Avoid Spreading Your Time Thin

You’ve got five minutes left and 5 questions on your GMAT quant section. What should you do?

There’s a drive try to race through all of them and put in the best answers you can. Half reading. Half understanding. No doubt falling face face first into what should be obvious traps.

Doesn’t sound pretty does it?

Well, you may have guessed already: that’s not a great plan.

It may work for a whirlwind goodbye at a new years eve party but it won’t be a high percentage plan for the end of a GMAT section starved for time.

The best thing is to avoid this altogether with a solid timing strategy and skipping plan. But, even the best strategies can fall to pieces and it’s important to be ready for adversity.

So what should you do? For the most part, work the same way you worked on the rest of the section. Carefully, methodically, and without rushing.

What???? But the clock!!!

The catch is: you have to work on fewer questions. So if you have 5 minutes you only have time for two questions. On the rest you’ll have to guess.

How do I choose which ones to approach?

If you recognize a question as something that you absolutely know how to solve in a reasonable amount of time then go for it. Anything that looks like more of a mystery: skip!

I would also generally skip longer word problems because regardless of difficulty level they tend to take a little longer than say a number crunching exponents factoring questions. In our GMAT tutoring sessions we tend to point out questions that are great to skip. Some of this depends on the individual but some questions are always going to be an uphill battle (Data Sufficiency, yes/no, absolute value, inequality questions with multiple variables for instance).

Remember, you’ve got 5 questions to look at so don’t feel like you need to settle. It could very well be that the last question is the easiest.