Time is of the essence in the GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) that you must keep in mind while taking the test so that you do not end up leaving questions for want of time, or worse still, rushing through the paper and making avoidable mistakes.
How much time do you get? Less than two minutes per question on an average, say experts. Why the time constraint? This is because the GMAT tests your reasoning ability forcing you to find innovative solutions to problems, says admissions expert, Cara Skikne in an article in BusinssBecause.
The time restriction is also intended to introduce a certain amount of pressure. So, how will you deal with the situation? The strategy calls for a cool, organised and methodical approach. For instance, while tackling the verbal section, make use of the rough pad to list out A to E and go on to work methodically through the answer choices.
The timing strategy will be to assume that each question will take an average of two minutes to solve and some may take longer or others may be dealt with in a shorter timeframe.
Cara advises test takers not to focus too much on timing during the initial preparations but focus on learning the concepts. At a later stage, the timing could be introduced into the practice sessions and finally move on to taking full timed tests.
Maintaining mental stamina is important as your attention should not flag some two and half hours into the 3.5-hour exam and end up making mistakes that you would never make in the first ten minutes. At some point during the test, there will be a trade-off between time and accuracy.
You will have to find the gaps during the practice tests to help you avoid common traps and careless mistakes. At this stage, you could experiment with shortcuts and strategies to speed up. You should make sure to learn the basics including timetables, decimal tables and answer choices for data sufficiency questions to save time.
Being a computer-adaptive test, the level changes throughout in order to generate your score. If you fail to finish the test, the score will be affected. There is also evidence to suggest that getting multiple questions in a row wrong hurts your score more than if those questions were spaced out throughout the test.
The timing strategy will be to assume that each question will take an average of two minutes to solve and some may take longer or others may be dealt with in a shorter timeframe. So it will be good to ensure that you meet the timing milestones.
If you find that you are falling behind the time schedule, the best way to adopt is a counterintuitive approach. Do not rush through the questions you normally get right to spend more time on the questions you normally get wrong. This strategy would prevent you from making mistakes in questions to which you know the answers.
You also may need to leave some questions that you have been unable to solve in three minutes.
Time management will also help you avoid the last minute rush. You will be able to get more time to arrive at the right answer by narrowing down the answer choices. It may be a case of spending a minute giving yourself a shot at getting the right answer. It might also mean quickly choosing an answer and moving on.
If you find yourself struggling to finish full practice tests within the given timeframe, it is likely that you need more practice. The more you practice, the more you will be able to take a nuanced approach. If you are finishing tests well ahead of time, use the extra time to double-check your answers