Coronavirus Impact: How to Prepare for the GMAT at Home
Last updated on April 30th, 2020
You can be from anywhere in the world, but you know that the recent global Coronavirus outbreak has brought your life to a standstill; We are all still trying to stay at home, still trying to work from home and some of you might still be trying to prepare for the GMAT at home, isn’t it?
At this point, we really cannot be sure whether everything will go back to normal even after a few months. So, wouldn’t it be better if we all got ready to do everything at home? And, if you have been trying to prepare for the GMAT at home, we have ten tips that will make your GMAT preparation from home easy.
Keeping that aside for a bit, did you know about the online GMAT exam that you can now take from home?
If not, here’s all you need to know about the interim GMAT exam introduced by the GMAC. The article covers all points that you
should know about taking the GMAT during the COVID-19 lockdown.
So, here are the ten tips that we would like to give you through this article:
Now, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been preparing for the GMAT at home from the beginning, or that you’ve just begun your GMAT preparation from home, you will definitely find our points very useful.
1. Have a goal/study plan when you prepare for the GMAT at home
You cannot crack the GMAT without a goal in mind. This goal is what should wake you up every morning. We know that it sounds exaggerated but you need the dedication and the want to crack the GMAT.
So before you do anything else, set a goal for yourself – this could either be that you will finish your GMAT preparation on a particular date or that you will get a 700+ score in the GMAT. You decide.
To achieve the goal, you need to have a study plan. So, how do you go about this? The most basic study plan will be to start working on the GMAT basics and then move on to the medium – level difficulty questions. Your final task will be to try and attempt the tougher questions.
But this is just a basic plan. You need to be equipped with a day-to-day GMAT study plan if you have to ace the exam. We are not going to leave you out in the dark here. We have come up with a solution that will solve all the GMAT-preparation-from-home-related problems for you.
Read this article till the end to figure out how you can ace the GMAT by preparing for the exam from home.
2. Demarcate study time for your GMAT preparation at home
Now that you are at home all day, every hour will seem the same. You will always feel that you have a lot of time left in the day. Procrastination will now become easier. But you will eventually end up doing everything else, but preparing for the GMAT. In fact, you might even end up completing your work from home but yet not get anywhere with the GMAT preparation.
To avoid this, you need to set an alarm and block the time on your calendar. Sounds simple, right?
You can set an alarm for two hours either in the morning or in the evening. You decide the time of the day based on your comfort.
But make sure that you study and do nothing else during this time. It is as important as any meeting or any other task on your plate for the day.
If you’re wondering whether two hours a day would be enough to crack the GMAT, the answer is YES!
(Psst…. provided you have good GMAT preparation resources! More on that later)
If you are working from home, you might want to wake up a little early in the morning if you want to accomplish your day’s study plan. If you are not comfortable waking up early, then you might want to look at a few hours after your office work is done.
3. Do not try to study for the GMAT
all the time
If you have been preparing for the GMAT, you already know what we are about to tell you.
But, if you are just about to start your GMAT preparation, you might want to make note of this point:
“GMAT requires intensity.”
You need to have 100% focus on the task at hand, which is studying for the GMAT at home
Initially when the lockdown began, didn’t you think that you would completely focus on the GMAT preparation? You might have been walking around with the book in hand all day or staring at the laptop screen all day, but not achieving your study goal, right?
Let us tell you this – You must sit and invest your complete brain power to study for the GMAT. You cannot be distracted during the study time. If you do, then you will end up reading the study material all day, but not even move on from the first line on the page for real.
And whenever you are not studying, just relax. Do what you love. Don’t feel bad if you ended up playing your PS4 for a few hours or you if you ended up gardening. Do whatever helps you relax your mind and don’t feel guilty about it.
As mentioned in the previous point, you need to demarcate the time to prepare for the GMAT at home. But how do you pick the time of the day? Look at the next point to get a better idea about it.
4. Understand yourself to prepare well for the GMAT at home
Are you someone who loves to wake up early in the morning, and feel all fresh and energetic? Or are you someone who sleeps in and hoards all the energy for the later time of the day? Not sure, is it?
But you must figure this out.
Once you know this, you will know how to pick your study time.
If you are a morning person, you can wake up a little early in the morning and start your GMAT preparation. You will be filled with energy at that time. You could probably study from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. or start at 5 a.m. and finish at 7 a.m., depending on your comfort.
If you are a late-night owl, then you can set your study time maybe after 9 p.m. There is no harm in it. As mentioned in the previous point, you need to be able to give your 100% focus during the chosen time. That is all that matters.
What if you don’t belong to either of the categories mentioned above? There is no need to panic. Pick a time in the middle of the day that you find comfortable. If you feel that you can focus on your GMAT preparation between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., you can choose that time slot.
Now that you know how to pick a study time, you need to ensure that you utilize those hours to the most. How do you do that? The upcoming points will answer this question for you.
5. Stay away from the internet during GMAT preparation
We live in a world where all of us are online all the time. We may be on Whatsapp or Facebook or Instagram or maybe even on Snapchat or Tik Tok.
While all these mobile applications are entertaining and also help us stay connected to each other in these difficult times, you must also know that these applications will waste your time. And you won’t even realize it.
Now that a lot of you are reading the GMAT material online, you will be using your laptop profusely. Your laptop will be the biggest source of distraction for you.
So, you need to make sure that when you prepare for the GMAT, you close all the other tabs and just focus on what is on the screen.
Also, try to keep your phone in another room – a small hack – but you will be surprised to see how little you would need to check it. If you have it on the desk next to you, you will be likely to check your phone a lot more.
If you think you need help with this, make use of applications like StayFocusd that will help you block websites that distract you. Once you train yourself for a few days, you might even be able to focus without the help of these applications.
6. Find a study zone to prepare for the GMAT at home
You cannot be walking around the house and preparing for the GMAT, right? You need to have a space where you can study, work out problems and completely focus on your GMAT preparation. This should ideally be a place where you cannot hear the clanging of the kitchen utensils or the sound of the TV.
If you have a home office, then great. For those of you who are not aware of a home office, it is a space in your house where you can sit and work. If you have a home office, you can sit there and do your GMAT preparation.
For those of you who do not have a home office, you should find a space where you can give undivided attention to your GMAT preparation. This could be the table where you sat and prepared for your twelfth-grade board exams or any space in your house that is filled with positive energy.
What if your study zone is occupied on a particular day? To avoid confusion and waste of time, have a back-up study zone ready from the beginning. If plan A doesn’t work, go for plan B instead. In this case, if your primary study zone is unavailable or occupied, use your secondary study zone.
7. Track your productivity while preparing for the GMAT
You know that your job is not done until you finish your daily studies effectively. Even if you have your allocated study time and a study zone, you may not be productive during those two or three study hours. You must have experienced this kind of unproductivity while you work from home as well, right?
So, how do you ensure that you have not been distracted during your study time? How do you ensure that you have made use of it?
To solve this problem, you can probably follow the Pomodoro technique. The technique will help you split your two hours of study and intersperse it with breaks to enhance your productivity. This is more like a self-rewarding technique and has been said to be effective.
Don’t get excited yet. First, we would suggest that you find out whether the technique works for you. You can check out this article to know more about the Pomodoro technique and also to see if it suits you.
Let us say that this technique works for you and you plan your GMAT preparation accordingly. You still need to keep your mobile phone away and unnecessary tabs on your laptop closed.
But you can try using the app FocusMe to use Pomodoro technique during your study time.
8. Be mindful during your GMAT preparation
A lot is happening across the globe with the current Coronavirus scenario. If you have been following the news, you know that the news channels keep giving an update every minute. But you need to understand that there is nothing you can do about the happenings in the world. The only thing you can do is to stay at home and be safe.
As a GMAT and MBA aspirant, you cannot be wasting your precious study time thinking about what is happening in the world. We are not asking you to be ignorant or insensitive. We are just asking you to focus on what you need to achieve during the demarcated time so that you can comfortably spend the rest of the day doing what you want or love.
If you think that you are getting disturbed by all that is happening around you, you can try using applications like Headspace or Calm. These applications will help you clear your mind of thoughts and bring your focus back to the task in hand.
We are suggesting these applications so that you do not have to spend time searching for them. If you think you can do without them, that would be the best. But there is no harm in using them.
9. Have an accountability partner when preparing for the GMAT
Do you stay with your family? Do you have your parents or your spouse at home who knows how you plan to prepare for the GMAT at home?
If you do, then one of them can be your accountability partner.
So, who is an accountability partner?
An accountability partner is someone who can help you stay committed to your goal. In your case, it would be studying for two hours every day with the utmost concentration and focus.
Remember when you were in your tenth grade and your mom and dad would keep reminding you to study? Some of your parents would have even disconnected the cable for a whole month or two so that you study well.
This scenario that you have right now is quite similar to that. You need someone who knows your study plan to remind you of your goals. They need to ensure that you study well without any distraction.
10. GMAT is not a battle; It is a game
As our last tip, we would like to tell you that the GMAT is not a battle. It is a game. And that is how you should see it.
As a child, didn’t you always love games? Didn’t you always want to win at games? It is the same with the GMAT.
It is just that you are not fighting against anybody but with yourself.
With each practice test, you try and improve yourself. You find new ways to solve a Quant question, you try to understand the verbal section like the back of your hand. And that is how you win this GMAT game.
Now that you precisely know how you can efficiently prepare for the GMAT from home, let us just quickly tell you the advantages and disadvantages you have right now.
Don’t get all worked up seeing the disadvantages. You can overcome these issues by putting the aforementioned 10 points into practice.
So, before you rush to find your study zones in your homes, let us just tell you about CrackVerbal’s one-stop solution to all the problems you will face when you start preparing for the GMAT at home.
We have come up with a Live at Home Mastery Program that will be of great help to you during your GMAT preparation at home. We have created this program keeping in mind the high quality of the classroom GMAT sessions in mind.
By joining our Live at Home Mastery Program, you will gain:
> Access to 80 hours of weekend GMAT sessions
> A study plan for each week
> Access to five full length mock tests
> Access to 1200+ questions (50+ topical tests)
You will definitely be entitled to more perks once you sign up for this program.
What are you waiting for? Schedule your free GMAT live class by clicking on the image below!