How to prepare for GMAT while working

If you are associated currently in a full-time demanding occupation, preparing for GMAT simultaneously might seem a bit taxing to you. It is a growing matter of concern as GMAT preparation requires constant focus and a serious mindset. As GMAC is set to conduct this business school admission test online this year, it is important for the aspirants to understand how to prepare for GMAT while working. 

While other daily activities are obstacles, prioritizing the time set aside specifically for GMAT Preparation should not be compromised. Use the time carved out to keep polishing the mathematics and the English skills, which are vital components of GMAT exam In this article, we will give a few tips that will allow the candidate to follow the best GMAT Preparation practices to give them the best chance at beating the GMAT Exam as possible and hereby, achieving a twofold success.

Live Updates: Initiatives taken amid lengthy lockdown

As the world continues to keep their body and soul together amid the lockdown which had been imposed due to the new coronavirus pandemic, GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) decision makers have stepped forward for the sake of the students. GMAC released the online variant of the GMAT exam in April last year. For the first time, the GMAT exam was conducted in an online mode to help candidates meet their B-school admissions deadline. This exam variant  is open to all and would follow the protocols of the regular GMAT exam.

The new coronavirus has disrupted the admissions process at many schools round the globe. However, the dedication of test administrators needs to be praised as they are offering remote proctored solutions to candidates. This goes to show how educators are coming together to support each other through the crisis. While open to all test-takers, the GMAT Online exam format is intended to support aspirants working to meet upcoming business school registration deadlines.

Significance of GMAT in the recent years 

If we speak about GMAT, it has gained immense significance in recent years due to two underlying advantages. Advantages are that it specifically caters to the candidates who are looking to associate with the leading global B-Schools and that it is one of the biggest exams internationally, providing access to as many as 2300 institutes and into 7000 programs worldwide.


How to battle procrastination?

“Procrastination is opportunity’s major assassin”

A lot of working professionals find it very difficult to invest in GMAT preparation due to their extended work hours. Also, most of the employees procrastinate and keep the GMAT preparation on a hibernate mode till they reach the end. 

Here are some effective techniques you can resort to instead of procrastinating:

  • Study during morning hours. You have a refreshed and energized mind in the morning.

  • End work early and study right before you sleep. With fewer distractions`, this can improve your concentration.

  • Study for 2 hours on the weekdays and four hours on the weekends. Hit the books hard over the weekend. This would amount to 14-15 hours worthy of consistent preparation.

  • Create an effective study plan to meet the targeted deadline. A personalized study plan can save you 25% of preparation time and increase the likelihood of hitting your target GMAT score by 2 times.

  • Break down the GMAT syllabus into smaller chunks and complete one topic in one go. This would enable you to track your preparation and course correctly.


GMAT Preparation tips for Working Professionals

Here’s a brief lowdown of the best practices and learning methodology a working professional should resort to in order to hit that 700+ score on your GMAT:

  • Early and Consistent GMAT Preparation:

One of the most significant GMAT Preparation practices that the candidate must follow is the practice of continuous GMAT Preparation from the start. The syllabus of the GMAT Exam is such that it is unlikely that the candidate will run out of questions for GMAT Preparation. You need to be realistic and serious regarding your preparation. You need to devise a preparation strategy based on your syllabus summation. Summarize your syllabus and divide it into parts that require extra attention and parts that require a nuance brush-up.

  • Working strenuously to strengthen basics:

       This is something every GMAT aspirant must be ready with. Regardless of what follows, without clear basics, the GMAT Preparation just will not work. Covering the basics properly massively aids in preparing for GMAT at home. Because of the constrained time (between going for work and coming back), learning the basics by heart, will save a lot of time while attempting to solve the condensed questions in the later stages of preparation. Since GMAT syllabus is based on the fundamental mathematics and verbal concepts of 9th and 10th standard, the trick is to refresh the memory through consistent practice and further adapt tricks of solving questions under the shortest time possible. You can enroll in online classes to keep those basics stout and build a strong foundation. Basics matter!


  • GMAT Preparation tools:

Aspirants who prepare for GMAT have several options to prepare for GMAT. However, if you happen to go with the wrong kind of material, cracking GMAT is going to be a can of worms. Do understand the role of content in the entire preparation phase. It is not just a phase; it is about your future! Most working professionals cannot enroll themselves in a weekend training program as it would be physically draining. Find convenient study tools that can help you improve your GMAT preparation. You need to find a course that presents actionable content. Go through the recorded classes during your lunch time, commute or any free slot of time. This would help de-intensify the process.

  • Effective time management

Start with altering your daily routine. Try to sleep by 10:00 PM and wake up by 7:00 AM (Be a morning person!). Try to do a little workout or meditate for a while to rejuvenate your senses. Spruce up and go to the nearest coffee shop for a steaming cup of coffee. Try to be well rested and wake up before you start studying. Begin the day with investing in yourself. You can only study for 20 minutes, but with maximum concentration. By the time you get to work, you'll have put in a good amount of study time — that’s a great feeling to have in the morning. This will go a long way and have a positive impact on your future, believe that!

  • Discussion Forums

Working professionals are like thought leaders. They can make their own life better and enticing by orchestrating their own daily events better than anyone else. Learn from fellow GMAT aspirants and professionals to discuss the syllabus, ups and downs in one’s career and tricks of the tray shared by peers who have already attempted the paper at least once. Active and busy forums give you a spectacular opportunity to gain support, offer advice and further your career as you share in the community. Networking is the real essence!

  • Mock Tests:

One of the steps which needs to be stuck to religiously is practicing mocks on a regular basis. You can initially attempt a blind mock test without any preparation to analyze the amount of time and effort that could be required to ace the GMAT Exam. This will give you a fair idea of how much time and effort you need to cultivate, in order to get to the winning score. Practicing mocks on a regular basis helps you to understand which section is your strength and which section is your weakness. And once you are clear about where you stand in terms of the GMAT Preparation and where there needs to be more effort put, you can start to focus on the needed target areas. These will alleviate the chances of unpleasant surprises on the main exam day. Mocks are also the best way of getting an estimate of the score range that you can achieve during the exam day. This is quite important because it allows the candidates to get a realistic idea of which colleges they can target and customize their profiles.

  • Keeping stress at bay:

If you find that you need to spend more time on yourself, take a few days off work. GMAT is surely an important part of your career and future, but again, it’s just a part of your life! There is no point stressing over the preparation. You should allow yourself to give the best opportunity to achieve exam success. If you feel you are facing a lack of concentration, you can study at odd hours to balance your lifestyle. Are you out for lunch? Watch the lessons for some time? Are you headed to a relative? Watch the lessons in the cab. Are you working in the office? Find a corner to study where you are not disturbed constantly.  Do not let anxiety get to you, no matter what!

  • Setting short term goals

Break down your syllabus into smaller chunks and set short term goals. Remember, it is always advisable to pore over weighty tomes. But as a working professional, the learning might get a bit too intensive for you. Divide your syllabus into smaller portions, focusing on those portions that require the maximum attention. Once you feel you have bolstered your concepts, go in for the hard-hitting questions or lengthy section like the AWA section.

  • Blended learning predagogy:

It can be overwhelming to prepare for an exam which is known for having a high score bar but preparing the right way and taking the right steps will determine the result. While there are many tips and advises out there to obtain high GMAT scores, there are a few fundamentals that cannot be ignored. Keeping the above information in mind, follow a blended learning pedagogy (self-paced + faculty support). Attack GMAT Quant first. Move on to the verbal section next. You don’t need to join a GMAT coaching class. All you need is self-discipline, dedication, and the right sort of approach. With a blended learning approach, you can access live videos, e-books, question banks and assignments at your own comfort. You are your own teacher, remember that!


Conclusion


To fit in study sessions, you'll likely need to place several activities and tasks on hold, or at least until you're done preparing. For example, dinners and happy hours and ski trips and movies and Netflix are all enjoyable activities, but they're time-consuming. Let your close friends know that you're preparing for the GMAT and that you'll be missing in action for a few months. Keep in mind that the sacrifices you're making are temporary, but a top GMAT score and a degree from a strong business school are assets that pay dividends for a lifetime. A little sacrifice now will go a long way in the future.

Every candidate is different due to which the GMAT Preparation that they would require is slightly different. One thing that do not differ much though is the time constraint that they face due to their work. However, this is an obstacle that can be overcome If you have the dedication, proper routine, and a study environment. This is where GMAT Coaching Institutes come into the picture. For more information on Career Launcher’s GMAT program, click here.

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