What are the best strategies to score well in mock tests?

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen”. -Muhammad Ali

    Imagine you were in the medieval era and you are thrust right into battle-ground without an announcement. You have your weapon with you and might have a fair idea, how to wield it. You don’t know your opponents and how many they are. What are the chances of your survival? I would say zilch, nada, a big zero. The thought alone scares the bejesus out of me. This is similar to you taking up GMAT. You might be familiar with concepts and know your way around it. When it comes to accuracy, speed, and application, how well can you ace it? That’s the million-dollar question. No amount of preparedness will ready you for the overwhelming pressure you may feel during the test if you haven’t done your mock.

    Yes, you read that right-MOCK. Mock tests are the floaties that will prevent you from drowning in the actual GMAT. Students who have cleared GMAT with flying colors have this to say -focusing on revising concepts and skipping on devising and creating a flawless test-taking strategy will yield poor results. Having understood the significance of mock tests’ as they are proven to be a savior: the thought that will definitely cross your mind is how to take the mock tests and how many. All your questions will be answered here as you are on the right page.

    The motive behind undertaking Mock tests

    The objective of taking up mock tests is that they reap many benefits to the students and turning a blind eye to it is, stupidity at its finest. The benefits are as follows depending on your stage of preparation-

    • Reveal your skills and flaws
    • Uncover the gaps in test-taking procedures
    • Analyze your preparedness for GMAT
    • Enhance your focus and stamina for GMAT
    • Provide a real-time environment
    • Reveal your skills and flaws

    While taking the mock test, you can see which are the areas you are doing well and other areas where you flounder and need some extra effort. This will give you a grasp of which topics are your strengths. As a result, you don’t have to spend a lot of time on it. On the other hand, you can concentrate more of your time on the weak sections. 

    • Uncover the gaps in test-taking procedures

    When you scrutinize your mock test results, you will notice that besides concepts other parameters play an equally important role as well. Timing and well planned out strategies will elevate your scores. Repeated mock tests will uncover the various blind-spots in your preparation.

    • Analyze your preparedness for GMAT

    Once you have given your mock test, the result will be displayed immediately similar to the algorithm of the actual GMAT. This score will project your level of preparation and be an indication of how much you may score in the actual test, give or take with maybe 5-10. Thus, you can rely on the final scores of mock tests to decide a date on when you can take the actual test.

    • Enhance your focus and stamina for GMAT

    It is difficult to sit still for a long period. One can become restless if the student isn’t accustomed to such a routine. This problem is solved by mock tests as it simulates the actual test. Since the test is over three hours, repetitively taking mock tests will elevate your focus and build up your stamina to sit for a long period with less difficulty.

    • Provide a real-time environment

    Mock tests are there for a reason. It creates a routine in the students. Once you are set to the routine, there are fewer chances for you to get surprised or overwhelmed. These mock tests mimic the GMAT and thus set you up for a real-time environment. 

    Benefits reaped at different stages of preparation

    Depending on the time you take the mock test, different objectives will be met. If the student is taking a mock in the preliminary stages of preparation, the first and third objectives will be met. As you are in the starting stage, the rest of the motives will be met as the time passes. When you are at the end of preparation, then the mock tests would have built your stamina and concentration over time. Now, at this level, mocks will reflect your preparations. It will exhibit, how you will pan out in the actual GMAT.

    Are Practice Questions, Sectional Tests and Full-length Mock Tests the same?

    You must clear this doubt first if it is lingering in your mind.

    Practice Questions- Practice questions are like appetizers. These are meant for learning purposes as they help in crystalizing your concepts’ comprehension. The aim is to help you apply the concepts in the right manner and concrete the concepts and process learning.

    Sectional Tests- These are like snacks. Sectional Tests are utilized in between mock tests to work on your weak sections, which was uncovered during your prior mock test results. Hence prepare you for the next mock.

    Mock Tests- Now mock tests are a full-blown meal. These include all sections and is of a longer period as it mimics the actual test. Mock tests will provide section level data of performance in one stroke.

    Which are the mocks available in the market that provide all the above-stated benefits?

    Not all mocks available out there are genuine and mimic the GMAT. GMAC implements a proprietary algorithm which becomes difficult for third-party mock tests to replicate. Thus, the scores obtained in these mocks wouldn’t yield well. GMAT Prep is your best choice as it comes closest to delivering your scores. Veritas Prep and Ability Quizzes in Scholaranium are other mock tests that are reliable besides GMAT Prep.

    When to take the mock tests?

    Mock tests are not meant for learning purpose, instead acts as an add-on to the crux of learning purpose. Depending on different levels of preparation, they serve distinct motives. Ideally, you have to take a mock test at the starting point which will work as a diagnostic test. You can know how close or far you are from your goal. With the results of this diagnostic test in mind, the student can chart out a study plan for a specific length of time focusing on the problematic areas obtained from the diagnosis in the first mock test. With this preparation level successfully crossed, you can take the next mock test to enhance and fine-tune your study plan. 

    How many mock tests is the right amount?

    Barring the diagnostic test, it will bode well to take a minimum of two tests at the final stage of your learning phase. If time permits, then you may take more tests. It is to be noted that you maintain a basic three-day gap between two mock tests for the best results. After completion of a mock test, analyze the results and work on the problematic areas before you take up a next mock test. The goal is to improve and refine your preparation and not take mock tests blindly. You wouldn’t want to repeat the same mistakes in consecutive mock tests. The mock tests should never be taken in chunks but as a whole. Full-length mocks will help you better and elevate your improvement.

    Few guidelines to be followed for the mock-test

    • If you are taking up GMAT in the morning, then it would be wise to replicate the same in your mocks. Always take your mocks in the morning as it will provide a real-time environment.
    • Keep the break time of mocks the same as the original i.e. eight minutes in two sessions.
    • It is a must to make mock a one-sitting event and not as you please.
    • Stick to the allotted time for each section and don't take extra time.
    • Follow the order of attending sections that work the best for you. See to it that you follow the same in actual GMAT as it is efficient and yields the best results.

    With these guidelines in mind, there will be no doubt you will not only whizz the mock but the GMAT too. May you come out with flying colors on the mock day as well as G-day.



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