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GMAT Test Day - 3 things you shouldn't do

Friday, September 9, 2016

GMAT Test Day – What to avoid #1

Do not read the newspaper, watch the news, read your WhatsApp

On GMAT test day, you have to make sure that you keep your mind as fresh and uncluttered as possible.

Reading/watching the news can lead to building up of unwanted emotional stress. Imagine reading the headlines that talk about corruption in government contracts or of deaths caused by flooding. You tend to get emotionally attached to such stories. They make you angry, or sad or even frustrated that you can do nothing about it.

Similarly, reading never ending stories and jokes on WhatsApp should be kept for after the exam. Why not conserve your energy to read the passages in the Reading Comprehension section of GMAT instead? 

The above actions distract you from what you’re supposed to stay focused on – your upcoming GMAT appointment. Staying calm, composed, focused is necessary. You need to be in a meditated state of mind. Cut-off from the rest of the world for about 24 hrs. This way, you will be able to get cracking once you begin the test.   

GMAT Test Day – What to avoid #2

Do not eat heavy breakfast / a full meal before the test

Research has shown that the human mind functions better on an empty stomach. While you may be tempted to go for the test on a full stomach, so that you do not get hunger pangs during the test, you have to realize that this action can adversely impact your GMAT score.

On test day, eat light. Avoid foods that are sleep-inducing (mashed potatoes for instance). You do not want to attempt the GMAT in a drowsy state. Moreover, if your body feels lethargic, your mind will too. You will not be able to concentrate on the test, your reflexes will slow down, and your score could end up being at 30-40 points lower than what it should have been.

On GMAT, you get two optional 8-minute breaks; wherein you can step out of the room and access your locker. Therefore, it is a good idea to carry fruits/juices/chocolate bars with you that you can consume during the breaks. This way, you will not feel hungry, while at the same time staying light.

 GMAT Test Day – What to avoid #3

Avoid last minute GMAT prep

In the countdown to the test, you are likely to be tempted to read a few new idioms, learn a couple of formulae, try to solve some new questions – all in the hope that it will make a difference to the score.

Your last minute GMAT prep will not make any difference to your score. For the simple reason that the probability that GMAT will test you on the new sub-sub-concept that you just learned is minuscule. In other words, something that you could not learn, or did not encounter, in the last few months of your prep cannot be significant enough to swing your score overnight.

There is another reason why you should avoid last minute GMAT prep or visit GMAT forums or clubs. The reason is this – your actions demonstrate a lack of self-confidence. These actions are the traits of a loser, not those of a winner. A successful GMAT candidate shows sufficient confidence one or two days before the test, stays calm and relaxed, and goes out in full force to attain the desired score.

So keep the newspapers out of sight, eat light, and sleep well the previous night.

Good luck!

Written by:
Murtuza Gadiwala

Murtuza Gadiwala is the founder of Sharp Minds GMAT Prep, a premier coaching institute for GMAT Preparation. He has a 99th percentile score on GMAT and has over 14 years of teaching experience. His students have made it to the world's best b-schools, including Harvard, LBS, and INSEAD.