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GMAT Time strategy : From Start to end of the exam

Posted on June 1, 2022
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GMAT Time strategy From Start to end of the exam

A good time strategy is all we need to begin and successfully finish the exam. Things that you should consider are:

  1. Understanding the type of questions and the time taken to solve them
  2. Proficiency in different solution strategies to attempt
  3. Strategy in guessing the solution

If you remember the scenes from a few action movies where there is a time bomb that will blow off in 5 minutes, nothing works when the hero tries to dismantle it. The timer keeps you engaged, and by moving on from one question to another, following the time will be more challenging. One can experience the same tension while writing the GMAT exam.

Preparing for the GMAT by mastering the content and working on it to understand each question type in the Quantitative and Verbal sections. But at the end of the day, the content you prepared must be applied and implemented by handling the timer during the test.

One should also track their time during practice tests, which helps you understand the time strategy to focus and get the maximum number of questions to solve the actual GMAT.

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The following points help you adapt a time strategy:

1.Segregation of basic timing:

The GMAC organization that administers and conducts the GMAT exam has made the GMAT a little shorter. It cropped off a half-an-hour of the test by eliminating a few Quantitative and verbal questions. But instead, the amount of time you have per question hasn’t changed much.

GMAT Section Time Duration
36 Verbal questions 65 minutes
31 Quantitative questions 62 minutes
12 Integrated reasoning questions 30 minutes
1 Analytical writing topic 30 minutes

Note: The applicant must need to apply for roughly 2 minutes per question, whether it is quantitative or verbal sections. It should not exceed 2 minutes per question.

2.Different amounts of time for different verbal questions:

a.Reading the comprehension

Spending 2 minutes per verbal question also requires some time to read the passages and understand the reading comprehension questions. As this is an adaptive test, the questions that appear in the section beginning will be easy, and the questions that appear at the end of the section will be harder.

Following are the suggested maximum times to spend on questions.

Comprehension Maximum Duration of time
Reading Comprehension 3 minutes to read
3 questions 1 minute for each

This means you spend 6 minutes for the whole section of reading comprehension and answering the questions. This averages out to be 2 minutes per question.

b.Sentence Corrections

The sentence correction requires a minimal amount of reading the question in the verbal section, and you should answer it in some seconds. Always try the clock for under 1.5 minutes for each question.

c.Critical Reasoning

This section requires less reading than the reading comprehension and a little more reading than the sentence corrections. This needs 2.5 minutes maximum, depending on the complexity and the demand of each question.

3.Different strategies for different questions:

There are three options to work on and answer for every GMAT question.

  • The precise way – This method use manipulation of an equation or applies some grammatical or logical rules.
  • The alternative way – eliminate wrong answers without even understanding the question.
  • The logical way – Understanding the underlying logical properties, the text, and the sentence that gives proper meaning to conclude the answer.

4.Know when to guess or skip:

Even a top scorer sometimes gets questions wrong in the test. Then you can skip the question before progressing on it. When you find the question difficult, do not spend more than 30 seconds on it and move forward to the next question. Always skip the question if it is eating away your time.

It is good to look at the clock after every five questions. If more than 10 minutes have passed, you are falling behind and need to buck up. The first step is to skip the question.

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Remember, you should not leave the answer to any question blank. You can randomly guess it if you are willing to. Eliminating the answers that absolutely don’t work.

5.Strategy to apply if the timing goes wrong:

After developing a 2-minute strategy for each question, practice the test at home. And when you are giving the actual GMAT test, sometimes, everything might go wrong.

If you are running out of time, do not stress out at the end of the section. Try answering the easiest questions first and skip the difficult ones. At the end of each section, try answering either giving time for each difficult question or randomly picking an answer that suits.

For example, if you have four questions left at the end of the test, work on 2 of the questions, and guess the answer for the other two questions.

Remember, there is always an option that you can apply for another GMAT exam to improve your score.

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