I have recently completed the General Management Admissions Test, or the GMAT, and I have a few thoughts on it. I want to share some of those thoughts over a series of posts and so I am going to do just that. I had the idea for this series after I had a particularly good day. You may be able to guess that that was the day that I took the test.
For starters I want to be clear that this series of posts are going to be my opinion. I am not doing lots and lots of research to validate each and every detail. I am merely sharing my experiences. If you want textbook detail there are plenty of guides out there that already do just that. No need to recreate the wheel here. This is a blog about my experiences and I hope you find value in them.
With that in mind, I present my first critical point: expectations going in.
After talking to many people coming from differing points in their career or education I realized one common theme: get into a top 10 school or the like. I think that this view is making a critical mistake. Don’t fall into this trap.
Goals are an excellent thing to have. Setting goals is something that everybody should do for all sorts of reasons. But, make sure they are the right goals. If you go into the test thinking that you need a specific score so that you can get into a specific school you are setting your sights far too narrow and this will only do harm for most people. Don’t confuse this with not setting goals, just make them more realistic. Goals have to be S.M.A.R.T. to work.
When I ran my marathon the goal was simple: finish. There was no time pressure there wasn’t a “finish without walking” or anything else. It was just finish. Getting into a B-school is the same thing. Just get in. You should be looking at an MBA because you want to enhance your career and learn more. The harsh reality is that while a top 10 or 20 school will give you a great education, there are plenty of others that will give you nearly as good of education but perhaps a little less powerful alumni network. This means that no matter what score you get, there will probably be a place you can get into, so just enjoy the journey of the test and stop worrying about the end result so much. After all, 700+ GMAT score doesn’t secure you entry; the score is just part of a larger application.
That is my first advice to you when looking to take the GMAT. Know that you are taking the GMAT to get into an MBA program and to enhance your skills, meet people, and learn. These things can be done many places. Take the pressure off yourself to perform and just do it. Needless worrying will only bring you down.
If you have to set a target score, only do so after you have done many practice tests. Know where you stand. Know what you can do. Then put a little reach into it. You’ll be fine. Not going to Harvard is not the end of the world. Lots of colleges can help you out.
Now that you are in the right mindset to attack the test, the next step is to begin the journey to your score by a self evaluation. Look for that in my future posts in the series, GMAT Journey.
This has been a Thought From The Cake Scraps.