Take Germany’s World Cup Championship advice on how to train for the GMAT
It might sound silly but sometimes the best example for how to prepare for an exam comes from athletic training. It is important to always remember that to win a championship in a sporting event takes time and discipline. Media projects an image of the athlete as a celebrity enjoying the good life, however, in reality a successful athlete spends a majority of the time perfecting all the skills required to edge out the competition. The goal is to be the best and every action is aimed at accomplishing that goal. Recently Germany edged out the competition in the World Cup tournament to capture one of the most coveted trophies in sports. The road to victory was paved with very specific factors that when applied, could result in similar results when taking the GMAT exam. The following are several methods used by Germany’s soccer team that can successfully be applied to preparing for the GMAT:
- Prepare for actual test-like conditions.
Taking the GMAT is a unique experience. Unlike other exams, there is a high level of security, extremely limited amount of time, and a CAT style testing program. Even some of the most prepared test takers find themselves flustered by the conditions presented during the exam. The most successful way to score highly is to maintain focus and control the test, not the other way around. It is important to recreate as closely as possible actual test conditions to minimize surprise come test day. The German soccer team, in preparation for the 2014 World Cup, built a training facility in Brazil. They understood that in order to master the tournament they not only needed to be the most skilled players on the field but also the most prepared for the environment. There was the foresight to understand the difference in climate between Europe and Brazil and to prevent this factor from being a disadvantage.
- Utilize every available resource.
Germany didn’t win the World Cup by limiting their preparation to one form of exercise, or even a set regimen. They won the World Cup by actively researching and developing new methods to perform better and consistently elevate the ceiling of potential. According to a Bloomberg article Germany enlisted the aid of scientific research in analyzing the team’s performance. They thought outside of the box with victory as the only goal. In preparing for the GMAT there are a plethora of options ranging from various test preparation courses to self-study guides. Every avenue needs to be explored. Practicing reading articles in a newspaper faster and faster might seem ridiculous, however, increasing your reading pace can shave minutes off of your limited test-taking time.
- Start early.
When scheduling the exam make sure to leave enough time for preparation and to actively use that time. Germany spent over a decade developing a program that resulted in winning their 4th World Cup title. They overhauled their coaching staff and the style in which they developed young talent. They were patient for victory, but impatient in their actions to attain such victory. This is the same attitude needed to master the GMAT. You must take the required time and prepare, complete practice exams and strengthen all your weaknesses. There must be both a mastery of the concepts found on the exam as well as the test structure. The GMAT tests both analytical and critical thinking as well as mental stamina.
It might seem silly comparing a sporting event to taking a standardized exam, however, both require the same dedication, time to prepare, and focus. Strict conditioning is required including a study schedule and if necessary qualified instruction. An athlete trains their muscles while a student develops their mental muscle. Both an athlete and a student must sharpen their instincts to maximize reaction time. Another similarity is that in both sports and examination, there is competition.
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