The Retake the GMAT blog is produced by i4Excellence, a leading coaching and software company specializing in career counseling, GMAT and GRE prep and MBA application advice.

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Does the GMAT still feel foreign?


One of the biggest obstacles to a strong GMAT score is misunderstanding the nature of the test.  The GMAT is not a typical Math and English test.   It is a test of executive reasoning (also know as critical reasoning).

Now, just reading those words isn’t enough.  You need to change your approach to retaking the test, by calibrating (aligning) your efforts to that reality.  You’re playing a different game than any other test you’ve taken before.


Make sure you’re playing the right game

Try to name one sport that you can win at — if you don’t understand the rules of the game.  The GMAT is sport and misunderstanding it is equally fatal.


GMAT questions don’t just get harder in math or verbal principles way.  The test writers primarily push you on your process and reasoning skills.  That’s the biggest difference between a 600 and 700 level question.


Understanding your opponent and how they play the game


The sport paradigm is critical to understanding how to “beat the GMAT.”  To use a tennis analogy, recognize that the “ball is going to come fast and with spin”.  That means each question won’t end up where it seems like it’s going at the start.


Just like with sports, good process is critical to handling what the test writers throw at you. Things like eliminating answers, visualization, swat tactics (ask us) are just a few of the key techniques that empower you to handle harder reasoning challenges.  It’s no different than when your coach tells you to keep your knees bent and eyes on the ball.  You’ll be able to change direction more quickly when a question takes a surprising turn. 

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