I promise, it will make sense soon enough.
As we’ve been discussing often recently, my years spent tutoring GMAT in London have taught me a lot about high performers and their reactions to the GMAT exam.
Trust me, Fear and Anxiety are two of the biggest obstacles for even the most prepared GMAT taker.
We know that reducing stress is the key to boosting performance, and even that thinking about the test in a different light can give you the performance you need.
Nevertheless, one major problem I have found over the years is that of truly preparing for a test situation that is unlike most other experiences that you will have.
Let’s face it, the test center treats you like a criminal. Surrendering your passport, fingerprints, photographs. You’re trying to get an MBA, not murder someone.
Airport security can be friendlier!
What can you do about this except hire a couple of semi-illiterate people to rifle through your belongings and make excuses about why they want to touch you in inappropriate places?
That’s where we’re going. This was suggested to me over coffee with an old client (and recent IMD graduate–congrats!). The idea is pretty brilliant, if you have the nerve to do it!
Now, the natural reaction for most of us when taking a practice exam is to isolate ourselves, turning off the phone and keeping any housemates away.
However, I suggest finding someone—a housemate, a boyfriend/girlfriend, an obedient child, anyone!—to sit there and be the “Troll” during the exam. The Troll can simply be in the room reading a book.
As soon as you get off track and start looking around the room, the Troll simply needs to stare at you. Creepy, impassive, Damien from The Omen kind of staring. Twins from The Shining kind of staring.
No laughing. No smiling. Get back to work. You’re not focusing.
Let the Troll do the Troll’s reading.
Pay someone to sit there if you have to. It’s your test, after all.
In any case, the more uncomfortable you make the practice exam, the more accustomed you will be to the difficulties of the real GMAT.
Go out and find yourself a Troll today!
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p.s. Who will your Troll be?
p.p.s. How have you conquered anxiety in the past?