GMAT And The Holidays
Winter break is coming, so perhaps we should think about how this time can affect our GMAT studies. One obvious benefit is the additional time that we can devote to the GMAT. Along with less stress from school and (hopefully) work, this allows more energy for test preparation. However, there are also a number of pitfalls. The major obstacle is the disruption of any study schedule; catching up with old friends and family - who also have time off – can consume a great deal of time. Besides, most of us want to relax during the holiday season. So with that said, here are some thoughts for anyone preparing for the GMAT during the holidays.1. Plan Ahead
You will need to balance time with friends and family and for other activities. While its not expected or recommended to slavishly adhere to a strict schedule beforehand, have a general idea of what you want to accomplish during the break. Consider a GMAT Calendar
that you could follow. Once you reviewed everything you needed to cover for that day, you should feel free to be in the holiday mode. 2. Stay Flexible
With some well-deserved relax time and activities that your friends and family have in store for you, remember to be flexible with your studies. If something cannot be avoided or if you really want to do something else, try to anticipate these moments and work around them. 3. Avoid Stress
Sometimes studying simply won’t be possible, so try to keep your cool and acknowledge beforehand that a strict schedule is probably not realistic during this time of the year. Find other times during the day or night when you can compensate for this, but don’t try to overcompensate for lost time. In other words, blaming yourself for missing five days in a row and then studying all day will probably be counter-productive and increase stress. 4. Try Reading
Reading helps with training your ear for SC and also prepares you for RC. Instead of watching TV on the holiday evenings you can pick up a nice book (see GMAT Fiction
for recommendations) and go through a few hundred pages in one evening without noticing it. It is also very helpful to have a book with you on the plane. 5. Prep on The Go
Consider making flashcards or downloading some Apps on your iPhone (GMAT ToolKit or OG 12
Mobile version) to study when you are waiting at the airport.6. Ask for Prep-related Presents
Ask your family and friends to volunteer to help you with studying. It can be books, tests, courses, or Apps. But there are also a few things they can do without spending any money on, such as quizzing you on certain topics (you can give them a list or they can do it themselves) or volunteering to be your "students" (you can teach them certain topics - preferably ones that you are weak in).
The list above serves more as a conversation starter than a comprehensive guide, so please share with us any insights or methods that you have!
[And special thanks to bb who contributed to this post.]