5 GMAT Tips to Implement in 5 Minutes

April 28, 2017

Prepping for the GMAT takes time. There’s no way around that. But there are also little things you can do, things that aren’t so time consuming. Here are a few quick but powerful ways to build a good foundation for GMAT success.

Tip 1: Get Some Basic Info about the Test

Many students dive into GMAT prep without knowing what to expect.

If you take a practice test “blind,” it can be a really stressful experience, especially if you do poorly. This can cause you start your studies on the wrong foot.

Before you dive into your first practice questions, take a just a little bit of time to learn what the test is like, and how hard it will be for you. Of you can take this first step by reading just a quick GMAT overview, such as Magoosh’s article “How Hard is the GMAT?

Tip 2: Prioritize the Different Parts of the Test

Sometimes people seem to forget that the GMAT includes AWA and IR. And this is understandable. When schools talk about GMAT scores, they are generally the 200-800 combined composite score for Quant and Verbal.

But IR and AWA are scored separately, and school requirements for these scores can vary. For that matter, some schools require different individual sections scores for Quant and Verbal. Make sure you know what scores are needed for the different parts of the exam. Then prioritize the sections where you need to work the hardest.

Tip 3: Know Your Grammar

You think you know grammar, but you may not know GMAT grammar. Sentence Correction questions in GMAT Verbal assess your knowledge of advanced written grammar. Even if you are excellent at English, you may not be familiar with all the rules. This article on GMAT grammar is a quick read that can help you be ready for the fundamentals on the exam.

Tip 4: Practice Doing Math in Your Head

You’re surrounded by math. You use arithmetic when you shop. You use multiplication to estimate your travel time to work. You think about statistics when you watch sports or read business news. The next time you encounter the numbers in your life, try to crunch them in your head. Take a few minutes of mental math practice here and there, and you’ll be much better prepared for the calculator-free GMAT Quant section.

Tip 5: If Possible, Don’t Study on the Day Before the Exam

This tip actually saves time rather than taking a few minutes of your time. End your GMAT prep journey on the day before the test. The better rested you are on test day, the better you’ll do. Take some time to spend no time on GMAT. Then, enter the testing room with renewed energy and focus.

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Unlike other standardized tests, the GMAT is offered almost every day at test centers in major cities. Best of luck to all those taking it soon! 

About The Author

David Recine, Guest Blogger
David Recine, Guest Blogger

David Recine is a test prep expert at Magoosh. He has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has been teaching K-12, University, and adult education classes since 2007.




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ltan98
Fordham ‘20


Accepted to American, Fordham, Skidmore, Syracuse, UC Irvine, UCSB

Hi there! I went to an American school in Hong Kong from K-12 and will be starting my freshman year at Fordham University at Lincoln Center in the fall. If you're interested in theater and come from overseas, I would be of particular help to you!
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Columbia ‘20


Accepted to Columbia, Brown, UPenn, Rice, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UVA, UC Davis, UCSD, UCSC, USC

Hey! I'm a John Jay Scholar at Columbia, and I'm from Los Angeles. I'm planning to major in Art History and do ballet and theater. Hope I can help!
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Columbia ‘20


Accepted to Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Rice, UMich, UCLA, UNC, UT Austin, Washington, Ohio State, UCSD

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Duke ‘18


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I am a current junior at Duke studying biology, marine science, and markets and management studies

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