The biggest GMAT myths: Debunked

When you’re studying for the GMAT, you can begin to take any “strategy” tips as gospel. However, we want to examine some of the most persistent GMAT myths.

1. It’s all about the first eight questions. Or the first 7 or the first 10. Some applicants believe that if you do not answer the first few questions correctly, it’s nearly impossible to claw your way back up to a score in the 700s. This is completely inaccurate, and far too many test-takers will waste time laboring over the first eight questions at the expense of the rest of the section.

2. You need to get all (or nearly all) of the questions right. Most test-takers will get about 40% of the questions wrong, and even the best GMAT test-takers can’t sustain an accuracy rating of 90-100%. Students frequently achieve score in the 700+ range while answering a significant number of hard questions incorrectly.

3. Verbal and Quant have the same impact on your total score. While we would never recommend putting all of your eggs in one basket, it is true that a high verbal score is more uncommon and therefore slightly more heavily weighted in percentile rankings. In other words, a raw Verbal score of 48 places you in the 99th percentile among test-takers, while a raw Quant score of 48 places you in the 84th percentile.

4. The GMAT tests complex math. As much as we loathe to admit it, most of the quant questions are at an eight grade-level. And remember that quant section is designed to be completed without a calculator, which means that you will never face problems that can’t be completed by hand.

5. Every practice test helps. While practice tests are hugely valuable and should be a valuable part of your GMAT prep process, they are by no means the best way to learn concepts. It’s important that you have the time to assess your incorrect answers and learn from your mistakes, rather than hoping that you will learn data sufficiency by osmosis.

6. You need to spend thousands of dollars to get a good score. Everyone has different needs for test prep, and students often make the mistake of believing that the more money they spend on the prep process, the more prepared they will be. A \$1000 GMAT prep class is a waste of time and money for a test-taker who has already learned the basic concepts, and there are free or inexpensive ways to prepare for the GMAT. Of course, one place to find free GMAT prep is on the Prep4GMAT app, which offers over 1000 free questions for test-takers.