All Questions Count
It is important to remember that the GMAT is a computer adaptive test- the computer will adapt to your intellectual ability. Most students end up consuming too much time on the first 10 questions hoping to get them right. This will in no way affect your score positively. If you end up spending too much time on the initial questions, you will be left with lesser time to attempt the remaining questions which will surely reflect in your score.
Spending too much time on a Particular Question
Sometimes you end up spending too much time on a question which again has no sure shot guarantee that you’ll get the right answer. In such a situation it’s better to make your best guess and move on. Ponder over the question for 15 seconds and if you feel it’s a question that is too difficult for you, make a guess and move on.
Not understanding how the Scoring Works
Test takers don’t realise that the scoring has been specially designed to test your true ability. Most test takers feel getting tough questions correct will improve their chances which in fact is a myth. In fact, goofing up and getting an easy question wrong will ruin your score more. Understand how the scoring works and how the computer adapts to your test taking ability and give it your best without using any kind of tricks to cheat the system.
Test takers, especially for the quant section start focusing on high end trigonometry and calculus without realising that the GMAT is designed to test your basic understanding of algebra, geometry and mathematical skills. Try polishing up basic skills than wasting time on high end questions.
Fixating only on the GMAT score
Most test takers are aiming for a 700+ score and think it’s a sufficient criteria to get admission into the best B-schools. A high GMAT score is of course a desirable goal but it is not the only determining factor when taking admissions. It cannot make up for lack of work experience or a low GPA. All these factors play a role which is why fixating only on the GMAT score is quite a blunder.
Speeding through the Test
Every candidate has his own set of weaknesses and strengths. Most candidates skip through the tougher sections of the exam to attempt the segments they’re good at. This too will be reflected in the score as the test is designed to take into account the amount of time you spend on questions and accordingly setting the pace for the test. Examiners review your scores in all the segments hence it makes no point to score high in one segment and low in another.
Retaking the test Over and Over
While getting a disappoint score might push you into taking the GMAT exam again, it has been observed that the test score increases an average of 33 marks. In fact, most students end up scoring lower in their second attempt. If your performance is really not something you’re happy with, take the test, but it is important to be realistic and not hope for a drastic change in your score unless you thoroughly prepare for the second attempt.
Trying to mug up Americanised English
While having a good grasp on the English Language is a must, the GMAT is not testing how well versed you are with the American culture. Avoid mugging idioms or phrases which are not used in day to day lives. Keep your basics clear and write the way you would without trying to impress how much knowledge you might have on the American way of life.