3 GMAT Prep Motivational Strategies & Tips: First Don't Make these Prep Mistakes

GMAT Preparation MotivationGMAT Preparation can last anywhere between 3 and 5 months (GMAT Retake) and your attitude during the preparation can influence the results. We have heard first-hand account of GMAT Prep going completely wrong.

Case 1: Bombing on GMAT Day

This is an all-common phenomenon seen among GMAT test takers, even among the best-prepared students. It can be nerves, overconfidence, poor time management, someone near your desk annoyingly typing during the AWA section (this is actually an account that we heard recently) or several other factors.

You should read GMAT Test Day Tips to learn how to handle the test day.

Case 2: Too Many Study Materials

When you start your GMAT Prep, you are tempted to cover every possible GMAT study material: the retired question, forum questions, official GMAT questions, and Questions from Kaplan, Manhattan or Veritas Prep. That is in overkill. Some students excel in a group while some are good at a self-paced study plan.

For students who favor group study – join a forum, have a study partner or join a GMAT Prep Class.

For the disciplined GMAT test takers – buy official GMAT Guide, join an online GMAT Course (which you can take it at your own pace) and occasionally check out the forums. Don’t be a Forum addict. Reading 100s of ways to mess up a question does not make you a better GMAT test taker. Understanding what concepts are being tested when the question is framed will make you a better test taker.

Case 3: Burning Out

This is another common trend seen among test takers. You do your research about your target Business Schools during Jan-Feb, about GMAT in March and start preparing from March. Unfortunately, students tend to postpone the GMAT test day appointment date to August, a six month schedule. No matter how motivated you are about GMAT, you will lose interest after 4 months, even if you have followed the traditional GMAT Study plan.

Fix a GMAT Test appointment 3-4 months from the first day of your preparation. Deadlines have an amazing power to motivate you.

So now you have a GMAT test day, joined a course/bought GMAT Official Guide and ready for some serious preparation. As Heidi Grant Halvorson has taught us with her amazing book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals, just wishing to reach 700+ does not result in such reality. Here is what you should do:

1) Believe in Yourself

There is a clear difference between wish and believe.

Wish: to want
Believe: to have confidence in a result without absolute proof

The difference is “Confidence”

You should have the confidence that you can reach 700+ in GMAT without any proof that you can do it with 3-4 months of preparation.

2) Imagine Obstacles

Having the belief that you will cross the 700 mark alone is not sufficient to reach your goal. You have to imagine the many obstacles that will come during the preparation. Here are a few:

a) Less time with your Boyfriend/Girlfriend
b) Attending fewer Weekend Parties
c) Not watching your favorite sports team
d) Spending hours on your weak Quant or Verbal topics
e) Staying late or waking up early to meet the daily GMAT Prep schedule.
f)  Attending GMAT Prep Classes during weekends, while your friends are enjoying their time.

Students who have a realistic view on the obstacles tend to work hard. They will not quit after 2-3 weeks of GMAT Prep because they have already visualized what it takes to reach their Goal.

3) Ask Why

You have visualized the obstacles and are ready to give in the hours of GMAT Prep required to reach the goal. No matter how motivated you are, there will be times when you are not meeting your schedule, not making that improvement in the score or are plain lazy.

Asking why you are making the sacrifice, writing down the benefits and reading them aloud will motivate you to push for the results. The benefits should be tangible:

Join Harvard/Stanford/Wharton/Columbia MBA Program

a) Increase Salary by 120-150% - Financial Freedom
b) Connect with a network of highly successful individuals – Opportunity to learn and grow.
c) Opportunity to make a career switch - Tech to Consulting, Tech to Finance
d) Opportunity for Career Advancement – Associate to Managerial/Consulting Role
e) Prestige

After you have read the Benefits aloud, the 3-4 months of intense preparation would look like a small sacrifice, and you will be back in your prep mode.

Recommended Resources

1) Comprehensive MBA Research Guide
2) Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide
3) Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning
4) GMAT Prep - Online
5) GMAT Prep - In-Class

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