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Frustrated by missing your GMAT target?

Play the GMAT game better next time

GMAT retakes are tricky.  It’s easy to think of them as just another attempt at the same test but the rarely works.  Out of the 500 people I’ve coached on GMAT prep in last few years, 90% were retaking the test.  And one thing became clear: a GMAT retake is a completely different animal and has to be treated that way.


So what does that mean?


Well it’s about how you prepare and plan for your retake prep — and avoiding key omissions and shortcuts that I’ve seen damage the chances of success of many of my clients.


Danger #1: Lack of focus (not answering the “why” question)

If you’re looking at your test prep the same way after your first attempt as you did before, then you’ve got a problem.  It means you’re not mining the insights from your test taking experience — particularly your in-test effectiveness and process


Danger #2: Still thinking its a math and english test

That means you still don’t understand how the GMAT tests you.  It’s like playing a sport that you don’t know the rules for — you’ll never win.


Danger #3: Ignoring process and going back to practice problems

After you’ve done a round of full study (of all the content on verbal and quant) and you’ve taken the test, it’s time to shift to more of a process focused prep plan.  That means assessing and improving how you tackle each question using smart tactics and sound reasoning.


Danger #4: Lacking new prep tools

Staying motivated and confident during your retake prep isn’t just a logical exercise.  Adding new elements that specifically target the reasons for falling short the last time is a power fuel for both confidence and motivation.   Targeted skills drills, testing simulation and performance coaching are all powerful options that focus on your in-test process.  And process focus accelerates your retake prep timeline.


Danger #5 Rehashing your prep plan

It seems like the fastest way to get back onto your retake prep, but repeating parts or all of your past prep plan is a huge mistake.  Your retake prep needs to reflect a focus on what went wrong (on not right enough) on your previous attempt.   Going back to topic-based practice problems isn’t going to change the result.  The better option is a shift to skills drills and testing simulation focused on improving your test-taking processes.


Danger #6: Decaying motivation and confidence

Before you dive back in to prepping for your GMAT retake, it’s critical to focus on your drivers. What led you to pursue a MBA and why did you choose your target schools?  Take a few minutes to revisit and reinforce those drivers — it will help to refuel your motivation to take another run at the test.  If you address all the areas we discuss here, then you’ll be more focused, better aligned to the test, equipped with better prep tools and focused on your testing process.  That all-new prep plan is a key reason to be more confident that you’ll hit your target this time.


Danger #7: Rushing rather than streamlining your retake prep

Similar to your motivation and confidence, your pace in your retake prep is centered around an enhanced prep plan.  Better tools, more process focus and a focus on key areas of shortfall all streamline the prep process, meaning your don’t rush through a bloated prep rehash. Instead, you’re fully engaged in a more effect retake effort — and the result is almost always a big score jump.


Next level retake prep: The boost you need is performance coaching.

You can try to figure all these key areas yourself, but why spend the time doing that (with mixed results) when a GMAT retake expert can provide performance coaching.  When a coach has helped more than 500 students through successful retakes, their expertise is the ultimate boost to your retake prep efforts.

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