GMAT test takers often want to know how to gain 50+ points over a short period of time. Is it possible? Yes, but restrictions apply! For the majority of students, serious improvement won’t come without investment of significant effort over at least a couple of months. There are a few situations, however, for which such leaps may be realistic.
1. You did not perform your best on the first try. Many things can go wrong on test day (or on your first practice test), resulting in a score unreflective of your true ability. Perhaps you mistimed your break and started a section a few minutes late, or you didn’t sleep well the night before, or you forgot to check the timer regularly and took too long on a few difficult problems, or you were simply nervous, or any number of other possibilities. If you can identify something that interfered with your performance, and you feel confident that you can reduce or eliminate it on your second try, you have a good chance of boosting your score!
2. You didn’t have a handle on the basic knowledge required for the test. The makers of the GMAT assume that you are familiar with the question types and well-versed in relevant background information, from grammatical conventions to mathematical formulas. I have worked with many clients who performed poorly on their initial exam because they had simply hadn’t used some of this knowledge since their high school or college days. But, because they once knew the material well, they easily picked it up again and made rapid progress. If this sounds like you, spend some time reviewing the basics and try again.
3. Your time management strategy was off. Many students make the mistake of sticking with a question until they have exhausted all possible avenues for solving it. While this work ethic is admirable in many contexts, it can wreak havoc on GMAT performance! No one question counts much towards your score, and, even if you are performing at an extremely high level, there will likely be at least a few questions that you just do not get. Therefore, it is much better to guess on the most difficult questions and have enough time to thoroughly answer the ones that you do know how to solve. If you had a major time crunch at the end of your last test, try checking the clock every five questions and commit to move on if you are more than a minute or two behind.
Whatever your situation, there is plenty you can do to raise your score. Feel free to reach out with any questions--I'm happy to help you get started!