Damage is usually the result of poorly laid out plans. So know the test, yourself, and what you can expect from your liaison with the GMAT before you plan “long-term career goals” around the test! People with very modest scores have derived the maximum from the GMAT, while others with jaw-dropping scores (750+) have been disappointed by the outcome of the effort. Why? Because somewhere in the scheme of things, there was a disconnect with reality, a shortfall in the plan, and a lack of research and correct reading.
Regarding the GMAT test, it is better to get the weak areas sorted out and attended to before hoping to acquire cutting-edge skills. The test taker only made something of this test by coping with the stress and pain of unlearning bad grammar, clearing up math cobwebs, and adjusting to the reality of reading rambling passages and answering questions based on them.
Even the soundest academic minds have grey areas of learning, and there is a strong chance that when one takes the GMAT, one is likely to discover some unpalatable and even offensive offerings on the platter! There is always something each test taker will not like and not relate to. At the onset of preparing for the test, every test taker must take the first step judiciously – write an evaluation test and discover the GMAT and your position vis-a-vis it.
This is the first step towards minimizing the potential for damage. The evaluation test is a reality check that gives the test taker an idea about his possibility to test and his skills for the different test content. Hence, he is now ready to plan preparation, select materials, and most importantly, dream right! My dream is to aim for scores and schools (one is necessarily the outcome of the other!) That is realistic. Unfortunately, all those who set off on the long and arduous journey called “GMAT preparation” start overconfident, aim for a 700+, and draw up a list of fancy schools without so much as assessing whether they can make the target score or researching how correct a fit they are for the institution or vice versa!
With the evaluation score, one has a good reference point to work around and can anticipate how far preparation is likely to take this score. Realistically speaking, retakers often improve their scores by about 100 points, plus or minus 20. Score enhancements in leaps and bounds make for excellent story material but are not the norm.
The evaluation process can be repeated intermittently to keep a check on one’s performance. But make sure that each evaluation test is well reviewed and the answers – right and wrong – are analyzed in such depth that they teach you long-term skills.
At Option Institute, we encourage students to ask, be curious, and accept what is taught only after understanding it. As such, our classes are hotbeds of discussion and serve as vibrant environments for cultivating test skills. Besides academic learning, our modules impart a ‘sense’ of the test and prepare test takers to plan holistically and innovatively, thus deriving the maximum from experience.