Test Taking Tips and Strategies

Reading comprehension There are a number of different categories of GMAT ® reading comprehension questions; however, certain general solution procedures can be applied successfully to most or all of them. Here is one such procedure that many test takers find helpful. Step 1: Skim the questions quickly. Skim over the questions at the moderately fast rate. This quick inspection should help you determine which of the questions ask you about information directly stated in the passage, which ones call for the use of inference , which ones ask you to make evaluations, and so forth. Once you have skimmed the questions, you should have some idea of what to look for as you read the passage. Make sure you skim the questions quickly! This is a preliminary step, so you should't spend too much time on it. You will be rereading the questions more carefully in a later step. Step 2: Read the passage at your fastest rate. Read the passage at your fastest rate-without skimming. You shouldn't worry about full comprehension of the passage at this point. The purpose of this step is to give you an idea of the structure of the passage and to familiarize you with the locations of keys words, facts, and ideas. As you read, try to keep in mind the questions you just skimmed. If you come across material that seems related to a question, remember the line number , then check that question's wording. Don't worry if at this point you can't recall all of the questions or if you can't find materials relating to all of the questions in the passage. You will see the questions and the passage again during the course of later steps. Step 3: Reread the questions at your best rate for comprehension, and check the materials you found during your first reading of the passage in Step 2. The purpose of this step is to enable you to answer the more accessible questions quickly so that you may concentrate on the more taxing questions during the next two steps. Reread the questions one at a time. This time, as you read, do so at your best rate of reading for comprehension. After you have read a question, think back to the reading of the passage that you did in Step 2. If during that reading you noted materials that were relevant to the given question, find those materials again and reread them to see if they provide the answer. If they do indeed do so, mark the answer in the appropriate place. If you come to a question for which you did not find any relevant materials when you read the passage, go on to the next question! Don't read the passage again to find answer material unless you are fairly sure that you know where that material is. If you have no idea where the answer material is located, reading the passage again to find it can cost you valuable time.

In particular. Then follow the same process as in Step 2: if you come across material that seems related to a question. If during that rereading you noted materials that were relevant to the given question. use of correct case with prepositions. so you can concentrate instead on finding subtler meanings. 7) tense sequences. 2) parallel construction 3) agreement of pronoun and antecedent 4) correct use of adjectives and adverbs. This time read the passage at your most comfortable rate for comprehension. sentence correction questions measure your knowledge of the following points of grammar: 1) agreement of the subject and verb. Your purpose during this reading will be different from that of your first reading in Step 2. After you have read a question. This step calls for a third reading of the questions that you have not answered yet. choose the shortest answer. think back to your rereading of the passage in Step 4. If you read a sentence that sounds okay. but don't stop and backtrack at any point. This time you will already be aware of the overall structure of the passage. A tightly worded sentence is generally considered more effective. all things being equal. Keep on reading! Step 5: Reread the questions that are still unanswered and check the materials that you found when you reread the passage in Step 4. by this time you should have fewer questions to think about since you have probably already answered several of them during Step 3. 9) correct diction (choice of words). remember the line number . most comfortable rate for comprehension. it probably is. then check that question's wording. This step will be your final complete reading of the passage. Follow the same process as in Step 3. find those materials again and check to see if they provide the answer. so. 5) correct placement of modifiers. keep in mind the questions that remain unanswered. Resist the temptation to break off your reading and backtrack. you should base your answer on the conventions of standard written English. Also. As you read. . Sentence correction About one-fifth of the sentences will be perfectly correct as is. conversational English as the criterion for answering sentence correction questions. In every case . Do not fall into the error of using informal. 10) proper use of idiom. 6) coordination and subordination of sentence elements.Step 4: Reread the passage at your best.

Don't make any assumptions not stated in the question or the numbered statements. most questions have them. Learn the types of fallacies that appear most often on the exam so you can recognize them when you see them. Tackle each item by examining the question. Some of the choices given correspond to answers you would obtain by making simple errors. Search geometry diagrams for answer clues. and then combining the two statements. respond to the question in terms of the argument presented. Analytical writing Make some of your sentences fairly long and complicated in grammatical form. read the question and then read the passage. . as we've done with the sentence you're reading now. If your answer matches one of the choices given. your answer is not necessarily correct.Critical reasoning First. and sketch your own when necessary. such as adding instead of substracting or confusing area and perimeter. Don't be afraid to guesstimate or look for shortcuts. Once again remember: you do not have to solve the questions. Data sufficiency Don't waste time figuring out the exact answer. Learn to recognize the key elements of any argument—evidence. the answer choices are the same for every data sufficiency question. Break word problems into simple phrases that you can translate into numbers or symbols. you are done. conclusion. you just need to determine if they can be solved. intelligent tone. The changing rhythms of your writing will help keep your reader alert and interested and give your prose a snappy. Keep others short. If you can identify the question type. you may not be able to finish the entire section.If you waste time figuring out the exact answer. and hidden assumptions. Learn the directions and answer choices backward and forward before the test date. You are only asked to determine if there is sufficient data available to find the answer. spend 30 seconds examining the graphs before tackling the questions. Multiple choice Read the question carefully. On graph interpretation problems. considering each numbered statement individually. instead. Forget what you know or think about a given topic. Once you know whether or not it is possible to find the answer from the given information. you will know what to look for in the passage. like this one.

Don't spend too much time on any one question. Be sure to answer the question asked and not the question you recall from a practice test. Be especially careful in the first portion of every section. Answer every question. practice! It is a good idea to bring a watch with you to the test so that you can check your pace.Overall Test Strategies: Remember that each section of the GMAT ® has a time limit. Just try to eliminate one or more choices before guessing. Make sure you thoroughly unders tand the directions. making educated guesses if you have to. Learn the section directions now. Use the time saved during the test to work on questions. but be sure to check . and hesitate to spend more than 1-2 minutes on even the hardest ones. Practice. Try to develop a pace that will permit you to finish each section without losing accuracy. . simple diagrams and figures if they are helpful in solving a problem.before you take the actual test. Double check your work and answer before you click on the screen bubble. Successful answers to the earliest questions will lead to higher scores. You can still achieve a good score on the GMAT ® Test without answering every question on the test. The sample math section will familiarize you with the directions for each type of GMAT ® math question. practice. Read the words in the question carefully. You can write on the scratch paper provided. Don't bring a calculator since you're not allowed to use one. Do not become alarmed if you are not sure about some answers or if you do not finish every section. Easy questions usually precede hard ones. that no changes have been made. Make quick. You cannot skip any question and you cannot go back after you've answered a question. You should spend only seconds on the easiest questions.