How To Tackle CATs For GMAT


GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) scores are a major factor in admission to MBA and other top management programs across the world. Several test preparation courses are available, including the practice Computer Adaptive Tests (CATs) to help candidates assess their preparedness.

How helpful are CATs for all those preparing for GMAT? How do you choose the best material from a plethora of study material available, especially for the mock tests?

Go for Official ‘Exam Pack’

As a GMAT test taker, you would be aware that it is a computer adaptive test that works on a particular algorithm to test your capabilities.  The level of difficulty goes up or down based on your answers. Once a question is answered, you cannot go back to it for corrections later and the entire test is to be completed within 4 hours.

Thus, it is imperative that you take practice tests to enhance your preparations. Several versions of the CATs are available, both at official   GMAC website as well as in study packages offered by several private players.

The best option would be to go in for the official ‘Exam Pack 2’ introduced this year that has increased the number of CATs to six. GMAC, which conducts the test, uses a proprietary software to design the algorithm that is not available for others.

All of the questions included in the CATs are ‘retired’ GMAT questions (ones that once appeared on the official exam), so the quality and accuracy of those score results are undeniable.

Thus you would be able to get a more accurate assessment of your test scores than when using CATs from other sources.

How to Take CATs

You have to create the right ambience and discipline of a test centre. At the same time, be prepared for distractions as the room would be full of other candidates clicking away on the computer and a certain amount of ambient noise in the background including doors opening and closing.

Remember that will be using a desk top computer than a laptop. Instead of pencil and paper for rough work, you will be provided with a laminated pad and marker.

Go for the Full Test

Some of the candidates tend to leave out the essay and Integrated Reasoning (IR) sections. Besides making your time management go awry, it would not provide you with accurate scores. You would be finishing the test quicker but not under real conditions.

ALSO READ: Official Guide For GMAT Review 2017 Has New Content, Questions

Time of the Day

Try to take your CATs at the same time of day and same day of the week (if possible) as your official GMAT. It will help you get used to a schedule so that you could plan when to take a break  or mark out a few hours for rest and sleep.

No Retakes

Do not retake a CAT.  Remember that you are aiming to get a realistic GMAT score result, so taking a test of completely new questions each time is a must. Seeing even a handful of repeat questions will almost certainly throw off the scoring and give you an inflated, unrealistic result. (Image Courtesy: Pixabay)


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