The number of Indian students applying for higher education abroad is growing every single day. According to experts, India is likely to become the largest student market for foreign universities due to the large number of students aspiring to look for employment opportunities abroad. Given the current scenario where an increasing number of Indian students are applying for graduate programmes like MBA and MS, it is evident that the takers for tests like GRE and GMAT will also rise in great numbers.
USA, Canada, UK and Germany are some of the popular destinations for Indian students to pursue these courses. The universities in these countries accept admission on the basis of GRE and GMAT scores along with the English language test scores like IELTS and TOEFL. While candidates who plan to take GRE or GMAT tests are well aware of the test pattern and syllabus, many end up making some common mistakes during the course of their preparation as well on the day of the test. Knowingly or unknowingly, these mistakes happen and eventually, it affects candidates' performance.
By being well-informed in advance, one can avoid these mistakes and score well on the GRE and GMAT tests. Let us figure out some of the common mistakes made by candidates preparing for GRE/ GMAT or while taking the test.
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Choosing the Wrong Study Material
There are various books and online material available for a student to prepare for the GRE and GMAT test. However, students must ensure to choose the right and authentic material for practice.
Candidates must give adequate time for test preparation using GRE practise tests, sample papers, mock tests and the best study material. The practise tests for GRE can be accessed from the official website of ETS which is the conducting body of GRE. Similarly, the practice tests and study material for GMAT are suggested by GMAC.
Some of the best books to prepare for GRE are ETS GRE: The Official Guide to Revised General Test, Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides, The Princeton Review GRE Prep 2021 and Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides. Find more information about the Best Books for GRE Preparation here.
GMAT Official Guide Verbal Review/ Quantitative Review: Book by GMAC, The Complete GMAT Strategy Guide Set, GMAT Advanced Quant: 250+ Practice Problems & Bonus Online Resources are the books to prepare for GMAT. Find more information about the Best Books for GMAT Preparation here.
Not Following a Study Plan
Candidates must realise at a very early stage of their preparation that the last-minute preparation is not going to help them perform well in GRE or GMAT. Preparing for such standardised exams takes a good amount of time and effort. Plan on spending two to three months and 100-120 hours absorbing material and practising on a regular basis. Top GRE and GMAT scorers spend an average of 120+ hours studying for test days and Score a Perfect 800 on GMAT. In order to score good marks, you must start your preparation early and follow a regular routine for each day.
Not Taking Mock Tests
It is rightly said that practice makes a man perfect. One of the best ways to prepare for the GRE and GMAT exam is to practise mock tests. Mock tests not only help candidates build confidence but also improve the speed and accuracy of taking tests.
Candidates who practice mock tests perform much better in the actual GRE and GMAT than those who didn't take them. Thus, it is highly recommendable that students practise as many mock tests as possible before appearing in GRE or GMAT entrance tests.
Since the actual GRE and GMAT test is Computerised Adaptive Practice Tests, the candidate must ensure to take mock tests designed similar to the actual test.
Not Doing Analysis of Mock Tests
Practising mock tests without detailed analysis at the end of the test is like a job half done. It is necessary to analyse mistakes at the end of each practice test to identify weaknesses and abilities. Doing a detailed analysis will help candidates identify the section where they need to give extra attention. It is a long-term process but helps a lot in enhancing the performance on the actual day of the test.
Candidates must take as many mock tests as they can and tally their scores using GMAT Score Calculator or GRE Score Calculator, as per their preferred test type. They must give equal attention to all the sections asked in the test.
Not Paying Attention to Weaknesses
Merely identifying the weaknesses and weaker sections are not the solution. Candidates must also try to overcome it in order to score well on the GRE and GMAT test. Often students pay less attention to their weaker sections during the preparation time and tend to regret it later on.
Thus, it is important that the student pays attention to all sections of the GRE/GMAT. Even if an individual is good at one section, they must try to improve their scores in other sections. Let us say, only the quantitative section is not sufficient for the overall performance in the test. Candidates must not forget to pay attention to the GRE Verbal section as is often considered more challenging than the GMAT Verbal section by most of the test-takers. For this, you must keep a GRE Words List handy as not to get confused with obscure words.
Spending Too Much Time on a Question
The aim of candidates must be to attempt all questions asked in the GRE or GMAT. All the efforts of candidates may go in vain if they cannot answer all questions within the stipulated time. Thus, candidates must keep track of the amount of time spent on solving each question and not spend too much time on questions which are tricky and hard to solve.
Panicking Over Losing Time
While taking the test, the timer keeps running on the screen which may make the candidate panic and get carried away. However, with a certain amount of patience and calmness, the candidate can overcome such situations. Just a little cautiousness is required while solving the problem to avoid panicking over losing the time while attempting the test.
Not Reading the Questions Carefully
Often in a hurry to attempt questions, the candidate may not read the instructions carefully. Many times, the questions may be tricky and the candidate may end up selecting the wrong option for the answer. It is, thus, advisable to read the questions carefully and only then mark the most appropriate answer.
Confirming the Answer Without Cross-Checking
Often, students are in a hurry to attempt questions for the GRE and GMAT and in a rush of doing so they end up making the option without cross-checking which may tend to be wrong. Some questions are designed in GRE and GMAT to judge the presence of mind of a candidate and tend to be tricky. The option that seems to be right at first may at times be wrong. It is, thus, important to cross-check the option every time a candidate confirms an option. This will help them avoid silly mistakes and perform better in the test.
Avoiding Proper Rest
Taking good care of both physical and mental health must be the foremost priority of the candidate. They must follow a proper diet and take adequate sleep for a couple of weeks before the test day. Candidates must avoid last-minute preparation and focus more on rest to avoid panic and restlessness.
Proper rest helps an individual retain anything better and also it improves attention and focus. The candidate must avoid studying a day before the test and keep things ready like admit card, ID and other necessary materials that are needed to be carried on the day of the examination.
Hope the above information is useful for the reader and will help them perform better in the GRE or GMAT exam. Keep a note of these common mistakes discussed above and stick to your study plan to clear the GMAT/GRE with a flourish of the trumpet.
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