Business Management GMAT Preparation & Admission

Time Management Strategies in GMAT to Score Better

Work Smarter, Not Harder. – Carl Barks. The concept of time management probably been introduced at work, at university/college and in your daily busy life. It is a meta-activity with the goal to maximize the overall benefit of activities within limited amount of time. It’s important that you develop effective strategies for managing your time to balance the conflicting demands of time.  Similarly for the GMAT, effective planning of time is essential to score better.

GMAT is a computer adaptive test; the order of the questions on the GMAT is not in control. The question difficulty will be evenly distributed by the end, and focus on streamlining your performance by jumping over the hurdles. Be cognizant and flexible, so that you can keep up your stamina. You need to prepare yourself well with accuracy along with time management (speed). The best preparation strategy is to strengthen your test muscles and track your progress in simulated real time. Let’s break down several principles of time management on the GMAT, and correct some common misconceptions along the way.

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  • Balance Effort in Understanding and Speed

Savvy business people don’t want to miss an opportunity when they see one. Timing yourself on the GMAT is similar to an entrepreneur, who willing to take risk loss in order to achieve something. You supposed to absorb the information and quickly get to the right answer. This is not strategic thinking to take your time to get comfortable with the concepts before racing through the questions. Don’t contemplate things slowly and don’t concern yourself with understanding at the expense of figuring out the best pace. You need to balance out the time to understand the question and speed to resolve it accurate with more practice.

  • Analyze your Practice progress

In GMAT, speed with accuracy is required to score well. If your speed is good but you are making silly errors, then it’s not fruitful. In your GMAT practice and preparation exercises, it’s important to analyze your progress. You should keep track of how long it takes you to answer each question, note which types of questions you spend a lot of time on and which you answer more easily (correctly or incorrectly). As you practice more questions with time factor and keep track of practice report, it will help you to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. You will gain a better understanding to organize your time most favorably, and this will make you to understand how much time you have left on the test.

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Your regular practice will improve mind flexibility to judge what tools are available for you to use. Not only rules, formulae, and vocabulary, but also when to avoid certain formulas, identify that no rule can be used, or use logic instead of simplifying difficult equations. The next step is learning to identify which tools can be used in each question. We should start with thinking of all possible solutions to each question and all possible tools that we could use. It is only if we practice the switch between different ways of thinking then we’ll be able to do it when the clock is ticking.

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  • Time Management for Each Question

In your GMAT preparation, always keep track of the time spent on each question, even if it’s a set of problems. Taking the GMAT requires flexibility; you need to adjust to the test as it tries to adjust to you.  Don’t put your time for technique-building drills, but for every GMAT-format question, treat it as if it’s a question on the real test. Do not leave any questions unanswered, as each unanswered question costs you more than questions you answer incorrectly. Know the specific time constraints of all test sections, to prepare and score well.


It’s paramount that you hit the average expected time per question. You should still average out by the end, even if you go slower on some questions and faster on others, As shown above, you shouldn’t spend more than 30 seconds beyond the expected average.

  • Plan Your Strategy, when you’re behind

During the test, if you struggle on any question, you might get the sense that you are behind the plan. If you feel that that the question is not worth to put lot of time and effort then it’s better to answer it incorrectly and move on. On questions that give you trouble, it’s often best to save yourself time and make a strategic or even random guess. Use your best judgment. It’s best to be tactical when deciding which questions to solve and which ones to guess, on average, you will miss around 40% of the questions on the GMAT. So if you’re behind schedule, this approach will buy you time and get you back to the right pacing.

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The structure of the GMAT itself is built on Time management, and the test is based on pacing just as much as it is on content.  You will adapt all of the pacing techniques suggested above in your best interest, once you feel that time management is integral in your success.  Instead of diving headfirst into studying, make sure you understand the per-question timing, and make sure to track your progress and results. After clearing all the test concepts, start practicing with the clock to manage the time frame. Learning effective time management strategies on the GMAT will lead to better scores and improved overall academic performance.


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