Tips on Taking GMAT Test
A day after taking the GRE Test, I took my GMAT test. Here are some tips that may help you prepare yourself for the big test.
- Register for your test far in advance. There are only two Pearson VUE test centers giving GMAT test in Indonesia. One is at Fakultas Teknik Universitas Indonesia, Salemba, Jakarta and the other one is at INFORMATICS School in Surabaya. The queue at the first location in Jakarta is very long, so register at least a month and a half in advance to your test date. Alternatively, you can register for
- Regarding preparation material, I suggest Kaplan’s. This is not a ringing endorsement, but Kaplan has the most realistic test materials. Even GMAC’s own is rather easy, especially on the quantitative section. Princeton’s book also gives a lot of good advice about making educated guesses with it’s Joe Bloggs fictitional character.
- Use free software from GMAC and McGraw-Hill to better help you understand the test. Grab the GMAC’s GMATPrep here and do McGraw-Hill’s online test here.
- Practice timing yourself. I think the best strategy is practice a small set of questions with a given time to give you the idea of how pacing yourself is very crucial. Try to practice solving 10 questions in 12 minutes, for example.
- If you have the time and resources, consider joining a preparation course. A friend of mine recommended Pascal’s at the Patra Jasa building in Jakarta. He said it was quite expensive but was worth the effort as he successfully increased his score after the course.
- For the AWA section, it’s a good idea to practice using GMAC’s list of AWA topics. The real test assignment will be taken from this long list. I happen to be helped by this fact when my AWA assignment was actually the one I have practiced before!
- Have a good night sleep prior to the test. Highly suggested. No use in cramming in such a short time. Just relax, do anything that will help you ease yourself for tomorrow’s test.
- If you have a list of schools as your score recipient, have it written down and put it in your bag. You are allowed to send to five schools free-of-charge. Just write the names of the universities down, including the school/college/faculty name and have it ready in your bag. Don’t bother with the institution code, it won’t be needed, you’ll still have to search for the schools manually through the computer. It is very likely that you are not allowed to take a note inside the room, so memorizing the list is a good preparation.
- Get familiar with the location. Some people even suggested to take a dry run prior to the test. Oh, the Jakarta test center is located next to a mosque, so it might be quite distracting due to the regular adzan hearing. I would suggest to avoid taking the GMAT test there other than at 09.00 am and on Fridays.
- Have a hearty breakfast in the morning, if that’s your routine. The test will take four hours so you better prepare yourself for the battle. There are some cafeterias in the basement as well as small convenience store if you don’t feel like having breakfast at home.
- Do not forget to bring your ID & test confirmation receipt to the test center, and make note on the date and time. This is very essential. Trust me, I learnt it the hard way, so do not repeat my mistakes. Be there on the test location half-an hour before the test schedule.
- At the waiting room, just take it easy. There will be other people taking the test. Just keep to yourself or engage in small talk if you like. Be aware that there will be some who have taken the tests repeatedly and some others who constantly stares in their books. Just ignore their behaviour, do not let their conversation and behaviour set you up in a panic attack.
- During the test, pace yourself, pay attention to your time, and be prepare to sacrifice harder questions. Timing is very crucial. There is only 75 minutes time for each section; verbal has 37 questions and quantitative has 41 questions. You don’t want to run out of time before finishing all the questions – there will be score penalty – and you don’t want to have a lot of time left either. After practicing and doing mock-up tests, you will find the type of questions which will be the hardest for you, be prepared to just make and educated guess on their answers and move on to the rest of the questions. For me, my greatest burden was the data sufficiency on the quantitative section, so I just zoomed past it if I couldn’t find the correct answer in one minute.
- Strive to get the first 5 to 10 questions correct on each section. Although GMAC denies this, I think this strategy really works for me.
- After the test, take a complete note of you unofficial GMAT score, including the percentiles and the authentication code. It will also be printed out or provided for you after the test. Do not lose the result page. On the page there is an authentication code that you’ll need to be able to download the official test result from mba.com website.
- If you have to retake the test, pay attention to the test retaking policy. GMAC only allows the test to be taken once every 31 days and only up to five times in a whole year.
That’s about it. I wish you good luck on your test!