7 Effective Tips to Ace GMAT

Ever dreamt of being a billionaire like Bill Gates or maybe the next Zuckerberg? At some point we all have. The innate desire for fame, wealth, status and the pride of standing out from the herd is intrinsic to us social creatures. Joining Harvard, dropping out, becoming a billionaire -  these are stuff new age legends are made up of. The likes of Gates,  Zuckerberg, Elon Musk have laid down benchmarks for achieving the pinnacle of success, haven’t they?

Let’s snap back to reality for a moment. To drop out of Harvard, you first need to GET INTO HARVARD! And anyone who plans on doing that would know it’s no mean feat. As per popular business website Business Insider, you would need a score of over 720 to be considered being called by Harvard Business School for their MBA program. Suddenly, getting a reply from your crush doesn’t seem as difficult anymore, does it?

The following 7 tips can help you channel your inner Zuckerberg or Bill Gates -

  1. Dump that “Smart” phone.

phone throwing

Turns out, our mothers have been right all along (as always). Our phones are no good for us. Studies conducted by psychologists have found out that excessive use of smartphones decreases the concentration and attention span of humans. And this has got nothing to do with ‘being online’. The study also goes on to claim that mere presence of the phone is enough to get you distracted and make you have FOMO. So if you aim to get into Harvard folks, it’s time to get out of those Whatsapp forwards (please excuse the horrible attempt at rhyming!)

2) Don’t be Phoebe - Have a “Pla”

“Make a plan” - This is a statement which has been used by successful people more often than Shahid Afridi’s “Inshallah the boys played well”. As clichéd as it may sound, failing to plan means planning to fail. Making the plan, however, is the easiest part of the job. It is sticking to the plan diligently, that decides which side of the Harvard gate you stand on. Start from broad but definite goals. E.g “I have to complete 3 chapters of QA this week” and then work towards the macro aspect of it like “2 days for Time & Work” and “2 days for speed math”. Ultimately, create and follow even more minute targets like “10 sums per hour”. Once you cultivate a habit, the previously tedious task of following a schedule will now seem like an easy, everyday affair for you.

3) Start with Quantitative & Verbal Aptitude

Now that the plan has been made and you’re finally on the study table, start with the toughest of them all, so that you can devote maximum time to it. The trick to scoring well lies in both speed and accuracy. This double delight can be achieved only after regular practice over a long period of time.
*free additional tip related to this: ALWAYS study on the table. Do not recline lazily on your couch/sofa so that you end up dozing off comfortably!

4) Improve your writing skills.

The one thing that sets GMAT apart from other exams is the section of “Analytical writing Assessment”. As you would know, AWA is an essay based question involving acute logical reasoning to critique the argument presented in the question. Developing the skill of logical reasoning is quite manageable, trickling down to how well you can put pen to paper. It is essential you stick to the point and not beat around the bush. This is not your 10th-grade exam which gives you marks based on how many sides you write, is it? Improve your vocabulary, but don’t keep blasting words superfluously like Shashi Tharoor – you don’t want your essay to be an “exasperating farrago of distortions”, do you?

5) Choose the correct study material


This is a confusion that most students have. Tonnes of tutor classes have now cropped up on every nook and corner, with every one of them offering their own versions of study material. Choosing the correct material seems more difficult than choosing a combo at Subway, doesn’t it? Well, have no fear - we are here! According to most top scorers, the best books out there are The Manhattan Prep guides as well as the Official Guide, available at Amazon. Besides, various sites like RetailMeNot also offer attractive discounts for various packages. For those who think their fundamentals are weak, well, Harvard still has gates open for you. Head to Magoosh and improve your fundamentals with their creative tools like flashcards that help you work over the smallest of weaknesses. And don’t worry about the costs – most of Magoosh content is – wait for it, FREE!

6) Take multiple mock tests.


Ask any ranker, like Tarang Gupta who scored 780 in 2016, or Thrishnaa, who scored 770 in 2013, they would state the following - “The key to judging your level of preparation lies in giving mock tests”. Not once. Not twice. Not even thrice. You have to keep giving as many tests as you can, at multiple levels of preparation, in order to realize where you truly stand. The tests also make you aware of the chinks in your armor that you need to fortify before D-day comes knocking. Make sure you walk into the exam center fully equipped like James Bond on a mission to kill. Various sites provide you free as well as paid exam prep packs. Make sure you check out the official site – www.mba.com as well as ManhattanPrep for the best test experience.


Go ahead, take a break. You don’t have to be Ross to do this. Taking breaks allows your mind to refresh and then keeps it ready for the next round of ‘hammering’. As cool and satisfying as it may sound, this is where most students tend to go awry – do not let a 10-minute break turn into a 10-episodes-of-F.R.I.E.N.D.S marathon, as delightful as it might be. Rest, but do not give in to temptations  - yes you can check and reply to those meme tags – but only in a limit. Better still, treat your taste buds with their favorite lip-smacking delights at equally delightful discounts available only at TheCollegeFever - you know you’ve deserved it!

Giving tips is not the end of our story though. We’re going to be here, waiting and hoping to hear the news of you ‘Making it Large’! Good luck for the exams, and yes, we’re pretty sure if you follow the above guidelines, Harvard will be waiting for you like…