How do you know when you've studied enough for the GMAT? It's a question we get frequently for our students. And it's a good one: after so much prep work, how do you know - really know - that you're ready?
Here are 40 signs that it might be time to go ahead and take your chances on the test:
1. After steadily increasing over the course of several months, your CAT scores have recently begun to plateau or decrease.
2. Your GMAT preparation is interfering with other aspects of your MBA applications.
3. You have trouble falling asleep because your mind keeps spinning and tossing up new problems for you to solve.
4. You’ve developed an obsessive compulsive ritual that has you double-checking your answers like crazy and wasting precious seconds.
5. Your MBA applications are going out next week.
6. Your MBA applications are going out tomorrow.
7. Your MBA applications have already gone out.
8. Your idea of a conversation starter is that “diagonal-of-a-cube” problem which shows up on every CAT in some form or another.
9. You can’t tell if you really mastered the free CATs offered by GMAC or if you've just memorized the answers because you did them so many times.
10. You know the decimal equivalents not only for 1/7, 1/8, and 1/9... but for 1/23, 2/131, and 3/41.
11. Your idea of fun is “working backwards” on the GMAT - staring at the answer choices and coming up with a problem.
12. You penned an educational rap song that cleverly incorporates all the GMAT idioms on your list.
13. You enjoy gardening, but the word “stem” only means one thing to you now (hint: it has nothing to do with plants).
14. Reading Comprehension passages have seeped into your unconscious. You dream of “sessile organisms” and “omnivorous bats in semi-arid climates.”
15. The phrase "scope shift" enters into your conversation hourly.
16. You’ve composed an outline for every possible “Analysis of an Issue” prompt you could possibly get (you can never be too prepared!).
17. On more than one occasion, you’ve used a Sharpie to underline important keywords on your computer screen.
18. During an extended argument with your girlfriend/boyfriend, you catch yourself trying to outline the “main idea,” “purpose,” “attitude,” and “structure” of his/her rant.
19. You’ve charted your CAT performance and discovered that it looks like a plot of f(x) = sin(x*pi/2) - x/3.
20. Your social circle now consists primarily of online GMAT forum buddies.
21. You’re convinced that your secret destiny is to write GMAT test questions.
22. The last time you went to the circus, the path of the trapeze artists reminded you of a “parallel lines” problem you tackled on your last practice test.
23. You’ve developed an “internal timer” that tells you when 120, 150, and 180 seconds are up.
24. Each time you encounter the words, “least,” “greatest,” and “except” in everyday life, a giant buzzer goes off in your mind.
25. You get kind of “American Psycho” on friends that beat your last CAT score (10 points make you nervous and 30 put you over the edge).
26. You know that the marginal improvement in your CAT scores week over week follows a Bessel function of the first kind.
27. Your GMAT prep routine involves the song, “Eye of the Tiger.”
28. You know what a "resumptive modifier" is.
29. Your synonyms for acing the exam not only include “rocked” and “owned,” but “beasted,” and “pwned.”
30. You noticed the idioms error in the sentence above.
31. You can’t listen to anyone talk without silently identifying the assumptions in their argument.
32. You keep a scrapbook of all your CAT performances. Table of contents includes “scores,” “pacing stats” “vocab words,” “oddball problems,” “reading comp/AWA topics.”
33. You have a cute little frame picked out in which to display the print-out of your unofficial score report.
34. You know exactly how many shots of espresso and what spectrum of lighting is required for you to maximize your GMAT mental agility.
35. You’ve consulted an astrologist, a dietician, and your personal trainer on your ideal GMAT registration date.
36. GMAT studying has you so wired up you sound like Bradley Cooper on NZT in the movie, “Limitless.”
37. Your GMAT reading regime makes The Economist read like Entertainment Weekly.
38. You've had this thought: "Business school...? Why would anyone want to do that when they -- I mean, he or she -- could be a GMAT tutor?"
39. You've started a blog about the pleasures of sentence diagramming and the hidden beauty of number properties.
40. You’re seriously dreading a return to the real-world, where success isn’t measured on a scale of 800 and performance sessions don’t occur in 4-hour blocks.
How did you know that you were ready to take the GMAT?