GMAT Advice: Flunked Your First Practice Test? Don’t Freak Out!

by on June 10th, 2015

I recently started preparing for the GMAT and just took my first practice test. To my dismay, I scored a 480. I’m really disappointed, but wonder if you think I can get my score into the upper 600s. If so, how would you go about doing this?


Flunked at 480

Dear Flunked at 480,

I’m sorry to hear you’re disappointed with your first practice test score. However, let’s keep a few important things in mind:

  1. This was your first practice test. Seeking to improve your score by such an extensive amount means you have a lot of work ahead, but in no way does a disappointing practice test signify a hopeless case.
  2. One of the best ways to get started on your path to your desired GMAT score is, in fact, taking the practice exam cold, because doing so identifies your strengths and weaknesses. Now you’ll save crucial time and energy by not spending too much time reviewing concepts that you already have a strong grasp of. Use this practice test to create an error log—one of the most important pieces of your study plan—so that you can identify those areas that you need to work on most.
  3. Be patient. Most test takers budget 10-15 hours of studying per week for 2-3 months before taking the GMAT, so you have a long road ahead of you. If you invest in yourself and the areas that you need to improve the most, I’m confident you’ll be able to get your score up.

Best of luck!

This post appeared first on the Economist GMAT Tutor blog.

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