Preparing and taking a competitive test like the GRE/GMAT helps us to progress in many ways in our lives. Maybe ETS also had it in mind when they made this Test. Here are a few Life lessons that you can reflect on as you prepare for the Test.

1. Being in the moment

The test requires us to be totally in the moment. We need to focus on the question in front of us and think creatively about the solution to the current problem. We cannot afford to think about a previous question and lose precious time we have for the current question! Don’t we need to develop the same habit of focusing on solutions to problems and be in the moment in life as well? We cannot afford to keep thinking about the past or the future. The most important habit in life is to always be in the moment and keep moving forward with calculated methods. We must prepare as much as we can in advance, and our confidence is built when we tackle the precise problem at the precise moment.

2. Strategy

We need to think smartly and use strategies to tackle the questions. Often we have to think out of the box to solve questions effectively and swiftly. Again the same applies to life, isn’t it? Often when we are faced with problems, we feel stuck. But if we learn the art of distancing ourselves from the problems and look at it differently, we may come up with some creative strategies and solutions to the problems which are much effective.

3. Handle Stress and Anxiety effectively

Just as in life, on the test as well we need to handle stress and anxiety effectively. A little stress and anxiety might be good to keep us alert rather than a nonchalant approach, but too much may push us beyond the boundary and spoil the soup. How to handle stress and anxiety effectively is an art we learn from this test.

4. Effective Planning

To prepare for this test, we will need effective planning. An efficient score will get you to places just like efficient planning will help you to places in life as well. There is no need to keep studying relentlessly and mugging up words ad-hoc. Make an effective plan and execute it.

5. Application

The test makes us think and apply what we have learnt in school. Often in life also we need to apply what we learn otherwise the knowledge stays in us and ferments and rots. Are we applying what we are learning in life on a day to day basis? Something to think about, isn’t it? Skills if not applied will possibly start to rust and you will lose confidence in what you once had known as second nature.

6. Avoid Assumptions

The test often traps us if we make false assumptions. We need to be alert and not make any assumptions. Isn’t it true for our life as well? How often we assume something in our mind about someone or a situation, but actually the reality is different. We see the world with colored glasses. If the lens is green the world appears green. However we can learn from the test not to make any assumptions, so that we see things as they are.

Ankur Rupani

IIT and UMCP (USA) alumnus, 331/340

GRE Trainer, Senior Counselor & Life coach

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