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Studying for the GMAT in the Age of Social Distancing

This article is for all of you out there working from home, taking classes online, and generally avoiding all nonessential social interaction. First of all, thank you for your actions to protect public health! Second, you may be thinking, “What am I supposed to do with all this free time?”

Instead of using this extra time to stress over things you can’t control (the reach of this pandemic, the economy, and so on), we recommend making the most of the situation and focusing on something that you CAN control: your GMAT score. Think of how great it would feel to get the GMAT done and out of your life as soon as all of this is over!

There are several easy ways to incorporate more GMAT studying into your daily schedule. Here are some special GMAT study tips for the age of social distancing:

1. Read, read, read!

Take advantage of the time that you would have spent commuting to pick up a new reading habit. The Economist, The Atlantic, and Scientific American are the classic recommendations for people preparing for the GMAT. Aim for 45 min/day. If that sounds like a lot, break it up into two 20-25 min chunks. Many people say that reading is the secret to GMAT Verbal.

2. Complete short quizzes (with time!)

Have 20 minutes before your next conference call? Challenge yourself with a 10-question quiz! Use GMAT Club quizzes for Quant and build quizzes of OG problems (from your Post Course Plan excel sheets) for Verbal. Remember to follow good time-management strategies such as skipping problems if necessary to stay within the time limits.

3. Complete the GMATClub Question of the Day daily

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for the GMATClub QOTD. You’ll get one Verbal and one Quant question emailed to you every day at 11 am. Take 5-7 minutes away from your work to complete these problems and review the correct answers.

4. Read articles about test-taking strategies

Now’s the time to catch up on all those articles you’ve been meaning to read about GMAT exam strategies! Our Merchant blog has articles about mindset, concentration, and common test day problems. You can also read about time management, test anxiety, and retakes.

 5. Something is better than nothing.

If you’re struggling with motivation, remember that doing ANYTHING is better than doing nothing. Have 5 minutes? Do one problem or read one article. It all adds up.

These are just a few simple ways that you can improve your GMAT score while working or studying from home. Some of you may find yourselves with several additional hours of free time per day right now. If this is you, by all means, do even more than what’s listed here! Review all your summaries and rules, analyze all your past mistakes, and seriously reflect on your challenges with the exam. This is your chance to make big improvements in a short period of time.

Studying for the GMAT can be a good distraction during the coronavirus pandemic. If you can make these small changes to your daily schedule, you’ll be able increase your GMAT score while practicing social distancing.

Take the next step in your career today.

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Tim Jackson

Director of Student Success

- "Preparing for the GMAT and applying for an MBA requires a tremendous commitment, and that doesn’t take into consideration the personal challenges our students must face when deciding if they want to leave their friends, families, and native cultures behind to advance their careers abroad. An MBA is not for everyone and that’s precisely what makes this advanced degree so valuable. 

For these reasons, we at Merchant only work with students we are confident have what it takes to succeed throughout the preparation and application processes.

Given an increased demand in our services, we do not have the ability to offer free consultation services to unserious applicants. If you are interested in learning more about Merchant, please fill out this form. After reviewing your LinkedIn profile, our team will be in touch with you if we feel you are a good fit for our services."