When I started preparing for GMAT, I had a full-time job and a part-time volunteer work along with a fitness & well-being routine that I followed very passionately. Naturally, I was worried and wanted to know more about the efforts I would have to put in along with some tips and tricks for scoring well. I lost track and failed numerous times before realizing that there was no one-size-fits-all strategy and that the GMAT – a test of speed, accuracy, critical thinking, and stamina which penalizes correct answers with tougher questions, was not supposed to be a walk in the park.
GMAT’s credibility as a qualification exam for the most premier business schools of the world including ISB speaks about its success in segregating people who stand up to the challenge and the ones who do not. The challenge, in my opinion, was to identify my weaknesses, work on them, and then prove my mettle in an adaptive test under a running clock.
I started with completing the course content offered by various online coaching platforms. However, the real preparation began with practice questions and mock tests. With every wrong answer, I could identify the gaps in my understanding. Finding a recurring pattern drove me to work on these gaps. Consistent practice helped me overcome problems like retention of long sentences, overthinking with critical reasoning and clumsiness with calculations. Solving many mock tests also helped me attain the focus and stamina required to sit through a 3-hour test. With targeted improvement, I started scoring well on mocks sooner than I expected and immediately scheduled my GMAT.
Scoring well on the GMAT not only opened the doors to my dream B-school (ISB) but also helped me attain an important life skill. Almost three months into the Post Graduate Programme (PGP) at ISB, I now understand the importance of the learning process for GMAT and its usefulness going forward. My advice to test takers would be to aim big, avoid procrastinating your first mock and perceive this test as an opportunity to evolve because identifying and working on your weaknesses is a skill that will help you throughout your life.