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

Top 31 MBA Programs + Analysis of 24 Industries (United States)

We analyze the MBA Curriculum, Class Profile, Total Cost and Post-MBA Salary of Top 31 MBA programs in the US.

+ Industry Trends

+ Future of Aerospace, Agriculture, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automobile, Clean Tech, Education, Energy, Fashion, Financial Services, Insurance, FinTech, Government, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Military, Manufacturing, Maritime, Media/Advertising, Technology, Tourism, Trade, Transportation and Logistics, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR).

Pages: 327


"I have not reviewed many books for MBA Admission consulting companies but doing it now to give all applicants a brief idea on what the book covers. The book includes 31 top MBA programs - almost all the top schools you have heard or considering for your MBA application. Each chapter is categorized by US States where there is at least one top MBA program. So you have California and Massachusetts with the most number of MBA programs and several states with one top program (Washington, Minnesota, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Virginia, and Maryland) and other states with two to three MBA programs. The book focuses on four aspects of an MBA program - curriculum, cost, class profile and post-MBA salary. For me, the breakdown of the cost and post-MBA industry was useful to make my decision on selecting the top 5 programs for 2017-18. It is a fascinating read in an industry where consultants overprice for their expertise. I recently bought a 30-page guide for $49. Compared to the obvious observation in that book, the 300+ page, MBA in US - the Ultimate guide is a goldmine of information and analysis." - Verified Purchase (21st June 2017)

"I bought the ultimate guide after a friend recommended it for me. The guide covers a lot of ground on the history of each prominent US states and goes into the reasons why a certain industry emerged from each state. In addition to the analysis of the economy, trends and expected changes in the next 5 years, the book features top MBA programs in each state with an extensive study of its curriculum. Ultimate guide is an essential reference book for MBA Applicants if they want to shortlist MBA programs based on value and cost, and not just ranking. " - Verified Purchase (14th June 2017)

"Should be a required reading before applying for an MBA. School events and MBA Tours are PR events disguised as a Q&A. On the contrary, the book is an unbiased analysis of each Top MBA program in the US supported by a large dataset and historical context on each industry. The guide builds a case for indstries that are likely to emerge as favourite for MBA graduates. Thorough and a valuable book." - Verified Purchase (15th June 2017)

"What I liked: The breadth of the information. Some of my favorite nonfiction books have taken the same approach as the ultimate guide have - cover background information in-depth. In the book, the author uses parallel threads to demonstrate the history of the state and the rise of industries. Will make you think how schools thrive based on the policy set by the state. California's obsession with Technology has revolutionized how we do Business and changed post-MBA trends. Many MBA applicants will be consulting or doing marketing for a Technology company. That is one key finding from the book. The latest development in AI, FinTech, and Automation is an additional context that I found valuable in the book.

Very informative. I would recommend that you read the book at least once in chronological order before using Table of Contents." - Verified Purchase (2nd July 2017)

Download How to Choose the Best MBA in US: The Ultimate Guide
(2018 Entering Class)

Get F1GMAT's Newsletters (Best in the Industry)
Included in the Newsletter:

  • Ranking Analysis
  • Post-MBA Salary Trends
  • Post-MBA Job Function & Industry Analysis
  • Post-MBA City Review
  • MBA Application Essay Tips
  • School Specific Essay Tips
  • GMAT Preparation Tips
  • MBA Admission Interview Tips
  • School Specific Interview Tips
  • Funding Guidance and
  • Special Consultation Service (only for Subscribers)

Subscribe to F1GMAT's Newsletter