Preparing for the GMAT — A Computer Adaptive Test (CAT)

By David Greenberg   , , , No comments

What is a CAT?

A CAT is a Computer Adaptive Test and differs from other standardized tests in that the test is designed to adapt itself based on how previous questions were answered. As questions are answered correctly, subsequent questions will tend to become more difficult and when questions are answered incorrectly questions will tend to become easier. coque autres iphone 1 There is an element of randomness in the questions presented to the test-taker so seeing a difficult question does not necessarily mean that the last question was answered correctly just that it was more likely to have been answered correctly. What this means for the test-taker is that his or her limit will likely be reached at some point in the test and the computer will calculate an increasingly accurate estimate of the participant’s testing level.

Strategies for taking the CAT version of the GMAT

The biggest strategic mistake a person can make while taking a CAT exam is spending too much time on any given problem. coque iphone xs When taking the GMAT each Quantitative problem should be given 2 minutes or less and every Verbal problem should be given 1.5 minutes or less. Any individual problem will not have a large impact on the final score, so use your time effectively, make the most informed guess you can formulate, and move on. If too much time is spent on one problem, time is effectively stolen from other problems and the overall score will suffer.

People who are accustomed to doing well on tests may struggle at first when they try their hand at a CAT such as the GMAT because they are used to finding the solution to every problem, and don’t like to make educated guesses. If you try to solve each and every problem on the GMAT the problems will become increasingly difficult and the amount of time spent on each problem will increase as well. You must be willing to cut yourself off at the allotted time for each question in order to complete each section within the allotted time. Failing to do so is far worse for your score than incorrectly answering questions. coque samsung a70 Proper pacing (and making that pace become second nature) is the key to success on the GMAT.

Preparing for test day

When you first begin studying for the GMAT, try some problems without a timer just to get the feeling for what kinds of problems are on the test. After doing 20-30 problems you should move on to doing all of your practice with timed questions. This will build your intuition about how much time should be spent on problems, and this can be done in two ways. The first is to set a timer for two minutes, do a single problem, reset the timer and repeat. This is a good way to begin, because the two minutes will pass by much quicker than you would expect and it will instill the sense of urgency within you that is necessary for test day. After doing many individual questions at two minutes each, move on to the second method: problem sets. Start with a small set of questions and set the timer for the appropriate amount of time for each question (2 min per question for Quant, 1.5 for verbal). Start with 10 questions, and gradually increase the number until you are completing entire sections in one sitting. When practicing complete sections give yourself 75 minutes per section and complete 37 quantitative questions or 41 verbal questions depending on what you are practicing at that time. coque huawei p9 With enough practice you will begin to feel the rhythm of the test and learn how to complete it with proper pacing.

In addition to building an internal clock this practice will prepare you psychologically for what will be a very difficult test. Regardless of your ability level, the test is designed to take you up to the limit and maintain this level for a long period of time. This inevitably becomes exhausting and challenges the test-taker’s ability to stay focused and positive. Almost everyone taking the GMAT will get a significant number of questions wrong. Be prepared to answer questions incorrectly, be prepared to not be sure of the answer, but also become a good guesser. Eliminate answer choices that are clearly incorrect by using the scratch paper provided. coque samsung a7 Literally cross of bad answer choices so that mental real estate can be used for making calculations and critical reasoning.

Most importantly, find a way to keep yourself interested and positive.