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# What to do on working days

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Senior Manager
Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 285
What to do on working days [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2008, 11:48
Hi all, I'm new around here. I have a question to everyone who is also working while preparing for the GMAT. Do you work on sample questions or tests after work? I tried a couple of times and found out that the amount of stupid mistakes nearly doubles. On the other hand, if I only solve questions on weekends, this will get me nowhere. Is there a general consensus, say, no more than 10 quant questions if you come home with your head buzzing and want to kill someone?
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Director
Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 884
Location: Earth
Schools: Cornell '11
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2008, 11:59
I would usually spend 2 hours after work at the library every night and then 3-4 hours each day on the weekends. I never set how many questions I would do, I just did them at my own pace until the 2 hours was up. I actually preferred doing the studying after work! I only did the tests on weekends.

Nerdboy wrote:
Hi all, I'm new around here. I have a question to everyone who is also working while preparing for the GMAT. Do you work on sample questions or tests after work? I tried a couple of times and found out that the amount of stupid mistakes nearly doubles. On the other hand, if I only solve questions on weekends, this will get me nowhere. Is there a general consensus, say, no more than 10 quant questions if you come home with your head buzzing and want to kill someone?

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Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Posts: 446
Location: USA
Schools: Tepper '11
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2008, 12:50
If you have a job, I don't see how you can not study after work. There is not enough time to do it any other way.
SVP
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 2099
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2008, 13:16
1
KUDOS
Nerdboy wrote:
Hi all, I'm new around here. I have a question to everyone who is also working while preparing for the GMAT. Do you work on sample questions or tests after work? I tried a couple of times and found out that the amount of stupid mistakes nearly doubles. On the other hand, if I only solve questions on weekends, this will get me nowhere. Is there a general consensus, say, no more than 10 quant questions if you come home with your head buzzing and want to kill someone?

My 2 cents:

As we get older, our brains tend to get fried as the evening approaches. You brain levels peak in the morning, and usually doesn't last past noon. I'd suggest you study here and there and limit your evening studies to reviewing and reinforcing.

Here and there defined: commute? make flash cards. on the computer, do practice questions from word docs or pdfs. Look around, they're around somewhere. You should not go a day w/o doing some questions. Not a single day. Do a set of 10 questions at a time and time yourself at all times.
Senior Manager
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 377
Location: Times Square
Schools: Baruch / Zicklin
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2008, 13:20
Tarmac wrote:
If you have a job, I don't see how you can not study after work. There is not enough time to do it any other way.

Agreed. I am studying for the exam now and the majority of my study time is after working hours. On an easy day, I can put in 5-6 hours (6pm to midnite, with several breaks), on a bad day, maybe 2 or 3 (approx. 15-25 hrs/week). But on weekends, unfortunately, I have not been putting in any hours.

I have 7 more weeks until I take the exam and will start utilizing my weekends starting this weekend.
- tsd

Last edited by TimeSquareDesi on 23 Jul 2008, 13:37, edited 1 time in total.
Manager
Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 78
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2008, 13:29
I'm trying to find some way to get 2 hours a day as well. very difficult to do esp after working long hours. im going to try this schedule:

lunch- work on a few q's (30 min~1hr)
downtime- go through as many q's as possible (maybe 15~1hr)
dinner- 1hr
study- 1~3hr
drink/mobwars- 1hr
sleep- 6hr

wish me luck...

let me know if there are any crash courses that have been effective. need to get into the high 600s to make bschool a reality.
Intern
Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 4
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2008, 14:56
3
KUDOS
One thing that has helped me is to save that cup of morning coffee until after work. This may not be advisable if it prevents you from being able to sleep at night.

Also, treat your study time just like an appointment. Don't answer the phone or allow yourself to get distracted. Train yourself to get right to work and not dilly-dally around.

With that, set weekly goals that you want to accomplish. I use my white board in my office and set weekly goals of what I want to accomplish. I do this for everything and it helps me keep my life organized and on task. Another great tool is a simple spead sheet that has your entire week blocked off like a calendar by hour. Go through and fill in each day with your current activites. Chances are you have more time than you think throughout the week to study.

A final note, see the GMAT as a way to begin forming solid study habits that you will need for school. Use this time to get into the habit now. If you're going to B-School full time your day will be filed with classes, course work and other activities. So, it isn't going to get any easier. Get your body into the routine now. You can do this a little at a time by learning how to set goals. Here are some tips I compiled for an article I wrote a few years ago:

Set Both Long- and Short-Term Goals:
Short-term goals help to break a long-term goal into small, achievable steps. A long-term goal might be to improve your verbal score by 5 points, while a short-term goal may be to master a particular type of sentence correction problem you miss on a consistent basis.

Make Goals Challenging but Realistic:
Kyllo and Landers (25) found that moderately difficult goals lead to optimal performance. Goals that are too easy may not inspire and motivate a student. Similarly, a student who is attempting to attain a goal that is too difficult may become frustrated and eventually give up.

Make Goals Specific & Measurable:
Specific, measurable goals are easier to evaluate than vague goals.

Identify Goal Attainment Strategies:
The experts here are good for helping do that.

Set Positive Goals Rather Than Negative Goals:
Negative goals may trigger negative self-talk, which is associated with poor performance (49).
Consequently, it is better for an individual to focus on what they want to achieve and not what they want to avoid.

Put a time Limit on Your Goals
Locke et al.'s (27) definition of a goal implies that goals have a time-limit associated with them. This is because humans have a tendency to procrastinate. Placing a challenging but realistic time limit on a goal will remind an athlete to keep striving towards its fulfillment.

Commit to the Goal-Setting Program
Commitment is a vital factor in goal attainment (47). Uncommitted students may not be prepared to do all that is required to achieve a goal. Making a goal attractive and developing self-confidence can promote commitment,

Good luck!
Current Student
Joined: 27 Jul 2007
Posts: 872
Location: Sunny So Cal
Schools: CBS, Cornell, Duke, Ross, Darden
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2008, 15:23
GMATslayer wrote:
One thing that has helped me is to save that cup of morning coffee until after work. This may not be advisable if it prevents you from being able to sleep at night.

Also, treat your study time just like an appointment. Don't answer the phone or allow yourself to get distracted. Train yourself to get right to work and not dilly-dally around.

With that, set weekly goals that you want to accomplish. I use my white board in my office and set weekly goals of what I want to accomplish. I do this for everything and it helps me keep my life organized and on task. Another great tool is a simple spead sheet that has your entire week blocked off like a calendar by hour. Go through and fill in each day with your current activites. Chances are you have more time than you think throughout the week to study.

A final note, see the GMAT as a way to begin forming solid study habits that you will need for school. Use this time to get into the habit now. If you're going to B-School full time your day will be filed with classes, course work and other activities. So, it isn't going to get any easier. Get your body into the routine now. You can do this a little at a time by learning how to set goals. Here are some tips I compiled for an article I wrote a few years ago:

Set Both Long- and Short-Term Goals:
Short-term goals help to break a long-term goal into small, achievable steps. A long-term goal might be to improve your verbal score by 5 points, while a short-term goal may be to master a particular type of sentence correction problem you miss on a consistent basis.

Make Goals Challenging but Realistic:
Kyllo and Landers (25) found that moderately difficult goals lead to optimal performance. Goals that are too easy may not inspire and motivate a student. Similarly, a student who is attempting to attain a goal that is too difficult may become frustrated and eventually give up.

Make Goals Specific & Measurable:
Specific, measurable goals are easier to evaluate than vague goals.

Identify Goal Attainment Strategies:
The experts here are good for helping do that.

Set Positive Goals Rather Than Negative Goals:
Negative goals may trigger negative self-talk, which is associated with poor performance (49).
Consequently, it is better for an individual to focus on what they want to achieve and not what they want to avoid.

Put a time Limit on Your Goals
Locke et al.'s (27) definition of a goal implies that goals have a time-limit associated with them. This is because humans have a tendency to procrastinate. Placing a challenging but realistic time limit on a goal will remind an athlete to keep striving towards its fulfillment.

Commit to the Goal-Setting Program
Commitment is a vital factor in goal attainment (47). Uncommitted students may not be prepared to do all that is required to achieve a goal. Making a goal attractive and developing self-confidence can promote commitment,

Good luck!

Nicely said, welcome to the board.

and +1
Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Posts: 446
Location: USA
Schools: Tepper '11
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2008, 17:15
droopy57 wrote:
I'm trying to find some way to get 2 hours a day as well. very difficult to do esp after working long hours. im going to try this schedule:

lunch- work on a few q's (30 min~1hr)
downtime- go through as many q's as possible (maybe 15~1hr)
dinner- 1hr
study- 1~3hr
drink/mobwars- 1hr
sleep- 6hr

wish me luck...

let me know if there are any crash courses that have been effective. need to get into the high 600s to make bschool a reality.

Is mobwards a video game? You need to shelve that for a few months. Also I don't see how dinner can really take a full hour, although if you want to use it as kind of your break time, that can help.

Typically I would go straight to the cafe after work, study for a few hours, either eat at the cafe or just have a coffee, and go home around 10 pm.
Senior Manager
Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 285
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2008, 23:32
Thanks for the helpful advice everyone! Kidderek, you hit the nail on the head - my brain does feel fried after a full day in the office. One of the SC questions I got wrong yesterday evening contained the expression 'seeming unlimited' and all I had to do was pick the answer that contained 'seemingly unlimited'. I chose A. Don't ask me why, no idea

I'll be experimenting with workday study strategies for a while, some of them are bound to work.
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VP
Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 1291
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2008, 11:43
Nerdboy wrote:
Hi all, I'm new around here. I have a question to everyone who is also working while preparing for the GMAT. Do you work on sample questions or tests after work? I tried a couple of times and found out that the amount of stupid mistakes nearly doubles. On the other hand, if I only solve questions on weekends, this will get me nowhere. Is there a general consensus, say, no more than 10 quant questions if you come home with your head buzzing and want to kill someone?

Iam not a morning person so I prefer studying in the evenings/night. I work long hours too and feel drained out by the end of the day. Usually I take a 30-45 minute nap in the evening . The short nap usually rejuvinates me and I feel strong enough to tackle the GMAT sets/challenges. I usually study for 3 hoursin the evenings on workdays and study for 10-12 hours on weekends. I have cut down on my social life and try to rest as much as I can on the weekends.
Director
Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 652
Schools: Duke 2012
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2008, 16:15
I am not a morning person either, but I became one for the month prior to the GMAT.

I woke up at 6 and studied, it's easier for me to push myself to do things right away in the morning. At night I found it was hard to concentrate on studying. Luckily I don't have a long commute, so 6 was early for me.
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Manager
Joined: 11 Mar 2008
Posts: 110
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2008, 18:44
highhopes wrote:
I am not a morning person either, but I became one for the month prior to the GMAT.

I woke up at 6 and studied, it's easier for me to push myself to do things right away in the morning. At night I found it was hard to concentrate on studying. Luckily I don't have a long commute, so 6 was early for me.

Same thing for me. I was never a morning person but after some useless nights I decided to try mornings and after 3-4 days i got into the routine.

I wake up at 6.30 and study for 2 hrs. Try it and see whether it works for ya...
Intern
Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 23
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2008, 20:21
I don't know how many of you are married and have kids . I am married and my kid is 2 years old and its not over yet, I work in front office of investment bank. yeah, I am 30 and I'm one of those guys who still dreams about mba.

My office starts at 8 AM and I come back from office around 7-8 PM. Most of the time I am totally beaten up by shit load of work and stressful environment of IB. By the time I am back my brain is death and my kid is ready to play ring a round the roses with me. Well, its good stress buster and very relaxing but when you are preparing for any exam is a waste of time and my kid would never let me sit on the laptop or pick up a book, forget about doing questions.

Well, to find sometime for myself, I started sneaking out from office during lunch time to a near by library for an hour or so. I started staying late in the office, now I come back at 10 PM. By the time I come back my kid is asleep. After relaxing for a while, I am ready again to conquer few more questions.

Weekends are no good too, if I want to study I have leave home I mostly study in near by library. If you see a loner in the NYC library with a OG, yeah it me.....

I thinking I am clocking 12-15 hours a week and I am desperately waiting to see some results...

Sometimes I feel guilty that I am not spending enough time with my kid but I think its going to be like that for couple more months. Once I am done with GMAT, I will make sure to make up for the time I stayed away from my family.
Senior Manager
Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 285
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2008, 21:40
rajesh04 wrote:
I don't know how many of you are married and have kids . I am married and my kid is 2 years old and its not over yet, I work in front office of investment bank. yeah, I am 30 and I'm one of those guys who still dreams about mba.

Do you mean 30 is too old for MBA in the US? I am looking at schools in Europe and 30 seems to be about right.

Anyhow, I can relate to your story, though no kids yet...
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Last edited by Nerdboy on 25 Jul 2008, 10:08, edited 1 time in total.
Intern
Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 23
Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2008, 06:53
Nerdboy wrote:

Do you mean 30 too old for MBA in the US? I am looking at schools in Europe and 30 seems to be about right.

Anyhow, I can relate to your story, though no kids yet...

Its not too old but little late for mba in US. I read it in couple of posting in Ask Accept.com forum of gmatclub. I have couple of UK schools in my list too.
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Re: What to do on working days [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2008, 03:18
Hi guys,

my two cents:

I try to take advantage of any free minute I have. I spend my lunch time doing verbal part questions. At night, I prefer relaxing by doing questions from the Math part.

When I go home early, I practice with 5-questions sets, of course, always having an eye on the cronometer...

During the weekends, I do at least one test, and again and again 5-questions sets.

Cheers
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Re: What to do on working days   [#permalink] 28 Jul 2008, 03:18
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