12 Ways the GMAT Is Like the Royal Wedding

It’s all anyone is talking about this week. Admit it — you scoffed at the idea that anyone would care about the marriage of Prince William and Princess Kate, but when no one else is looking you’re a little fascinated by the whole thing. It’s a massive event with nearly worldwide intrigue; the sun never sets on the British empire, and the flashbulbs will be seen around the world, too. (and, face it, the House of Windsor is at least noble and admirable compared to the House of Kardashian if we’re comparing royal families).

Since the vast majority of GMAT tests are taken in Great Britain and its former colonies, we’ll get into the spirit, too. After all, for many students the GMAT is a big, transcendent event not unlike the royal wedding. With that in mind, here are 12 ways in which the GMAT is similar to the Royal Wedding of William and Kate:

  1. Kate’s key to success will be poise, and most notably the ability to not trip on her train (which will likely be the length of an actual Eurostar train). Similarly, you need to maintain your poise and not trip up on a clever word problem and waste undue time — perhaps on one of those “rate of train A” problems.
  2. The Royal Family has been preparing for months to make sure that they know what to do in every circumstance – so have you!
  3. If some small thing does go wrong, a crying baby or someone with a cough – they have to keeping moving forward and try to ignore the distraction. You’re in the same position: if something happens during your exam (loud typing next to you, question you do not understand) you have to do the same.
  4. Kate is bound to be nervous with millions of viewers, and most importantly the Queen of England, watching her every move intently. Remember — there will be a security camera watching your every move, as well.
  5. The royal couple has reserved Westminster Abbey for their wedding; similarly you will reserve a seat at the local test center for your GMAT exam. Westminster Abbey has the highest gothic vault ceiling in all of England and every British monarch has been crowned there since 1066. By contrast, the GMAT has been offered at Pearson Vue test centers since 2006, and most centers have a 9 to 10-foot ceiling.
  6. The royal wedding reception features two large cakes, one the “traditional” wedding fruit cake and the other an unbaked cake made dark chocolate and crushed cookies. You will likely not be eating a slice of either of these cakes, but thanks to your GMAT preparation, if given the dimensions of the cakes you could calculate the volume, surface area, and the number of 6-oz pieces in each cake!
  7. The royal wedding is the most expensive security event ever in the United Kingdom. The $33 million dollars plus worth of security includes, snipers on rooftops, undercover commandos with machine guns ready, 5,000 police officers, and the symbolic presence of the “household division” on foot in bright red uniforms, as well as mounted on horseback. This security should deter unwanted guests of all kinds. You too will have a strategy to keep out unwanted guests on test day. You have to protect against unwanted assumptions can lure you to the wrong answer, against doubts and anxiety that can cause you to lose focus, and against time pressures that can cause you to rush through problems. Like the London security forces you will be prepared for anything.
  8. Like Kate and William, you’re apt to get cold feet before your event. But heed the advice that Princess Diana’s sister gave her the night before her wedding to Prince Charles: “Too late, Duch – your face is already on the tea towels.” Once you’ve hit that point of no return, you just need to put on a smile and do your best. Particularly if hundreds of tea towels have been printed with your face on them…
  9. When this event is finished, Kate will reach a level of nobility significantly higher than that of Duke. Your goal is to get a score that allows you to get into a business school ranked even higher than Duke (Fuqua), which is still a really good school!
  10. The Royal Wedding is the beginning of a 3-month honeymoon for William and Kate; when you finish the GMAT with a high score, you’ll likely begin to coast through a honeymoon period at your job, knowing that business school awaits.
  11. Suspense is in the air over the official title to be given to Princess Kate upon her marriage into royalty. But from the GMAT space, we know that the royal titles “Duke of Data Sufficiency,” “Prince of Problem Solving,” “Sultan of Sentence Correction,” and “Count of Critical Reasoning” are already spoken for under the crown, assigned to London GMAT instructor Amit Kakkad.
  12. At the end of the ceremony, the climactic moment is when the couple is pronounced “husband and wife” and the prince joyfully kisses his new princess. A similar thing may happen at the end of your GMAT exam as an actual testimonial from a Boston Veritas student indicates “I took the GMAT this morning and scored a 740. Words can’t describe how I feel right now. After getting my score, I kissed the proctor of the facility on the forehead, ran out into the street, and danced in traffic.” You may not actually kiss anyone but you may want to after you achieve your own success!

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