# How to study smart for the GMAT!

The GMAT is an exam that tests much more than your rote learning or information retention ability. It is also a test of your ability to infer processes and learn from earlier problem solving experiences. The old saying always holds true: you may practice ten thousand questions for the test, but not even one question you get will be exactly the same as any you have attempted earlier.

So here are some ways you can study smart, and get the biggest return on investment for your study time.

Don’t struggle to remember the numbers in a problem

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A lot of first time GMAT aspirants try to remember the entire statement of a problem, with numbers and options. This does not make sense for two reasons. One, the pool of questions used by the GMAC over a year is very large; it has tens of thousands of questions. Therefore, the chance that one of the questions you practiced will be repeated is vanishingly small. Two, this could lead to an error where, if you see numbers that look familiar, you think it’s a problem you’ve solved before and choose the answer for that problem. However, in case there’s even a slight change, you’re going to be wrong.

After getting a problem wrong, study the method rather than reading the solution

The GMAT is all about identifying and getting comfortable with different problem types. So, if you’re struggling with a particular problem, the solution to the problem is not merely to understand that particular problem, but to spend time to understand it in context, and try to devise a method to solve all problems of that type in future. Always solve a problem type, not a particular problem.

Train your mind to identify patterns

The GMAT lays many traps for you, but the total number of such traps is still finite. You need to train yourself to identify warning signs of different traps, and use those to decide the course of action and method that you will follow. The good news is that this comes naturally through practice, so this is an automatic perk.

Make your practice metric of success percentage accuracy rather than total questions attempted

Some people think that the only thing they should focus on is attempting every question on the GMAT. However, this could be a double-edged sword in case a lot of these end up wrong. You need to understand how to eliminate clearly wrong options and make educated guesses. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should spend all the time on your GMAT just attempting one question so that you can feel happy about 100% accuracy.

Observe how your coach solves questions

Your GMAT coach is the most important part of your journey. But the amount you can learn from your coach – for example, our experienced faculty at Jamboree – goes above and beyond just the advice they give you. If you carefully look at how they approach a problem, you will often learn a more efficient alternate solution. Learn from the masters, always.

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At Jamboree, we focus on smart GMAT coaching. We do not spoon feed you with problems alone – we always ensure that we give you the larger context and the rationale for each step, and the requisite number of tips and tricks.

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