Damage is usually the result of badly laid out plans. So know the test, know yourself and know what you can expect from your tryst 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 paucity of research and right reading.
As far as the GMAT test goes, it is better to get the weak areas sorted out and attended to before hoping to acquire cutting edge skills. No test taker ever made anything of this test without coping with the stress and pain of unlearning bad grammar, clearing up the cowebs of math 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 on the GMAT one is likely to discover on the platter some unpalatable and even offensive offerings! 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.
Clearly this is the first step towards minimizing damage. The evaluation test is a reality check which gives the test taker an idea about his potential to test and about his skills for the different content of the test. Hence he is now ready to plan preparation, select materials and most importantly to dream right! By dream right I mean 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, most often retakers improve their scores by about 100 points, plus minus 20. Score enhancements in leaps and bounds make for great 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 analysed in such depth that they teach you long term skills.
At Option Institute, we strive to encourage students to ask, to be curious and to 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. Apart from academic learning, our modules impart a ‘sense’ of the test and prepare test takers to plan holistically and innovatively and to thus derive the maximum from the experience.