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Top Myths About the GMAT®
Myth – If I don’t score in the 90th percentile, I won’t get into any school I choose.
Fact – Very few people get very high scores.
Fewer than 50 of the more than 200,000 people taking the GMAT test each year get a perfect score of 800. Thus, while you may be exceptionally capable, the odds are against your achieving a perfect score. Also, the GMAT test is just one piece of your application packet. Admissions officers use GMAT scores in conjunction with undergraduate records, application essays, interviews, letters of recommendation, and other information when deciding whom to accept into their programs.
Myth – Getting an easier question means I answered the last one wrong.
Fact – Getting an easier question does not necessarily mean you got the previous question wrong.
To ensure that everyone receives the same content, the test selects a specific number of questions of each type. The test may call for your next question to be a relatively hard problemsolving item involving arithmetic operations. But, if there are no more relatively difficult problemsolving items involving arithmetic, you might be given an easier item.
Most people are not skilled at estimating item difficulty, so don’t worry when taking the test or waste valuable time trying to determine the difficulty of the questions you are answering.
Myth – You need very advanced math skills to get a high GMAT score.
Fact – The math skills questions on the GMAT test are quite basic.
The GMAT test only requires basic quantitative analytic skills. You should review the math skills (algebra, geometry, basic arithmetic) presented in both The Official Guide for GMAT® Quantitative Review, 2nd Edition, and in The Official Guide for GMAT® Review, 12th Edition, but the required skill level is low. The difficulty of GMAT Quantitative questions stems from the logic and analysis used to solve the problems and not the underlying math skills.
Myth – It is more important to respond correctly to the test questions than it is to finish the test.
Fact – There is a severe penalty for not completing the GMAT test.
If you are stumped by a question, give it your best guess and move on. If you guess incorrectly, the computer program will likely give you an easier question, which you are likely to answer correctly, and the computer will rapidly return to giving you questions matched to your ability. If you don’t finish the test, your score will be reduced greatly. Failing to answer five verbal questions, for example, could reduce your score from the 91st percentile to the 77th percentile. Pacing is important.
Myth –The first 10 questions are critical and you should invest the most time on those.
Fact – All questions count.
It is true that the computeradaptive testing algorithm uses the first 10 questions to obtain an initial estimate of your ability; however, that is only an initial estimate. As you continue to answer questions, the algorithm selfcorrects by computing an updated estimate on the basis of all the questions you have answered, and then administers items that are closely matched to this new estimate of your ability. Your final score is based on all your responses and considers the difficulty of all the questions you answered. Taking additional time on the first 10 questions will not game the system and can hurt your ability to finish the test.
Myth – I need to speak US English in order to do well on the GMAT.
Fact Essay grading is not affected by dialect of English. Questions on the GMAT are evaluated to ensure they are fair for all examinees, whether in the US or around the world.
Trust the worldwide bestselling study guide to help you prepare for the GMAT!
Here's what you'll find inside the only book on the market written by the creators of the exam.
Full answers and detailed explanations for all questions
Grammar review covering concepts tested on the GMAT Verbal section
Comprehensive math review of the topics tested on the GMAT Quantitative section
Actual essay topics, sample responses, and scoring information
Questions organized in order of difficulty to save study time
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