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GMAT Testing Experience with Masks & Gloves on! A journey from 560 to 710.

One of GuideMe's students, Ahmed K, shares his insights on GMAT Testing Experience in Dubai amid Coronavirus COVID-19. He took a (regular) GMAT test in Dubai, not the GMAT Online Test, at the New Horizons Center on 29th June, wearing gloves & a mask in this new post-COVID-19 world.


We are all experiencing the impact of COVID-19 in our personal and professional lives. To navigate through the uncertainty and chaos, testing centers & even business schools have made significant adjustments in their policies for students & test-takers. Even the Online MBA is getting popular now. Here is the transcript of our interactions with Ahmed over his GMAT Testing experience.


GM: Hi Ahmed, Congratulations on a great GMAT score & thank you for sharing your GMAT testing experience with us. Could you share your GMAT test score, with the breakup and a brief about your profile?

Ahmed: Thank you, I'm happy to share my journey. I scored a 710 (Q47 V40 IR 5) on my very first attempt, and I owe a lot to you guys. I work at a local bank here in Dubai and have 7 years of work experience in the finance sector. Chicago Booth and Wharton are my top choices considering their vast experience in this industry and I hope this GMAT score will certainly make my application stronger.

GM: Let's straightway begin by asking about your GMAT Testing experience with gloves & masks on! I'm sure many students worldwide are clueless as to how has GMAT testing changed post Coronavirus.

Ahmed: I must say, taking the test in Dubai was a blessing, as I didn't have to go through the At-Home GMAT Test, like at most other places in the world, as I'm not sure how would I have fared in the Online test using the Whiteboard, the physical one or otherwise. After having an attempt canceled in May earlier because of COVID, I am glad to be successfully done with the exam.


A week before the test, I received an email from the GMAC, mentioning that wearing a face mask & gloves are mandatory while taking the exam at the center & I'm required to bring my own.


So, on the test day, I arrived a good 40 minutes before as I was expecting certain delays because of the new sanitization policies, but I must say, things moved quite swiftly & far quicker than I had anticipated.


During the test, I was OK with wearing the mask, but the gloves weren't such a comfortable experience for me initially, especially during the Analytical Writing Assessment, when typing felt a bit weird. But, 5 minutes into the test, I completely forget I was wearing a mask or a glove.

I must add that I didn't take any Mock GMAT test wearing gloves or masks, so my advice to fellow test-takers would be to focus on the test & ignore all these noises.


GM: How much time did you spend overall

Ahmed: I had about 60 days of prep & that too during the Lockdown, when adjusting to the new normal took time, in every way. Working & Studying from home was sometimes easier to manage, but at times, both took their toll on the overall prep. Luckily, making regular study plans & shorter goals & targets helped me keep focus, & I have to thank you for that.


GM: So, were you always this good? Sharing your GMAT growth would definitely inspire other test-takers in a similar boat.

Ahmed: No, in fact, I must say that when I took my first GMAT Mock before beginning my classes with you guys, my score was a mere 560 - and that I guess, just highlights the fact that GMAT score is not a reflection of ones' IQ, as many believe, but a reflection of one's ability in Math & English & the test-taking ability of managing time, which is a completely different paradigm, and frankly, both of these aspects can be worked on & with practice, great scores are possible. I'm a living proof.

GM: Any particular GMAT prep tips, you'd like to share with other test-takers.

Ahmed: Actually, it's difficult to concise in a few lines, what all worked - sometimes it was an amalgamation of smaller strategies coming together for the holistic good. I'll try to share some I can recall off the top of my head.

  • Only attempting official problems: Everyone at GuideMe was clear about sticking to official GMAT questions as it's important to understand & get the feel of the test questions asked.

  • Timing: During the early stages of your GMAT Prep, it's vital to focus on learning the concepts, not on timing. In the beginning, it was very difficult to finish many Quant questions in under 2 minutes, but don’t worry much about that then. After some initial prep is when you can gradually start focussing more on timing for each section.

  • Quality > Quantity: After spending time on solving a problem, it's crucial to spend more time reviewing it, irrespective of whether it was right/wrong - and that is where real learning happens - you end-up learning a lot from your mistakes or get to fine-tune the solutions of questions which you already got correct.

  • Regular Mock GMAT Testing: Need to take Regular mocks to analyze the performance – with a good mix of Official Practice Tests.

  • Another tip I learned from the trainers here, Note-Taking for Verbal during the test: I used to write-down choices a, b, c, d, e on the scratch paper and then cross-out as & when I have eliminated them. This proves really helpful especially when you are forced to re-read a passage or a sentence and saves valuable time in the end.

Thanks again GuideMe for all the help & support so far. I'm sure, just like the GMAT test prep, your MBA Application support will help me nail my dream-schools.


Covid-19 may have potentially delayed your MBA plans or career goals. We remain intently focussed and are with you in these tough times. Offering uninterrupted online & classroom prep classes for all our clients during the pandemic.


For any test-prep or admissions-related guidance, Contact Us Now!





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