Common Study Pitfalls

Most people preparing for the GMAT are essentially on a hyper-accelerated learning (or re-learning) program in which, while there are few “short-cuts” per se, there is nonetheless a vast difference in effectiveness among different study methods.

Below are just a few of the GMAT study pitfalls we frequently see. Some are a result of fundamental misconceptions about the test, whereas others are the result of bad study habits:

Leaving far too little time to study (usually due to underestimating both the test and the competitiveness of the test-taking population).
Assuming that all study materials are equal. In fact, well over 90% of published GMAT study materials are poor and inefficient resources at best.
Consuming the relatively scarce body of high-quality practice questions before foundational gaps are addressed.

Emphasizing quantity (e.g. of practise questions or tests, of total study time, or of study time per day) over quality of study.
Seeking to address foundational and timing issues simultaneously. The classic example is taking practise test after practise test with little or no deep study in between.
Not getting help quickly enough after recognizing it’s necessary. If everyone could get a great score just by reading books, there wouldn’t be so many people seeking help from test prep services.
Thinking that expert help is a magic bullet that will instantly add 100 points to your score, e.g. through a miracle inventory of “tips” and “tricks”, or a substitute for hard work on your part. In fact, while expert help is often very effective, it’s best seen as accelerator/multiplier of your own efforts. Just think: if a big improvement were that easy, everyone would achieve it.
Assuming that all test prep services are equal, or that anyone with good math or language skills will be as effective as a GMAT-dedicated expert.