Making a Date With The GMAT

I’ve cleverly scheduled the test on Monday. I originally was going to do it on a Friday but my study buddy “H” so astutely remarked that it would be wiser to schedule on a Monday so that I could spend the weekend studying, instead of stressed out from working.  I take the test at 8 a.m. on Monday, and those who know me know that I’m definitely not a morning person. Uh oh.

Here’s the best part: That Friday, I fly to Vegas with my roommate and a gaggle of our girlfriends to celebrate our birthdays – her’s is in August, mine is in September. My actual birthday is close enough to Round 1 apps that I plan on having a cupcake and Mai tai shipped to the public library where I’ll be holed up battling writer’s block, rules banning candles and alcohol be damned!  It will be my very first time in Vegas…I’ve never had a strong desire to go but I figure it will be shortly after the GMAT and I’ll either need to celebrate, or make some terrible decisions so that I can feel better about my score. Ha.  Just Kidding. I’m starting to panic as it really is, crunch time.

My strategy for the next few weeks will consist of:

1. Taking a practice test weekly, in the similar environment as the testing center.  Actually follow through with Analytical Writing a few of the times, use the CAT that Manhattan GMAT and the Official GMAT offer, use earplugs and mimic the testing center conditions.

2. A dedicated study schedule that will follow, as closely as possible, 2 hours on week days and 5 hours on weekends. I have the entire Manhattan GMAT series to work through.

3. Detailed analysis and drilling of my weak spots. So far, it’s still Data Sufficiency, anything with probability and permutations, Sentence Correction here and there. Finding a way to stay alert through those dreaded Reading Comprehension passages.

As I post this from the Las Vegas airport amidst the clanging of the slot machines, I leave you with two questions and a request for your thoughts/ advice:

1. Would you recommend taking on additional responsibilities at work to grow, knowing it could cut into that precious study time or use that time to focus on GMAT and B-School preparation?

2.  How do you stay focused on GMAT preparation, and study strategies, when there seems to be distractions all around?

I hope to keep you all inspired and entertained as we schlep our way through this journey called applying to B-School!

Running to catch a flight.

Mango is a consultant in the Pacific Northwest who is applying to business schools so she would graduate in the Class of 2014. This report is adapted from her blog posts at Por qué MBA? One Girl’s MBA Application Journey!

Her previous posts on Poets&Quants:

Introducing Mango and her pursuit of a seat in the Class of 2014

Why I’m Applying to Business School

Applying to B-School Is a Marathon–Not a Sprint