GMAT Multiple-Choice Strategies: Guess and Answer Everything! - dummies

GMAT Multiple-Choice Strategies: Guess and Answer Everything!

By Lisa Zimmer Hatch, Scott A. Hatch

On the GMAT computer-adaptive test (or CAT), you aren’t allowed to skip questions, and you don’t get extra time. So if you stumble upon some really difficult questions that you’re not sure how to answer, you have to guess and move on.

Don’t fall into thinking that you must know the correct answer for each question to do well on the GMAT. Almost everyone incorrectly answers a few questions in each section, and almost everyone has to guess on those really difficult questions. Don’t worry if you have to guess; just figure out how to guess effectively!

With the CAT format, developing a strategy for successful guessing in the quantitative-reasoning and verbal-reasoning sections is actually more important than ever. In these sections, as you answer questions correctly, the level of difficulty continues to increase. Although the integrated-reasoning section isn’t in the CAT format, you can’t skip the questions in this section, either, so be sure to apply guessing strategies to that section as well.

To get the optimum score for the questions you answer correctly, you must respond to all the questions in each section. If you don’t have time to complete the questions at the end of each section, your score is reduced in proportion to the number of questions you didn’t answer. Therefore, it’s important to move at a pace that allows you to get to all the questions.

Answer every question in each section! If you notice that you have only three or four minutes remaining in a section and more than five questions left, spend the remaining minutes marking an answer for every question, even if you don’t have time to read them. You always have a 20 percent chance of randomly guessing the correct answer to a verbal-reasoning or quantitative-reasoning question, which is better than not answering the question at all. If you have to guess randomly at the end of the section, mark the same bubble for each answer. For example, you may choose to mark the second bubble from the bottom. Chances are that at least one in five questions will have a correct answer placed second to the end. Marking the same bubble also saves time because you don’t have to choose which answer to mark for each question; you already have your guessing strategy in mind, so you don’t have to think about it.