On the Threshold of the New Year….for Applications!

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It is not quite the end of 2015 and nor is it time to ring in the NEW YEAR. But it is time to face the reality that the application rounds for Fall 2016 have started and the coming two months are crucial for all those ready with the GMAT score and those penultimate to writing the test. For the latter there is some advice.

Organize your study. Irrespective of whether you are studying on your own or training with a mentor/institute, the most crucial planning at this point should pertain to regular study. Ideally you must have come a little ahead with the GMAT preparation by end August and should spend time honestly answering the question- Am I putting in planned study? If yes, you are on the right, and most likely, very productive path; if no, then that is the first alarm bell. Turn things around and get down to unlearning indiscipline. Believe me most people who fail to do as well as they hoped to do are the victims of their own delusions. It is pretty common for a student to presume that just because he has taken up a course, bought some swanky looking books and can mouth a few clichés about the GMAT, he is entitled to that great looking and great sounding test score. Here I would say- successful is as successful does. Better to be a little harsh with yourself, train yourself for a regimen of study that prepares you for the long ‘real’ test and instills a little bit of the aggressor in you. The GMAT is not for the weak-hearted. So, do what you can to acquire the teeth you need.

One very effective way to achieve discipline and regularity in your preparation is to break your available resources into sets of material and then to tackle these in daily doses. For example, on the verbal front, a set should comprise of – 18 SC questions, 12 CR questions and 11 RC questions ( 3-4 passages) to be done in 75 minutes. Of course this is only possible with hard material and is thus the first step towards timed practice. Once you are used to a daily routine and to the demand of sitting patiently for 75 minutes – without succumbing to the temptation to answer a call from office or to take a stroll and a stretch– it is time to step up the preparation by moving to online practice. Select your resources prudently; everything available in the market does not make for good material. Be quality conscious and select what caters to your specific needs in terms of content. Also remember that doing a short section practice session is not tantamount to doing the test. It is a different thing to sit in the familiar environs of your room to do a 75 minute verbal or math section and a different thing to encounter section after section on the real day. Test takers who do not give due importance to mock tests have only themselves to blame for any misfortune that befalls them. It is standard for a test taker to complete at least 7-8 full –length tests online before venturing anywhere near the GMAT!

Bonne chance!

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