How to Use Your GMAT Scratch Paper Effectively

The GMAT notepad is also known as the GMAT scratch paper is not a paper in reality. It consists of a five-sheet pad of laminated grid paper and you need to write on it with a marker. Surprisingly, you can’t erase anything once you’ve written on it. In case you have run out of space, you can request the examination proctor to replace it with a new one. Although it has a pretty unusual setup, in this guide we’ll explore at length on how to use the GMAT noteboard effectively.

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How to use your GMAT Scratch Paper?

As mentioned above, the surface of the GMAT scratch pad is of non-porous laminated plastic, which is different and hence you can’t write like pen on paper, instead, it’s followed by a non-permanent wet-wipe marker. The notepad looks like a dry-wipe board where you can’t erase anything once written. Try to make the best use of it with a classic strategy.

Ensure to use the grid lines beneficially. Although it’s obvious that you need to use grid lines for drawing shapes, graphs, double matrices, etc. You also have several other key uses of the GMAT scratch paper. Here are a few tips on how to use your GMAT notepad in the most effective manner:

#1. Divide the notepad section-wise: This is a good way to segregate your work. Once you’ve completed the problem, you can use the grids to draw boundary lines around the work that you’ve finished. It’s a useful step to detect which information suits the actual problem and also helps you to keep track of the problems and not to get lost in your notes unnecessarily.

#2. Helps in staying organized: The grid lines in the notepad helps you in staying organized. For instance, you can write the answer choices, A to E in five different grids. As you progress in a question, you can eliminate the letters which don’t fit into a probable answer. For example, in the Verbal section, for the Reading Comprehension(RC) category you can use up some new lines for segregating the short paragraphs. This trick will help you not to mix up the questions and sort out information on the basis of the problem.

#3. Helps in tracking your exam time: Some GMAT test-takers face difficulty in managing the total exam time. To beat this, you can maintain a countdown format by writing the comparative time you have in hand to finish a question in a particular square. For instance, you have 62 minutes to wrap-up the Quantitative section of the exam, you can write the time on top of the notepad and segregate 2 minutes for each question. By doing so, you can stay on top of your game and help you to stay focused and complete all your sections on time.

#4. Keeps your work neat and clean: The grid lines of the GMAT Scratch Paper helps in keeping your work neat and immaculate. Besides, whether you are using horizontal or vertical lines, it helps to keep your notes uncluttered and work compact, which in a way avoids over-usage of the scratch pad. It helps to retain important concepts and cross-check whenever you need to for any particular question.

#5. Practice writing in small letters to avoid overuse of your GMAT noteboard: Try to practice doing different calculations and selecting the main ideas while revising at home before the exam. Although, using the GMAT notepad is extremely advantageous, but it can also consume a lot of time, energy and stamina during the test. Practice to write in small letters, otherwise you might consume excess space for each and every problem and this will make all the things complex and visually baffling for you.

While preparing for the GMAT, it’s helpful to simulate different aspects of the test. One such way is to download the BYJU’S: The Learning App which will guide you in your GMAT preparation and help you feel confident, give your best performance and avoid wasting precious time and stamina on the exam day. You can reach our GMAT experts for any assistance related to GMAT/MBA by simply giving a missed call at +918884544444, or can even drop an SMS. You can also write to us at