Time management is a very important element of the GMAT. Those of us who have chosen this path are juggling so many different deadlines and time constraints, and effective time management is critical to ensuring your success. Here are my top 3 GMAT time management strategies while preparing Test Day!
1. Be specific
Early in my career, I was introduced to the idea of a model calendar and I still utilize it to this day. When creating my model calendar, I’m specific. I don’t just list Monday – ‘GMAT PREP’. I choose a day, specific time, and list the aspect of the test that I plan to review. On Monday from 7 – 9pm, I concentrate on Data Sufficiency questions, Tuesday from 8-10pm is dedicated to Sentence Structure, etc. This strategy helps me feel confident that I have covered the five question types and one CAT (practice test) weekly in order to stay on track with my Kaplan study plan leading up to my test date.
2. Stay focused
I know this is easier said than done. Creating a model calendar is just a start, but sticking to the plan you have designed and following through to the end is what’s most important. Avoiding distractions is crucial. When I sit down to study, I log out of ALL my social networks, turn my phone off and unplug my home phone. In the beginning it was difficult, but I found that these were my main sources of distraction. Develop systems to remove distractions so that your designated study sessions are focused and productive. You should plan to go to a library or coffee shop if you need to escape from the distractions of home.
3. Revisit & Adjust Periodically
At the end of the month, I revisit my original calendar and make any needed adjustments. For example, my Kaplan class has recently ended and I realized I would have my Tuesday evenings free again. This meant that I could go back to attending the NYULYP General Body Meetings held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. It was important for me to revise my model calendar to make sure my GMAT study schedule remained consistent leading up to my test date while allowing time for me to attend this monthly meeting.
Don’t forget, everyone needs a little rest and relaxation, so build it into your model calendar. Making sure that you allow yourself time for fun with friends & family or that special someone in your life will help you lower your stress level and remain relaxed and focused so that you are ready to study with a clear mind.
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