Video GamesThe GMAT can be an absolutely daunting test to prepare for, especially if you are not clear about what exactly it is a test of. Read our article on How to get a 720+ on the GMAT to get an indepth view of what you’re up against.

The gist of it though, is that the GMAT rewards students who can make quick decisions

  1. By Thinking Critical to Evaluating a problem objectively
  2. By paying Attention to important Details
  3. By understanding the Big Picture instead of being caught up on details
  4. By recognizing recurring Patterns

Though the GMAT has components of English and Mathematics, the concepts specific to each of these are quite basic. It’s those competencies listed above that the test actually gauges.  

So How does this have anything to do with playing video games?

For starters, many games are designed to challenge players on these aspects. Also, there are several studies that prove a positive correlation between playing video games and improved professional performance. Take this study for instance where a group of surgeons who played video games regularly showed a marked decrease in the rate of errors they made and a marked increase in their speed during surgeries! While those games honed skills specific to those involved in being a good surgeon, we are going to look at 5 games that will directly build on the competencies required to perform well on the GMAT.

Be the Big Picture guy with Human Resource Machine

Human Resource MachineFrom the makers of World of Goo, Human Resource Machine is a satire on corporate life. This game is a brilliant logical puzzle that requires you to analyze a task, understand the underlying pattern and construct a snappy solution. You control an “employee” and create program loops that make him execute tasks; these tasks get considerably more complicated with each level. Successfully completing a level requires you to analyze the task from all aspects before executing the command. Try this game out to build your critical thinking, pattern recognition and big picture competencies! For iOS and Android Devices.

Enhance your Pattern Recognition with Pudding Monsters

Pudding MonstersCreated by the makers of Cut the Rope, Pudding Monsters is a deceptively challenging puzzle game. It requires you to merge different kinds of ‘pudding monsters’ with their own unique abilities in each level to make sure all the monsters unite and made a delicious pudding puddle! Though it starts off being quite simple, it quickly picks up difficulty and challenges you to recognize patterns and make calculated ‘swipes’ to ensure you get that elusive 3 stars on completing each level. Play this game to build your pattern recognition and critical thinking skills!

For iOS and Android Devices.


Build your Critical Thinking with Braid

BraidThough a relatively old game, Braid is timeless (pun intended). It lets you control time to manipulate objects. The controls are extremely simple, but the game mechanics makes it increasing challenging to solve with every level you clear. You will be forced to think critically to evaluate the most effective course of action to solve some of its incredibly challenging levels. Though it may get very challenging at times, fight the urge to look up solutions online! Thinking your way of these almost impossible challenges will make the game play so much more rewarding. For Computers and Consoles.

Critically Evaluate actions and consequences in Portal 2

Portal 2This first person shooter like game is actually a purely puzzle based gaming experience where you need to analyze situations, understand the best course of action and work out an exit strategy to move forward to each level. The game will keep you engaged with it’s unusual sense of humor, affable “enemies” and surprisingly refreshing puzzle elements. You’ll be sure to work your critical thinking and pattern recognition with this one! For Computers and Consoles.

Master the art of paying attention to important details with Civ VI

Civilization VICivilization VI is the latest iteration to the famed turned based strategy game series. This game gives you complete control over an entire civilization and your goal is to play out a strategic game against other civilizations and lead your civilization to victory either by being the most scientifically progressive, culturally superior or militaristically powerful! The game has a substantial learning curve since you need to take control of your Civ’s economy, production, happiness, defences and a few other aspects to ensure that your Civ survives, let alone be victorious!

This game will build your ability to strategize looking at the big picture, pay attention to critical details essential for success and think critically to evaluate the best course of action at specific points in the game! For Computers and Consoles.

Warning: this game is quite addictive and can have you playing it for hours at one stretch! I’ve sat up playing this game through the night until early the next morning many days. Ration your game time!

That said, don’t forget to engage in physical activity too! Running, going on long walks, or playing an outdoor game can destress your mind and reinvigorate your brain! Those are things that are essential when you plan on pulling long (gruelling) study sessions.

And don’t forget – there is NOTHING that can replace actual, strategized GMAT prep to improve GMAT scores!

Ajeeth Peo loves strategy games, long drives and dogs. He is extremely passionate about teaching, especially anything that concerns English. With several years of experience teaching the GRE, GMAT and SAT, Ajeeth has coached several students to near perfect scores.