Coming to terms with your GMAT score.


So you took the GMAT and are not happy with your score.

First and foremost, you should not be feeling depressed by your score, even if that score is not what you wanted or what you expected. The GMAT is often difficult to do well on. Take the next few days to assess what you did to prepare, whether you did as much as you could or should have, and how you could have done more to ensure you have the score you wanted. Assess whether the course you took or tutor you worked with was really in line with your learning style and whether you should have recognized that earlier and done something to make the course or tutoring more effective. Finally, stop beating yourself up if you did not get what you wanted or expected. It often takes a couple stabs at the test before you settle down enough to achieve your best score. To provide you some perspective, the arithmetic mean (a little GMAT speak for you) score is 538.5 and 79% of test takers score below 650, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council.

What this should tell you is that you are not that unique in your struggles. You should also take heart from how much you’ve improved from your initial GMAT score or your initial diagnostic test. If you’ve improved, it shows that you are moving in the right direction and all you need to do is figure out what steps you need to take to get over the final hurdles. It also tells you that you can improve, though it might not have happened as quickly as you would like. The only steps left are to determine how to make that improvement happen.

You should critically assess what influenced your score improvements (or lack thereof).

If you took a course and saw good improvements you should consider a private tutor. If your results were disappointing, you should consider whether the teaching style or philosophy of the company was the problem, whether you did not commit to following the approach, or whether you were not able to complete the work due to work or family concerns. If the problem was the teaching style or philosophy then it is best to look into other course providers. If the problem was with your work then you haven’t really taken a course and you should take one when you have the time to dedicate to the work.

If you hired a tutor and saw a good increase in your score, you should assess whether that tutor can take you further or whether you need a new voice. If you work well with that tutor and he or she offers the resources and information to take you further, then you should be working with them. If you didn’t find the tutor effective or felt you exhausted the resources and materials he or she had to offer, then you should look for a new tutor or a course.

If you did self-study and you saw a great improvement you should look into tutoring. If you saw little or no gain then you should get into a course or hire a tutor as soon as possible.

The GMAT is among the most competitive entrance exams given for post-graduate programs and nobody would dispute that the test has become one of the biggest factors for gaining admission to b-school. By maximizing each learning opportunity, you can realize your highest potential GMAT score and bring yourself closer to your dream schools.

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