Studying for your GRE is hard enough even when you’re dedicating your full time and effort. Doing so while you’re working a full-time job doubles the difficulty. You have to make sure that your job performance is consistent and make sure you don’t fall behind in your GRE preparations. This means strategically putting in extra time and effort to make the most out of your preparation.
The GRE is undoubtedly a challenging exam. The good news is that the dedication and determination you demonstrate in deciding to take it while working proves that you are up for the challenge of both the exam and grad school itself.
Understand the Test
The first thing you need to understand if you want to balance your work and studies is the exam itself. The GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) test is a basic pre-admission exam aimed at business and law school hopefuls after graduation. The test is divided into four sections: verbal, analytical (split into two subsections: issue task and argumentative task), quantitative, and analytical.
The combined time limit for the exam is three hours and forty-five minutes. The test is designed to gauge the examinees’ skills in multiple subjects, including math, English, logic, and analytical skills.
Create a Schedule
In this situation, time is of the utmost value for you. This is why you need to create a study schedule that fits your work schedule. Design your routine in such a way that it covers all the subjects and topics. Make sure to allot more time to your weaker subjects and topics.
Streamline your study schedule in such a way that you can incorporate it into your daily routine. Ensure that your work priorities are in order, along with your study priorities. Creating a study schedule for your GRE isn’t that difficult if you know how. You can incentivize yourself by establishing milestones and rewarding yourself for meeting those milestones.
Don’t Skimp On the Study Materials
Your study materials are just as important as your study schedule. And since you’re working full-time, you need to invest in high-quality materials that can significantly reduce your preparation time by targeting the areas in which you need the most practice. For example, if you particularly struggle with math, be sure to get help preparing for the math section of the GRE.
Aside from taking notes and re-reading textbooks, you should also take mock tests and consider courses that will help you overcome stumbling blocks in your weakest subjects. Understand that you might need to spend more on study materials as a full-time worker than the average person who has more time to study.
Strengthen Your Support Structure
Having proper support while preparing for your GRE, along with a full-time job, is very important. You’ll have to spend the majority of your free time studying for the upcoming exam. Unfortunately, your study time means you’ll have less time to spend with your family and friends. During times like these, your family and friends have to show you extra support and understand if you can’t perform your usual obligations.
Doing chores and tasks like housework, taking care of children, mowing the lawn, cooking, and more will need to be put on the back burner. Ask for support from your loved ones, whether it be old notes or understanding the pressure you’re under. Never shy away from asking for help when you need it.
Connect With Others In a Similar Position
Another good way to alleviate the stress is by connecting with others who are in the same position as you preparing for the test. You can interact with each other and help cover each other’s weaknesses in different subjects and topics. Form a study group and meet together after work for a short study session before heading home.
This group can consist of friends, acquaintances as well as colleagues. As long as the other person shares a common goal with you, both of you can help each other by sharing resources and tips. You also have the benefit of having the emotional support of someone who can empathize with you.
Study Smart, Not Hard
With full-time work being a significant hurdle in your GRE preparation, you need to work smart instead of working hard. Invest in the right materials, get help from the right people, and prepare with comparative ease. Just make sure you don’t harm your health by putting too much stress on working and studying.