The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something. That’s the definition of confidence. Sounds pretty good right? That’s how you want to feel about your GMAT skills before you take your test right? Yep. I know. It’s difficult to feel that way though. The GMAT is a challenging test and most people will feel challenged by at least some of the material right up until their last day of studying. That’s OK. That’s just how it is. This isn’t a memorization test. The GMAT doesn’t test your ability to remember the area of a triangle. It uses the properties of a triangle to create a logic challenge. So how do you feel confident in a test that doesn’t really test content? Tough question.
Confidence comes from good habits developed throughout your GMAT practice.
For instance – for assumption based Critical Reasoning you know that it is your job to identify the components of an argument, especially the conclusion. You know that your answer will have something to do with the connection (or lack thereof) between the conclusion and the premises. This idea isn’t new. I didn’t come up with it. It’s probably thousand of years old going back to the great logicians of yore. Here’s the issue: it’s easy to be aware of a strategy but it’s another story altogether to internalize a strategy. To make it your own. To apply it hundreds of times so that you really get the essence of it. That’s when you have confidence. You might be wondering – how do I make this happen? Well, be honest with yourself. Are you applying a methodical process to every GMAT question that you approach? In your review are you trying to understand what went wrong in the process and how you might have applied the process correctly? Are you consistently reviewing your error log? This post on reviewing correct GMAT answers might help your process.
New GMAT Strategies take time to learn
Be aware that when you try to adopt a new process for solving GMAT questions your results may suffer (in the short term). If you really are trying to apply something new it will take time to see the results. This can be discouraging. I know. You thought you learned this amazing new way of doing things and now your scores are dropping. That is normal. Push through that. Productive GMAT studying is about long term gains. You will probably be studying for months so avoid measuring your progress in days. Confidence isn’t gained from learning tricks and memorizing formulas but from defining a good process and internalizing it.