Attending graduate school has many benefits that will help you advance your career. But, preparing for an entrance exam can be daunting—the extensive hours required to gather information, read, memorize and practice different strategies, along with anticipation of a quickly approaching test day can be extremely stressful. Adequate preparation is crucial for achieving a high score on any entrance exam. In fact, on average, students spend approximately 600 hours studying for the GMAT. That said, it is imperative to find a study-life balance. Overworking yourself will result in a drop in your brain’s attentional resources.
If you’re finding it difficult to justify study breaks, here are a few ways you can remain productive during your time away from the books.
#1. Make a healthy snack
It’s important to stay energized while you study. Students often to get so engulfed in their studies that they forget to take care of themselves.
Remember, if your body is tired and weak, your brain will follow suit. Blueberries, salmon and various nuts and seeds have all been scientifically proven to help boost your memory. When you need a quick study break, try snacking on some brain-food.
#2. Take a few moments to get organized
If you’re in need of a study break, but still want to do something that will help you prepare for exam day, try taking a few moments to update your schedule. When will you be studying and how much time will be allocated each week?
Without a detailed schedule, it’s easy to let studying slip through the cracks. You want to ensure that you are adequately prepared for when exam day arrives. You must have a well-rounded knowledge of all topics. Having difficulties creating your own study schedule? A GMAT prep course can help you stay organized, ensuring you stay on track and don’t miss any important exam details.
#3. Take a walk around the block
If you find yourself starting to lose focus, step away from your notes and try taking a walk around the block. The fresh air will give your mind a chance to rejuvenate, and getting your body moving will help to avoid any restlessness when you’re ready to hit the books again.
#4. Close your eyes and reset
Sometimes you just need a few moments to turn your mind off and relax. Overwhelming yourself by attempting to absorb too much information at once will be counter-productive. If you begin to feel like you can’t retain any more information, take 15 minutes to separate yourself from any books, notes or technology—just close your eyes and allow your brain to reset.
To be sufficiently prepared for any graduate school entrance exam, a significant amount of studying is essential. Ensure you have enough time to learn the required information at your own pace—attempting to cram will not optimize your performance on test day. And remember, don’t be afraid to take a break when you need one.