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Managing a full-time job and GRE prep

David Recine - October 08, 2019

Balancing a full-time job and GRE prep before MS Engineering degree

If you’re thinking of going back to school for a grad degree, you’ve probably got a day job right now. 

When you work full-time, GRE prep can seem quite daunting. But take heart. Many people have balanced their full-time job with successful GRE prep, and you can too!

Use your GRE prep time strategically

Obviously, if you have a full-time job, you’ll need to do most of your GRE prep before work, after work, or on days when you don’t work. 

But what’s the best way to make use of this time?

It’s important to remember that certain GRE prep activities require hours of uninterrupted study. A GRE practice exam takes well over 2 hours. In addition, many GRE preppers benefit from spending 3 or 4 hours straight on certain intensive prep activities.

Because of this, you’ll want to make sure that all of your most time-consuming GRE prep is scheduled on weekends. 

Weekday mornings and evenings should be reserved for lighter activities. Use your work-week spare time to review the things you studied on the weekend, and to study for upcoming weekend practice tests.

Take days off work for GRE prep

Whether a day off cuts into your paycheck or only cuts into your PTO, taking a day off from work can be worth your while. 

A 3-day weekend can do wonders for your ability to really focus on an important part of your GRE prep. 

And taking several days off before the test itself can be very beneficial. If you have seasonal vacations, time your GRE exam for those vacation periods if you can. Just make sure you can focus on your studies as much as possible in the days leading up to the test.

Use internet resources to study the GRE anytime, anywhere

Don’t get me wrong, there are quite a few excellent print books that teach the academic principles of the GRE. But, when you’re balancing your GRE studies with full-time work, the convenience of digital test-prep is a lifesaver. 

It’s important to have access to e-books anytime, anywhere. You can’t carry a stack of huge GRE books to work with you. But you can have electronic GRE prep at your fingertips in the office. These kinds of materials can be available during lunch breaks, and accessible the moment you clock out.

As a busy professional and grad school hopeful, we know you need fast access to study materials that fit into your life – and your budget. 

Magoosh GRE offers a range of GRE prep resources - including this list of GRE books you can use on your phone, tablet, or computer. 

And, just as you’ll find on the Prodigy Finance blog, the Magoosh blog offers extra tips and motivation that you can access at any time. 

Using your GRE to apply to international MS Engineering programmes?

Once you've been accepted, you'll need to find the financing to attend your dream international school. And, Prodigy Finance is ready to help you with an international student  loan. Worry about the GRE, not the finances. 

Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Post updated for accuracy and freshness on October 8, 2019. Originally published on December 07, 2016.

David is a test prep expert at Magoosh. He has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has been teaching K-12, University, and adult education classes since 2007 and has worked with students from every continent.

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