You’ve started planning ahead for your business school application, but have yet to take on arguably the most daunting task: preparing for your GMAT. After all, you probably haven’t taken a formalized test that holds so much weight since your SATs. How do you even start studying for the GMAT? It’s all about finding your study style and figuring out what works best for you.Know how you learn
Do you know if you’re a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner? You can take this quick quiz to find out or you can see which of the following descriptions best matches you!
Visual: You like to learn by seeing information. Your college notebooks are filled with notes, diligently outlined and color-coded. You love infographics because the information is neatly distilled into buckets. When traveling, you take in all the amazing sights and colors. You have a photographic memory of faces, but sometimes cannot remember people’s names.
Auditory: You like to learn by hearing information. You can listen to lectures and recite what the professor said, even if your notes are lacking. You enjoy listening to podcasts, books, and music in your free time. When traveling, you take in all the interesting sounds of where you’re visiting. You remember people’s names more easily than you remember their faces.
Kinesthetic: You like to learn by experiencing information. You loved drama and science lab because you learned by doing. You often have trouble sitting still in traditional classrooms and itch to move around. When traveling, you love different experiences and the way they make you feel.
Maximize your style
Have a grasp on who you might be as a learner? You’re ready to start studying! When making your study plan for the GMAT, take these following studying tips into consideration to maximize your learning style:
For visual learners: Find a quiet place free of distractions to study. Think a home office or a quiet area in a library. If you need to block out sound, try classical music or white noise. When studying, take notes and use practice resources such as a prep book. Distill the information into whatever way makes the most sense for you: outlines, graphs, or charts. Try using highlighters and colored pens to break up information.
For auditory learners: When searching for your perfect study location, think of somewhere you can talk. Try using voice memos to help you remember information for later. Seek out audio resources like podcasts to listen to vocabulary words and test tips. Study tricks like word association or a mnemonic device might help you. Don’t be afraid to seek out study groups, since talking about answers is a key way that you learn.
For kinesthetic learners: Find a study location where you can spread out and make studying into a hands-on activity. Try assembling key information into charts and diagrams with sticky notes or using flashcards to quiz yourself. Make sure to take frequent, but short breaks when studying to keep yourself focused. While reviewing information, try doing an activity like walking around or using a toy to keep your hands busy like a fidget cube.
Be patient when finding your perfect study style. Use trial and error to figure out what works best for you and remember that there is no one size fits all solution. You may be one learning style or a mix of them all. But one thing’s for certain, when you figure out your study style you’ll be one step closer to rocking the GMAT and getting into business school!