Face it today. You live in the world’s second largest populated country. You don’t have much of a choice, you need to fight. Most educated people in India have either directly sat for a competitive exam or have been part of a fierce race at some point.
Any educational institute will tell you that you ought to have the right attitude or the right approach and all that blah. Very few would make you consider some life lessons that are hidden beneath the almost-cruel competition. And if you missed these, it wouldn’t matter in the long run whether you cracked or didn’t crack a competitive exam. Take a look.
1. Handling success
The best part of a competitive exam- be it GMAT, or CAT or Bank PO- is that it often has stages and levels. Once you clear the written, you have to clear the interviews or group discussion or essay writing. This is almost like first giving you a taste of success and then checking if you can digest it. Yet another lesson that would bestow a lot of maturity in you early in life is learning to handle a success and keep working at it.
2. The new Rabbit-Tortoise story
No, not quite literally but with a pinch of salt. In the course of your preparation, you will probably create a modern rabbit-tortoise story. You will soon realize that when it comes to understanding, you will need the Tortoise approach while in implementing your learnings, you need the speed of the rabbit, as long as you don’t let him sleep midway. If you learn this balance early in your life, you will have a very rational approach to life and will be saved from either extremes.
The biggest rivals around you would be the people who do things consistently. The born geniuses are less dangerous than the consistently average ones. Take a small example, even if you understand an algebraic sum, you would not be able to get to the right answer every single time without a good practice. A lot of math can be understood but to master it, you would need consistent efforts.
Just when you are doing consistently well, you will fall sick or a family emergency would affect you mentally. A girl appearing for CAT lost her father three months before the exam. She managed a good percentile due to perseverance. This is a vital life lesson and you don’t need an explanation why.
5. Taking defeat
This is one crucial lesson for your growth as a person and as a professional. Even if you are a born genius, you will not succeed without trying and without failures. Failures have a way of leaving some lasting scars that in the long run become your beauty marks. Pick any of your favourite famous examples- from Steve Jobs to Abdul Kalam, you will find each success story was built on the foundation of a failure. The first thing that you will learn as you enter a competitive exam is how to deal with frustration and failures.
In our country, there are a million things that are not fair or brutal. Competition can feel the same sometimes. Thankfully the learning a competitive exam will give you, has results beyond your scores.