Categories: G GMAT S Study Tips B Business
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Sep 10, 2015


Not surprisingly the best thing you can do to improve your performance on the GMAT is to study. Still, procrastination runs rampant through the ranks of business school hopefuls. Don’t let this be you. Each day you put off your studies is another day that you no longer have to prepare, and with a test as important as the GMAT you are going to want all the extra prep time that you can find. Still, staying motivated as you study over the coming weeks and months is tough. Everyone is different, but here are some tips that helped me stay motivated when I was in your shoes.

Start Studying Now

Let’s make something clear right out of the gate. You will never find the perfect date to start studying. It simply does not exist. What does exist is the present and although I know you don’t want to hear it, studying now is better than doing so later. You will have more time to prepare for the test, your workload will be lighter on all the days to come, and you will save yourself a lot of future stress.

Make a Schedule

Studying for the GMAT is a huge endeavor. Unless you are a GMAT prodigy, there is no way you can study and master all the various elements of the GMAT all at once. Fortunately, you do not have to. Make a schedule and stick to it. Divide your study materials up over several weeks. This work may even be done for you already. Many prep books include study schedules in them.

Additionally, breaking your studies up will preserve your sanity. Locking yourself in a room for hours on end is not the most effective use of your time. There are lots of people who try this cram style of studying, but honestly it does not work as well as studying in blocks. Everyone has different lengths of time that they are able to focus. Find yours and use it to schedule your study days.

Reward Yourself

You are going to need a little extra motivation from time to time and it is alright to give yourself rewards. You have been working hard, there is no shame in celebrating it. Set up small rewards at periodic checkpoints throughout your day. These can be as simple as giving yourself a short break to stretch your legs and go for a walk around the block or allowing yourself to make a quick run to the freezer for some ice cream. Whatever you reward yourself with make sure that it is something you enjoy and that the reward fits the occasion. Studying for an hour does not mean you deserve to take a four hour break to see a movie with friends. There is a place for larger rewards too, but they should mark more major checkpoints in your study schedule. Did you just finish a full practice exam? Go ahead and take some time to see that movie or grab dinner with friends.

Keep your Friends and Family in the Loop

Everyone knows the GMAT is a tough test. What they may not know is that you are studying for it. Telling the people who care about you is a great way to stay motivated. You will want to do well to impress them as much as yourself. Good friends will keep you on track and encourage you to keep up with your studies. Additionally, there may be occasions that you miss out on because of your studies. You are making a major investment in your future by taking the GMAT and they will understand this.

Focus on your Goals

Why are you doing this? Everyone has different reasons for wanting to go to business school and whatever your reason is, focus on it. There will be moments while you are preparing to take the GMAT that you will question yourself. During these times remember why you are here and what scoring well on the GMAT will allow you to accomplish. Ultimately, the biggest source of motivation has to come from you.

Do you have any tips for conquering procrastination? If you do, please share them in the comments section. I hope you enjoyed this article and got something out of it, but the clock is ticking and you need to get moving on your studies!

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