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Pacing, Skipping, and Guessing

The content provides an in-depth exploration of time management strategies essential for mastering the GMAT, emphasizing the importance of practicing under time pressure from the beginning of one's study regimen.
  • Time management is a critical skill tested by the GMAT, mirroring the decision-making speed required in the modern business world.
  • Practicing every GMAT problem against a time clock from the start is crucial for developing the instinct to work under pressure.
  • Specific time allocations are recommended for different sections of the GMAT, including the IR, Quantitative, and Verbal sections.
  • Two types of guessing strategies are outlined: blind guessing and solution behavior, with a preference for the latter based on its mathematical advantage.
  • Different strategies are suggested for handling the end of the section rush, with distinct approaches for the Quantitative and Verbal sections.
The Significance of Time Management
Strategic Time Allocations for GMAT Sections
Understanding Types of Guessing
End of Section Strategies

NOTE:  The time targets in this lesson apply to the current GMAT. Please see the lesson "New GMAT Focus Edition Can be Taken Starting November 7, 2023" for more details about the GMAT Focus edition.

Q: I don't understand why you've giving different advice for guessing on verbal versus quant. Can you explain that to me?

Sure! This is a great question, and the answer is based on our experts' experiences and some actual research done by GMAC. (If you're curious for more, check out this article on Bloomberg by Mike or the explanation of it!)

The advice boils down to a few distinct things:

  • If you can narrow down the answers to a few choices, the odds are much more likely in your favor and guessing could be right.
  • Never skip a question in quant and try to answer every single problem for the best score.
  • It doesn't seem to make a significant difference in verbal whether one answers everything or leaves some blank, so spend your time trying to accurately answer what you can, but don't worry about not getting to everything.

Again, even if it seems odd, this is based on research done by GMAC where they analyzed thousands of actual GMAT records!