I paid $250 to take the test. “Please, follow me,” said a red-haired Czech woman walking towards a room on the right side of the corridor. We entered the room. There were five desks with a computer on each of them.
I walked to the end of the room and asked “Can I sit here?”, pointing at the yellow computer chair. I figured that nobody will disturb me there. “Of course,” said the red-haired lady [she was impossibly polite].
I sat on the comfortable computer chair. The screen was right in front of me. With a few clicks I started the test [which was going to finish only after four hours]. “I’ve prepared for this day for the past six months,” I thought to myself. “I gotta do my best.”
The test was divided into four parts. The first part was my favourite: Analytical Writing. The next 30 minutes I wrote an essay, criticizing the statement given to me by GMAT test-makers.
Right after the essay, the next GMAT section started – “Integrated Reasoning” [12 problems to solve]. Then the next section – “Math” [37 problems]. Then the next one – “Critical Thinking” [41 problems].
When 20 minutes left until the end of the examination, all of a sudden I felt that I needed to pee… badly… [it happens when I am stressed] But I could not leave the test room, because had I done so, I would lose 4-5 minutes from the test, in which every second is precious.
I finished the test. When I saw my results, I forgot that I needed to go to bathroom. I looked at my score depicted on the screen for a few moments and did not know what to think. Although I had already known that my score will be around 600 this year, and there was no surprise that I got 580, for some reason I felt bad.
I scored enough to get admission to the best business school in Germany [ranked 8 in the world, according to Financial Times]. However, this result is not sufficient for Cambridge. My target is not the best school of Germany; it is the best school of the world [what an audacity, you might think]. Therefore, next year I am going to prepare and take GMAT once more. If I don’t get enough score even in 2018, I will prepare and take the test again in 2019. What will I do if I fail it again in 2019? I will study even more and take the test again in 2020.
“Cambridge is almost impossible to get admission to. Don’t waste your time,” one guy told me once. He was right. It is the hardest challenge I’ve ever had in my life. Knowing that, I accepted this challenge. Nobody claimed that preparations to the best uni of the Earth was going to be easy.
The recipe for mediocrity is simple: “Do what everybody else does.” If you want extraordinary results you should take extraordinary steps.