Being in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program can prepare you for a satisfying career in business. During this kind of program, you’ll study different aspects of business and develop leadership skills, communication skills, and other skills that are vital to professional success. MBA degree programs can be challenging, whether you’re in-person or online. In addition to learning new material and working on your skills, you’ll be doing projects, taking tests and exams, and completing other assignments.
While the workload for an MBA program might seem intimidating, having good study habits right from the start can help. Forming strong study habits can make it easier for you to stay on top of all your work and prepare for tests and exams. How should you approach studying as an MBA student in order to succeed? These MBA study tips can help you thrive in your degree program:
1. Gain a Clear Understanding of MBA Program Requirements
The first step in building study habits is making sure you understand all the requirements for your MBA program. Go over the classes you’ll be taking this semester and look ahead to see what kinds of classes you can expect to take later. Knowing what kinds of material you’ll be learning can help you come up with a plan to study throughout your MBA program. While going over requirements, you should also look for information on projects, assignments, and exams for your classes. Having an idea of what you’ll be studying can help you prepare.
If you’re still in the process of applying to MBA programs, it’s important to go through all the requirements, such as admissions tests and essays. If you’re taking the GMAT or another MBA admissions test, look up MBA exam tips to help you prepare. If you’ve already been accepted to an MBA program, go through the requirements you’ll need to complete to graduate. While you have time to meet these, keeping them in mind can help you create study goals.
2. Identify Your Learning Style
Knowing what your learning style is can help you create good study habits. Everyone has their own learning style that makes it easier to understand new concepts. These different styles are based on varying approaches to learning new material, such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. If you’re a visual learner, for example, having visual aids to use for studying can help you prepare for exams and tests in your MBA program. If you’re more of an auditory learner, though, these visual aids can make it harder to understand what you’re learning.
Visual learners rely on visual aids for learning, while auditory learners do better listening to material rather than seeing it explained in written form, symbols, graphs, or other visible ways. Kinesthetic learners use a hands-on approach to learn material, while reading and writing learners rely heavily on written material to understand new concepts. Once you know what your learning style is, you can adapt your study habits accordingly.
3. Map a Regular Study Schedule
Studying every now and then or only when you need to master difficult material doesn’t help you form an effective studying habit. Instead of occasional or random studying sessions, come up with a regular schedule for studying. How often should you study, when should you study, and how long should your study sessions be? The answers to these questions depend on what you’re learning or whether you have any exams coming up.
You might want to schedule shorter study sessions daily instead of having one long study session on the weekend. Doing this helps keep material fresh in your mind. Your study sessions might need to become more frequent or slightly longer as you move on to more challenging or complex material in your MBA program. When you come up with a regular study schedule, write it down and set reminders for yourself, so you can easily keep track of when to study.
4. Create an Effective Study Space
As part of your MBA preparation, set up a spot that provides a good study space. Having a designated space for studying can help you get into the right frame of mind for focusing on schoolwork and preparing for exams. Avoid studying in an area of your home that gets a lot of foot traffic, such as the kitchen table, since this can easily distract you. You should also avoid studying in a place that’s a bit too comfortable, such as on the couch or on your bed. These areas can make it too easy for you to doze off while you’re trying to study.
Your ideal study space should be at a desk or table in a quiet area of your home where you’re unlikely to be disturbed. If possible, this should be in a closed-off room where you can keep notebooks and other school supplies handy while also having a spot to set up your laptop or tablet to pull up notes and assignments. A home office or bedroom with a desk and chair can work well as a study space. Make sure everyone in your home knows not to bother you while you’re studying so you can concentrate.
5. Take Advantage of Study Apps and Technology
When you’re working on building study habits, technology can be a big help. Study apps and other tech tools can make it easier for you to form good habits. You can use these apps to take notes, stay organized with to-do lists, set up schedules, and manage your time more effectively. Study apps and other tech tools can be used on your phone or tablet, so you’ll always have them available.
Whether you need a convenient way to organize your notes or set up reminders for study group sessions or your own studying sessions, look into apps for your phone or tablet. Having these apps and tech tools handy can free up time and brain energy, so you can focus on your studies instead.
6. Get Support with Study Groups
Studying on your own can work at times but having study groups to turn to can be incredibly helpful. Study groups of fellow MBA students can provide you with support as you work through learning and understanding new concepts and materials. If you’re having trouble remembering some information or grasping a certain concept, members of your study group might offer ways to help you out. Studying as a group might make it easier for you to remember different concepts or fully understand new material. You’ll also have a chance to provide this kind of support to your fellow study group members.
You can meet with study groups on a regular basis throughout your MBA program, which can be a good option if you need support often. However, you might only turn to study groups at certain times during your MBA program, such as when you have upcoming exams or tests. How often you join study groups depends on how much help you want or need.
7. Utilize Student Services or Tutors
While apps and study groups can help you with your studies, there are other resources to explore as well. Look into student services at your MBA school to see what kinds of assistance are offered to students who need help with their studies. You might have access to tutoring services that pair you with someone who can help you better understand the material you’re learning in your MBA program. Tutors can also help you go over material you’ve already learned to prepare for exams and tests. You can also turn to tutors for advice and guidance on forming good study habits, such as how to manage your time better or how to stay organized.
8. Keep the End Goal in Mind
While you’re busy building effective studying habits, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re striving for. Think about the end goal, which is earning your MBA, so that you can build a rewarding career. When you’re feeling anxious or stressed during your MBA program, remembering your end goal can help calm your mind. Knowing that all the studying you’re doing is part of achieving that goal can help you continue feeling motivated to do your best.
Keep in mind that building effective study habits as an MBA student takes time and effort. Getting started on these habits as early as possible can help ensure you’re ready to use them when you begin your MBA program. As you go through your degree program, having these habits can help you do well in all your classes. Whether you’re studying for an upcoming exam or working on a project, you can use these study habits to help you stay focused and accomplish your goals.
If you’re looking into MBA programs, contact the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). Our school offers a flexible option with online classes and in-person classes. We have a fully online MBA program available as well. We can give you details on the kinds of classes that are part of our flexible and online MBA programs and let you know how to get started on the admissions process at UTC.