GMAT Tip: Intro to the GMAT CAT

In preparing for the unique challenges of the Computer Adaptive Test, the biggest adjustment you’ll have to make is mental. It is likely that you will not answer every question correctly. You’ll probably see several that are too difficult for you. You’ll also see a few that look doable, but would take too much time to work through.

Realize, first, that in order to get a good score (even a great one, well above the 90th percentile), you don’t need to get every question right. If you’re forced to decide between having a chance at getting a question right and conserving time in order to ensure that you finish the test, finishing the test is far and away the better choice.

Second, learn to recognize questions that are beyond your skill level. When practicing, by all means try to learn how to do those questions. But if you hit a point where you know you’ll never get tricky probability questions in less than 3:30, be ready to cut your losses on test day. Because the stakes of the GMAT are so high, we all want to nail every question and give our best effort. But if our best effort takes five minutes, the trade-off just isn’t worth it. Keep that in mind when you work through difficult problem sets.


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