My friend texted me a few nights ago to tell me he was scheduled to take the GMAT the next day. Instantly, I was transported to the cold, stark testing center where I took the GMAT years ago. I vividly remember the grouchy man at the front desk instructing me to take off my watch, my necklace, and anything else that may bump up against my desk and distract others.
My friend sounded more annoyed than anything at the prospect of sitting for this test for more than three hours. And his biggest worry was that he wasn’t qualified to take it.
That’s when I rolled my eyes and cut him off.
Test anxiety is a real thing, and entrance tests like the GMAT are expensive and should be taken seriously. But here’s the thing that we sometimes forget when it comes to moments like this:
If you aced the GMAT, what’s the point of going back to school to earn your MBA?
For me, I get wrapped up the end result on everything — a recipe, a race result, how an ad I created performed — and miss the value of creating a thing. I rush to complete the task so I can analyze the results to see if I’m right.
It’s hard to take a step back and remember that it’s not always the end that makes the most significant impact. Most of the time it’s what you learn along the way that matters.