I know of a guy who was a brilliant student from his elementary grades up until he graduated from law school. His brilliance never dimmed a bit when he took his review classes for the bar exams. But when the big day came, he wet his pants from fear and backed out even before the exams started
He came home utterly shamed and took a very long sabbatical where he put himself before two choices – to be or not to be a lawyer.
He took the first option. The rest is history.
We have uncovered the mystique surrounding the GMAT. You now know what it is. And you are faced with two choices – to have or not to have an MBA.
Either way, you are not alone. But those who did made a difference in their lives while those who did not, remained a nameless face among ordinary mortals.
Those who did conquered their fears while those who did not were conquered by it.
You can do it if you believe in yourself and start laying down a plan to beat the GMAT.
Whatever your plans are, it would be similar to what is shown below.
1. Buy a good GMAT Prep book:
Prep books will make you understand the entire test. They provide study tips, information about the test content, practice questions and full-length practice tests. They also provide a means of tracking your progress.
There are several books out there but get those in the “best seller” list. Search Amazon for these books.
A girl who has taken it (scored 790) recommends the “Official Guide.”
2. Use the book:
If you are not fond of or don’t have the habit of reading books, now is the time to start doing so. Leaf through it to get familiar with its contents.
Take one of the practice tests and record your score. Don’t be surprised if you did not do well. It takes a genius to do it right the first time.
3. Do all the prep book practice questions:
Your prep book is undoubtedly full of practice questions. Not only do they make you get familiar with the types of questions in the real GMAT test, they also provide you with good practice for the real thing.
Depending on your study habits, those who took it successfully practiced every day.
4. Establish a momentum:
Studying is not a very pleasant experience especially if you don’t have the habit for it. It is so easy to lose focus, get bored or be overwhelmed by the sheer weight of the preparation.
To overcome these negative vibrations, try these:
- Pace yourself.
Don’t cram so many things in one sitting. Not only can it be overwhelming, it is also counterproductive. Your mind can only absorb so much in a given time. Loading it beyond its carrying capacity will not give you better results.
Know your saturation point.
- Set goals.
Set a number of problems or trial tests you have to make in a day. It must neither be too many to be difficult to absorb, nor too few not to cover everything.
Keep track of your scores and be sure you understand the reasons for your mistakes. That is the real benchmark for progress.
- Tame your fear:
Just like my lawyer friend, the thought of taking an exam can be very scary.
I develop severe stomach cramps before a speaking engagement.
You may feel a lot of strange things induced by fear. It is very important that you identify these so they can be attended to accordingly. Some of these may really be pathological, in which case, you must see a doctor.
Otherwise, remember the saying, “Do the thing you fear and your will conquer it.”
- Take a hike:
If, after all your best efforts, you can’t still get focused, take a hike. See a movie, visit friends, have massage or be with someone who can make you laugh and forget your ordeal, even for a moment.
You can only do so much. You need to be physically and mentally healthy when you take the real test, not a nervous wreck.
5. Take a GMAT Prep Course:
If all of the above will improve your practice test scores, consider taking a prep course. This should be a last recourse, however. Not only will it set back your application, it is also very expensive.
The GMAT is a necessary evil for applying into a business school. But it is the least of your problems in getting an MBA. If you can’t beat it, forget the MBA. Others have made it. You, too, can.
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