Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Gospel According to GMAT

I received my letter of conditional acceptance to the MBA program this week and I'm beyond excited!  I find it completely against my nature to be excited about returning to school, but I see it as God's Way of changing my heart, as I've ruminated upon recently.  The conditions of my acceptance are dependent upon my GMAT score.  My GMAT is scheduled for May 25 and I'm working on prepping for that now.

There are multiple sections of the GMAT - analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, quantitative and verbal.  As I'm preparing by studying things I've long since forgotten, I take practice exams, get daily practice questions and evaluate how I'm doing.  The last test I took I scored a 50%, which isn't bad, though as a perfectionist, I want to do much better.  Technology has made this prepping amazingly easy.  I have about five apps on my iPad that I can use to not only study, but also to prepare via practice questions and exams.  There is even an app that acts like Angry Birds and when you answer the questions right, and quick enough, you unlock the next level.

In studying for the exam, I'm also reading a lot on tips and information about the test itself and techniques on taking the exam.  Interestingly enough, this exam is known as a CAT adaptive testing exam.  What does that mean?  It means that when you answer a question, and you get it right, the test gets progressively harder; if you get it wrong, it stays at the same level of difficulty.  That's where the "adaptive" part comes in.  I have to say I don't like that adaptive stuff.  If I'm doing well, why not help me do well and keep me at the same difficulty level?  I suppose it's to stretch me as a student.

After reflecting on this interesting testing technology, I realized that the GMAT operates much like God does in our spiritual journeys.  If we struggle in our faith in a test or temptation, God will continue to use experiences in our lives at the same "difficulty level" to stretch and grow us.  But, if we succeed the faith "exam", the next step in our journey may stretch us even more.  We have to trust Him more, believe in Him fully, and sacrifice to Him in ways we may not have had to do before.  Like the GMAT, God adapts to us.  He knows us better than any computer test does.  He knows our heart at the depths where we never travel.  And the difficulty level rises so we can become more like Him.  I don't like that "testing" either, but the outcome is beyond glorious in results.

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