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GMAT & Your Health

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August 17, 2019

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Josh Jones

Here at DreamScore, we like to worry about the GMAT; we take it seriously because we know that you take it seriously, and we’re here to help you.

But it’s not worth anyone’s life or health.

Applying to B-school is stressful.  If you don’t lose heart from time to time, you probably aren’t appreciating the gravity of your situation, but if you ever feel like it’s getting to much for you, let us know!  

Obviously, we can’t diagnose or treat a serious mental issue, but we can listen – and refer you to someone who can help, if appropriate.

Whatever you do, don’t suffer in silence.  We’re not mind readers; we don’t know if you’re not studying or not studying as well as you ought because you’re suffering some problems you haven’t told us about, so talk!  

And if you can’t (or won’t) talk to us, talk to someone.

There are plenty of ways to get into B-school without endangering your health, so don’t tough it out, seek help.

In the meantime, don’t make this already-stressful process more stressful than it has to be.  Through diet, exercise, and commonsense, you can minimize the stress and strain – that’s why we recommend a schedule, it helps ensure you can get everything else you need to get done done.

I can’t stress this enough: this process, especially the test, is a physical and mental ordeal.  Personally, I once had to leave a test and cancel the score because I wasn’t feeling well and I chose to mix a few prescription drugs that I didn’t realize shouldn’t have been mixed – the result was a racing heart and a failed test.  So, remember that you can’t perform unless your mind and body perform; taking care of both is studying – think of it, and plan for it, in that way.

Here at DreamScore, we don’t like to waste anything, so I’ll close this post reminding you that you might have experienced some issues in your past.  If so, disclose it. I’m not saying you should discuss every up and down in your life, but if – for example – your grades suffered during an illness, don’t hesitate to explain that in your application.  It’s better than just seeming unintelligent, careless, or lazy. Remember that the admissions officers are humans; they understand health issues.

Now don’t go overboard: don’t make yourself seem like you were dying or something, but just state the truth in a short, clear, and relevant manner.  Like, “my grades fell in fall ’17 because I had back surgery,” etc. I don’t want to tell you how to document your experience because the right answer depends on a whole host of factors, but I do want you to know that you shouldn’t hide it – don’t be ashamed and don’t think nobody will notice.

And please don’t limit your creativity: it may very well be that your experience with X led you to realize you wanted to do Y with your life – that could be a great essay!  (Or even a great business!)

In some sense, a great essay is like a great story: we want a hero who overcame great odds, so don’t be shy about discussing the odds you overcame!  And, whatever you do, don’t lose perspective: we’ll help you reach your targeted score, and we’ll guide you to the right B-School, but – whatever happens – keep your health!  Too many people are counting on you.

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