GMAT Time Management Tips 

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    Do you think your timing strategy is the biggest obstacle that doesn’t let you achieve your targeted score in GMAT? Are you worried about what time management tips you should follow to clear GMAT? After mastering the academic topics of GMAT, one should start working on developing test-taking skills and most importantly on time management since GMAT is a time-dependent exam.

    Before appearing for the exam, it is better to look at the eligibility of GMAT and exam pattern of GMAT. The GMAT syllabus has been divided into four sections- Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. In GMAT Quant, test-takers will get a total of 62 minutes to attempt 31 questions. Similarly, for GMAT Verbal, there will be around 36 questions to be attempted in 65 minutes. GMAT Integrated Reasoning has a comparatively lesser time duration. It has only 12 questions to attempt in 30 minutes. At the last GMAT, AWA section has only 1 question to attempt. In this section, examiners measure the logical reasoning ability of the test taker. The time duration for this section is 30 minutes. The total time duration for GMAT is 3hrs 7minutes. 

    On that point, budgeting your time effectively and efficiently is also essential to clear GMAT examination. Properly managing one’s time on the GMAT is very difficult to do, but there are several steps you can take to make sure you finish the exam in the amount of time you are given.

    Strike A Balance: Do Not Go Too Fast Or Too Slow ​

    While attempting GMAT paper, one must keep a balance while answering questions. Do not go too fast, neither too slow. Take the proper time to attempt a particular question. Below is given a table where the type of questions and the average time along with the maximum and minimum timing one should spend in attempting a particular section is given. This will definitely help a candidate in keeping a balance between questions and manage his/ her time effectively.

    Type of QuestionAverage timingMinimum and Maximum timing
    Quant2 minutes1 minute/ 2.5 minutes
    Sentence Correction1 minute 15 seconds45 seconds/ 2 minutes
    Critical Reasoning2 minutes1 minute/ 2.5 minutes
    Reading2 to 3 minutes1.5 minute/ 3.5 minutes
    Reading: Specific Questions1 minute30 seconds/ 1.5 minutes
    Reading: General Questions1.5 minutes1 seconds/ 2 minutes

    Score Maximization Strategy

    A candidate must keep in mind and must follow score maximization strategy while attempting GMAT paper. According to this strategy, the total number of questions in a section should be divided into four blocks and then proper time must be devoted in the first two blocks to build up the difficulty level of questions thrown in the test. Now, in the next two blocks, your strategy should be to maintain this level in the remaining time.

    Devise Your Skipping Strategy

    Skipping strategy can be used to maximize score in the given time. This strategy can be combined with the above score maximization strategy to achieve the targeted score. Suppose, the first three blocks take too much of time and a candidate is left with less time and more questions, Now, should he/ she try to solve all of them or pick the ones one is more likely to solve correctly?

    Suppose, a student tries to answer all the questions correctly, it takes approximately 1 minute 15 seconds per question. This increases the chances of getting more incorrect answers and will obviously decrease the score. On the other hand, if a student decides to skips two questions, he/ she would be left with 1 minute 40 seconds per question and this would lead to better accuracy and will obviously increase the score.

    Technique Of Eliminating Wrong Options

    A great way to save time and achieve the targeted GMAT score is to use the techniques of eliminating the wrong option. This technique is more useful while solving Problem-solving questions in the Quant section. Sometimes instead of solving the complete question which can take a lot of time, it is a good idea to look at the given answer choices before moving further. Sometimes by just glancing at the answer choices, one can easily make a guess about the wrong option. By just looking at the answer choices, even before attempting any difficult calculations, a candidate can save a lot of time and hassle.

    Make strategic guesses on questions about which you aren’t confident or that would take you much longer than two minutes to answer. By making strategic guesses, you can recover the precious time that you can spend on questions on which you have a better chance of answering correctly.

    Spend Time Wisely: Do No Spend More Than 3 Minutes On A Single Question

    Considering the time constraint, one must not spend more than 3 minutes on a particular question. It gives you ample time to answer more questions. Students are advised not to leave any question unanswered, as each unanswered question costs you more than questions you answer incorrectly.

    Know When To Skip Questions

    It is always advised to answer and attempt the paper smartly. Sometimes, it is better to not to waste time on answering lengthy questions, quit it, and move on to the next one. Of course, it is always a better idea to answer every question in the examination, but spending too much time on a single question and struggling with it pushes a candidate in the risk of not having enough time to answer all the questions that one may have actually known how to answer. Always consider skipping a question if you are not able to figure out where to begin after spending 30- 40 seconds staring at it.

    Even if your target is scoring above 700 in the paper, you are allowed to get 5- 10 questions wrong on each section, so don’t worry if you skip some of those questions. This will give you more time to work on questions that you can answer, which will ultimately increase your odds of a higher score.

    Learn Connecting Strategies

    GMAT test-takers run out of time because they spend too long trying to use single strategy in a particular question. GMAT tests your higher-order thinking skills which means that some questions require multiple strategies to answer them. By going into the GMAT understanding that you will probably need to combine various strategies and concepts, you will be ready to do so when the time comes, which will keep you from wasting time trying to use a single strategy to answer questions on test day.

    Take Enough Mock Tests

    Practice enough mock tests before appearing for the final examination. Taking more and more practice tests make you comfortable with the paper pattern and allow you to better understand the instructions of GMAT paper. Knowing this information prior means that you spend less time on the test day reading instructions and can spend more time in answering and understanding the questions better.

    Additionally, practice exams give you the opportunity to test the time management strategies above before test day. This means you will already know which strategies work for you and which do not, so you know which ones to use when you encounter a tricky problem on the official exam.

    GMAT is a timed exam. Along with good academic knowledge and higher-order thinking skills, one must be super-efficient in using the time wisely and finishing the exam on time. Before appearing for the final examination, practice mock tests to build up your speed, and get a better understanding of the paper and complete it on time.

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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