A high score on the GMAT will contribute to improving your chance of admission, and when applying for a scholarship.Take every step you can to achieve a good score. The academic director of The Economist’s GMAT Tutor explains how to learn from your mistakes in order to improve your GMAT performance.

Great GMAT scores depend on several factors – some we cannot fully control, and others we should and must control. One of the controllable factors is knowledge. Its acquisition is certainly achievable. We teach you and you learn! Simple, right?

Well ... not totally. Most GMAT takers study and invest time, effort and money to try to achieve their target scores. So why doesn't everyone succeed at the GMAT?Some GMAT test preppers do not learn from their mistakes. It may shock you, but as an instructor, the answers you get correct don't really interest me.Of course I am happy with correct answers. But more interesting to me is why the student makes mistakes and how he or she can gain an understanding of these mistakes.

When you understand, internalize and recognize patterns, your mistakes will decrease.

How to debrief:

  • Read the explanations provided for each incorrect answer for the course. There is much to learn from other answer choice explanations. Moreover, note/log your findings and the specific problematic question or concept and review these once or twice weekly.
  • Examine each question and ask: Can I recognize the concepts tested? What could I have done differently? Is there a recurring pattern? Why did I pick the wrong answer/eliminate the right answer? Was my mistake the result of carelessness, speed, or simply lack of knowledge, lack of utilizing a technique or forgetting what concepts to apply? Do I feel more confident now that I will be able to better recognize what to do the next time I face a similar question? Do I now know what techniques should be applied?

In summary:

  1. Learn the reason you got a question wrong by debriefing during your practice.
  2. Your goal should be to understand, internalize, and recognize the patterns, ultimately applying the knowledge gained.

Read the original article on the blog of The Economist’s GMAT Tutor.

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