The following excerpt comes from Top GMAT Prep Courses, a helpful resource for comparing your GMAT prep options, gathering in-depth course reviews, and receiving exclusive discounts. Top GMAT Prep Courses had the chance to connect with Ron Purewal, one of Manhattan Prep’s veteran GMAT instructors, to ask questions about the GMAT that we hope all prospective MBA candidates will benefit from. Want more? Head on over to the full article!
What are the most common misconceptions of the GMAT that you notice on a regular basis?
“There are two BIG misconceptions in play here.
The first is “knowledge.” Too many people view this test as a monumental task of memorization. A test of knowing stuff. If you’re new to this exam, it’s understandable that you might think this way. After all, that’s how tests have always worked at school, right? Right. And that’s exactly why the GMAT doesn’t work that way. Think about it for a sec: When it comes to those tests, the tests of knowing stuff, you already have 16 or more years of experience (and grades) under your belt. If the GMAT were yet another one of those tests, it would have no utility. It wouldn’t exist. Instead, the GMAT is precisely the opposite: It’s a test designed to be challenging, and to test skills relevant to business school, while requiring as little concrete knowledge as possible.
If you’re skeptical, go work a few GMAT problems. Then, when the smoke clears, take an inventory of all the stuff you had to know to solve the problem, as opposed to the thought process itself. You’ll be surprised by how short the list is, and how elementary the things are. The challenge isn’t the “what;” it’s the “how.” …Continue reading for the second misconception.
How common is it for a student to raise his or her GMAT score 100 points or more, and what is the largest GMAT score increase you’ve personally seen while working at Manhattan Prep?
“We’ve seen such increases from many of our students. I’ve even seen a few increases of more than 300 points, from English learners who made parallel progress on the GMAT and in English itself. I don’t have statistics, but what I can give you is far more important: a list of traits that those successful students have in common.
1) They are flexible and willing to change. They do not cling stubbornly to “preferred” or “textbook” ways of solving problems; instead, they simply collect as many different strategies as possible.
2) They are resilient. When an approach fails, they don’t internalize it as “defeat,” and they don’t keep trying the same things over and over. They just dump the approach that isn’t working, and look for something different. If they come up empty, they simply disengage, guess, and move on.
3) They are balanced. They make time to engage with the GMAT, but they don’t subordinate their entire lives to it. They study three, four, five days a week—not zero, and not seven. They review problems when they’re actually primed to learn; they don’t put in hours just for the sake of putting in hours. If they’re overwhelmed, exhausted, or distressed, they’ll shut the books and hit them another day. In short, they stay sane… Continue reading for more traits of successful students.
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