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The GMAT is... Unnatural

In their marketing materials, GMAT prep companies love to point out that the GMAT is not an intelligence test. And while we don't want to delve too far into the politics of that assertion, we will say that everyone can -- and will -- improve his/her GMAT performance with practice.

What that means is: no one is born an excellent GMAT-taker. The test tests for arbitrary things; data sufficiency, for example, will never strictly appear in any of your B-school coursework, let alone your job.

So while there are complex reasons why someone's baseline score is 450 and another's is 650, every single person can boost his score with sustained effort. In other words, the GMAT needs to be demystified by every single person who sits for it, and demystifications never happen overnight.

The analogy of a marathon runner is certainly over-used, so let's introduce a new one. Preparing for the GMAT is like learning how to write code for the web. Last time we checked, no one was born with preternatural GMAT-taking abilities. Same deal with using HTML. Sure, some people have a knack with numbers and/or can sit for longer period of times, but still: writing code for the web takes time, practice. There are bodies of knowledge out there that can help you, but in the final analysis you have to sit down and start typing. And the more you the work the better you will get.

And there is really no limit to the amount you can improve. So sit down and get to work. :)


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