Since the GMAT is different than many other standardized tests, students tend to make mistakes during their GMAT preparation. This can hurt a student’s score, and thus, their chances of getting into their desired online MBA program. Here are five common mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not starting with a practice test

Assessing needs is an essential first step in GMAT preparation. This way, students create a study plan to suit those needs. The best way to do this is to take a practice test, which can be found on GMAC’s website.

2. Not taking breaks

There is a lot of important information to learn for the GMAT. Students need to learn and understand complicated rules and strategies. A good way to do this is to take breaks to allow for the information to sink in. Shorter study sessions may be more effective than longer ones.

3. Passive learning

It is essential to be an active learner throughout GMAT preparation. This means students must participate in their learning by asking questions and taking notes. Taking notes by hand is the best way to do this. Students are more likely to both remember and comprehend concepts that they have written down by hand.

4. Skipping answer explanations

Going over answer explanations for practice questions is as important as doing the practice questions themselves. An essential component of every GMAT preparation plan should include answer review. This will help students learn better and faster ways of completing questions.

5. Doing only partial practice exams

Many students choose to complete only the quant and verbal sections when going over GMAT practice tests. This is a big mistake, because there are two additional sections before those sections. If a student only practices with the sections that are part of their overall score, they are likely to be mentally exhausted by the time they reach them on the actual GMAT. Practicing with full-length tests will help students build mental endurance for the GMAT.