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When You’re Stuck, Ask For Help (And Try To Do So In A TIMELY Fashion).

By Max Peterson On Nov 20, 2015 In  Study Plans General GMAT 

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We are currently right in the middle of “GMAT Season” – that busy time of year (after most of the Round 1 deadlines have passed) when many GMATers are still studying for their Tests while working on their applications for Round 2 AND juggling their lives, career, family, holidays, etc. Finding the proper time for all of those areas can be challenging, so staying organized is essential. To that end, planning ahead is a big part of successfully achieving all of your goals during this time of year. By extension, if your GMAT scores are ‘stuck’, then you have to be mentally prepared to ask for Expert help AND you really can’t afford to wait until the last days before your GMAT to do so.

Many Test Takers spend months studying (however they choose to) before stopping to properly evaluate their ‘situations.’ At a certain point, almost all Test Takers get ‘stuck’ – some part of the process just doesn’t seem to improve. With enough time and the willingness to make changes to how they study, those same Test Takers can potentially improve on their own. However, most Test Takers don’t have lots of available time and they don’t know how to make the necessary changes. At this critical point in the process, something almost unbelievable often occurs – those GMATers keep studying in the exact SAME way that they were studying before– and then they wonder why they aren’t improving.

Improvement, by definition, involves some type of ‘adjustment.’ An adjustment can be relatively minor, such as adding more labeling to your notes. An adjustment can also be relatively major, such as learning, practicing and mastering a new Verbal Tactic. In almost all cases, regardless of the magnitude of the adjustment, it takes TIME for you to incorporate those changes into a natural part of your test-taking process (since you have to overcome whatever tendencies you had developed during your prior studies). There’s a big different between using a new approach to answer a few practice problems and then properly using that same approach during a timed, Full-Length CAT. 

Asking for help with less than a month to go before your Official Test Date makes it much tougher on YOU to properly make those adjustments. The GMAT is a predictable, standardized Test, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. That training takes time though.

As an example, consider the act of purchasing a gym membership. In real basic terms, you’re essentially purchasing resources. The membership isn’t what helps you get in shape – your regular use (and proper use) of the gym equipment is what leads to the change. Working with an Expert/Trainer (or seeking out Expert Advice in some other form) can also help make the whole process more efficient (and lead to better, faster results), but the ‘time investment’ is still a big factor in the magnitude of the improvement. You won’t be able to make gigantic improvements at the gym in a short period of time – that’s not how training works. Studying for the GMAT has those same restrictions.

The more ‘lead time’ that you can give yourself to learn/incorporate Expert GMAT advice, the more likely you will be to improve and score higher on the GMAT. This is all meant to say that you shouldn’t wait to ask for help. The moment that you think that there’s something off/wrong/problematic with your studies, then you should IMMEDIATELY seek out that advice (and be prepared to invest in the process). A higher GMAT score is never that far out of reach; you just have to be conscientious and forward-thinking enough not to put yourself in a difficult position.

To that end, we’re here to help.

GMAT assassins aren’t born, they’re made,

Rich

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