Those of us who’ve taken a shot at the GMAT (successfully or otherwise), know what goes into preparing for it. The sleepless nights, the excessive amount of caffeine, the social isolation,the bouts of insanity and the acute frustration, all for a perfect score. If you are anything like me, you’d want to get best deal out your preparation, I mean, look at the ordeal most of us go through, the pay off has GOT to be more than that haloed perfect score. After some deep reflection, I willed myself to believe there’s more to a good GMAT preparation than just a good score. And god, do I feel a little better about the struggle now. Here are my thoughts
1. Ground work for Quantitative Reasoning
The MBA core curriculum includes lavish helpings of Finance/Account based courses like financial modeling, financial reporting & control and corporate finance. All of these courses require strong analytical and quantitative skills. I believe, good GMAT preparation will help in achieving that prerequisite. For someone like me, with poor quantitative skills, studying for the GMAT helped a whole lot in improving those skills.
2. Skim and sift
One of the interesting things I’ve picked during prep was to skim and sift the reading comprehension section of the test. Most GMAT coaching companies advocate this method. I was apprehensive at first – what if I missed vital information? I’ll have to go back and read the passage all over again, wasting precious time! But the more I practiced the technique the better I got at it. The idea is to read / skim the passage, sift and gather useful information to answer the question set. Practice is key here. As for how this technique helps in Business school, think – case studies and caselets, the ‘Skim and Sift’ technique actually helps you get straight to the point with out wasting time on irrelevant information.
3. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking can be defined as ‘the ability to consider a range of information derived from many different sources, to process this information in a creative and logical manner, challenging it, analysing it and arriving at considered conclusions which can be defended and justified’. One of the most important ideas in business is critical thinking and therefore it only makes sense that the best business schools place great emphasis on the importance of Critical Thinking. I wouldn’t go so far as to say the GMAT covers everything that the concept of Critical Thinking has to offer, but the critical reasoning section on the GMAT does stretch the mind and is a pretty solid place to start.
4. Business Communication
The sentence correction section of the GMAT will impel you to go back to your grammar books from high school. This section is a fantastic way to get a grip on grammar rules and accurate sentence construction, especially for ‘non-native speakers’, like me. I imagine there will be a ton of business letters, exams and networking in the two years at business school and I, for one want to be the very personification of eloquence! 😀
5. High Tolerance for pressure and a boost in confidence
I’ve whined incessantly about the pressure that preparing for the GMAT puts on you, but there’s an upside. The feeling that you can take on anything after you’ve succeeded. A few friends who crossed the 700 barrier said that certain god-like invincibility overcame them. (I might be exaggerating a little, but you get the picture) I just cannot wait to experience that feeling! It is pretty obvious that work load and pressure in Business school are of epic proportions, but studying for the GMAT gives you glimpse into that world.