Saturday, November 4, 2017

Two Steps to Success

It has finally happened! I was desperate to have one of my women PTE candidates score a 79+. But it always eluded me. 65+ happened but that's about it. And on the other hand my male students were happily scoring 90s. So frustrating! For, how can you be really successful if women candidates do not figure in your success stories? I had heard so much talk about the PTE software not being favourable to ladies. Especially because most of them tend to speak fast and often quite softly. I obviously didn't want to believe all that. But I nearly did! 3 times unsuccessful. And finally...

4th time lucky. She finally did it:

I have to give it to her. She worked so hard for this. She has earned it. Yes, she had the talent but, then, so many others do too. Her case proves me right yet again - talent must go hand in hand with hard work. Only then can you achieve Excellence.

But excellence doesn't come in a day. It is shaped by a ruthless, single-minded adherence to a cause. Excellence, as Aristotle had observed many centuries  ago, is a Habit. Live excellence. And it will be yours. When preparing for exams - domestic or overseas - give your all. The outcome may not be under your control; but how much effort you put in surely is. This effort consists of two elements - HARD WORK & ANALYSIS. Together they make a package that goes by the fancy name of STRATEGY.

There is no substitute for hard work. At least 2 hours daily, over a month or more, depending on the kind of exam you are attempting. SAT, PTE, IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC - for these 1 month is enough. However, for GMAT, GRE or CAT , you will surely need a 4-6-month preparation period.

But  don't just practice endlessly. Analyse your mistakes and learn from them. Also, don't concentrate on individual tests. Try to see your performance by averaging it over at least 10 tests. Your average score paints a truer picture. I encourage my students to do just that. Of course, my students can practice from the mocks and that they must. However, even as they do so every day, they must analyse their performance: what is their success rate? what kind of mistakes are they repeatedly making? Exactly where are they tripping up? It is this kind of analysis that helps you to improve with every test.

Everyone fails. Failure is only the flip side of success. But those who eventually make the cut, actually find out WHY they have erred at certain places. Man has been able to conquer the world because of his sheer intellectual prowess. It is a god-given gift that distinguishes us from the monkey and the ape. Make good use of it.
                                                                                                   
When hard work and intelligence
work hand in hand,
many things are possible.

                                                                                                                - Dr T. P. Chia

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