GMAT Tip: Set Yourself Up For Success
In case you haven’t figured it out, the first full week of the new year can be a minefield. If you’re like most folks, you’ve taken some time off over the last few weeks, eaten too much, not exercised much, and committed to “starting fresh” once Ryan Seacrest rang in 2018 in Times Square. Yep, it’s back to reality and time to address the 10 resolutions you made. How about that GMAT Official Guide? Assuming it wasn’t regifted as a clever white elephant token at the last minute, that book may be tied to one of your 2016 resolutions. Let’s take a look at some ways to set yourself up for success on the GMAT in 2016.
If you’ve ever set foot in a gym on January 2nd, you’ve probably been overwhelmed by the number of determined folks sweating it out. If you come back on February 2nd, chances are there’s no wait for your favorite treadmill or elliptical machine. Why is that? Folks go out too hard and too fast and burn out before they even hit their first milestone. Don’t let this happen with your GMAT prep. Maybe you had a moment of clarity while drinking your spiked eggnog and listening to Aunt Gerdie ask you when, not if, you’re going back to school. Regardless, prepping for the GMAT is a marathon, not a sprint. Perhaps surprisingly, your first step shouldn’t be to dust off that book. Instead, grab a calendar. If you’ve already identified programs (and deadlines), plot those on a calendar and work backwards. Carve out 2-3 months where you can dedicate significant and consistent time to GMAT preparation.
Next, take a practice test (GMAC offers two on mba.com through the free downloadable software GMATPrep) and get a better sense of where your strengths and weaknesses fall. You may be surprised at how much work you need in certain areas. Remember slow and steady will win this race.
To thine own self be true.
It’s important to set realistic goals, but even more important is understanding why you‘re setting those goals. If a guilt trip from Aunt Gerdie is the only thing pushing you to revisit grad school, chances are she’s not going to be cracking the whip and motivating you when you’re stuck deciding between Thursday Happy Hour and a post-work GMAT study session. Take some time to think through why you want to go back to school and what you’ll do with that degree. The easiest part of the journey is deciding to commit. Sticking with that commitment through the tough times is far tougher. Do you want to switch career fields? Have you hit a ceiling in your current field that an MBA or Masters will help you break through? Ask yourself the tough questions. You might be surprised by some of the answers. Note, I don’t know is a perfectly acceptable answer as long as you ‘re committed to a path of self-discovery along the way.
Create a plan.
Once you’ve decided to commit, outline how you’re going to accomplish everything, but remember to be realistic. Life happens, and you won’t make every study session, but if you build in contingencies so you can stay on track when your BFF surprises you with a weekend getaway, you’ll be well on your way to GMAT success. Similar to diets that allow you a “cheat” meal, if you go into the process knowing that it won’t be perfect, you’re far more likely to succeed.
Happy 2018 and happy studying!
The above GMAT Tip comes from Veritas Prep. Since its founding in 2002, Veritas Prep has helped more than 100,000 students prepare for the GMAT and offers the most highly rated GMAT Prep course in the industry.
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