Your undergraduate days are a thing of the past and you’re preparing yourself for the journey of earning a Master of Business Administration, or MBA. After thumbing through the course catalog, you’re quickly beginning to realize how ill-equipped you really are to handle the rigors of graduate school, especially if you plan to earn an accelerated MBA online. Instead of assuming you’re doomed for academic failure, commit five of the most effective MBA studying secrets to memory. With a little help and the right study group, you’ll make it to graduation day with your sanity intact.
In an effort to blaze through grad school as quickly as possible, many headstrong students sign up for a full course load the first semester. While this might seem like a wise decision straight away, the reality is that MBA courses are extremely difficult and even introductory courses require at least two to three hours of study time per day. Begin your graduate career slowly by taking a single course during your first semester. If you’re able to easily fit studying and lectures into your schedule, go ahead and sign up for two or more classes the second semester.
Study the Syllabus
After the first day of classes, read through each syllabus carefully. Create a study chart based on upcoming tests and essay due dates. For instance, if a certain professor enjoys scheduling major exams on Fridays, use this information to study accordingly, especially if a different instructor always sets a Thursday due date for research papers. Don’t forget to factor your social, personal and work responsibilities into the chart. You could wind up studying for a test during your child’s piano recital or putting the finishing touches on a paper at a wedding.
Discover Your Learning Style
Do you prefer studying first thing in the morning, or are late-night, pizza-fueled sessions more effective? Is silence necessary during study time, or do you prefer a little background noise in the form of a radio or television? If you haven’t done so through your years of schooling, determine your learning style. Many websites feature simple, two to three-minute quizzes that help you determine if you’re a visual, kinesthetic or auditory learner. It may seem ludicrous at first, but you’ll be amazed at how focusing in on your learning style can help you make the most out of every study session.
Start a Study Group
There are times in life that necessitate shutting yourself off from the outside world in order to study or complete a rigorous assignment. However, in many instances, nothing makes for a more productive study session than a second, third or fourth point of view. When it comes to organizing and joining a study group, you only need to follow two simple rules. The first is never under any circumstances study with close friends. In most cases “studying” turns into gossiping about a mutual acquaintance or discussing your personal problems. Secondly, always study with people who challenge you intellectually, even if they’re too fastidious for your taste. Even if it means giving up your favorite social activity or pastime, make attending these study groups a top priority.
Know When to Ask for Help
If you’re really struggling with a particular course or concept, it’s important to know when to throw in the proverbial towel and ask for help. The best place to begin is a fellow classmate, including one who’s in your study group. If the individual is having difficulty with a course in which you’re excelling, take advantage of one another’s strengths. Another option is seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable, established professional. For instance, seek out the services of a friend or colleague from a past summer internship. As a last resort, look to the professor for guidance, but don’t expect too much support. At this level, many instructors assume their students are well-versed in a variety of subjects and will expect you to work through any academic difficulties on your own.
After the first few semesters, you’ll quickly begin to realize the ins and outs of succeeding in an MBA program. The experience will be challenging, but all that studying, stress and lost sleep are well worth the knowledge that you’re one step closer to achieving your vocational and financial goals.
About the Author: Stephanie Harrison is a guest blogger and recent graduate. She recommends Benedictine University online for its accelerated MBA program.