Need an innovative advice/idea for consistent preparation : General GMAT Questions and Strategies
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# Need an innovative advice/idea for consistent preparation

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Manager
Joined: 27 May 2008
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06 Apr 2011, 10:30
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Hi all,

I need few solid advices for consistent preparation. I am a kind of guy who is very inconsistent with his preparation for any kind of exam. I have been like this all through my life. It is not like I am not hardworking if I like the challenge or task I will try to finish it at any cost. The problem with my preparation is that when I start practicing quant or verbal I will practice continuously for 4-5 hours, else I wont touch the book at all.
This is one of the major drawbacks plaguing me for a very long time. I just want to change this habit and want to become more consistent with my preparation hence calling out the gurus out there who faced the similar situation.
Manager
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07 Apr 2011, 23:52
Quote:
The problem with my preparation is that when I start practicing quantitative or verbal I will practice continuously for 4-5 hours, else I wont touch the book at all.

This has been my problem too for a very long time and still takes conscious effort not to discard one-hour pockets of time (and waste them) just because I have the predisposition that "I'd better save this valuable material for when I have a larger chunk of time"...

The only panacea I have found is (very un-innovative) - to have a "plan"...

Meaning solely: Planning the SEQUENCE of thinks to learn.

Now, the "trick" that works for me is having 3 planned sequences (threads):

1) One for the large chunks of time that I will have - practice tests, etc.

2) One for smaller chunks of time, but in a "comfortable" learning environment - i.e. "I have 30 minutes only, but I have the materials before me, pen, paper and can comfortably reads, write, jot, solve, etc."

3) One for unpredictable pockets of time (with lesser quality), when I do not have all the materials before me, but carry a single preparatory item with me (such as flashcards, some fellow test-taker's shared notes, secondary/tertiary material that I would not spend my "best" time on, etc.)

(My fourth thread is actually listening to audio files, that I have prepared myself - when cooking, washing dishes, commuting, doing what you do in the morning, jogging, etc. - no other way to really learn during that time. The only time I have to worry about this "sequence" is when I actually put the audio files on my audio player...)

Now, this may turn out to be not such good advice, but it does work for me - just have these 3 sequences for these 3 types of clearly discernible situations.

It may not look too consistent, but neither all study time is made equal, nor all prep materials are made equal... and this is why it works for me.

I hope this helps!

Good luck!
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Manager
Joined: 22 Jan 2011
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08 Apr 2011, 00:22
Yes, I start the day by reading 2-3 articles from my Business Week subscription on the train, then take my iPad out and try to do 5-10 SC/CR questions during lunch.

I have also stopped reading free newspapers like the London Evening Standard, since the quality of writing doesn't seem to aid me in my GMAT quest. I usually save those when I know that my concentration span is deteriorating.
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Manager
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08 Apr 2011, 00:25
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Oh, yeah, about quality articles & audio learning:
The Economist's Audio Edition is great for such purposes.
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Manager
Affiliations: University of Tehran
Joined: 06 Feb 2011
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08 Apr 2011, 01:01
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What's wrong with studying for 4-5 hours in a row as long as your mind and heart want it? In other words, if you're physically capable and emotionally motivated enough, what's wrong with it?

When I was studying for the MSc nationwide exam with 8000 competitors, I would start studying from 8 am to 2pm continuously, then I would take a 1-hour break for lunch and restart studying from 3 to 10-11 pm continuously and then sleep. As a result, I was ranked 31th among 8000 (99.6% percentile) in Marketing and 12 (99.8% ) in IT.

I believe someone would get exhausted by studying for even one hour while another person may lose track of time and plow the books continuously for several hours. No pain no gain, huh? You are gifted with patience and hardworking, Y dissatisfied?
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Manager
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08 Apr 2011, 01:07
I find that it is easy for me to absorb information just before sleeping. I was reading an article about the earthquake in Japan last week just before sleeping and the 2nd day I could recall stats/facts etc.

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Manager
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08 Apr 2011, 05:52
I honestly think you need to make your own motivation. What motivates someone else, will not necessarily motivate you. Why don't you google motivational posters and put one up on your wall? Makes as much sense as someone telling you to do 30 minutes versus 4 hours versus 10 hours. You need to wrap your own head around the topics, not someone else's study plan/guide etc

Just a thought, not trying to be mean,

EDIT: or put up pictures of the bschools you want to apply to?
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Manager
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11 Apr 2011, 02:07
Thanks for all your replies, the main crux of this post was to know about people with similar preparation issues got out of it.

@Wishbone: What you had mentioned is absolutely correct, but there are so many stories worth inspiring in this forum, hence finding out a similar story to get self motivated

@thetiming: Thanks for your ideas, I finally found one with similar problem.
Re: Need an innovative advice/idea for consistent preparation   [#permalink] 11 Apr 2011, 02:07
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# Need an innovative advice/idea for consistent preparation

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