Mental agility or speed is quickness and flexibility in thinking combined with balance and coordination. It is the key to success in GMAT test. Speed comes with a risk of decline in accuracy. Even the best minds have a speed limit by which they can solve difficult questions with a high degree of accuracy. Difficult questions are like speed breakers on a highway. You have to learn to maneuver them without losing the steady pace. A candidate who can balance speed with accuracy can take the challenge of the GMAT test.
Understanding time factor
In the quantitative section, you have to attempt 37 questions in 75 minutes. That is approximately 2 minutes per question. Some questions may take you longer; others much less. Aim to solve easy questions under a minute. This will leave excess time to solve those which are difficult.
In the verbal section, you have 75 mins for 41 questions. This gives you 1.83 minutes per question. However, some of these questions involve Reading Comprehension passages that may take longer time to read and comprehend.
Sentence correction and critical reasoning require much less time to think and answer. For those who struggle with verbal questions, the time may be insufficient. The solution here is to enhance speed-reading skills and practicing tricky grammatical examples.
How to enhance speed
(1) Devise a strategy for every type of question.
A steady mind is a ready mind. When you are thorough and familiar with various kinds of question you will have the right prescript to answer any type of question. You save time as you have a head start.
(2) A panacea for panic
If a question confounds you don’t panic. Take a deep breath. Do some parallel thinking. Think obliquely. Some answers are found in serendipity. Hone your thinking skills by a pre-test regimen. Practice makes one perfect.
(3) Zero in on the problem area
Systematically study and analyse questions that confuse you from every angle. Recognise patterns and shortcuts. Keep a tab on the errors that you commit during the practice tests. Once you have understood one question, go to other similar questions until you have mastered and overcome the problem area. Familiarity breeds confidence.
(4) Don’t waste time checking/ re-checking. You only have 2 minutes per question in the quantitative section and 1.83 minutes in the verbal section. Take a calculated risk and just move forward. Regular practice tests will give you enough confidence and an instinctive feel of the right answer.
(5) Don’t be obsessed with a question. Be like a gambler who knows when to quit when the going gets good. If you obsessed with solving a particular questing at any cost it will cost you your valuable time. Let it go and ove on to questions you can crack easily.