Do GMAT Homework Timed + Evil Pause Button

There’s disagreement out there in the GMAT world about whether you should do your GMAT homework timed. If you ask me, YES. Do your  GMAT HW timed and in test day conditions. All of it.

That way you’ll learn to deal with timing issues and the stress of the clock right from the start. You’ll also (hopefully) develop better problem solving habits and have a better sense for what your strengths and weaknesses are.


Given all of the time in the world you can use a less than ideal method to solve a question. Why would you want to practice that? Then you’ll learn the long way to solve something and won’t be able to excel once the timing constraints are back in the picture.

Having unlimited time will also muddy the water in terms of your strengths and weaknesses as your unlimited timing resource will make your weaknesses appear stronger and your strengths less evident.

Yes, adding the clock from the start can be stressful. Your scores will probably suffer. That’s fine. This is about learning. About improving. It’s not about feeling good. It’s not about feeling bad either. It’s about learning how to excel on the GMAT. A test that is timed.

You might say: I can’t learn if I have to stick to strict timing. It’s impossible.

I get it. It is pretty tough. But, guess what, you can have unlimited time to learn. Oh yeah? Yes. In REVIEW.

Once you’ve gotten destroyed on your timed HW set then re-do the entire thing untimed. Don’t check the answers so you have an unbiased shot at everything.

Once you’ve done that. Check the answers and review everything using whatever explanations you find most appropriate.

Don’t touch that pause button!!!

Don’t even think about it! Not for a second should you pause. Pretend it’s not there. If you use it once you’ll probably use it again. It’s addictive that thing. Here’s a student whose 730 GMAT score almost derailed because of the pause button.

On the Atlantic GMAT tutoring HW site we don’t have a pause button. We could. And students complain sometimes. And, yeah, if UPS shows up while you are doing a HW set it’s nice to have the pause. But in almost two decades of doing this I’ve seen the pause button do WAY more harm than good. Again, forget it’s there.