5 Ways To Improve Your GMAT Score!
1) Work on mental arithmetic and learn plenty of vocabulary
These are things to take in hand early on.
With mental arithmetic, try to rely on your memory as much as possible – this means reviewing times tables, memorizing lists of square numbers (I recommend going all the way up to 31×31), and knowing decimal equivalents of common fractions (and vice-versa).
With vocabulary, be sure to use a good word list – but also to go beyond this. Word lists can feel sterile after a time; you might find articles in “The Economist”, “The New York Review of Books” and “Scientific American” to be excellent sources of highly relevant vocabulary that are also very interesting to boot!
2) Join and engage with an online GMAT community
Sites such as GMAT Club are excellent for improving on the test. You will come across banks of solutions for official questions, bespoke study guides, and informal help from people who are currently travelling along the same path, or who have already reached the destination you are aiming for (often after having overcome similar obstacles).
3) Remember that, in the initial stages, the biggest improvements come from avoiding making silly errors
There can be a temptation to presume that a robust score can only come from success on the tougher topics. But this is not so: analysis of your prep performance will probably show you that you make silly errors on easier questions more often than you miss out on acing the tougher questions.
Discipline yourself to notice what sorts of silly errors you routinely make and these will probably stop being quite as common. You may well notice your score jump more or less immediately.
4) ‘Traffic light’ your weaknesses
I’m a great believer in using the ‘traffic light’ system in the later stages of GMAT prep. The principle is easy: write down a list of the topics you have covered in each component of the test and assign a traffic light colour to each one according to how well you feel you grasp it.
Green means that you feel totally confident and are good to go; yellow means that you need a refresher; red means that you need to start again from scratch. You can then use this as a tool for prioritising your revision – deal with the reds first, then the yellows, and finally the greens.
You could always store this information on a spreadsheet and date-stamp your progress as you improve on each topic.
5) Don’t take too many practice tests
Another temptation to resist, especially shortly before an official test, is taking too many practice tests (eg more than two per week). Taking tests every single day might feel productive, but ultimately if you are doing this then you are not giving yourself sufficient time to reflect on your errors, and you may find that your score remains static.
Take fewer tests, and take a fine toothcomb to your performance in each one, making sure to identify your silly errors (as per point 3 above) and also to set yourself extra questions on topics which you are more likely to make mistakes on. Then take a break. Only then should you sit your next test!
If you need help to succeed in the GMAT, have a look at some of our inspirational GMAT tutors.