Avoiding silly mistakes in the GMAT should be part of your exam preparation, and there is a systematic way to eliminate them.
Some mistakes can be quite frustrating. They undermine your confidence, slow you down and suck the pleasure out of the preparation process.
The good news is that you can eliminate them, or at least reduce their number, if you follow these simple tips offered by Kevin Rocci from Magoosh, an international test preparation company.
Analyse your mistakes in the GMAT
The first thing you have to do when addressing this issue is to determine whether the mistakes you make classify as silly. Miscalculation is a silly mistake. If you wanted to choose ‘B’ but you ended up choosing ‘C’ – that’s a silly mistake, too.
On the other hand, a conceptual error or a failure to use the right approach might require you to gain more knowledge rather than simply ditching bad habits.
Slow down near the end
When you are solving problems, at what point do you usually make mistakes? Is it at the very beginning; is it in the middle; or is it at the end?
Most mistakes occur at the end of the problem-solving process. Rocci explains this pattern by comparing the test taker to a participant in some kind of a race who is looking at the finish line and lets down his guard out of excitement.
That’s why the best thing to do at the end is to slow down and remain focused on the last couple of things that you want to do, and do them correctly, he says.
Take a break
Fatigue is one of the most common causes of mistakes. Have you been studying for four hours without a break? If so, you definitely need to change your study habits because you are most likely slipping up because you are tired. If you find out that you are making a lot of mistakes after a long period of study, this means that you need some rest. Rocci advises prospective test takers to schedule breaks into their study timetable every hour.
If you feel tired and exhausted on the test day, which would be unfortunate but is possible, you can simply close your eyes, take a deep breath and count to ten. This won’t refresh you in the way a couple of hours of sleep would, but it will take some of the pressure off.