Thursday, 18 June 2015

What High GMAT Scorers Have in Common

Those who receive an almost perfect GMAT score are spoken about in the same reverential tone reserved for Nobel Peace Prize winners and visiting heads of state. These high scorers are perceived to inhabit a rarefied realm, where complex math calculations are tossed off with aplomb and dense passages read like a Sunday morning comic strip.

While that may apply to a very select few, in reality many high scorers got there not because of some innate genius, but because of an ability to learn from their mistakes and knowledge of how the test is constructed. In other words, they possess skills that are, to a large extent, learnable.

Learning from mistakes

High GMAT scorers tend to treat an incorrect answer as a crime scene. They are the detectives and they must analyze every clue, from exactly what thoughts were going through their heads the moment they missed the question to the way in which the GMAT has created the answer choice – both the correct option and the incorrect ones.

For these types, reviewing a test is not a quick process in which they slap their foreheads, thinking, “I shouldn’t have missed that one.” Rather, they analyze in detail why they made a careless mistake. They even look at questions they correctly answered, if they weren’t 100% sure.

From this process, high scorers internalize lessons so that they will not make similar mistakes in the future. They also learn to think the way that GMAT “thinks”. That is, they look for patterns to correct answers and notice patterns to incorrect answer choices. That way, when it comes down to two very similar answer choices, they don’t just trust their gut – or outright panic. They arrive at an answer based on logic, and familiarity with the test.

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