“You do not have to accept anything that I say if it doesn’t make sense to you.”

I say this to almost all of my students, encouraging them to question me whenever something does not make complete sense to them. The reasons I do this are:

1. This is the way I have learnt. I didn’t accept things if they didn’t make sense to me, even when they came from a book. It’s not that I considered books unreliable; it’s that I always tried to assimilate new knowledge within the framework of the existing knowledge. In other words, I didn’t just pile facts in my mind; I made sense of them.

2. On occasions, what I say may be different from what the students understand. The reason is that I talk from an understanding level that is different from that of the students. If they don’t question what I say, they may end up accepting ideas that I didn’t mean, thinking that CJ said so.

3. Much non-sense is circulated by some coaching institutes in the name of GMAT-specific-knowledge. When somebody says ‘GMAT wants you to think like that or this is what works on GMAT’, I encourage my students to ask ‘Why does GMAT behave that way?’

The idea is to question everything. Initially, everything will seem confusing. However, gradually, you’ll start understanding things at a level at which few others do.

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“The sooner you want to get done with it, the longer it takes.”

This was my response when a girl, who came to meet me for GMAT preparation, said that she wanted to get done with GMAT ‘as soon as possible’. An achiever throughout her life, she was not used to the struggle that GMAT was putting her through. 

I come across such people frequently – people who are tired of their GMAT struggle, people who are frustrated with not seeing the fruition of their efforts, people whom GMAT reminds that they are not as talented as they thought. Most of them are restless and want to get done with GMAT ASAP.

However, I have seen that such a mindset hinders and thus elongates the learning process. Since the learning process takes time, the mind, which wants to get done with the thing asap, sees the learning process as a hurdle to its goal and not as a way to its goal. 

The way out of restlessness is to be patient with yourself. Just that you are taking time does not mean you are not intelligent. Intelligent people are so because of their past struggles. Even if the application deadlines loom, recognize that impatience will not take you to your goal. Take a deep breath and enjoy the process of learning; you’re getting closer to your goal!

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Dear GMAT aspirants, try this CR question below. The different thing about this question is that nobody on the forum got this right for the right reason.


Once you are done with the question, you can compare your reasoning with my reasoning shared in this post below:


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I am obviously pleased when my students get their desired scores. However, the thing that drives me internally the most is that I’m adding value by enhancing people’s skills and by helping people develop a habit asking questions and thus become lifelong learners.

If someone were to tell me that what I do ends with a person’s GMAT, I’d be depressed. What I learnt never ended with exams. Similar is what I want for my students. The purpose of learning should be not to clear exams but to build and grow ourselves. And if we have such a purpose, I believe, exams take care of themselves.

For more such posts, connect with me/follow me on Linkedin.

Sentence Correction Tip:

If you think ‘their’ can refer only to a plural noun, you need to upgrade your knowledge.

Cambridge dictionary says ‘their’ can be “used to refer to one person in order to avoid saying his or her”.

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Published by Chiranjeev Singh

An Alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and with scores of 780 (2017) and 770 (2013) on GMAT and 99.98%ile on CAT, Chiranjeev is one of the most qualified GMAT tutors in India. Chiranjeev has earlier served as Director of Curriculum at e-GMAT. Chiranjeev has been helping students ace GMAT since 2012. He follows a concept-based methodology to teaching GMAT and is very committed to student success. You may contact him for any private GMAT tutoring needs at CJ@GMATwithCJ.com. He conducts online sessions for students across the world.

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