I’ve talked to a ton of students recently who were surprised by some detail of test day”and that detail affected their performance. In most of these cases, the surprising detail was actually exactly what should have happened, according to the official rules. So let’s talk about what’s going to happen when you finally get in there to take the test.
When you arrive
There will be some kind of outer waiting area, followed by an inner office containing the biometric equipment and finally the inner sanctum: the testing room.
When you first arrive, you’ll be asked to read (and digitally sign) a bunch of legalese. Basically, you’ll promise not to share anything that you see with anyone else and you affirm that you’re only taking the test for the purposes of applying to business school. You have to sign this document or you won’t be allowed to take the test.
You’ll also be asked for your ID. Check the guidelines to determine what kind of ID you must bring. Further, when you’re registering for the test, make sure that the name and birthdate you enter into the registration system match exactly what’s written on the piece of ID you’ll use to enter the test center.
But wait! You’re not done with security yet. They’ll take a digital photo of you. You’ll also have the veins in your palm digitally scanned”turns out our palm veins are even more unique than fingerprints. Who knew?
Finally, before you enter the inner sanctum, you’ll be asked to place all of your belongings (except for your ID) into a locker to which you will have the key. Everything goes in this locker: your wallet or purse, your money, your mobile phone, your keys, everything. Do not bring any study notes into the test center with you; your test will be cancelled immediately even if you simply leave these in your locker! Don’t use any electronic devices at any time”not your phone, not your iPod, nothing. Do not write anything down during the breaks, even if you’re just writing down your grocery list. Don’t give them any reason to think that you might be cheating.
Starting the test
by Jonathan McEuen, guest blogger
Jonathan McEueun is a Manhattan GMAT grad who is off to Wharton this fall. We asked him to share his application process with us. What follows is Part 3 of 5 posts in a series about his experiences. You can read Part 2 here.
Don’t Get Lost Before The First Step
The big question of How should I prepare for this test? quickly becomes a set of much more detailed, specific questions: Do I enroll in a course? Should I buy books and study on my own? What if I need to take the test multiple times? All this tends to become a little overwhelming.
I tried to calm down and bring myself back to the first question. I knew I needed structure and guidance. I again turned to friends for recommendations. It was word of mouth that Read more
It’s an oft-quoted fact that the most common fear in this country is of public speaking. There you are, standing in front of a crowd, palms sweating, heart racing, voice cracking and every visible part of your body shaking. No wonder more Americans fear this scenario than fear flying, spiders, or (my personal phobia) snakes. The conventional wisdom for battling stage fright is to imagine your audience in their underwear…or better yet, naked.
Unfortunately for GMAT test-takers with anxiety, hardly any relief comes from imagining Jane, who is running at a rate of five miles/hour from the east, and Dick, who is walking at a rate of three miles/hour from the west, in their skivvies. So how do you battle those test-day butterflies (and the sleepless nights that proceed them)? Why, with the following seven steps!
Almost all students undertaking a prep program for the GMAT, or for any other standardized test, understand the importance of the test itself. Far fewer, however, understand the importance, or the magnitude, of the mental adjustments required for success on the test.
The following “attitude adjustments” are discussed in detail by our instructors over the course of our nine-session program, but they bear repeating here as well.
1. PRACTICE ISN’T GAME DAY
In other words, studying for a test is not the same thing as taking that test.
On test day, your sole goal is to answer as many questions as possible correctly, within the desired time frame; this much is quite obvious. However, many GMAT students make the mistake of extending this same mentality to studying for the test, practicing primarily by solving problem after problem after problem and rarely, if ever, returning for a formal review.
by Chris Ryan, Director of Instructor and Product Development, ManhattanGMAT
You’ve studied all the content, you’ve done hundreds of problems, you’ve taken practice test after practice test. And now, it’s GMAT game day. You’re following all the logistics tips: you got enough sleep last night, you’ve shown up early, you haven’t eaten anything funny, you plan to take the breaks while giving yourself enough time to check back in with the proctors. But what about actually taking the test? What do you have to remember while you’re in the thick of battle?
Here are five strategies to guide you: