GRE & GMAT TEST PATTERN
WHILE ALL GRE/GMAT takers fall back on almost each and every strategy advocated by experts for preparation, they need to focus on two very important non-academic tips that have the power to influence much of one’s performance – Maintaining Their Concentration Level and Answering The First Few Questions Correctly.
Let us find out how these can be the determining factors, and how one should safeguard from their pitfalls.
WHY CONCENTRATION MATTERS?
A VERY high degree of concentration at the time of writing the test is of absolutely important for you to maximize your scoring potential because of:-
IN TESTS where you are evaluated on knowledge alone, your stressed frame of mind at the examination hall does not make much of a difference in your results. This is because it is your memory that plays a bigger role than your instant thinking abilities. Even in a fatigued state of mind you can comfortably encounter different questions.
But GRE & GMAT are primarily tests of reasoning and mind power where one needs the knowledge of Mathematics and English. Hence, the higher the alertness of mind, the better stands the prospects.
THE TIME FACTOR
TIME IS another aspect. One does not have the liberty to go through anything more than once, and needs to analyze and deduce things very fast. Hence a slight lack of attentiveness can eat up much of your extremely valuable time.
THE ETS TRAP
AND ETS deliberately traps students with extremely enticing options in answer choices. Thus in order to beat the ETS ploy, one has to remain extremely alert and vigilant and tread with extreme caution. Moreover, the Reading Comprehension passages are mostly on uncommon subjects and are likely to distract one’s concentration leading to time loss and overall poor performance at the test.
MIND & CONCENTRATION
THE EXAMINEE needs to be in absolute calm and freshness of mind. You should not stretch yourself the previous day, and come to the test centre with a good previous night’s sleep. Any feeling of drowsiness or tiredness would turn out to be the cause of your undoing, as it would prevent your mind from being alert.
CHOOSING EXAM DAY
YOU CAN book for the test any day from Monday to Friday. We suggest you take it on a Monday, if Sunday happens to be your weekly off. This would ensure you go to the test hall with all your energy and mental vigour. Any other day would mean you reach there with a partially or may be fully fatigued mindset.
YOU CAN opt either for a morning or evening shift. We suggest you go for the morning session. This is because much of the freshness of the mind is gone by the time it is afternoon.
FIRST FEW QUESTIONS
YOUR SCORE in the test depends much on how you answer the first few questions, since GRE and GMAT are computer adaptive tests.
Computer Adaptive Test means the computer adapts to the examinee’s level of competence and generates questions comparable to the student’s merit.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
AT FIRST you are asked a question of average difficulty level in both Verbal and Quantitative Ability. Now depending upon whether you answer it right or wrong, the computer would determine the difficulty level of the next question to be asked. If you answer it right, the next question you would be asked to answer would be of higher difficulty. But if you had answered it wrong, you would have been designated a question of lower difficulty range.
THE MARKING SYSTEM
ALL QUESTIONS don’t carry equal marks. The marks allotted to each question depend upon the toughness level. So if you answer the first few questions right, the computer would understand you are a student of higher calibre, and would keep asking you questions of higher difficulty level. Hence you get the opportunity to be measured on a higher scale, where you would be marked higher. Similarly, if you had answered the first few questions wrong, your level of questions asked would go down and consequently be measured on a lower scale.
NOW LET us consider two students Sanjay and Sujata taking the test. Now Sanjay answers the first three questions right and then goes on to make mistakes in the next four. But Sujata answers the first two wrong and gets the next four right. But in spite of getting more answers right, Sujata’s score comes lower than Sanjay’s. This is because she answered correctly questions of lesser difficulty which carry lower marks.
THUS IT is absolutely imperative for students to devote slightly more time in answering the first few questions and try to get them right. The process stabilizes after the first 7-8 questions in each section. This they can even do at the expense of leaving out a few questions at the end owing to time constraints, although one should try to answer all the questions within the time limits.