New York may be the City That Never Sleeps, but what if it’s also the city in which you need to study?
It’s always difficult to study for a standardized test, like the GMAT or GRE, but it’s uniquely difficult in New York, where the temptations are more tempting (and accessible) and where the logistics are more difficult. (Roommates, anyone?)
Frankly, I don’t think anyone can go it alone when preparing for these tests, but I know they can’t do it here. Think about it, for a moment, does your gym have trainers? Classes? Why? Because everyone knows that they need help getting into shape, so why would anyone think that they can go it alone on studying? Fitness, at least, can be fun, but who enjoys studying? [Okay, who other than your partners at Test Prep Unlimited? But they’re experts; we expect experts to like what they’re doing; For the rest of us, this is just an unpleasant obstacle that we need to overcome and never, ever think about again.]
First, you’ll need to develop a plan and a schedule to meet it. Otherwise, it’s just too easy for your study time to get pushed aside in favor of everything and anything else. I know that you’ve just been invited to the greatest [insert your favorite thing], but you’ve got to remember that’s your study time. At least, it would be your study time if you had a schedule. And you’ve got to remember that you need to reach Milestone X by Date Y – which means you need a plan that includes Milestone X.
Look, no NFL team goes into the week thinking, “We’ll get ready by Sunday.” They have a very specific agenda for each and every day of the week; you need one too. Of course, your plan won’t look like my plan, which is precisely why you need the experts at Test Prep Unlimited to help you develop your plan.
And to keep you honest. Self-monitoring quickly becomes self-cheating – sorry, it’s just a fact of human nature. Especially in New York.
Second, you need a dedicated study space or spaces, depending on your schedule. Of course, it’s hard to find quiet space in New York, but that might not be all bad: after all, you’re likely to take the test with other people, so getting used to working around others is important.
Yet, I hope you won’t be taking the test on the subway. Or in a crowded restaurant. You need to find a space that’s quiet, even if it isn’t exactly isolated.
Third, you need to ditch the electronic distractions – no phones, laptops, or pads. Again, it’s just human nature: You can’t concentrate with those things around you, and these tests require your full attention.
You’ve come too far to cheat yourself out of your best shot at the school of your dreams. Like New York itself, the best schools are expensive – You took the time (and spent the money) to get yourself into New York; Now, take the time (and spend the money) to get yourself into the best schools. You never expected to find a cheap place to live in New York City, but you got yourself there anyway; why would you expect to find a cheap way into graduate school?
(This article was written by Chris and Michele, a Harvard MBA/Yale JD power couple who also just so happen to offer the best MBA admissions consulting on the block!)