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## Study Smart Over the Holidays

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Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, odds are your routine has been disrupted over the last week or two. It may be at least another week before things get back to normal. If you're juggling work and GMAT study, that has its positives and negatives:

More free time to study. You may be able to take advantage of extra days off to spend more time preparing for the test.

Disruption of routine. If you study every day before work, at lunch, or after work, days off aren't necessarily a good thing. This is especially true if you're spending time with family, who may have other plans for you.

In a perfect world, you would cruise through these obstacles, putting it at least as much time over the holidays as you would on "normal" days. But let's be realistic.

Whether it's because of year-end deadlines, social commitments, or something else entirely, this time of year can be stressful. A smart study plan allows you room to breathe: If you miss a day here or there, it isn't the end of the world.

Most importantly, don't overcompensate. If you don't study on Christmas, you don't need to work twice as hard the following day. That can be counterproductive, lessening the quality of that extra study time. Accept the fact that you've missed a day or two, try to avoid it happening again, and move along at your typical pace.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! No matter how crucial the GMAT may feel to you, it isn't the most important thing in your life, and you'll prepare more successfully if you can remember that.

About the author: Jeff Sackmann has written many GMAT preparation books, including the popular Total GMAT Math, Total GMAT Verbal, and GMAT 111. He has also created explanations for problems in The Official Guide, as well as 1,800 practice GMAT math questions.

 Total GMAT Verbal The comprehensive guide to the GMAT Verbal section. Recognize, dissect, and master every question type you'll face on the test. Everything you need, all in one place, including 100+ realistic practice questions. Click to read more.