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Preparing To Sit For The GMAT Exam

Naturally, I haven’t been in much of a writing mood lately since I have just a little more than a week left until I take a swing at the GMAT. I’ve reviewed all of the math that I intend to, including:

  • OG (all math)
  • OG quant supplement
  • Manhatttan GMAT Number Properties
  • Manhatttan GMAT Geometry
  • Manhatttan GMAT Word Problems
  • Manhatttan GMAT Advanced Quant

I’ve also completed a good deal of the verbal prep that I plan on going through, which (thus far) has included:

  • OG sentence correction
  • OG verbal supplement sentence correction
  • Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction
  • Powerscore Critical Reasoning Bible

I’ll be rounding out my last two weeks of pre-GMAT study by focusing on OG RC, OG verbal supplement RC and maybe some LSAT RC practice, a quick look at a few Integrated Reasoning and AWA strategies, and 4-5 practice tests (both OG and 2+ MGMAT) that I’ll take one of after every couple of days of review.

During my “brain brakes”, I tend to watch YouTube  or some form of video to keep me from being tempted to read (which I love to do) while I’m supposed to be giving my grey matter a break. My intent is to avoid wearing down my mental capacity for reading RC (reading comp) passages after the break is over.

Today I ran across a video on Developing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs that was recorded at the World Entrepreneurship Conference about two years ago.  A lot of what the panelists (all highly successful entrepreneurs) had to say rang true with me.

I began to ponder some of their comments about the role of the educational system and how it hinders entrepreneurial development. Since I am afflicted with MBA obsession, I naturally began to think about some of the things that (some) top business schools are doing (and should do more of) to continue to promote the development of entrepreneurs.

Four weaknesses of the present educational system that were brought up during the panel discussion in particular come to mind. These are all areas in which I’ve observed positive trends occurring among top MBA programs.

A Lack of Understanding About the Nature of Failure

The point was made that our educational system does a poor job of contextualizing the role of failure in success. Therefore, instead of producing courageous free thinkers who are willing to take risks and try new things it tends to produce people who are afraid to fail so that they won’t make a bad grade.

I remember how obsessed I was in high school with making sure that I graduated in the top 10 of my class. When my younger sister graduated from the same high school nine years later I told her that I would not come to her graduation if she was not sitting on the front row. Though she did accomplish this, I wonder what kind of damage I inflicted from (the many) similar comments that I made to her.

I’m encouraged to see several of the top business schools challenging their students to become shrewd risk takers by implementing more hands on education into their curriculum. Grade nondisclosure and interdisciplinary learning initiatives (with other schools on campus) are also good examples of some programs’ attempt to encourage curiosity and exploration.

It’s healthy for the world’s leading incubators for top business talent to begin to shift their systems of grading and reward away from just a superficial grade and toward the actual results that someone can produce–that’s all the real world cares about anyway.