God bless every one of you who has given me the strength to yet rise again from ashes of destruction and attempt to slay this PVue dragon!
Rhyme, Pelihu, Vivek, Dahiya, Yurik, Haas, Futuristic, Paddyboy and all you guys who have successfully overcome this hurdle while concurrently balancing a hectic work schedule, your suggestions for attempt #4 are most definately welcomed. What would you do in the same situation, given you had exactly 10 weeks to prepare for one final attempt this year (or maybe forever)?
First off, let me clarify that I am no different than many members on this site who may have similiar concerns, so such advice may be appreciated by others in a similiar situation.
The clock is ticking, R2 deadlines are in mid-January. I plan to retake, with better concentration and improved Q skills. Heck, I'll even wear a catherter if it makes the difference in not exceeding the break time.
But, there is a caveat.
I have a demanding full time career (~60 hrs/wk), go to the gym a few days a week, and do the regular domestic errands/chores on the weekends. This makes sitting for long periods impossible, and therefore limits GMAT concentration to less than a cumulative 1.5~2 hours a day, except on Sundays.
For reference, here's a snapshot of a typical week:
Wake up at 5:45am, study 30Q problems for about 60 minutes, check the wrong answers on the 20 minute train ride to work (usually standing).
8:30 to 9am: Open the office, check phone/email messages, read the headlines in the morning paper.
9am to 1pm: Bam, the rat race is on!! Meet several morning clients (back to back) and translate multiple projects.
1pm to 1:30pm: 30 min lunch break. Eat a sandwich or boxed lunch while studying 10~15 CRs.
2pm to 3:30pm: Power nap at a local net cafe (20 min) and then do some weight training/kickboxing/meditation for stress relief (60min).
4pm to 9:15pm: Back to the rat race! Meet afternoon/evening clients (again back to back) and translate multiple documents.
9:30pm: Lock up and close the office. Walk back to the train station.
9:40 to 10pm: 1~2 RCs on the 20 minute train ride back home (hopefully sitting).
10:15pm to 11:30pm: Cook dinner, wash dishes, iron slacks/shirt, prep client agendas for the following day. Set alarm and shower.
11:30pm to 12am: Study about 10~15 SCs on GMATClub.
12am to 5:45am: Sleep
Half day at work from 9am to 4pm (10 minute lunch break). Sauna after work to wind down from the week, followed by a couple hours of mixed Q/V study before collapsing from six days of slavery.
Sunday: (The only real study day)
Wake up at 10am (recharge sleep) and run the usual errands; food shopping for the week, pick up the dry cleaning, do laundry, clean the apartment, etc.
1pm to 5pm: Take a full length practice CAT.
5pm to 8pm: Analyze -more like conduct a post mortem- on the CAT results, update error logs, and make some posts at GMAT club. Cook dinner.
9pm to 10pm: Watch either "Lost" or "Prison Break" on TV. This is the only hour of TV I get to see each week.
10pm to 11pm: Shower and prepare the upcoming week's agenda.
11pm: Back to sleep and repeat the same routine from Monday morning.
* I can't cutback on my working hours at all. Cutting back in my industry means losing precious clients. This option is out. Also, now that summer is over, I can't telecommute and do projects from the comfort of my home anymore. Fall is the toughest season because many translation projects that are due at the end of the year require face-to-face interaction with the clients.
* I simply can't get up at 4am. Four hours of sleep is not enough to stay alert during the 16 hour day outside. Even as it is, with less than six hours of sleep, I feel like a zombie by Friday of each week. Push comes to shove, I will wake up at 5am.
* I must work out three hours a week. Otherwise I get this "fat slob" complex and have very low self-esteem.
* No vacation time allowed until mid December.
* Calling in sick would require extra overtime on the weekend.
** My coworkers keep leaving anonymous post-its on my desk with inscriptions like "give it up already!" or "what the hell are you trying to prove?" The most recent one read "It doesn't take an MBA to figure out how to manage your own business. Put your effort into something more productive..."
Call me obstinate, but the fact is I simply will not stop until this quest is over. Just can't wait until the day comes when I can clean out my office and bid them all farewell because I have been accepted to XYZ MBA school on a partial scholarship. My current highest score is a 590, so essentially all I need is another 40-50 points to make a dream become a reality. But those 50 points won't come easy. Something inside has to change drastically.
Pelihu just shared some of his materials with me, so I look forward to getting into those documents soon.
Any and all comments or suggestions on how to better maximize or improve study time to close that 50 point gap given the schedule above would be most truly appreciated.
In the meantime, I'll be sharpening the sword and preparing for the next duel.