By Lucas Weingarten
When a runway is too short, the plane will either crash on landing or crash on takeoff. Either way, the plane is gonna crash.
With applications to b-school looming over many of you, the GMAT is an ever-present and perhaps overwhelming new reality. If you have started studying, then you now know what you wish you had known before: somewhere along the line, the expectations you set for GMAT prep were set entirely too low. That can be a very frustrating realization, especially when you’ve already scheduled your test date—four weeks from the first time you opened a book or attended a prep class.
A current student is living this issue right now. I learned of her test date during class 1 and I planted the seed then that if it is at all possible, considering a pushback might be a good idea. The thing is, I have seen this many times before. A student feels that since their smart and driven, prepping for the GMAT won’t be much of an issue. Then, as they trudge down Preparation Road, the slog starts to take its toll. They’ve lost their shoes in the mud of gross underestimation and are seeking refuge on which to nourish themselves with a tasty piece of humble pie.
When they do stop to assess the best way out of this mess, students will either escalate commitment to their original Test Day, or have an epiphany about things within their control. Your test date is one of those things.
The aforementioned student is scheduled to take the test in five days. In reality, her first application isn’t due for another four weeks. After our second-to-last class session last night, she stayed behind to get some essay feedback and talk about her situation. I stood firm in my opinion that, based on her practice test performance to date and the target school average of her top choices, she should postpone her test date and give herself more time.
“I know, but I’ve been giving this everything I have! I’ve really worked hard over these last four weeks. I just wonder if this is as good as I’ll ever do. I mean, if I do postpone test day, will I really get that much better than I’ll be five days from now?”
“Yes!” I returned. “An extra month of prep time is vastly different than another five days. You have the power to give that gift to yourself.”
In the end, I think she’s going to take the test. I am not super optimistic that she is going to hit her target this time around, but I am very optimistic that she will hit in when she takes the GMAT again a month from now. The takeaway? When you realize you are asking too much of yourself, stop. Give yourself every opportunity to succeed.
~Article provided by the courtesy of Kaplan GMAT