Monday, August 25, 2008

Motivation, Fear, Laziness, and Standardized Tests

Standardized tests have always instilled a certain amount of fear into me. Ask me to write 5 problem. But ask me to choose between those 5 ever so common answer choices and I get that deer in headlights look.

Apparently, when I was younger, I wasn't so fearful of these tests. My mom tells me that I got 100% on the SAT tests that they give to First Graders. Too bad that's not still the case. In high school, the PSAT started the fear because all of my classmates were so terrified of the test and the school tried to tell us that we needed to do well on it or else (not sure what the "else" was but Catholic nuns are good with the whole instilling fear thing). Since that test and especially the SAT which determined your fate for college, I have tended to over think tests and second guess myself, often selecting the correct answer only to change it to a wrong one at the last minute.

The first time I took the GRE, I was so terrified of not scoring above a 750 on the math portion that I probably wouldn't have been able to tell you my name. This resulted in an embarrassing score of 220. It took many months of thinking and cheering and poking and prodding to get me ready to take it again without this terror. Once I relaxed, I did MUCH better!

Given the effort that it took for me to get to a point where I could successfully relax to do well on my last round of standardized testing, it's easy to see how I'm not chomping at the bit to do the same for the GMAT. I don't know if it's laziness or a lack of motivation or just really not wanting to go through that again that makes this so hard for me.

Nonetheless, I continue to try. Last night's GMAT practice test was a lot better than the first one. Now I know that I need a serious review of Geometry, Combinatorics and logical reasoning. I will continue on this trek and hopefully make the process less painful than it was the last time.

(Note: The Oxford Comma has been added for Mr. J and his grammatical and punctuational happiness.)

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