The evolution of Admissions processes in top-colleges has made it necessary for students to start preparing for Entrance tests at least a year in advance. To ensure the best of students, these colleges also boast a competitive minimum score requirements.
Here are a few pointers for students to consider while preparing for their GMAT/GREs:
First things First: Where do you stand and when will you be ready?
It is advisable to test yourself once before jumping into the preparation for exams like GMAT/GRE. Taking a mock test early will ascertain how much preparation one needs. Surprisingly, it also manages to filter out the less motivated ones. But more importantly, it gives you a feel of the challenge.
Create a study routine
No matter what phase one is in their career, creating a non-negotiable study routine will ensure you chip the mountain one day at a time. Students find it easier to inculcate this change within their timetable but professionals need heightened will power to stick with the routine. Trick is to create a timetable which is easily manageable even on your busiest day. 24 hours in a day with an average 8 hours of sleep. Work out an achievable routine within the rest 16hours!
While many topics within these exams may seem familiar or childish, consistency matters. Do a detailed analysis of the various sections and the kind of questions that are asked. Find out your strength areas. Make a habit of answering these questions correctly as these are your sure-shot scoring points. Mind you, this requires a lot of practice as you have to be sure of covering all possible permutations and combinations in which the questions could be asked.
Join a Test-Prep Class
Not everyone may need to join a test-prep class. However, we have seen that actively attending one keeps you up to date with the latest formats, makes you practise harder and holds the motivation level higher. Furthermore, these classes will prepare you well through their Mock Test routines.
Pick an early date
Do keep an eye on the Application and Scholarship deadlines of your dream-college and pick a test date at least 2 months prior to the deadlines. This will ensure that the local Test Centre has slots available for your date of choice. There is no better way to get serious about your preparations than to have the clock ticking. In the worst case scenario, if you are not satisfied or score poorly in your first attempt then you still have time to take another crack at it before Admissions Deadline sets in.
Prepare for being tested in an ‘alien’ environment
This is one of the most overlooked aspect of Test preparations. Students generally take their mock tests in the sanctity of their homes or at Test-prep classes. These places do not get you out of your comfort zone. But the actual testing environment is much more ‘serious and solitary’. Next time, try giving your mock test sitting in the middle of a busy ‘food-court’ in some Shopping Mall. It will help you summon additional concentration levels. It is as much a test of your aptitude as it is a test of your mental strength, something you will need in abundance on the test day.
Revise, Revise and then Revise some more, No getting complacent!
After a while the topics may seem repetitive or boring. But do remember that you need just one shot at the test. It is a one-day ‘Test’ match. The more correct questions you solve early on will set the tempo for the rest of the Test. Hence, you have to ensure that Complacency does not set in while you are preparing for the all-important test. Keep practicing daily, even when your mock tests are showing good numbers.
The GMAT/GRE is all about time management. If there is no time-limit, every test-taker will score over 85%. But the time limit tests your quick thinking, clarity in understanding and analytical mindset. Work towards not only answering your strength areas correctly but also quickly, this will allow you more time to spare on comparatively weaker sections. Having said this, don’t forget that GMAT/GRE is one of the several criteria to get into your dream college. Try not to get obsessed with Taking The Tests. After all, it is only a means to take up a new challenge!