The Most Valuable GMAT Practice Questions

January 7, 2010

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Over the course of your GMAT preparation, you'll work through hundreds, maybe thousands, of practice questions. Some will take you seconds, others may soak up an hour of your time. Which ones help you the most?

The most valuable GMAT practice questions are the ones you get wrong.

Let me explain. At any point in your GMAT prep, you will get some practice questions right without any concerns and without taking too long. Those are useful in that they give you a bit more of an idea what to expect on test day, but in terms of improving your skills, they don't accomplish much.

Consider, though, what you can do with questions you get wrong. I hope that you'll review the explanation, analyze where you went wrong, and then--perhaps the next day--redo the question.

Here's another important point: If you get a question wrong in practice and fail to sufficiently review it, you're likely to get it wrong on the test.

In other words, when you get a question wrong, you are getting direct feedback regarding what is holding you back from your goal score.

Respond to this feedback! Make sure you understand the explanation. Figure out how the concept applies to other questions. Redo the question until it's second nature. Prioritize this feedback far above the more ambiguous benefit of new practice questions.

Fortunately, this is inexpensive feedback. You don't need a $2,000 prep class or one-on-one tutoring to figure out what questions you're getting wrong. With enough focused work, you can fix these problems and make it that much more likely you won't repeat them on your GMAT, when it really matters.



About the author: Jeff Sackmann has written many GMAT preparation books, including the popular Total GMAT Math, Total GMAT Verbal, and GMAT 111. He has also created explanations for problems in The Official Guide, as well as 1,800 practice GMAT math questions.

Total GMAT Math

The comprehensive guide to the GMAT Quant section. It's "far and away the best study material available," including over 300 realistic practice questions and more than 500 exercises!
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