GAMSAT prep is pretty rigorous in itself, and the toughness increases by a few notches if you are working full-time while you prepare. But, tough as it may be, as the famous tagline goes, impossible is nothing, and you can sail through the test by following some simple guidelines.
This is the most important thing. It’s easy to get carried away in the initial throes of enthusiasm, but reality will set in sooner or later. Better be prepared.GAMSAT prep is tough, and you must make a proper schedule for yourself. And for that, it is essential to know how much your work demands, how much you have to study, what your financial situation is and what your other obligations are. You have to chalk your study schedule and register for the test all depending on that.
Know What Your Work Demands:
What are your hours? Do you have to stay back at work late? Do you have to bring back work home? These are questions you must ask yourself. Compromising on quality of work is of course not an option for a professional, so you must find a way of balancing these two. Remember, when you are working, the time outside of office hours is the only span you have to devote to GAMSAT prep, so this is the time you have to carefully divide.
Estimate How Much You Must Study:
Yes, the correct answer is ‘a lot’. There are three sections, and each demands equal attention. But how much do you need to work? For this, you must know your strong suits and pain points. What were your subjects? What are you good at and what gives you cold feet? Start off with those subjects you need to know from scratch. Devote the maximum time to them, especially if these are the science subjects where conceptual knowledge in important. Moreover, writing practice is essential as well even if you were pretty good at it as a student. Honing your skills is necessary; practice speed reading, solve logic puzzles and indulge in some brain training.
Know What Your Life Demands:
You are sitting the exam and GAMSAT prep is super tough, but your life cannot be put on hold for that! Neither can get in the way of the other, which is why balancing is all-important. Know your responsibilities well toward your parents, children, spouse and even pets. Make sure you deal with them efficiently enough so that they don’t intervene when you are studying. And, of course, it is essential to allow for emergencies.
Delegate Some Tasks:
You have already taken a lot on your plate. So, it’s absolutely alright if you cannot handle everything just the way you used to. Delegate some of the tasks. Picking the kids off from school can be taken care of by your better half, or, by a babysitter. Drop your kids off with your parents if you need some really solid chunk of study. Divide the housework with your spouse, along with all the little chores that take up so much time every day. It’s alright, your hard work is appreciated and encouraged.
Start Your GAMSAT Prep Earlier:
This is important for multiple reasons. First of all, you don’t have as much time as the others. There’s only so much you can cram in a single day, so start off with your GAMSAT prep earlier than the rest. If you wish to sit GAMSAT a year from now, start studying today. That way, you will be able to devote roughly as much time the others do. Besides, you need to get back to the schedule of studying, and that is a task in itself. You must allow some time for adjustment, and then you have to get back to brushing up your basics and your skills. You will of course need more time than the college-goers, given that you’ve been out of touch for quite some time. Begin earlier to catch up.
Take the Help of Technology:
The internet is a blessing in many ways, and your GAMSAT prep will benefit from this as well. Gather online resources if going to a library on a daily basis is not an option. Choose an online test service provider so that you don’t have to attend tuition classes. Watch videos to learn about the exam and all that you need to study. Audio-visual aids will also help you remember better.
Make a Daily Calendar:
This is important; what with your daily jobs and the added pressure of GAMSAT prep, there’s not going to be much free time left to you. Struggling to get everything done can make you go haywire, and that’s NOT GOOD. So, make a calendar. Chalk out the time you spend at work, and the time you must spend on daily chores. There’s also the time you must attend to your family. Now the rest of the time you have to spend studying, barring taking rest. Your study schedule will depend on how much you have to study, and also when you feel the most productive. A lot of us start studying really effectively only at midnight; for others, it’s the wee hours of the morning. Instead of studying in bits and pieces, try to fit in solid blocks of prep. That’s always way more productive than trying to snatch up information whenever you can.
You don’t have all the time in the world, so make sure your GAMSAT preparation is done smartly. Just learning up a lot and devoting a lot of time will not get you much further. So, be smart about how you study. When is the best time you internalise everything? Sit with your books then. Is it easier for you to understand listening to lectures or the old-fashioned, pen-and-paper way? Do you write everything down to remember better or do you need more visual aids? Find your thing. Practice speed reading. Use your leisure time qualitatively. Hold debates with your spouse and friends about current events; this will give you better grip on your essays. Read a lot; it’s good relaxation and builds vocabulary.
Give Yourself Some Latitude:
Getting back to studying after a long time can be stressful, but that is normal. Your brain has worked for a long time on professional and personal matters; it needs some time before it can fully adjust itself to a proper study pattern. Don’t beat yourself up every time you realise your mind is rather slow at responding. Allow your brain to settle down. The same goes for your physical state. It is likely to be worked more than it has in the last few years, which means you will find yourself fatigued and/or unable to concentrate. Give yourself time to acclimatise to the new GAMSAT prep schedule.
Don’t Overdo Things:
Going back to the first pointer: be realistic. About everything. Don’t expect too much from yourself. You are already a superhuman considering all that you have taken up on your plate. Avoid a burn-out at all costs; it will set you back a few degrees if you don’t. Set some time apart for relaxation everyday and every weekend. Spend time with your family, friends and pets, and, above all, with yourself.
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