Study Strategies : General GMAT Questions and Strategies
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# Study Strategies

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Intern
Joined: 04 Aug 2003
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25 Aug 2003, 20:48
When do you guys study for the GMAT? How long and how frequently?

I'm having trouble finding time. When I get home from work I usually workout, cook dinner, watch an hour of TV/Internet to unwind then go to bed.
I was considering going to work an hour earlier in the morning and study there but I dont know if I can get up and be functional that early. If I stay late and study then I fight traffic on the way home (plus its not an area I want to be in after dark).

Maybe I have to train myself to study instead of the hour of TV/Internet.

Any suggestions?
Intern
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26 Aug 2003, 03:24
Hi Lisa

The Ultimate time would be early morning .
After reading your Situation i was Shocked cos i too have the same problem . After a week's out i found that i am just wasting time on deciding when to study & no improvements from my side.

Its really tough preparing for an Exam like this but on the other hand its just the Hard work that we need to put in & the only time for people like us who are working would be Early morning - 1 hour every day during the Weeks to be spent on Maths and the weekends building Vocabulary .. If we start from Sep 1st we should be ready to take the Exam somewhere towards the End of Dec or Beginning of Jan 2004 .

All the best for your preparation & stay in touch at
ravi0478@yahoo.co.in

I am from India . Have a nice day

rgds
ravi
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26 Aug 2003, 05:49
I'm in the same boat. This is how I've learned to cope.

1: You will need to sacrifice some of your social/personal life while studying. Don't over-do this or you may lose your motivation all together. Find a good balance that works for you.

2: I go to the gym right after work, no questions. This ensures that I don't waste time between work and going home. Do my hour and a half and leave.

3: To unwind, I basically do the 3 steps you mentioned above at the same time. I eat dinner at my couch, do my websurfing with my wireless laptop and have the tv on in the background. I'll usually do this for half hour or so. This usually puts me about about 8:30, leaving the rest of the evening to do whatever.

One thing to add is that I've cut out about an hour of sleep a night. This would be the equivalent of you getting up an hour earlier.

This has worked for me so far. I don't study every night, but I do study a comfortable amount during the week to keep me fresh. The weekends offers my best time to really dig into the material in detail, but then I have the time.
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28 Aug 2003, 07:18
I think I am not the only one having this problem ..... I am trying to follow the same routing as chrine00

Best of luck to you all

Imtiaz
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29 Aug 2003, 16:31
I hate to sound rude, but the answer is obvious - turn off the TV and study! The GMAT is a lot more important than sitcoms and reruns.

If you're not a morning person, studying then is a bad idea. Don't take the test in the morning, either - take it at whatever time of day you're most alert (within the test center's hours, of course).
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29 Aug 2003, 21:39
[quote="LaQuelle"]I hate to sound rude, but the answer is obvious - turn off the TV and study! The GMAT is a lot more important than sitcoms and reruns.

If you're not a morning person, studying then is a bad idea. Don't take the test in the morning, either - take it at whatever time of day you're most alert (within the test center's hours, of course).[/quote

Sitcoms and reruns. Puleaze, I watch none of the above. It might be "obvious" to you to turn off the TV and study. But after 8-10 hours of non stop work and stress the mind and body needs to unwind. Diving into a math study session right after work would be akin to jogging right after running a marathon.
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30 Aug 2003, 14:05
"Maybe I have to train myself to study instead of the hour of TV/Internet."

You missed your own point - you wrote that in your first post. I don't want to start a flame war, but something will have to give. Maybe spend your lunch hour reviewing concepts and doing some practice questions. Cut back to a max of 8 hours a day at work.

Or use the commute home to unwind. Yes, I know that sounds counterintuitive, but if you have some music that pumps you up or chills you out, and takes your mind off the workday, then that would help you unwind on the way home. I deliberately keep CDs in my car that work with different moods so I can get into the mindset I want to have - give that a try. If you have some great songs to sing along to, you can be totally transformed by the time you get home. Trust me.

Keep in mind that when you start b-school, that you may have long days that put your current schedule to shame. Darden in particular is insane - first years typically are at it til 11 pm after a few hours' break.
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30 Aug 2003, 15:01
LaQuelle wrote:
"Maybe I have to train myself to study instead of the hour of TV/Internet."

You missed your own point - you wrote that in your first post. I don't want to start a flame war, but something will have to give. Maybe spend your lunch hour reviewing concepts and doing some practice questions. Cut back to a max of 8 hours a day at work.

Or use the commute home to unwind. Yes, I know that sounds counterintuitive, but if you have some music that pumps you up or chills you out, and takes your mind off the workday, then that would help you unwind on the way home. I deliberately keep CDs in my car that work with different moods so I can get into the mindset I want to have - give that a try. If you have some great songs to sing along to, you can be totally transformed by the time you get home. Trust me.

Keep in mind that when you start b-school, that you may have long days that put your current schedule to shame. Darden in particular is insane - first years typically are at it til 11 pm after a few hours' break.

Let me just say this and I will let it slide. You started out your original post saying you were being rude. Why then, did you post such nonsense? If I could simply turn off the TV I would. I need a mental break. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one in this situation. Unfortunately, I don't have an hour for lunch and for me, no matter what music is playing, traffic does not allow me to unwind.
I think I agree with a previous post saying he just gave up an hour of sleep. I think I will do the same. After Labor day I have made a commitment to study at least 3-5 hours a week.
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31 Aug 2003, 07:31
To each his own...but by saying that traffic does not allow you to unwind, you're forgetting something very important - WE choose how we react to situations. The situation, such as traffic, does not force us to react a certain way. No one likes traffic, but you can decide not to get keyed up about it. I'm not one of those new age goobers who's into meditation and chai tea, and believe it or not I'm actually trying to be helpful here.

You're holding very tightly onto what appears to be an ineffective and undesirable way of doing things and are trying to force a study schedule into the status quo. You asked for advice and don't like the advice you got, even when it mirrored what you suspected yourself (having to give up the TV). I offered you an alternative, but you won't consider it. If you dig your feet into the sand when challenged with a completely different way of looking at things, you might find your head buried there too. Not you specifically, but in general.

I honestly just wanted to help and offer another way to help you beat the stress of the trip home. I used to live in the city and had to actively find ways to deal with the stress of so many people. I took the bus or train to work and it was better than driving, but I also had to find ways to not get so keyed up with city traffic when I did drive. Music worked for me. Something else might work for you, but at least consider it. Why would you choose to remain stressed about something when there are alternatives?

My last bit of recommendation for you and anyone else on this board - and it comes from an open heart. A few years ago, I read a book called The Four Agreements. It is extremely illuminating and a quick read. It's about the four agreements we make with ourselves about how we deal with ourselves and everyone else. There's a good write-up on it at Amazon and it's probably got a 5-star rating - phenomenal book that shows you how to let go of the way we were raised to think and to embrace ways that free up your thinking so you can see the real possibilities in things and just let go of so much. I recommended this book to a girl in another forum who had some serious self-esteem issues and she wrote me back a few months later to say she bought it and has been much happier since she read it. Pretty awesome.

Again, I'm not an incense-burning granola (I drive a BMW in case there's any doubt there!), but just give it some thought. Sorry to have offended. I just thought you were trying to force a square peg into a round hole rather than trying to change the shape of the hole. Good luck with your studies.
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31 Aug 2003, 09:36
Hey Lisa. I'm sure you'll find the hours. I remember that when I began studying two months ago I had trouble finding time, and even more trouble getting myself to sit down and work. Here's what was helpful to me.
First, I stopped treating my study hours like a testing session. When I would study, I'd tend to burn myself out by taking the material (and my scores) too seriously. One time I actually threw my Kaplan book....uh anger management issues??? Maybe.
But I found that the more relaxed I was during my study sessions, the easier it was for me to learn. The more uptight I became the less likely I was to want to sit down and study the next day. So I suggest you just plop down on your couch (where you'd watch tv) drink a coke, eat some chinese food, and work your way through your materials. I' m not saying that you shouldn't study with intensity, or that quantity is better than quality. I just find that this type of atmosphere is conducive to consistent studying. When I began emphasizing smooth consistency, as opposed to maniacal hysteria, I saw the most improvement. Relax and make it fun for yourself.
I know we have a couple of different opinions above. In fact it might end up being an issue of credibility with regards to whose suggestions you like best. After all, one person suggested four star novels, and I suggest chinese food. One person has rational and coherent explanations, and I tell anecdotes about throwing my kaplan book. However consider this... I am not part of the argument above and my ego is not at stake. I really think that pretentious novels (maybe I missed the point of that suggestion) and compulsive discipline is the wrong way to go. Good luck Lisa
_________________

Paul

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31 Aug 2003, 18:39
Paul, if you consider the book I recommended a "pretentious novel" then perhaps you should check facts before making such comments (which actually do sound egotistical and argumentative, honestly! ). The book is neither pretentious nor a novel. It's very down-to-earth, in fact.

In the end, it's all about being open-minded. Throwing your Kaplan book helped you break free from the angst of the test. That's not childish but good. It worked.

Peace...
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31 Aug 2003, 20:08
I suppose that the premise of your argument depends on me not having read this five star novel (I shorted it a star in the previous post)! That doesn't bode well for its long term popularity!! It seems that the truth is eluding too many lost souls!!!
I was just making these "egotistical"(wc) jokes to illustrate a point. Although these suggestions are made with the best of intentions, people come here looking for a quick fix. You are saying that there are no shortcuts and I respect that. But I worry about people re-arranging their otherwise functional and efficient lives to accomodate a study program. I was just trying to adapt a study program to Lisa's habits, which my habits closely mirror. In doing so I was romanticizing sloth..... and ironically flattering myself at the same time.
If I sound sarcastic it is not out of free will; I am dictated by the same forces that urge you to mention that book I steadfastly refuse to read. Not because I don't think it will be helpful to my life. I just think that it might prove counterproductive to the short-term goal of improving my GMAT scores (focus here). I promise to read it when I'm done with the GMAT and fully focussed on eliminating that inflamed "ego" of mine.
Disclaimer: All comments that seem negative through the medium of message board are made with a warm and caring smile on my face. One love.
_________________

Paul

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01 Sep 2003, 06:57
LOL, touch├й, Paul!
01 Sep 2003, 06:57
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# Study Strategies

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