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Maintaining a positive GMAT-itude

 

In a previous article, I discussed the importance of a positive attitude when writing the GMAT. In this article, I’ll suggest some more reasons for adopting a positive attitude.

If you’re like many students, you were surprised to hear that taking the GMAT is a necessary requirement for entry into most Business School programs. Once that surprise wore off, you may have adopted a counterproductive attitude featuring one or more of the following emotions:

Annoyance:  I have better things to do than take this test!

Indignation:  I had a 4.0 GPA at the Doug Shloozberg School of Modern Dance and Appliance Repair, and I still have to prove myself?

Fear:  Oh no! Now everyone will know that I don’t recall the quadratic formula!

Depression:  Can I eat ice cream in the testing center?

Do any of these sound familiar?

While these feelings may be completely natural, they certainly won’t help your score. In fact, when your GMAT preparation is clouded in negativity, you end up studying less, and when you sit down to study, your negative emotions impede learning. To quote one researcher, “[negative emotions] influence our ability to process information and to accurately understand what we encounter.”

So, to help improve your study sessions and facilitate learning, it’s important that you adopt a positive attitude.

Am I suggesting that you begin each prep session convincing yourself that today is a super fantastic day to spend 3 hours studying?

Perhaps.

Now, am I suggesting that you occasionally pause throughout your study sessions to be thankful that your dream school has set a minimum GMAT score?

Sure.

Am I suggesting that you smile like a deranged lunatic whenever you even think of the GMAT, and that you speak the praises of this test to everyone you meet?  

Well, that would be wonderful gesture, and if doing so can improve your score, then by all means, fill your boots!

Sure, all of this may sound silly, but it’s much much MUCH better than swearing through clenched teeth every time you think of the GMAT. Besides, the truth of the matter is that you’re learning is a lot of important and useful skills that can be applied to many of your future business activities.

Reading Comprehension

Your future business career will undoubtedly involve reading complicated documents and gleaning the important information. So, perfecting your reading comprehension skills will not only help you ace the GMAT, but also help benefit your career. Super fantastic!!

Sentence Correction

If you’ve spent any time working on Sentence Correction questions, you’ve probably come to the realization that a lot of people around you suffer from bad grammar. As you might imagine, this deficiency can negatively affect others’ perceptions of one’s competence. So, while some Sentence Correction questions may stump you, keep reminding yourself that you’re learning practical communication skills that will inevitably serve you well in the future.

Critical Reasoning

Will there come times when you need to present a strong argument or dissect someone else’s argument? Of course!

Math

Granted, you probably won’t need to factor many polynomials in your new career, and CEOs are seldom called upon to answer questions about Jeanette’s age (which happens to be twice that of Rita’s age 7 years ago), but you will be called upon to apply many of the math skills that the GMAT tests. More importantly, GMAT math questions often require you to think in new, creative ways to quickly identify the solution. All of this will come in handy in the future.

Integrated Reasoning

This section requires you to evaluate information presented in multiple formats, discern patterns, and combine verbal and quantitative reasoning to solve everyday problems. You'll definitely  need these skills if you want to succeed in today's data-rich world.

The Big Takeaway

Yes, of course you’d rather eliminate the GMAT from your to-do list, but the reality is that you must take this test. So, quit your complaining, suck it up, and begin embracing the skills you’re that you’re learning, because they’ll inevitably make you a better businessperson.

Then, once you’ve embraced your study sessions as important opportunities to build vital skills, take it a step further and smile as you allow yourself to enjoy the ride.