Civics Test Guide
What should students look for in a GMAT tutor? In a class? Workbook or study guide?
With respect to GMAT instructors, Kaplan has a very competitive teacher selection process, Kaplan teachers and tutors are not only high scorers on the exam (90th percentile or above,) but also go through an intensive selection and training process – to ensure they are both a test expert and an exceptional instructor. While your instructor has to be a top performer on the GMAT exam itself, but being a high scorer isn’t sufficient. Think about Isaiah Thomas: he was an amazing basketball player, but a terrible coach by all accounts. At Kaplan, in the 40+ years we’ve been teaching the GMAT, we’ve always recognized that teacher effectiveness goes beyond a test score – if a teacher can’t motivate, engage, and enlighten students, it doesn’t matter how high their GMAT score is. We make sure that in addition to scoring well, our instructors are able to teach, and we do this by rigorous and ongoing teacher training and evaluation.
As for study guides, it’s important to make sure that they are comprehensive and current.
What advice do you have for students the night before and during the test?
The GMAT is pretty grueling. All in, you’ll be working on the test for three and a half hours. It’s the marathon of tests, and when it comes to “what to do the night before and the morning of,” the biggest piece of advice is not to add some new element to your patterns right before. While things like exercise and listening to classical music can be great ways to reduce stress and heighten your smarts, it’s best to start these routines throughout your GMAT prep so that you’ve minimized any surprise on test day.
Remember, anxiety is driven by fear of the unknown. So your best weapon against anxiety is to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into – which means coming into test day full prepared. That means knowing the content that is covered, being comfortable with the format of the test, knowing the strategies that will save you time, and having the opportunity to practice sufficiently.
Is there a particular test-taking strategy you recommend?
The reality is that there is no “magic bullet” for the GMAT. There’s no getting around the fact that you need to learn the test content, master time-saving strategies, get comfortable with the format of the test, and practice. It’s a bit like trying to learn the entire French language 2 weeks before heading to Paris or Quebec City for a trip; it’s just not possible. What is possible, however, is focusing on the areas on the GMAT that will bring you the most success – in the same way that focusing on conversational French that will be relevant to your trip.
It’s all about knowing how to spend your time and effort. Over 80% of people taking the GMAT are working full time; every hour that someone is spending outside of work is precious.
Knowing where your particular areas of opportunity are is key – as is knowing exactly what to do to take advantage of these opportunities. And remember – everyone is different.