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Getting very burnt out, need advice

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Getting very burnt out, need advice [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2008, 07:59
Hello. I am new to posting on this forum. I've been studying for the GMAT for the past 3.5 months, and have been having a lot of trouble lately given my work schedule. I've taken a prep course, have all of the OG materials, and feel that I have plateaued in my progress. I can't seem to get past a 550 score on my practice tests, and I am finding myself more and more physically exhausted when I come home to study. I work 6 days a week, at 50 or 50+ hours (I know this is normal for most GMAT students, but I'm exhausted nonetheless. I work with very young children, so my job is not so much mentally exhausting as physically.) I haven't had a day off from work in the past five months, and I have a week vacation coming up at the end of August. The thought of only studying that week makes me feel uneasy. The stress of work and this test combined got so bad that I got physically sick. I had to not look at GMAT for over a week, and try to get my body back on track. Unfortunately I can't cut back on hours at work, so I'm thinking of just taking the test for a first time (sort of practice, to get used to it,) and try to do my best, and then retake later. My questions are:

1. How the hell does one find time and energy to study 10-20 hours a week with this kind of work schedule for over 3 months?

2. After I finish my contract in another year, I am planning on taking some time off and retaking the test then. How can I keep up my studies, or retain my knowledge after a year from now? Will I have to just start over? Was this past 3.5 months a waste of my time???

3. Should I just take a break and start over again while I work this much- meaning am I expecting too much trying to fit GMAT into my schedule now if I'm this exhausted?

I've read plenty of threads where other people discuss the rigors or this test, and I'm not giving up yet. I'm just starting to wonder if I'm cut out for this at all- the GMAT, an MBA, ect. being I'm so exhausted. Any advice would be appreciated.... Thanx.

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Re: Getting very burnt out, need advice [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2008, 09:10
I would really recommend using a private tutor. I have begun sessions with a MGMAT tutor and it has been extremely helpful in pushing through when I began to plateau in my scoring.

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Re: Getting very burnt out, need advice [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2008, 17:49
R0713 wrote:
Hello. I am new to posting on this forum. I've been studying for the GMAT for the past 3.5 months, and have been having a lot of trouble lately given my work schedule. I've taken a prep course, have all of the OG materials, and feel that I have plateaued in my progress. I can't seem to get past a 550 score on my practice tests, and I am finding myself more and more physically exhausted when I come home to study. I work 6 days a week, at 50 or 50+ hours (I know this is normal for most GMAT students, but I'm exhausted nonetheless. I work with very young children, so my job is not so much mentally exhausting as physically.) I haven't had a day off from work in the past five months, and I have a week vacation coming up at the end of August. The thought of only studying that week makes me feel uneasy. The stress of work and this test combined got so bad that I got physically sick. I had to not look at GMAT for over a week, and try to get my body back on track. Unfortunately I can't cut back on hours at work, so I'm thinking of just taking the test for a first time (sort of practice, to get used to it,) and try to do my best, and then retake later. My questions are:

1. How the hell does one find time and energy to study 10-20 hours a week with this kind of work schedule for over 3 months?
for your situation, I would suggest studying more efficiently - learn the concepts (shouldn't take more than 40 hours to learn all the concepts covered), then practice (do OG11), refine (track what you miss and re-focus on those concepts), and then practice more.
Also, very few people study 20 hours a week for 3 months, unless English is not your native language.

2. After I finish my contract in another year, I am planning on taking some time off and retaking the test then. How can I keep up my studies, or retain my knowledge after a year from now? Will I have to just start over? Was this past 3.5 months a waste of my time???
why retake the test? Why not save your money and just take it later? -GMATprep tests are free and almost just like the real thing if you're looking to practice and get used to it
3. Should I just take a break and start over again while I work this much- meaning am I expecting too much trying to fit GMAT into my schedule now if I'm this exhausted?
take a break, it seems like you're not applying this season, so you have plenty of time. Start back up in Feb/March, study for a few months, take it in June or so.
I've read plenty of threads where other people discuss the rigors or this test, and I'm not giving up yet. I'm just starting to wonder if I'm cut out for this at all- the GMAT, an MBA, ect. being I'm so exhausted. Any advice would be appreciated.... Thanx.
the mba question only you can answer. As for the GMAT question - I believe everyone (any college graduate) can score 600+ with less than 100 hrs of effective studying.


If you're plateauing at 550, then I'm going to say that you're not studying right.
I think the first step you should do is to forget about doing practice problems, and focus on getting the core concepts down.
Also, have you been keeping track of what you've been missing? -this will help you know which concepts to really focus on.

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Re: Getting very burnt out, need advice [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2008, 18:13
Agreed with Jason. You need to go back to concepts for math as well as verbal. Also, I know you say you are physically exhausted - but do take the time to exercise. That's known to boost your brain power. Just 1/2 hour each day of cardio in the morning before you get to work will do wonders for your morale and health. Since you have the time, take one concept at a time and understand it completely. I would suggest that you not do any practice exams for 2 months. If you want to time questions at some point, you can do that, but just give the practice exams a break for some time.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Getting very burnt out, need advice [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2008, 20:17
Jason is right. Try to do some exercise and increase your endurance. You also can do some relaxation exercise such as Yoga or some simple breathing techniques will do wonder. If you are not going above 550 then probably you need to brush up your basics and for that MGMAT books are very good. If you are not feeling confident or can not guess exactly what point of preparation you are then give a GMATprep test. GMATprep test is a very good indicator to know your current status. If you are not getting your score up to your expectation level then you can shift your exam date which will cost you $50 more. Go to a serene place, sit down with quite mind, think and then decide. Sometimes due to lot of work pressure or busy schedule our mind is chaotic and we are not able to take right decision. Keep your one weekend completely free to relax and then decide.
Hope this helps. And feel free to post.
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Nobody dies a virgin, life screws us all.

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Re: Getting very burnt out, need advice [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2008, 05:10
R0713,
I think all serious GMAT students have been in the same predicament. And you are right, most of us work full time, have obligations, and find the time to volunteer, work on our applications and visit the schools.

As for me, I started out by first getting all the books I needed and started reading them. I then solved some OG11, and while I did alright, I wanted to do much better. I then got burnt out. I stopped, procrastinated, and whined. I was working 12-13 hours a day at work, plus an hour commute. My job is extremely mentally straining, so the last thing I wanted to do was solve more quant problems when I went back home.

This is what I did to turn things around:

1) I made flash cards for EVERYTHING - 5 Quant subjects, and 2 Verbal. In total I have close to 300 flash cards. They are divided into sections, so I only go through the batch I need to work on.

2) For Quant, I started doing timed batches of 25 Problem Solving questions, and 15 Data Sufficiency.

3) I printed tutorials from various internet sources on quant subjects, like combinations and permutations, etc.

4) I started waking up at 5 AM to solve questions, and then revise, read, understand, make more flash cards at night. My brain works best in the morning, and at night its just for reading and revising my morning work.

5) I use GMAT Club everyday, especially the Math Quant forum. I read the discussions on posted Quant questions.

6) And finally, stay positive and eat well.

Hope this helps. Don't give up!

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Re: Getting very burnt out, need advice [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2008, 11:37
If you cannot cope physically with 2 hours a day, do 20-30 minutes. It may take you a year to get ready for the GMAT, but at least you won't get ill or begin to hate the GMAT.

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Re: Getting very burnt out, need advice   [#permalink] 14 Aug 2008, 11:37
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