You might have started preparing for the GMAT. Before you start, identify your personality type. What happens during the GMAT prep process is that many test takers blindly follow a few top contributors in GMAT forums. This can be detrimental in reaching your goal – “Getting into top Business School”
Here are four GMAT Test taking personality types. Which one are you?
This test taker will not be visible in Forums, comment in blogs or interact through social media. They are independent, driven and would rather talk to Business School representatives directly than through an intermediary.
They are introverts but independent. They do the initial research on their own, collects study material (GMAT Official Guides) and GMAT Test Prep Software. Once they have all the necessary tools, they dive right into prep mode. No distraction - Just focussed on scoring the GMAT score that would make them competitive. You would hardly see them in GMAT test prep classes
If you see ‘GMAT Expert’, ‘GMAT Ninja’, ‘Top Contributor’, ‘Legend’or any other similar attributes in the user profile, you have been introduced to the Test Fanatic. Forum Moderators, Contributors and GMAT Tutors, all come under this category. Many new Forum members try to emulate these personalities. It takes months of contribution to reach the same level. You have to understand that their motivation is not same as yours.
During the process of contributing to GMAT test forums, many test takers forget their goal. It is not about taking the GMAT 2 or 3 times, spending 6-7 months on GMAT tests and reaching a score of 780. It’s about getting into a top Business School.
If you see statements like “My Story – 560 to 650 to 750” – rest assured you are witnessing a Test Fanatic. We would rather see a story like “My Story – 680 to 720 HBS”.
This is the most common GMAT test taking personality. They would be part of most GMAT forums, would subscribe to all their question banks, login daily to find out the mistakes that other GMAT test takers are making. You will not see a single post from this group.
One common trend that we see in Silent Observer is an obsession to overanalyse the mistakes that other forum members are making. This is a dangerous process. Each test taker is different and has different weaknesses. It is better to answer the question independently and then analyse the response of the Expert or read the correct answer in the official Guide. If you read all the threads and you are exposed to 100s of mistakes, it will not make you a better GMAT test taker.
A better strategy is to categorize your mistakes into three groups:
a) Lack of Fundamentals – This is easy to identify. You don’t remember an important formula or are not exposed to the fundamental concept in that topic. Go back to your official GMAT guide and read the concept again.
b) Careless Mistake – You made a mistake in calculation, you copied the wrong information in worksheet or you didn’t read the question properly. This is the easiest to improve.
c) Lack of Practice – There are questions which need a little bit of practice to get used to, like Sentence Correction and Data Sufficiency. Initially, in your preparation, you are likely to perform poorly in these two sections. But once you are exposed to the standard rules in these sections, your score will steadily increase.
The ideal personality type that you should mould yourself into is the Result Driven GMAT test taker. They understand that GMAT is just a first step. There are other important elements of MBA Application (Resume, Essays and Interview).
You can see them in Forums asking pertinent questions. They are not addicted to tests; they are just improving their scoring potential. They would be willing to take expert help if necessary from top GMAT prep courses like Veritas Prep, Knewton and Grockit or set up a self-guided GMAT study plan. They never lose sight of the MBA Application Deadlines and stick to their study schedule.
There is nothing wrong in being a Lone Wolf if that is your personality but avoid being a silent observer or a Test Fanatic.
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