Lessons Learned from the “I Just Beat the GMAT” Forum

The “I Just Beat the GMAT” (IJBTG) forum (http://www.beatthegmat.com/i-just-beat-the-gmat-f15.html) is very popular, and you don’t need a degree in psychology to understand why. There are two basic groups of people who frequent this forum. There are those who just beat the GMAT and want to share their experiences, and there are those who have not yet beat the GMAT and are looking for possible secrets to success. Having visited the IJBTG forum for many years, I’ve noticed a distinct pattern among those who truly beat the GMAT. This pattern consists of study habits and strategies that require dedication and hard work. So, if you’re looking for a magic pill, you won’t find it in the IJBTG forum. If, on the other hand, you’re searching for the right direction in which to channel your GMAT-inspired blood, sweat, and tears, read on.


You can’t climb a mountain without a few bumps along the way, and if there has ever been a mountain to climb for MBA-seekers, it’s the GMAT. Judging from the IJBTG forum posts, it’s clear that most GMAT slayers weren’t born with natural GMAT powers, and they certainly don’t claim to be smarter or more inspired than other posters on the site. What sets them apart is the ability to deal with setbacks while learning from the experience. Those who truly beat the GMAT are willing to take the time to reflect, admit their mistakes, and then adjust their strategies. This trial-and-error nature of GMAT conquerors explains why many posts in this forum tend to be so long. That said, you’d be wise to read these posts all the way through, because there’s often just as much to learn from the journey as there is from the end result.

Choosing the Right Study Materials

There are a lot of great study materials out there, and this is apparent in the fact that IJBTG posters have used a wide variety of resources to achieve their 700+ scores. However, what works for one test-taker may not work best for another. Some students thrive in a classroom while others are more suited to self-paced study. Some prefer books, some prefer videos, and some require the one-on-one experience that only a personal tutor can provide. Whatever the case, be sure to choose the resource that best suits your personality and your learning style.

Dedication, Scheduling, and Prioritizing

IJBTG posters are not your run-of-the-mill test-takers, and this explains why they don’t receive run-of-the-mill scores. These people are highly dedicated and committed to tackling anything that stands in the way of their goals. In addition to being dedicated, they’re also smart. They start early. They make a study schedule and stick to it. They spend much of their time identifying and strengthening their weaknesses no matter how painful the process. Simply put, these GMAT warriors are committed to the process, and they have the scores to prove it.

So, if you’re an IJBTG poster wannabe, just know that it won’t happen overnight.  It’s going to take some work, and learning from others’ experiences is a great place to start!

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