The GMAT is really a Trojan horse. On the outside, it looks like a test of numbers and verbal ability, but really, it’s a test that goes beyond knowledge, skills and intelligence. It’s meant to test your character – how well you handle pressure, time management and emotions.
Think clearly – the GMAT tests you on things you should have already learned in high school. What’s is the logic behind the exam? It’s to find out whether you have what it takes to endure a rigorous exam – the ability to memorize a ton of information in a short amount of time, the ability to work continuously for long periods of time and the ability to prevent personal problems from interfering with your concentration. Basically, they just want to see how strong you are in addition to what you know.
For example, a perfectionist may know his or her material very well. However, the GMAT is designed to fool perfectionists into spending too much time on minor questions, which results in them not being able to finish the test. There are heavy penalties for not completing the exam, since GMAT takes off points for consecutive wrong answers. Basically, the test is working against the people who focus too heavily on less relevant tasks because successful managers are those who can see the bigger picture.
Another example would be a test taker who works too hard. Working too hard can lead to extreme stress during the test, and a mindset that is too focused on following the rules. In reality, there are no rules; and professional business is no different. In fact, Stanford University researchers found that when people spent more time visualizing rather than practicing, their ultimate performance improved. That is, before taking the test, it’s important to visualize what you are going to do rather than practicing it. So have your goals for each problem or each question type clear in mind before you start to solve the problems!
A final example would be a pessimist. Pessimism is okay, but at a certain point, it becomes cowardice. It has been shown that optimists usually exhibit higher morale, and therefore achieve better scores. Optimists are more enthusiastic about studying, just as they are more relentless in business. Obviously, those who can succeed ultimately should be confident in their abilities. The reality is that the GMAT is not that hard, and most of us have taken tests just like it before. Remember that a simple test does not make or break one’s life.