Are GMAT scores usually lower than practice test scores?

You spend countless hours preparing for the GMAT exam. You also take many practice tests in the preparation phase. The great score in the GMAT practice tests keep you in a good mental state for the exam. Come GMAT results, your scores are significantly lower than expected. Why does this happen?

It is not a rule of thumb that you will always score higher in practice tests than the real GMAT. However, this trend can reflect in the scores of many test takers. While test takers take the practice tests under the comfort of their home and best suitable time, the real GMAT is a different ball game. There are many factors which can work towards taking your score southwards.

The following factors affect the scores on the real exam day:

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Stress – The biggest factor of them all. While we may take many practice tests, nothing comes close to mimic the actual stress of the real GMAT. You know that doing well in the GMAT can pave the way for a dream b-school. Such thoughts can pressurize the test takers. Moreover, the failures of a practice test do not have any real bearing on the admissions whereas the exam results can be the make-or-break factor.

Time management – Not many students are very diligent about keeping time in practice tests. They tend to slack towards the closing stages of the exam. However, there are no such luxuries in the real GMAT. One question gone haywire, and the entire time schedule can go for a toss. This is one of the big reasons for a low GMAT score.

Routine – How was your routine leading up to the exam? And the night before? If you did not get a good night’s sleep, there are high chances of messing up in the exam. Make sure you keep a good diet, exercise and sleep regimen in the final one month before the exam.

Exam environment – Sometimes, the exam environment can also contribute to a sub-optimal performance. Maybe the environment was too hot or cold for your liking. Or it was a little noisy? All these factors can play a part in your score.

Make sure you understand these factors well if you want to retake the GMAT. If you are taking the GMAT for the first time, follow stress reduction techniques and recommended exam day tips to be absolutely in top shape during your exam. If you implement the best preparation strategies, you can beat the trend very easily.

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