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I am preparing for my GMAT exam as it can give a great lift to my career and give me great learning opportunities. I am having a tough time studying and answering the questions. It infuses a great deal of stress and depression in me while I’m preparing for exam. I’ve kept a tutor as well but no matter how hard I try it seems I’m not making any progress and I’m not those gifted people who are quick with answering numbers. I have never been good at math and I’m facing math problems here. It appears that an evil monster has again risen to give me a tough time.

My future life depends on the business school I go to. If I don’t get a great score which is mandatory to get into a good business school, my life will be mediocre and my dreams might crash. I get thoughts wishing I never wake up tomorrow as all my worries and stress will disappear. My confidence and capability is on the edge. Please advise me on how to deal with tough situations in life.”Neo, U.S.A.

Dear Neo,

 It is evident that you are a hard worker and very bright, but sometimes stress and test anxiety can get in the way of our talent. As easy as it sounds, you definitely do not want be pushing yourself to the extreme. You want to make sure that you create a time to study each day but also to do something you enjoy (whether it is running, being outside, listening to music, etc.). Practice makes perfect; however, that means you could spend an hour a day or doing 5-10 questions a day to increase your brain strength and understanding rather than draining yourself with a 12-15 hour study session. When anyone is drained and frustrated from a whole day of studying, it’s too much, not healthy, and is not helping your knowledge base.

It’s also good to remember that you can take the GMAT exam more than once, which should alleviate some stress. Believe me when I say that so many professions require a test (as did mine) and that even some of the most successful individuals have had to take the test more than once (as I did). I want you to envision your future position so that you have something to look forward to, and use this preparation and test as a journey to get to your final professional destination.

While others can see the confidence and potential in you, it is imperative that you see it yourself. Recall the previous challenges and obstacles you overcame to get to where you are today. Remember that no great things always come with such ease. I know your path will end up being as exactly as it should be.

Kathryn Starke

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Kathryn started in the field of education as a first and second grade teacher in Richmond Public Schools in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Longwood University with a Bachelor's degree in elementary education and a Master's degree in Literacy and Culture. She is currently an urban elementary school reading specialist with over a decade of experience in Title I and inner city schools.

Kathryn wrote her first children's book, Amy's Travels, when she realized the materials provided by her school district were too difficult for her students. Amy's Travels is the first children's picture book to teach all seven continents. This multicultural children's book has been released in its second edition and is used in school curriculums throughout the nation and on six continents. Her latest book is Because of You, released in November 2013.

Kathryn originally started her company, Creative Minds Publications, in 2006, to market Amy's Travels to children, parents, and teachers in her home state of Virginia. Six years later, she owns a global educational company that exemplifies quality literacy instruction for all children. She publishes engaging and educational children's books from fellow educators and serves as a freelance writer for parenting and educational magazines. Her company Creative Minds Consulting provides workshops and training for parents and teachers regarding all aspects of literacy as well as public speaking engagements. She always looks forward to traveling throughout the nation to promote literacy.

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