Advice on studying while working too much

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Advice on studying while working too much

by JeffoV86 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:58 am
I've just started studying for the GMAT again. I took right after undergrad but took a job offer instead applying for a MBA right away. Unlike last time, I now work 60 - 70 hour weeks and try to have somewhat of life outside of work too.

I know my situation isn't unique, so I'm wondering how others are fitting studying into busy schedules. Often I'm so tired after work just the thought of putting in some study time is too much.

What have other people found to work for them? Getting up early to study? Dedicating certain times or the weekend to GMAT prep?

Thanks for any advice

- Jeff

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by JTuquero » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:47 pm
Hi JeffoV86

You're correct in thinking that you're not alone - many test takers are studying while juggling full time work, families, etc. With that, here are some tips that we share with folks who have jam-packed schedules:

1) Develop a study schedule early on in the process, and be consistent with it. Be realistic with what that schedule entails. Try to balance what you can do (the time you set aside for studying) with what you must. What you must do is put in the hours that you absolutely need to in order to reach your goal, such as brushing up on math basics or grammar skills.

2) Apply lessons you learned to your daily life. Keep your GMAT skills sharp by applying what you've learned during preparation in your life and work. Grammar, argument structures and math can help you beyond the GMAT.

3) Build a good studying environment. This may seem obvious, but it's a lot harder than it sounds. It's important that the hours you put aside for studying is devoted solely to the GMAT. You want to eliminate all distractions as much as possible.

4) Find studying tools that work within your schedule. Maybe you travel a lot for work or you work outside the normal 9-5 hours and can't attend the class you want. Whatever the case may be, find studying tools that can help you improve within your own time. The Economist GMAT Tutor, for example, is an online tool that you can access at anytime, anywhere.

5) Don't be afraid to take time off. If you find that you need to spend more time improving on your weaknesses or overall score, take a few days (or weeks) off work. The GMAT is an important part of your career and future, so you should give yourself the best opportunity as possible to succeed.

I hope this helps. Best of luck.

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by brianlange77 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:51 pm
JeffoV86 wrote:I've just started studying for the GMAT again. I took right after undergrad but took a job offer instead applying for a MBA right away. Unlike last time, I now work 60 - 70 hour weeks and try to have somewhat of life outside of work too.

I know my situation isn't unique, so I'm wondering how others are fitting studying into busy schedules. Often I'm so tired after work just the thought of putting in some study time is too much.

What have other people found to work for them? Getting up early to study? Dedicating certain times or the weekend to GMAT prep?

Thanks for any advice

- Jeff
Jeff:

Definitely the right question to be asking. Rather than re-create the wheel, I've attached a few links to some great articles from my dear friend Stacey that will help you think about the right types of questions to be asking yourself about how to get a good study plan in place. Hope this helps!

https://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... an-part-1/
https://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... an-part-2/
https://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... our-study/

Best of luck!

-Brian
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by [email protected] » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:59 pm
Hi Jeff,

The process of studying for the GMAT (and working on Business School applications) IS a big task. Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) on the process; during that time, it's common to spend 10-15 hours per week (or more) studying. It's akin to having a part-time job, but it's more than that - it's an investment in YOUR future.

Studying tends to best be done in small chunks, so take a look at your weekly schedule and figure out the days and times that you can fit in 1-2 hours of studying. The weekends offer larger periods of time, but you can't afford to study on just the weekend. You mention trying to have a life outside of work - that's fine, but you have to define the priority - is it that social life or is it bettering your position to earn an MBA?

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by manyaabroadtpr » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:46 pm
Hi Jeff,

Indeed taking studies while working is a bit challenging.Still many working professionals are taking GMAT and also scoring well.The only thing that you will need is to focus and make effective use of whatever time you get for your studies.

Fix your time which you can devote to your studies everyday after work.Try to be at your study place in those hours even if you are not studying.It will take you some time to get adjusted to your schedule.Once you become comfortable with your schedule you will start gaining focus on your studies.

Here's what you can follow to manage your score well in the exam.

Start your preparation with a mock test. Identify your strong and weak areas.Start working on your it and make a study plan for yourself accordingly.

Cover your basics. Once you are over with your basics get hold of as many practice test as you can. Start attempting them. Now, understand that more than giving a practice test, it is critical how much time you spend on analyzing your performance in the same. Typically, if you spend 2 hours in taking a mock test, spend 4-5 hours in analyzing it. Go over each and every question and find out a better, smarter and a faster way to solve each question. Take a note of all the points and make sure you apply them in the next test. The key is to keep improving every day.

Lastly, join an online study group. we suggest this because the biggest challenge in GMAT preparation is to be able to stay motivated and committed throughout the duration of your preparation.

Hope this helps.Good Luck

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by [email protected] » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:32 am
Hello,

I think a lot of great advice has been given by the above posters. We have also written about it here: https://gmat.crackverbal.com/effective-gmat-prep/

Speaking from a physiological perspective, the "reptilian" part of your brain has to be controlled. The part that tells us that studying for the GMAT is TOO much work because we need to THINK about doing stuff - what questions to solve, which books to read, how to analyse the answers .....the list of endless. Read more about it here: https://qr.ae/BUryJ

I want you to think of studying for the GMAT as a HABIT.

So what really is a "habit"? It is something that we perform without really thinking too much about the action. It is almost as if we do it subconsciously. For example like brushing your teeth. You wouldn't really worry about how much of toothpaste you have got on, how long you need to brush, how you will brush etc.

I tell my students that if they have to make studying for the GMAT a habit, they need to look at 3 things:

Image

a) What is the trigger or cue for you to start studying? Pick a specific time of the day - may late evening from 11pm to 12midnight. Just 1 hour but ensure you have an alarm that should tell you when to start. Once the alarm goes off DROP EVERYTHING and start studying. Don't think how/why/what - just do it! as the Nike ad says.

b) Perform the action itself. Ensure you don't spend too much time reading stuff on forums (<- like you are doing now :P)

c) Have a reward for a job well done. For some it could be a calendar with just ticks to indicate the days he/she studied. For some it could be watching their favourite soap without the guilt of GMAT (use the record function on your DVR). Prolong the pleasure till you are done - create a craving for it.

Let me know if this makes sense.

Arun

PS: This is inspired from a book I have been reading "The power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg https://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Habit-W ... PERX54JQ5K
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by JeffoV86 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:38 am
Thanks everyone! I'm overwhelmed by all the great advice! Studying doesn't seem quite so daunting as it first did.

When I first started studying again, I was pretty disorganized. Creating a schedule as suggested and getting right to it at my designated time (creating a habit) has made a big difference and it's also made it harder to fall for tempting excuses. Following the same schedule can be tough sometimes because my hours vary and work can be unpredictable with a lot of travel.

I've looked at online classes since they're flexible but I feel I like I'm understanding the material well enough that I don't need to take one. I have my friend's copy of the OG and also some of his assorted study guides. With my traveling, I've also been using a few apps like Prep4GMAT which has been great for helping me meet stick with my schedule. So far I've found that on a work day, about 1.5 hours is the max I can go studying before my eyes glaze over and I feel like I'm not getting anything out of it.

It's not much, but maybe mental endurance improves after a month? Anyway, thank you all again for the advice!

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by manyaabroadtpr » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:31 pm
Hi JeffoV86,

We are always there for your guidance.Do let us know how you do in your GMAT.

Good Luck

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by brianlange77 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:47 pm
JeffoV86 wrote:Thanks everyone! I'm overwhelmed by all the great advice! Studying doesn't seem quite so daunting as it first did.

When I first started studying again, I was pretty disorganized. Creating a schedule as suggested and getting right to it at my designated time (creating a habit) has made a big difference and it's also made it harder to fall for tempting excuses. Following the same schedule can be tough sometimes because my hours vary and work can be unpredictable with a lot of travel.

I've looked at online classes since they're flexible but I feel I like I'm understanding the material well enough that I don't need to take one. I have my friend's copy of the OG and also some of his assorted study guides. With my traveling, I've also been using a few apps like Prep4GMAT which has been great for helping me meet stick with my schedule. So far I've found that on a work day, about 1.5 hours is the max I can go studying before my eyes glaze over and I feel like I'm not getting anything out of it.

It's not much, but maybe mental endurance improves after a month? Anyway, thank you all again for the advice!
Hey Jeff:

Just checking in here -- how's it going? Sticking to the plan? Any lessons/best practices that you could share with other students who are likely to be in a similar place as you sometime?

All the best!

-Brian
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And I encourage you to click on 'follow' to track all my posts -- all the cool kids are doing it! :-)