Job Title or Company Name
State, city
Tips for Passing Aptitude Test

Category: Logical Reasoning


You can easily increase your aptitude test Score by 50 to
100 Points. Your score can improve dramatically simply by taking the time to
become "streetwise" about the aptitude test. Quite simply, this is
the easiest step in your test preparation, and should not be ignored under any
circumstances. Keep in mind that the aptitude test is a game. Just as in chess,
baseball, tennis, or any other sports, those who know how the game is played
have a huge advantage over those who are ignorant of the game's idiosyncratic

As a test taker, you should understand the computer-adaptive
structure of the aptitude test and how to manage your time wisely.

The computer-adaptive
structure of the aptitude test:
The computer-adaptive test (CAT) version of the aptitude
test is designed to get a more accurate assessment of your skills while asking
you fewer questions than its paper-based predecessor did. Here is how it works:
the first question you see in any given section will be of average difficulty.
If you get the answer right, your next question will be slightly more
difficult. If you get the answer wrong, your next question will be slightly
easier. The software will also ask you different types of questions in a rather
unpredictable order, as determined by its algorithm, rather than clustering
question types as the written aptitude test did.

You cannot skip a question or go back to an earlier
question. Unlike the paper version, once you click the 'answer confirm' box,
your answer can not be changed.

How to manage your
time wisely

1. Practice: The main way to develop aptitude
test time management skills is to practice taking the test. You will repeatedly
see us return to the theme of practice throughout this article. It is very hard
to overstate its importance. Therefore you are strongly encouraged to take at
least a few mock written aptitude test exams or in the computer-adaptive format
and to try to simulate the actual testing environment. (That means refraining
from taking food breaks, engaging in telephone conversations, etc. until you
have completed a section.)

2. Spend adequate
time on the first 5 questions:
Earlier, we discussed how the aptitude test CAT's underlying
algorithm determines the difficulty of questions you are asked, based on your
performance in answering previous questions. Difficult questions are weighted
more heavily in scoring than easier questions. The first couple questions in
any aptitude test CAT section are used to determine the range of questions that
the program 'thinks' you are able to handle. After you have answered these
first few questions, the testing software will give you questions to fine tune
your score within that rather narrowly predetermined range. Thus, your answers
to the first 5 questions will make a HUGE difference in your final section

It is imperative that you answer these pivotal questions
with extra care. Always double check your answers to these questions. Verify
that the answer choices that you judged to be incorrect are indeed incorrect.
If you are unsure of the answer to one of these first questions, at the very
least, take a very good educated guess using process of elimination.

3. Prepare yourself to finish the test – at
all costs!
There is a huge scoring penalty for failing to finish any
section of the aptitude test. For example, say you're in line to get a score
that will put you in the 70 percentile of test takers, based on your test
performance so far – but then run out of time and fail to answer the last five
questions in the section. That failure will lower your score to about the 55
percentile. The lesson to take away from this is to prepare yourself to finish
the test at all costs. Answering a question incorrectly will hurt you, but not
as much as leaving the question unanswered will. Train yourself to work your best
within the time limits of the exam. But train yourself, too, to be able to
recognize when only a minute or so remains on the clock, and at that point to
just answer "C" (or whatever your lucky letter is) for any remaining
questions. As the GMAT's Chief Psychometrician put it to us, random guessing is
like shooting yourself in the foot – but leaving answers blank is like shooting
yourself in both feet.

4. Don't waste time: This advice probably sounds self evident. However, we
mention it because aptitude test candidates inadvertently waste test time by
revisiting the help screen or requesting extra scrap paper after they began
their test. These activities, if undertaken once the section has begun, will
take time away from working on the questions.

5. Read the Questions
As silly as this advice may seem, it's worth remembering. An
undisciplined test taker will feel the stress of the clock during the timed
sections and will try to cut corners to save time, wherever and whenever
possible. As a result, he or she often misinterprets questions. Aptitude test writers
are well aware of this dynamic, and happy to capitalize on it. We guarantee
that you will encounter questions on the aptitude test that include incorrect
answer choices that were deliberately designed to exploit likely
misinterpretations of what the question is really asking.

6. Avoid Random
The aptitude test CAT does not allow you to skip questions
and come back to them later, as you can on a written test. You must answer each
question on the aptitude test CAT before it will allow you to move on to the
next question. Consequently, even if you don't know the answer to a particular
question, you have to answer it. It is always in your best interest to take an
educated guess rather than resorting to random guessing – even if you are
running out of time on the section. Usually you will be able to identify at
least one answer choice that is clearly wrong. Eliminating even one incorrect
choice will improve your odds of answering the question correctly.

7. Eliminate the
Deliberately Deceptive Wrong Choices:
With practice, you will begin to learn how to recognize
answer choices that are deliberately deceptive – and wrong. There are a few
common patterns here that will become apparent as you proceed with your test

One recognizable pattern is commonly found in the Problem
Solving section. It involves an erroneous answer choice giving a value that
would result from following a common computational error. You can avoid these
deceptive choices by using scrap paper, checking your answers and using
estimation to at least judge the general range of the correct choice.

8. Practice,
Practice, Practice:
As we stated at the top of this page, there are a number of
tips and techniques to taking the aptitude test that will significantly raise
your overall score. This is a test that you can prepare for, despite anything
the test-makers state. We strongly encourage you to use actual questions from
previous exams as you practice, as we have noticed a material difference in the
nature and quality of test questions prepared by ETS (Educational Testing
Service), versus those written by GMAT prep companies. We also strongly
encourage you to practice taking the exam in its computer-adaptive format.

Finally, we encourage you to spend most of your preparation
time studying and practicing questions in your weakest subject area. While we
believe every test taker benefits by reviewing each GMAT exam section, focusing
on your weakest areas will make the most efficient use of your test-prep time.

9. Don't Wait Too
Long to Get the Past Questions:
Don't count on taking the past questions such as GMAT at the
last minute. With proper planning and early preparations you will be ready for
any aptitude test.