What is GMAT stimulation test?

Certification: Admission Tests GMAT - Graduate Management Admission Test


GMAT simulation tests are computer-adaptive tests that help the test takers to assess their readiness to take up the actual GMAT test in a simulated testing environment. The simulation tests are a great way of testing the effectiveness of the preparations of a test taker in terms of learning of the content. These test being designed according to the actual test, is also helpful in developing time management strategies and growing stamina to take up the three-hour test at a stretch. Taking the simulation tests familiarises the test taker with the actual test format and help them to be prepared with a strategies to take up the actual GMAT test in an effective way. 

Making the most out of a GMAT Simulation Test

To optimally reap optimum benefits of the simulation tests, the test takers must make efficient use of the results of these tests to develop a relation between time management during the test and number of questions answered correctly, and also to identify their weak areas that bringing their score down. Following five steps are the best way to make optimum utilisation of the simulation test results:

  • Identifying trends through the problem list –Most of the GMAT simulation tests provide a problem list that gives the details about the correctness or incorrectness of each question and the time spent by the test taker on each question. This is a great source for test takers to identify trends in the correct and incorrect answers and which are the type of questions where they took more time to answer.
  • Classifying the correct and incorrect answers based on the time taken:

    Based on the details of time taken on each question given in the problem list, the test takers should classify the correct and incorrect questions into 6 categories namely correct answers answered in too short time, correct answers answered in too long time and correct answers answered in the exact amount of time and similarly three categories for incorrect answers answered in too short time, too long time and exact amount of time. The time spent on Critical reasoning and Quantitative section questions should not be less than 1.5 minutes and should not exceed 3 minutes, for Sentence Correction questions the time spent should not be less than 1 minute and more than 2 minutes and for Reading Comprehension questions the minimum time should be 1.5 minutes and maximum time should be 3-3.5 minutes.

  • Develop strategies for consistent pacing:

    By evaluating various aspects such as any type of question where more time was spent, result (correct or incorrect) of a question on which long time has been spent and identifying any difference due to test section or type of question, the test takers can improve their test strategy to pace steadily.

  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses:

    The next step must be to identifying and categorizing their strengths and weaknesses through the test metrics provided along with the problem list. The strengths would include questions answered correctly within the average time and weaknesses would include questions answered incorrectly and questions on which more time was spent.

  • Further Categorization of Weaknesses:
  • The test takers can further sort down their weaknesses by section, specific concepts and type of question or sub-questions and analyse for a pattern to work on them.

Positives of Simulation Tests

The most important benefit that simulation tests offer to test takers is in physically and mentally preparing to take up the real GMAT test, and accustom them on test sections and pacing their time to complete the test. The GMAT test is not only an evaluation of a candidate’s knowledge and skills in the test sections but also their ability to focus through the three and half hour test. The test also assess the mental swiftness in shifting and focusing from one section to a completely unrelated section by pairing dissimilar sections together such as maths after writing section etc. Simulation tests are, thus, a good way to practice these skills and being prepared for the actual test.

Apart from the above two skill-building benefits, the simulation tests are also the effective way for test takers to understand their strengths and weaknesses based on their performance in these tests. The sections in which they are able to answer the questions easily and score well definitely are their strong points. Similarly the sections which test takers find it difficult to answer and have not been able to score well are the areas where they need to focus more and work on to increase their score. The scores of the simulation tests also help the test takers to estimate approximately where their scores may fall in the actual GMAT. 

Negatives of Simulation Tests

The test takers often assume the scores in the simulation tests to be what they will get in the GMAT. Though the simulation tests can be a help in estimating the range in which the test taker may score in the actual test, the simulation tests are in no way be an accurate score predictor for the real GMAT test. The other mistake that test takers make is to take up these tests for learning new concepts. The basic objective of taking up simulation tests is to examine the thoroughness of what test takers have already learnt and identify their weakness for improvement.

Moreover the simulations test can only be a source of practice for what they have learnt and time management; it is should not be assumed as replica of the actual test.  The main differences between the simulation tests and actual tests are in the difficulty level of questions and the sequence of questions. GMAT being a computer-adaptive test in which the questions generated to match the test taker’s ability is dependent on an algorithm that cannot be replicated by any simulation tests. Similarly, the difficulty level of the questions in simulation tests can also not be matched with the actual GMAT.

Though the simulation test is a very important part of the preparation for succeeding in GMAT, overdependence on it can prove to be of no good to a test taker. Striking a right balance of learning for the test and taking up these tests to assess the learning is very important for getting a good score.


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