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How many hours to study?

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icandy018 Rising GMAT Star Default Avatar
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How many hours to study? Post Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:37 pm
Hi.
I was wondering how often I should be studying per day? Weekdays compared to weekends. Im re-taking the GMAT and need to go from a 440 to a 500. The school has already called me personally and basically said im in if I can get a 500, as they were very impressed with the rest of my application (st johns university in NYC). Im taking Kaplan prep again because of the higher score guarantee (even tho their CAT's made me think i was doing much better then i apparently was). Does anyone have a study schedule they can lend me? Im taking the GMAT jan 17.

Thanks Wink

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icandy018 Rising GMAT Star Default Avatar
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Post Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:06 pm
helloooo

VP_Jim GMAT Instructor Default Avatar
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Post Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:45 pm
My opinion is that it's generally not worthwhile to study for more than two hours per day. Anything past that, and there's almost no way that you're focusing and analyzing the way you need to.

So, my advice is to put in a couple hours, every day, between now and your test. Also, take a practice CAT once per week. That gives you time to put in about 50 hours of studying plus three or four practice tests, which should be enough for you to reach your goal - especially when combined with a prep course.

Good luck!

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icandy018 Rising GMAT Star Default Avatar
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Post Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:15 pm
THANKS! Cool

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Jen Kedro GMAT Instructor
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Post Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:15 am
Jim's advice sounds good. I generally recommend 1-2 hours/day, 4-6 days/week or so. You'll probably do a CAT on the weekend, once per week is good. Good luck!

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Post Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:49 am
i am loath to give hard numbers in response to a question like this.

this sort of thing is highly dependent on ALL of the following factors:
* your attention span
* the level of stress in other areas of your life (more stress --> shorter effective study periods)
* your level of free time (you will not be able to study for N hours per day if you only have N hours per day of free time -- a good guideline is to allow at least 1-1.5 hours of unstructured time per day)
* your intake of stimulants and/or depressants
* your sleeping habits
* your level of physical exertion (moderate exercise --> better ability to concentrate when resting)

to analyze all of these factors in detail would be at best formidable and at worst impossible, but i find the following to be an effective guideline:
the MINUTE you find yourself "zoning out", STOP STUDYING for at least three hours.
go do something else.
if you find yourself "zoning out" in less than 30 minutes, try to get more sleep, adjust your caffeine intake (up if it's zero, down if it's over 200 mg/day), etc. or, if you're sedentary, start working out on the regular.

--

your mileage may vary. jim's numbers are a good average, but not anyone is average. i have met individuals who can study effectively for up to five hours a day, and others who are lucky to get 30 minutes of effective learning.
you're probably within jim's ranges, but if you're not, you owe it to yourself to calibrate your studying accordingly.

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Ron is a Director of Curriculum Development at Manhattan GMAT. He has been teaching various standardized tests for 20 years.

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icandy018 Rising GMAT Star Default Avatar
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Post Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:40 pm
Thanks so much! One more question..

I kept hearing that you shouldn't study the day before the test? Why is that? because my mom seems to think i am crazy. So Im trying to come up with a convincing argument for her and myself lol

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Post Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:19 pm
Regarding not studying the day before the test:

If you haven't learned it by then, it's probably too late! Also, there's a good chance you'll just stress yourself out if you get a few questions wrong. It's better to relax, get a good night's sleep, and go into the real test fresh and as un-stressed as possible.

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Post Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:13 am
VP_Jim wrote:
Regarding not studying the day before the test:

If you haven't learned it by then, it's probably too late! Also, there's a good chance you'll just stress yourself out if you get a few questions wrong. It's better to relax, get a good night's sleep, and go into the real test fresh and as un-stressed as possible.
seconded.

and if you're the type who just WILL NOT listen to this advice, and MUST do something the day before:
(1) look for some xanax
(2) if that's not available, then work EASY problems - just to keep yourself "into the groove", maintain your confidence, and cement your fundamental problem-solving strategies.

...but it's still better to study a movie and a pillow.

_________________
Ron is a Director of Curriculum Development at Manhattan GMAT. He has been teaching various standardized tests for 20 years.

--

Pueden hacerle preguntas a Ron en castellano
Potete chiedere domande a Ron in italiano
On peut poser des questions à Ron en français
Voit esittää kysymyksiä Ron:lle myös suomeksi

--

Quand on se sent bien dans un vêtement, tout peut arriver. Un bon vêtement, c'est un passeport pour le bonheur.

Yves Saint-Laurent

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VP_Jim GMAT Instructor Default Avatar
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Post Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:45 pm
Xanax not available? Who doesn't have some old prescription meds laying around the house?

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