Are you dealing with any of these potentially stressful situations?
1) Paying on student loans
2) Trying to secure an impressive job
3) Making time to network with friends
4) Attempting to date in the Google Glass world
You get the idea. Now, you want to go to business school and all the admissions officers and literature talk about how important the GMAT is for successful applications.
Did you need any more stress?
The Benefits of Stress
Stress can be a good thing: Stress produces adrenaline which can help increase concentration and focus your mind. On the other end of this, however, adrenaline can cause an increase in anxiety, sweaty palms, nervous ticks, and nausea. You are going to have adrenaline when you take the test – you MUST learn to control and use it to increase your score. Stress management is part of your GMAT prep strategy.
Think about building a stress management strategy early on. There are two ways to think about stress:
- Pre-test stress (anticipation), and
- Test day stress (performance)
Let’s look at the first of these two stress drivers . . .
When you pull out your GMAT books to start studying, does your mind wander? Do you start to day-dream? Do you think that you’ll never be able to get into your target school? Stop thinking these thoughts. The primary lever to reduce this sort of stress is creating a specific, targeted studying schedule. Work backwards from your planned test day (hopefully more than a month away) and pull out a blank sheet of paper. Build a quick calendar and place your current appoints (classes, work, community service, etc.) – things that you can’t skip – into the calendar.
From this standpoint, build in time (every day!) to plan to study for the GMAT. Ensure that you work every subject area. The key to this study schedule is to ensure you are constantly in the material. Think of this like training for a marathon – if on Saturday you go out and run 10 miles and don’t run at any other time during the week, you won’t complete the marathon. If you run a couple of miles every day or every other day (with a big run once a week), you will finish the marathon.
Studying all topics several times a week according to a pre-defined schedule will ensure your Anticipation Stress is reduced. The mere act of planning your GMAT preparation and engaging in a trusted, proven program can greatly reduce anticipation stress and help you get down to the business of raising your score.
Next time, we’ll talk about another form of GMAT stress, performance stress.
The post GMAT Stress Management: Anticipation Stress appeared first on Kaplan GMAT Blog.