Top 6 Most Effective Tips to Ace Your GMAT Exam

Ace Your GMAT Exam

Got business school dreams? You need the test scores to back up those ambitions. You don’t want to take on the application process without the right GMAT™ test score. From quantitative to qualitative percentiles, your score shows your shine. A high GMAT could even win you a needed scholarship.

Your test date is a make-or-break moment when it all comes down to your performance. So how can you be sure that you know how to crack the GMAT exam and carry off a great score? You need some expert GMAT tips.

You’ve got 3.5 hours of test-taking time ahead of you. Before your test appointment arrives, get prepared and bring yourself into the optimum mindset for high score achievement. Prep right and you can crack that GMAT, no problem.

The business school admissions experts at The MBA Exchange draw on decades of experience to help you figure out how to ace the GMAT. Our team coaches thousands of successful GMAT (and GRE) test-takers every year. Check out these top-notch GMAT tips and tricks.

Breaking down the GMAT test

GMAT tip number one: understanding the component parts of the GMAT gives you the leg up you need to smash your score. A solid GMAT prep plan takes all of the four main sections of the exam into account.

The 62-minute Quantitative Reasoning section indicates your mathematical abilities, covering problem-solving and data interpretation.

The 65-minute Verbal Reasoning section puts your reading comprehension skills to the test, measuring how well you can understand – and put together – professional-level written material.

The 30-minute Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section puts your communication capabilities on display, giving you a chance to show off your confidence with critical thinking and effective expression of ideas.

The 30-minute Integrated Reasoning (IR) portion of the GMAT challenges your data analysis skills, asking you to interpret multiple formats of information presentation.

Quant scores often lead to business school acceptance metrics, but all the portions of the GMAT make a difference in your total score. A well-rounded score indicates a well-rounded candidate. GMAT prep tip: don’t try to cruise through on a single strong area.


Choose the best test preparation strategy for you

No two business school candidacies are exactly the same, and every candidate needs to find their unique best approach for how to study for the GMAT.

As you get your head around the question of how best to study for the GMAT, decide whether you want to rely on self-study, or if you’d do better working with a personal GMAT tutor or using materials from mass-market test prep firms.

Consider your personal strengths and weaknesses and what you know about your study patterns, and put together an approach to studying for the GMAT that will help you succeed, not just stress.


You can find practice GMAT tests online and go it alone in terms of test prep – but should you? When you don’t have the long-term experience and expertise of a pro tutor, are you going to be the best person to figure out how to study for the GMAT?

It’s notoriously tough to assess yourself and your study performance. Figuring out how to crack the GMAT on your own might be laborious. Leveraging external expertise is often the smarter move when it comes to studying for the GMAT.

GMAT tutoring

A great GMAT tutor can transform your score, providing expert GMAT prep tips, showing you the best ways to optimize your thoughtflow and study approach, and catching personal weaknesses that self-study could miss.

That said, in the absence of a standardized rating system for GMAT tutors, engaging a tutor is a leap of faith. The MBA Exchange offers our own high-value, highly customized GMAT test prep coaching and supports resources.

We don’t want to toot our own horn too loud, but when you’ve got a great track record of customer satisfaction and admissions success, it doesn’t take many volumes to amplify the message.

Mass-market test prep firms and materials

With GMAT test averages rising higher than ever, providing test-taking support attracts big business. You can find scores of mass-market test prep outfits providing GMAT tips and tricks with cursory online searching.

It’s not pointless to check out these resources but evaluate what you’re getting when you head to the check-out: discount GMAT study tips and GMAT test tips aimed at a “mass” clientele. When you’re counting on a top GMAT score to elevate your business school candidacy, that may not be good enough.

Do you want the “one size fits all” approach, or a more substantial investment in your test prep and future goals?

6 helpful tips and tricks for cracking the GMAT

1. Pick the right tutor

Studying with a skilled GMAT tutor gives you lots more bang for your buck than prepping with a buddy, who might not know much more than you about how to study for the GMAT. 

A good GMAT tutor can effectively show you how to crack the GMAT exam. How do you pick the right GMAT tutor? Personal compatibility, expert knowledge of GMAT tips and tricks, and a knack for diagnosing test-taking weaknesses are all a must. 

The MBA Exchange offers high-quality personalized GMAT tutoring as part of our test-prep services. Our tutors work with you on how to study for the GMAT, dealing with issues from content knowledge to test anxiety.

2. Practice the test on a computer

An important GMAT prep tip: since the GMAT is a computer adaptive test, you should study for the GMAT in that specific testing environment. Just studying with pen and paper won’t be enough. You need to get your head around GMAT-specific tips and tricks to ace your score.

Your GMAT questions change based on your previous answers. It’s hard to answer the question, “how hard is the GMAT?” – because the test gets harder as you rack up a higher score. And, as you give more correct answers, your lowest possible score rises. 

Practicing with computerized GMAT tools helps you adapt to the technology and gain confidence. That’s how you ace the GMAT.

3. Get serious about time

Time yourself as you go during GMAT study. If you can’t finish a section in time, that’s important information for your GMAT prep. Tip: you might need to target increasing your speed, or put together other strategies to maximize how many problems you can get through during a testing period.

Here’s a GMAT study tip: the first 10 questions on a section set the scale for your score, so you should take your time with them. However, the rest of the questions matter, too, and you don’t want to leave any points on the floor.

The GMAT penalizes blank questions, so don’t waste time you don’t have on a question that stumps you. It’s better to rule out obviously wrong answers and take your best guess after a reasonable amount of time, and then move on to the next question.

4. Prep for success in all percentiles

Top GMAT quant scores are highly prized by some, but all the percentiles of your GMAT score matter. If you want to know how to ace the GMAT, get well-rounded!

The quantitative percentile covers areas of mathematics you probably studied in school: algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics. GMAT prep tip: for the quant portion, you won’t have access to a calculator, so mental math skills are a must.

The verbal section contributes equally as a part of your final score, so don’t think you can safely skip prepping for this part when you study for the GMAT. Business school adcoms look at your verbal percentile to see how well you communicate and understand others, key skills in today’s business world.

Advanced questions success gives your GMAT score that extra, elite sparkle, always attractive to admissions committees. Here’s how to ace the GMAT – review previous challenging GMAT questions from previous exams, and you increase your chances of standing out!

5. Plan to take the test twice

The pros suggest this GMAT test tip: the first time you take the GMAT, despite your prep, you might not be at your best. The test-taking scene can come as something of a shock, causing your test anxiety to flare up.

Take the pressure off your performance by planning to take the test at least twice. Your scores stay active for five years afterward, so you could even take the test as a college student, years before it’s time to apply for b-school. Once you know the territory, you can re-test with greater confidence. That’s how you finally ace the GMAT.

6. Connect with other test takers

Your custom study plan might be unlike any other, but you can also learn how to crack the GMAT exam from the experience of others. When you connect with other people prepping for, and who have succeeded with, GMAT testing, you reduce testing anxiety and get helpful GMAT-specific study tips and tricks.

GMAT testing puts you through your paces. Take care of your body, mind, and outlook with supportive GMAT coaching. Put in the prep, pay attention to specific GMAT preparation tips and GMAT test tips, and you can be confident in the results. 

For more useful GMAT prep tips and tricks, as well as information on the test preparation and coaching offerings from The MBA Exchange, and how we can help you solve the problem of how to crack the GMAT exam, head to our website, or contact us directly with your inquiry now.