it. You just have to learn to approach them correctly. You are simply required to assimilate the information you have been provided with and keep an account of the conflicting views, similar to what you do in any other type of passage.

Long Calculations are Not Required

Most of the times the questions are based on a set of simple numbers, but if they are not then you can always approximate it. Rather than learning some mental tricks it would be better if you learn a clear cut method to solve all the topics. This will help you manage your time effectively in exams and also help you understand how numbers work together.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Importance of Timing in a GMAT Practice Session
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Timing is an integral part of the practice sessions while preparing for your GMAT exams. You cannot build on it, later on. You have to develop it from the very start. For example if one is writing a humorous novel, he/she cannot simply write a story first and “add on” the humor once the story writing is over. This does not work. The humor should be woven into the story from the beginning, its vital, any other way the story won’t appeal to the readers. Similarly when practicing for the GMAT exams you must try and focus on your time management from the beginning.

Here are few TIPS that should be kept in mind while preparing for GMAT Exam

Timing is Vital

During my course of counseling, I have seen many students who do just the opposite. They think if they practice the questions and comprehend the method and steps to be followed first, they would then take care of the time management skills. Or worst their timing would improve on its own. So they spend maximum week practicing their questions and toward the end work a little bit on timing. Generally this does not work.

Do Not Wait Till You Feel Comfortable

True, you cannot practice timing your paper from the very first practice session. But you just cannot ignore the time you take to do your paper from the very first session. Supposing you need a lot of practice session for your math section. Now it would be unwise if you kept looking at the clock throughout the session. You may gain nothing. But it’s equally unwise to keep ignoring the clock till you feel you are comfortable.

Develop The Key Skill to Identify and Move On

I have said this before and I will repeat it again over here, that GMAT is not only an exam for the content; it also examines your time management skills. In many ways it is more of a time management test. No one can clearly predict what questions will come in a GMAT exam, but one can clearly and confidently say that you are expected to do 37 questions in 75 minutes for your math section. So in this manner it is one of the few constant factors among the variable and unpredictable factors of the exam.

Content wise no one can guarantee what will come. But one thing is sure there will be questions that you have not done or heard of before. And there will be questions in which you know for sure you will take more than two minutes to solve. You must learn to identify that these two problems are same from the point of view of time management.

Thus you must train yourself to develop the important skill of identifying such problems and moving on to the next one without wasting time. And this skill is needed to be built and woven into your practice sessions.

Practicing the skill in the Practice Secession

As soon as your concepts are clear in math you must start practicing keeping the time in mind. (I have already discussed the art of perfecting the practice in Essay 1 you may refer to it once again.)

Once you have got the flow, remember any question that takes four minutes or more to be solved is as bad as a question you do not know. If in your future practice secession you are able to achieve a simple method and solve the question within two minutes then it’s fine, else you must not waste your time doing it. No question in a GMAT exam requires more than two minutes to be solved. If you take more than that time it means you are not approaching the problem in the correct way and thus it’s a waste of time solving it.

Essentially you must be very time conscious. Irrespective of the time you have before your exams. It could be five days before or five week before. You must practice keeping time in mind. Every time you see such a problem ask yourself if it’s worth trying, if while doing it (and you are not even sure if you will get it right) you are wasting your precious time in which you might have done few question that you were sure of. You aim while practicing should be to train yourself to recognize the problem, evaluate its worth against the time you need to solve it, and move on.

Most of the students I have met do not lack behind in their subject matter. Though of course, everyone always has a scope to improve. The major problem is how they decide to use it. The more they are able to amalgamate their knowledge with timing, the better are their GMAT scores.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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A Week Ahead Of GMAT Exams
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Every time a candidate sits for his or her GMAT exams and as the day for the exams approaches near, the most pressing question in his or her mind is – “What should one do as part of the final preparation, a few days before the exam?”

According to me the answer is straightforward – Do not make a great deal of modification in your routine. Follow your routine and the ways suggested previously for effective practice. Most probably, you would be preparing and practicing your course material for few weeks or months by now and you must have covered most of it. Therefore there is not much that you can do in the last few days to increase the outcome of the effort you’ve already put in.

But I would like to mention here few things that you should contemplate upon:

Concentrate to be a proficient

Till now you have used all your time in learning and comprehending the content that was new to you. You may have also used this time in brushing up the old content. This may be more true in the case of math where to acquire new skills and polishing the old ones takes time. If you start working on a new topic just a few days before test, then you are actually wasting your precious practice session. For in such a short time you will not become a proficient in it.

So I personally suggest that, just a few days before exams, you must concentrate on mastering the skills rather than acquiring a new one. Many a times, even when a candidate knows a topic quite well, he or she tends to make mistakes while attempting it under the intense pressure of the GMAT exam. Thus this is the time to make yourself proficient in the topics you are confident about, so that you can perform flawlessly under pressure.

Be aware of time

It is also important that by now you have practiced doing the questions in the allotted time. If not, start doing it right away. For a right question will only matter when done in the required time slot, else it’s as bad as not knowing it correctly. The last week is the perfect time to practice all your sessions keeping the timing in mind. You have to master this skill too.

The last week is also the perfect time to start practicing (if you are not doing it by now) on making intelligent guesses. You have to develop the thought process to choose correctly the questions you can do smoothly without any mistakes and the ones you might be just a bit confused about. You have to train your mind to do some questions and leave others weighing the pros and cons of the question. Start practicing, exactly in the same manner as if you are attempting the questions on the actual exam day. Ask yourself if a difficult question is worth attempting? Are you wasting time in doing it? You have to develop this thought process else it will be difficult for you do it in the actual exam day.

Be Cool

Many candidates try to elevate their preparation on the last few days though it’s natural it generally increases the pressure resulting in making you feel stressed out. This happens more so when you are preparing for the GMAT exam amidst other important things.

In most probability you have been preparing for the GMAT exam for quite a few weeks now. Therefore what you do on the last few days won’t matter much. Thus it is advisable to spend these precious few days in making sure that whatever you have acquired is perfect rather than learning anything new. Do not stress yours self by setting pressing targets like completing one more practice book.

Remember, be it the first or the last week your aim should be in the ‘quality’ of practice rather than ‘quantity’ of practice. I give this advice to all. And for the last week this should specially be your mantra.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Excelling GMAT Has No Short-cuts
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Who doesn’t dream of finding a short and secret mantra that is dependable and guarantees to help them to excel the GMAT better and faster than everyone else?

But let’s face the reality; there isn’t any such mantra or formulas. Yes this is true that few ways of preparations are much effective than the others. Few curriculums may be more efficient than the others or few books have better content than the ones flooding the market. But there is no secret ingredient that will help you max the exam.

Though GMAC – Graduate Management Admission Council may not openly give particulars pertaining to the exams but they are not secretive about it either. If you go through the various sites on GMAT and study the valuable information, which is all free, you will get a clear picture of the challenge that you have to face.

There is no doubt that comprehending new information and that too in a different format is of course difficult. But that’s what new challenges are all about. You cannot go around blaming “the exam” (in this case GMAT) if you are unable to do it. You must train yourself to learn new things and over the period of preparation make fewer mistakes as possible. Remember all those who are preparing for this test are also going through this same difficulty: that you are not alone. (It may help you overcome some frustration!)

Close your eyes and think – if you want to acquire a new skill (not only acquire it but excel in it) for example, you want to be a great football player or an artist in any field –how much dedication, hard work and practice it demands? Yes there are no shortcuts! And you will not master these skills over night. Only practice and knowledge will make you prefect. You will have to learn new techniques, some may be easy to master while others may be frustrating. But that’s ok for its all part of learning and everyone goes through it. So prepare for GMAT exams as if you are learning new skills.

Keep in mind reaching the desired target requires time. Thus do not get frustrated if you are not able to crack it in few days. Along with time the other important ingredients required to crack or excel in the exam are correct understanding of its curriculum as well as its mechanism and let’s not forget diligence. Preparing for GMAT may not be all fun, but it’s unnecessary to add stress by getting agitated because of the slow progress.

To end this article with the good news –be rest assured, all those who prepare keeping the above points in mind always find success in GMAT as it does encourage thorough preparation. These people have a great advantage over people who still believe there are “shortcuts.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Errors to be Avoided in a GMAT Exam
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Your GMAT score can be low because of many factors. But I have seen that the most common reason for a low score is one or more of these seven frequent errors made by a candidate. So here is a list of these common errors to help you identify them and avoid them.

Solving Each and Every Problem

It’s not a very practical idea to solve each and every question in your GMAT paper. Until and unless you are an expert or a genius, especially regarding the GMAT’s math content, it’s not possible for you to have enough time to solve all the questions of the test paper. You have to learn to manage your time in such a way that you can skip the questions that require unnecessarily more time of yours and do the ones you can manage within the time range set. Because if you give more than necessary time to the difficult questions you will have very little time for those you could have solved easily.
Conclusion: Make intelligent guesses in every section.

Giving Maximum Attention to the First Few Questions

Second major mistake that most candidates make is that they spend more than the required time in solving first five or ten questions. This puts them in unnecessary pressure to solve rest of the questions in less time. Try to remember it’s just a myth that the first few questions elevate your score. Of course to get those questions right anytime would be a good thing but reason this out with your self – where will your score be if you spend all your time doing just ten or few more and leave the rest due to lack of time?
Conclusion: Give equal importance to all the questions.

Not Doing Enough Written Practice

As the exam date appears closer many candidates under the pressure tend to do less of written practice. They do not follow the procedure of making notes, solving problem by writing it down and re-revising it. Do not worry about the Scratch paper there’s enough and beside you can always get some more. Do as much of written practice as you can this gives you an edge above others who do not, as it helps you improve your speed.
Conclusion: Do not skip the Scratch work in your practice session as well as in the actual exam.

Deducing the Level of Question’s Complexity

As everyone knows GMAT is an “Adaptive Test” the more question you do correctly the more difficult the test becomes. So if you think the questions are easy do not conclude you are performing poorly. The probability of anything is high so you have to maintain a positive attitude. Answer each easy question with a positive frame of mind, may be it’s your lucky day.
Conclusion: Skip the difficult ones and do the easy ones that help you save time.

Working on questions based on Data Sufficiency

In spite of knowing that in a question based on data sufficiency there is no place to enter a numeric value still many candidates do not feel confident to chose a statement as their answer till they have calculated the value of “X”. This is a waste of time.
Conclusion: Teach yourself to identify options before you actually calculate the exact value of “X”.

Guess- Work in Critical Reasoning Section

This is the biggest mistake many candidates make in a Critical Reading section rather than cautiously examining the content of the passage they scan the passage and come to their own conclusion. These passages are like riddles which have to be solved with logic and the material you are provided with.
Conclusion: Do not make your own assumptions and write something that is not in the passage.

Hesitating in Choosing Option “A” in Sentence Correction Questions

Option “A” in Sentence correction questions is always the same as the original sentence i.e. the sentence written as it is in the question. Now many candidates think because it’s a sentence correction question the answer has to be different. This is not true. The sentence can be correct and the probability of having “A” as the correct option is as high as any other option.
Conclusion: Do not hesitate in choosing “A” as an answer choice.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team

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Points To Remember In Order To Accomplish Success in GMAT
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While practicing for GMAT exam a candidate hardly pauses to consider what to do next or take in a broader prospective of his/her own approach towards the exam. Thus getting ready for the exams becomes a complex process. Sometime even the people or institutions helping you prepare for GMAT are responsible for the similar error.

So today we will look backward and see the broader picture of GMAT and point out to you the key factors responsible for the successful preparation of it. These can be summarized as:

  • Comprehend the exam.
  • Be proficient with your basics.
  • Use actual resources to practice flawlessly.

Now let us look at each of them in detail:

Comprehend the Exam

To master anything you must first understand it clearly. Until and unless you do not know the kind of test GMAT is, how will you prepare for it? Thus to comprehend the exam is very important. You must not make a mistake of considering it as just another exam. It’s nothing like your school or college exam. Beside this, it is also very different from the other conventional exams like SAT, LSAT, GRE or ACT.

In order to be successful in this exam you must have a clear picture of how a “computer-adaptive” system works. You should also have a good knowledge of its length and the extent of its syllabus. You should especially be very clear about how “Data Sufficiency” problems are solved.

Just remember how ever hard you work and practice your syllabus if you do not know the way you are examined you will not be able to perform. It’s like going up to the stage to give a speech and you have no idea of what to talk about, in comparison to the person who has thorough knowledge of what is expected out of him.

Be Proficient With Your Basics

The next point to accomplish success in GMAT is very basic- know your fundamentals, not only know them but also be a master in them. Though GMAT does not openly test your basic knowledge but remember if you do not know your basic you cannot perform well in any exams and that’s very basic! Thus you are required to practice and polish your basics in algebra, geometry and English grammar.“Total GMAT Math” and “Total GMAT Verbal” helps you in accomplishing this task. Do become a proficient in basics before you proceed to the next level.

Sometimes candidates are so focused on topics like “combinations and permutations” or “Critical Reading” that they forget all about revising their basics. My personal belief is that 90% of the candidates sitting for GMAT would improve their scores if they simply concentrated on polishing their basics in algebra, geometry and English grammar.

Use Actual Resources To Practice Flawlessly

This is the last key factor and it should consume most of your preparation time. So while practicing for GMAT, keep this in mind that the official sources (Official Guide and the Official Tests) will form the background for most of the medium difficulty level questions. While they may not represent the toughest and most challenging problems GMAT, it is still important to go through these in order for you to reach the maximum level of difficulty questions.

The most important factor here is that you must practice the art of “practicing perfectly.” It’s not important how much you practice if you do not do it perfectly. You may very well do less number of problems but do them perfectly, be a proficient in them, do them flawlessly. This may even mean doing few or may be even all questions repetitively. Never mind, as long as you perfect the skills required. Do not think a question is over if you have completed it until and unless you are absolutely sure of the method followed, the approach required to complete it in the required time slot. Only when you achieve synchronization on all these levels then you have perfected the art of practice.

Unlike what many people say these points are the key ones to keep in mind in order to achieve success in GMAT. I would even say if you are doing anything besides this in your practice session then it’s a waste of your time. Make your study plans centered on these key facts only and you will achieve success.

Regards,
Pythagurus Academic Team
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