Scored low on GMAT? How to improve a second time

Getting a low score on GMAT can be heartbreaking. But many candidates end up with scores much lower than expected.

Don't be disheartened. Failures are our greatest teachers in life. You need to follow a well crafted plan to achieve your desired score.

First, you need to introspect on the following aspects to frame your strategy for the next time.

- How long have you been preparing and what kind of effort went into it? - You mentioned you took help from neighborhood centre. How was the experience ? - Did you take full-length tests simulating the actual GMAT environment? If yes, what was the pattern of scores (section wise, and full score) - What score was you expecting? What do you think went right or wrong in the actual GMAT?

A few ideas can be helpful to improve your scores:-

1. Keep the prep short and focussed:- GMAT tests the very basics of quant and verbal. Aspirants need to work on the fundamentals and develop logical problem solving skills. Because of the wide spectrum of concepts, candidates tend to forget concepts as they grab new ones. To prevent this, its best if one does a 2-3 months of focussed preparation and then take the exam, rather than prepare over a long duration. If the lead time to exam is too long, you will forget concepts as you grab new ones.

Also practice helps turns knowledge into skill. 2. Analyse and improve:- Analyse viz. break into parts, your score. Break your score into section-wise performance, and analyse your relative strengths or weaknesses. The ESR report can be ordered from to get deeper insights into section-wise performance. Check performance in terms of accuracy and speed (or time taken). After you have analysed the section-wise performance, focus on improving accuracy first and then on speed. Speed will come to you naturally once you have a good grasp on concepts and hence have good accuracy. 3. Get the first impression right:- In GMAT, the score is affected by performance in the initial few questions. Since its an adaptive test, the performance on your first few questions on the exam determines the difficulty level of questions you receive. Keep this in mind when re-attempting. 4. Second time is better:- Aspirants usually improve on a repeat attempt because of various aspects like familiarity with the exam format, lower anxiety, etc. So you will probably always do better on a second attempt. This may not be true for third or subsequent attempts though. 5. Simulate the environment:- Practice for the GMAT should be done in an environment as close to the real exam as possible. Particularly for full length exams (CATs), choose a time slot when you would most likely give the actual exam and emulate the test conditions such as no access to mobile phones, no notes or help, etc. Only then will the CAT scores represent most likely scores on the real exam.

Nothing great was ever created without enthusiasm. Keep your energy high and prepare right for success.

Cheers !


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