The GMAT is a well-acknowledged indicator of your readiness to enter a graduate business school for those unfamiliar with it. It measures your critical thinking and reasoning skills and is required by the world’s top graduate business schools. As a three-and-a-half-hour exam that assesses a candidate’s ability to succeed in a Master of Business Administration program, the GMAT is considered difficult and time-consuming, requiring persistence and energy from individuals taking it.
It’s a test designed to assess higher-order reasoning abilities. The average GMAT score for admission to the top 10 business schools is 720. However, just 6 percent of GMAT test-takers currently score 720 or higher.
To have the best chance of getting into the best business school, you should ensure you stay focused when studying and eventually taking the test. You are more prone to make mistakes or overlook questions if you are not paying attention. There are some strategies that can help you stay focused during the GMAT.
1. Make Time for Self-Care
It’s important to take time for self-care when preparing for the GMAT exam. A self-care routine has been shown to improve concentration, reduce stress, increase happiness, and increase energy. These can help you later on when you go through the exam.
It is essential that you take time out for yourself every day, and it does not have to be expensive. Take a walk and go somewhere pleasant to get some fresh air and appreciate the scenery. After studying, listen to music or watch something that suits your mood, perhaps take a nap.
Preparing for the GMAT does not need you to isolate yourself from others. Meet with friends and family once in a while. When distance is an issue, use technology such as video conferencing or social networking apps to update and have a good laugh with them.
2. Time Yourself
If you have eight weeks to prepare, make sure you study at least 15–30 hours every week. It is critical to stick to a timetable if you want to ace the GMAT. You can practice focusing by setting a timer and working on test questions or studying.
If you lose focus, start the timer again and continue practicing taking questions while focused for as long as possible. When preparing for the GMAT, you should consider whether you can write or type quickly enough to answer all questions. While reviewing, try to stick to the recommended time limit to see if you can answer all of the questions of the practice exams. Responding to questions under time restrictions will develop your skills to answer the actual GMAT exam within the time allotted.
3. Study in Different Places
Learning environments are crucial to student achievement. Individuals who study in a positive learning environment are more motivated, engaged, and have higher overall learning ability. Ideally, it would help if you tried to diversify your areas of study.
Studying in a student lounge, library, or coffee shop adds some variety to the environment. You can also review GMAT prep course options, as many others do, to increase your chances of a high score when left to study on your own. This will help you remember more facts later on. If you are accustomed to studying in more than one place, you will perform well on the testing site.
3. Learn To Resist Distractions
Electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers are examples of items that can distract you before the exams. In addition, a message or notification can easily divert your attention from your exam since you might be tempted to reply or check your message.
While studying for the exam, you should practice resisting the impulse to get up from your seat and use your phone. The sooner you can overcome those distracting behaviors, the more focused you will be during the exam.
4. Make the Most of Breaks
You shouldn’t skip the breaks provided during the test. It is more challenging to focus if you don’t rest in between the exam. Regular breaks are necessary for keeping focus and allowing your mind to rest.
Try meditation during the breaks. Breathing exercises have been shown to alleviate anxiety and tension. In addition, you should give your mind a mental break to refresh or reset before you resume the exam.
5. Think Positively
Having a positive attitude before taking the GMAT can help you feel more at ease and more capable of answering questions efficiently. Going to the exam thinking you won’t do well or won’t be focused enough will ultimately affect concentration.
Think positive thoughts and have faith in your ability to perform well in the exam. Remind yourself of previous positive experiences to boost your confidence. Reward yourself once you finish the test; this will motivate you during the exam.
6. Relieve Stress
Exercise boosts your mood and focus by releasing endorphins, so go for a walk, dance, ride a bike, run, or dance a few days before GMAT. Maintaining focus during the exam will allow you to respond to each question quickly and effectively. Believe in yourself, and you will be capable of overcoming life’s most challenging problems.
Ace the Exam
With proper preparation, you can go into the GMAT feeling prepared and ready to tackle the test. Wake up early enough to have a morning routine the day of the exam. Wear comfortable clothing and walk-in knowing you can ace this exam.