Take control of the time limit in your GMAT exam
Posted on June 3, 2020
The GMAT exam has 4 sections and you will have a time limit for each section that will be allocated from the total time allowed for the exam which is three hours and seven minutes. Doing well in the exam requires taking control of the time allocated for each section.
Use the time limit for each section as a guide
For each of the 4 parts, the time limit should be viewed more as a reference than a constraint. You have 30 minutes to write 1 essay while you’re writing for the Analysis of an Argument section. But instead of stressing yourself for the essay over the overall 30-minute limit, break up the cycle and assign a time guide to every step.
By breaking the 30-minute time limit with a guide about how much time you can use in each stage, you will lessen the burden of completing an essay in 30 minutes. The same technique also applies to the other Exam pieces. A time guide will keep you from worrying if you’re on track at any stage of the exam.
Do not fret over questions for which you don’t have answers
Regardless of how much you have practiced for GMAT questions, you’ll find a few questions you won’t know the answer to. This could happen as soon as you start the segment, or even to the end of the section when there are just a few minutes remaining. In any case, refrain from thinking about not knowing the answer and how it could affect your time.
Take a second and take a deep breath, reminding yourself firmly that you have prepared for this and that your outcomes will represent your planning. If after another minute you really don’t know the answer then move on to the next question. Some questions require just a few seconds to answer while other questions need more time. Give yourself some wiggle room in how you answer the questions.
Seek to narrow down the options once you have completed the section and are going back through the questions you have missed. The elimination technique can help you make an informed decision and is often better than guessing or omitting at random. If you have little time and still have five questions to answer, take a deep breath and try to narrow down your choices before selecting an answer.
Use the breaks
The GMAT allows for 2 optional 8-minute breaks. The first break is after the Integrated Reasoning Section (Section 2); the second break is after the Quantitative Section (Section 3). While you can refuse both breaks, you should use both. Giving yourself a break, particularly after a long period of concentration will help you stay focused for the sections ahead.
When you use the break option, exit the test room quickly. The timer starts as soon as the screen asks if you’d like a break. You can use the time wisely by relaxing after you have left the specified test area. Sitting too long in one position will make you feel sluggish. By taking a few minutes to stretch will get the blood flowing.
Remember if you go past your allocated break, the extra time you take from the next segment will be deducted from this. The test will start after 8 minutes — with or without you.
Do not let stress overtake you
The GMAT begins with a tutorial, even if you don’t need the tutorial, use the time to stretch out and get comfortable in your chair. The tutorial is designed not only to teach you how to take the test but also to help you focus and concentrate while taking the test.
Remember that you can totally control the stress and pressure you feel about every timed section by planning how you will utilize the limited time to answer the questions in your GMAT exam.
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