GMAT Time Management- The GMAT or Graduate Management Admissions Test is a standardized test that evaluates a candidate’s suitability for the program through tests on verbal, mathematical and analytical skills. This is a speed test and the duration of the test is three hours and 30 minutes or four hours including optional breaks.

GMAT Time Management Strategies:

Before, moving on to GMAT Time Management, it would be essential to look at the individual sections included in the GMAT and the number of questions in each section that would help us calculate the per question time.

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment: Students are expected to compose an essay analysing an argument. Duration: 30 minutes.
  2. Integrated Reasoning: Includes multiple choice questions (12 questions). Here, the student is expected to assess the information presented from multiple sources in different formats. Duration: 30 minutes.
  3. Quantitative: The section contains 37 questions and assesses the candidate’s comprehension skills and capacity to solve problems. Duration: 75 minutes.
  1. Verbal: This section comprises 41 questions and evaluates the candidate’s ability to comprehend written material, assess arguments and correct sentences.
    Duration: 75 minutes.

Having looked at the different sections, a number of questions in each section and duration, let us now calculate the per question time. It would be easier to represent the per question time by means of a table. The table will only include multiple questions sections that require accurate calculation.

Type of Question Number of Questions Average Per Question Time Min. & Max. Time for Each Question
Integrated Reasoning 12 2 minutes 1 minute; 2.5 minutes
Quantitative 37 2 minutes 1 minute; 2.5 minutes
Verbal 41 1 to 2 minutes 30 seconds; 2 minutes 30 seconds

Here, the average per question time should be our benchmark. The minimum time taken would be an assessment of how quickly you can answer each question. Conversely, the maximum time is an estimate of the amount of delay in answering questions. A realistic goal would be to try to hit the benchmark with a minimum delay which means taking maximum time for few questions that are hard. Another thing to take care of is that you don’t end up making careless mistakes in an effort to speed up. Last but not the least, ensure that you complete the paper because missing answers in a row will cost you more points than missing one or two answers in between. The adage, “Practice makes a man perfect” is applicable here. Chalk up a GMAT preparation schedule that includes a lot of practice tests thereby allowing you to excel at GMAT Time Management.

  1. Maintain a log: Another important thing that will help you achieve your goal is a systematic time log that reflects the time spent on each question. This log should include the type of question, benchmark, time spent on the question and your current time position. Including your current time position will be beneficial in terms of helping you understand where you stand and whether you need to buck up or whether you need to go a little slow in an attempt to avoid careless mistakes.
  2. Analyse results: Now, that you have prepared the log, it would be useful to analyse the log each time you take a practice test to understand where you are spending too much time and where you can go slow. It would also help to focus on those questions that you are finding difficult and end up spending more time.
  3. Use a Stop-Watch: The use of a stopwatch with lap timing capacity will help you time your answers and develop a one-minute sense. A one-minute sense involves estimating where we are after one minute in order to ensure that we finish our answer at two minutes, which is our benchmark. In case we find that we are still mulling over the answer as it is a hard question, and would require two more minutes, move on to another question that is relatively easier and can be finished under one minute so that we have time to come back to the difficult question.

Over time, you will get better at GMAT Time Management and will be closer to your goals. All the best for your preparation.

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