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When I started preparing for GMAT, I isolated myself from the world for 3 months..

At the end of 3 months, I wanted my sabbatical to end desperately to join back my colleagues and friends in the outside world, beyond the confines of my room. The journey that had started with extreme enthusiasm to learn had turned my life into a despairing struggle and need for help. During my preparation, I remember hitting multiple frustration points around my low mock scores. On the day of my GMAT, I scored abysmally low. I was frankly not devasted by it. I saw it coming! So, what did I do in the coming months? Prepared for another attempt? Wrong! I traveled India solo all by myself. From Kerala backwaters to the hills in Manali, the palaces in Udaipur, I covered them all the while continuing my job (Tripoto featured my story then). Later, the travel motivated me to switch my job to work for Government of India to create a genuine impact. After a year, I took another sabbatical- this time just for 2 weeks for #GMAT. I had a smile on my face as my final score flashed. I had my needed score! So what changed between my 1st and 2nd GMAT attempt? My experiences and most importantly my perspective! In my 1st attempt, I was stressed and learning concepts academically. In the one-year gap, I spent time actively reading and writing blogs, improving my reading comprehension and sentence correction abilities. I picked higher command over quant during my policy consulting role! You will often hear that you have to slog to crack big goals- well that is a part of the secret sauce. There are other secret elements that most people don't talk about! Similarly, when I entered for my Boston Consulting Group (BCG) interview, I had solved 50+ cases on campus but eventually, I went with the mindset that my world will go on just fine without the offer. It brought my calm, cheerful and humorous side to the interview. Today, as an entrepreneur I find many answers when I'm least expecting them. That's why I take active time-off! I understand this method may not work for everyone. But what is the point of madly killing yourself when you know you have hit a wall! If you are stuck, go out, meet new people, and take a vacation, if you can! Many times, the answer is lying outside in the real world and not in your books. All you need is a dash of a new perspective on your life, your exam, and most importantly the world around you.

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Author- Shatakshi Sharma, Cofounder Global Governance Initiative, Ex- BCG, Advisor, Tony Blair Institute

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