Keep the End in Sight: Tips for Staying Motivated

by on December 9th, 2012

soccer-goalWhen you first begin prepping for the GMAT, staying motivated is easy. But after a couple of months, it can be difficult to keep yourself motivated as you continue to try to improve your score.

If this happens to you, there are a few strategies you can use to regain your motivation.

Remind yourself of your ultimate goal

First, you can remind yourself why you are doing all this work.  It is easy to get into a rut in which it seems you are simply taking the GMAT for the sake of the GMAT. Remind yourself of your ultimate goal: to get into business school. Tell yourself not only that you need to study for the GMAT to get a high score, but also that it is that high score that will eventually lead to your admittance to the business school of your choice, which in turn directly affects your employment prospects after graduation.

Reinforce your strengths

If this mental boost is not enough, it is possible that you are being discouraged by the difficulty you are having with the problems you are currently working on. Remember, you are doing those problems precisely because they are difficult for you. In order to boost your confidence, do some work on reinforcing your strengths. This will have the added benefit of ensuring that you do not miss questions in areas you already feel comfortable with.

Set intermediary goals

If neither of these methods helps, a final motivational strategy is to create intermediary goals, rather than just thinking of the score you want to achieve.  For example, you could create a goal of understanding the basics of probability by the end of the day and work towards that.  When you accomplish these smaller goals, it will boost your confidence and keep you motivated.

By using these techniques, you should be able to keep your motivation up all the way until test day and get the most out of your studies.


  • Hi,
    this article seems to be tailor made for me. Thanks for your suggestions. I gave my GMAT last year with a horrible score. After that it took me a while to get back but off late(last few months), i am just not getting in a mood to study. may be the fear of failure has settled in or i am just avoiding it. I have joined a class also but it seems that i only work when i go into the class but i am also aware that's just nor enough.
    Any suggestion, even I have a dream to see my self in a B-School like all others out here in this forum.


    • Here is something I do to keep me studying even when I don't feel like it...

      When I am doing things around the house I try to see math all around me. For example, if I am washing a plate I see that it is a circle, that its area is this, that its circumference is that, etc. When I am washing my hands, I review a certain problem from the Kaplan 800 book concerning the rate of the water filling a container and how it relates to the rising surface level of the water in the container (it depends on the container).

      My favorite one is when I don't want to get up from bed... I simply start reviewing stuff in my head with my eyes closed. That way, I don't feel that I am wasting my time.

    • Juse, you are simple great!!

  • Thank you Bret. I badly needed this motivation. Thanks a lot!!

  • phenomenal!

  • how to learn vocabulary i finding it really hard to mug up vocabullary

    • Try learning vocabulary at I am not affiliated with it. It's just a nice, free site that I've used before.

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