Steer Clear! 5 GMAT Preparation Mistakes You Must Avoid!


Meridean Overseas

Updated On 02 August 2023 & Read Time 7 minutes



The GMAT exam is a computer-based test that evaluates your English language, analytical, and mathematical skills for admission to MBA and other graduate management programs. GMAC owns and operates the test. It is accepted by over 7,000 programs at 2,300+ business schools worldwide.


The exam is still a top choice for MBA aspirants and predicts success in business school programs. Despite being an online exam, the GMAT exam presents challenges with its emphasis on reasoning skills, time constraints, no calculator allowed in the Quantitative section, and its computer-adaptive nature. The Verbal Section further adds to the test's complexity.


But don’t fear that the exam being tough means you won’t be able to ace it. Don't let fear of mistakes hold you back during GMAT preparation. As an adaptive and challenging exam, it requires strategic preparation to achieve your desired score.


To stay ahead, avoid common pitfalls that might hinder your success. To ensure you're on the right track, explore the top 5 GMAT preparation mistakes you must avoid.


#1 Underestimating the Importance of Timed Practice

Time management is an essential aspect of the GMAT exam. It goes beyond merely answering questions accurately; it's about doing so within the allotted time limits. Hence, timed practice should not be underestimated during your preparation.


Consistently practising under time constraints helps develop your speed and accuracy, two critical factors for success on the GMAT exam. By simulating the actual test conditions, you can train yourself to tackle questions efficiently and maintain focus throughout the exam.


Moreover, timed practice helps you identify weaker areas, allowing you to allocate time wisely during the actual GMAT exam. Whether it's the Quantitative or Verbal section, incorporating timed practice into your study routine will bolster your confidence and readiness for the challenges that lie ahead on test day.


#2 Ignoring the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Section

The analytical writing assessment (AWA) of the Graduate Management Aptitude Test helps business schools in foreign countries to analyse and understand your writing skills. As its scores are assessed by humans and computers simultaneously, the AWA score creates tension between your competitive fellow candidates and you.


Don’t take simple essay writing for 30 minutes easily, it can act as a tiebreaker. You must keep in check some points to gain confidence in this part too. Firstly, be organised with a clear intro, a body and a concise conclusion. Secondly, AWA measures your ability to communicate your thoughts and think critically.


Instead of neglecting this section, you must practise it hard and improve your GMAT scores. Every time you attempt mock tests, try to plan your argument beforehand and what you write.


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#3 Relying Heavily on Calculator for Quantitative Section

In the Quantitative section, no calculators are allowed. That means you must flex your brain muscles and sharpen your mental math and problem-solving skills to conquer this challenge confidently. During practice, many folks lean on calculators, which can cause panic when the real exam rolls around. But fear not! You’ll embrace this opportunity to boost your math mojo and devise clever ways to solve problems in your head.


Think of it as a mental adventure, where you embark on a journey to become nimble math wizards. You'll sail through the test like mathematical heroes with creative thinking and a positive attitude. So, let's put those calculators aside and let the power of our minds guide us to success in the Quantitative section! You've got this!


#4 Neglecting Official GMAT Practice Materials

If you're prepping for the GMAT exam, remember this golden rule: stick with real GMAT practice materials! Don't go all-in on those third-party resources, as they might not mirror the real deal regarding difficulty and format.


If you want to ace the GMAT test, lay your hands on those official GMAT practice tests and questions. They're your compass to navigate this tricky terrain! Trust us, they'll give you the best taste of what's coming your way.


So, avoid the allure of knock-off study materials and embrace the authentic stuff. With the real GMAT practice tests, you'll be geared up and ready to rock the exam like a boss!  


#5 Overlooking Verbal Section Importance

Don't underestimate the power of the Verbal Section! It's easy to get caught up in the Quantitative part, but remember, the Verbal section is just as crucial for your overall score and business school dreams. So, let's dive into it with enthusiasm! Sharpen those reading comprehension and critical reasoning skills, and watch yourself soar to success.


Picture this: you, confidently tackling those tricky passages, effortlessly understanding every word. With a creative mindset, embrace the challenge, and enjoy the process of unravelling complex ideas. See yourself making informed choices in critical reasoning, impressing the admissions committees with your sharp intellect.


So, folks, balance is key to success in the exam. Don't neglect the Verbal Section; give it the attention it deserves. Embrace the journey of growth and improvement, and you'll be one step closer to your dream business school. You've got this!



Q. Should I focus solely on the Quantitative section during GMAT preparation?

A. No, it's a common mistake to concentrate solely on the Quantitative section. The Verbal section is equally important for your overall GMAT score and business school admissions. Devote proper time to both sections to maximise your chances of success.


Q. Can I rely on unofficial GMAT study materials for my preparation?

A. It's best to avoid relying solely on unofficial GMAT study materials. Official GMAT resources are designed to align with the actual test content and format, providing the most accurate preparation experience.


Q. How should I manage my time during GMAT practice?

A. Time management is crucial. Incorporate timed practice sessions into your study plan. This will help you get accustomed to the time constraints and improve your pacing, which is essential for the actual exam.


Q. Is it okay to neglect reading comprehension and critical reasoning skills?

A. No, neglecting these skills can be detrimental. The Verbal section heavily relies on reading comprehension and critical reasoning abilities. Work on honing these skills to excel in this section and boost your overall GMAT performance.


Q. Can I retake the GMAT if I perform poorly on my first attempt?

A. Yes, you can retake the GMAT if you're unsatisfied with your initial score. However, avoiding making the same mistakes in your preparation is essential. Learn from your previous experience and create a more effective study plan for your next attempt.



Embark on your GMAT journey armed with the wisdom to conquer it with flair! Sidestep common mistakes, embracing a study plan that exudes brilliance. Let time be your ally during practice, caressing all sections equally. Official GMAT study materials shall be your faithful companions, guiding you to excellence.


The GMAT exam isn't merely about answers; it's a dazzling showcase of your prowess for graduate management glory. Stay the course, brimming with confidence, undeterred by obstacles. May luck favour you on this thrilling expedition! Success awaits, so spread your wings and soar!


We hope you enjoyed learning about the top 5 GMAT preparation mistakes. If you would like to get a deeper insight into the GMAT exam, we encourage you to have a word with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). Our counsellors will provide you with guidance throughout your study abroad journey.


Get help with the application process, SOPs and filing for a visa. Visit us and get one-to-one counselling or avail yourself of free video counselling via our website. We will be happy to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact us at or 1800-1230-00011. 

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