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Zoltan L. Radvanszky, MBA

IESE Barcelona - Master of Business Administration

University of California Los Angeles - BS, Mathematics



About me

My name is Zoltan Radvanszky, and I am a Test Preparation Coach and Educational Advisor with Budapest and Vienna offices. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Math Applied Science from the University of California Los Angeles and a Master of Business Administration diploma from IESE Barcelona. Everything you will read below on efficient study methods is based on my extensive experience amassed during more than 15 years of private and group training of students ranging from the ages of 12 through 56: high school students seeking their first diplomas, top junior athletes juggling their schoolwork with their athletic responsibilities, university students and Fulbright grantees with work experience aspiring for a Masters Degree or PhD, as well as consultants and corporate executives shooting for an executive MBA. My experience with students and adult learners from all walks of life and all over the world in a result oriented, standardised learning environment has taught me certain common speed learning techniques and motivational methods.

The principles of efficient learning

As with anything truly revolutionary, the principles of efficient learning are fairly simple and limited in number. It turns out that efficient learning has three major pillars.

Perhaps the most important principle of efficient learning is INTERACTIVITY. Through taking mind map based notes, asking for clarifications and specific examples, voicing the right questions, students are able to connect new ideas with certain ideas from their prior knowledge, thus securing long term retention. Thus, I would like to urge you to ask me questions, raise objections, and help me with your observations. Interactivity, however, has several obstacles such as a lecture based learning environment, large class sizes, and the incredibly large amount of information to be learned every single day. So how do we cope with these challenges?

By learning to become SELF MOTIVATED - that is, taking responsibility for our own learning! So how can a parent or a tutor help a student to become more self sufficient in learning new knowledge? The answer is positive reinforcement: we need to show the teenager what’s in it for her or him! While negative reinforcement in the form of various punishments is easier to apply, it will only work in the short term, if at all. The “carrot approach” is superior to the “stick method” in that the former sticks into the brain of our child in the long term, once the teenager notices that the benefits mentioned by the parent are real. Thus, there is no incentive to cheat, which is a very real concern if we apply the “stick method”. So how can we, parents, actually implement positive reinforcement? Ideally, there is sufficient connection between the parent and the teenager to simply discuss the matter logically and the child will listen. However, we don’t live in an ideal world - both parents and children live in a rat race, which does not allow for quality time spent together. How do we proceed when the parent becomes like any other authority figure, viewed with suspicion by the teenager? Depending on how much you are in control of your time, there are two avenues to proceed. If you manage your own time, like I do as a private business owner, you will have to win back your child’s trust again by making and spending quality time together - time that both of you enjoy! Once trust is reestablished, you will be in the position to give advice on crucial matters such as studying, dating, going out, etc. and your child will finally listen. You must make your child feel again that you are both on the same side, instead of waging “war” against each other! What about if you are unable to make additional time for your children due to your work and other responsibilities? Then it is time to hire a professional who can quickly establish trust because the teenager has no chip on her shoulders in a new relationship: an athletic coach, an educational advisor, a career advisor, or an SAT tutor. Thus, the teenager will not only enjoy learning from such a professional, but also learn to apply this knowledge in the real world. The ultimate objective of learning, applied knowledge or wisdom, is thereby achieved. This, in turn, leads to the irreversible transformation of the person who is learning. A relevant example in this respect would be my experience with professional student-athletes whom I taught: almost invariably they proved to be very mature, coachable teenagers because they have learned to trust an adult - usually their coach and sometimes their parents as well.

Whichever avenue you pursue to win back her trust, once you succeed, your child will be eager to learn anything that truly helps her to cope with real world challenges. That brings us to the third pillar of efficient learning: RELEVANCE. You must be able to show your child that whatever she learns is relevant - in other words, related to her present and future real world! But be careful! Relevance depends on your child’s unique motivations, which might be different than yours! Therefore, knowing your own personality and your child’s personality is a must to achieve this relevance! For example, when I am tutoring someone, I first go through the above three step process, including learning about what makes your child tick. As a consequence, I am also able to give her a dozen page long, case study based career profile matching her interests and motivations. This CAREER BASED PERSONALITY DESCRIPTION proves to be invaluable as it unveils the unique personality strengths of the child, thereby increasing her self esteem - a crucial ingredient to efficient learning and the cornerstone of the trust I manage to establish between us. Ultimately, we end up working as a highly motivated team, helping each other in the process of learning. As a result, no two classes of mine are the same as I constantly learn how to refine my approach and my test taking strategies from each and every one of my students!

Time management through the 10 efficient study habits (ESH)

Once we have gone through the above mentioned 3 step process, we will be in the position to descend to a lower level, where we can credibly advise the teenager about the nitty-gritty details of efficient learning, the most important of which is TIME MANAGEMENT! As we probably all know by now, the ultimate scarce resource is NOT money, BUT time! Above anything, successful people have learned to manage their time appropriately and so we must instil this vital skill into our children as soon as possible. Time management in efficient learning is implemented in the form of developing effective study habits. What are the key components of these effective study habits?


Take mind map based shorthand notes and ask clarifying questions (if possible) in class in order to LISTEN ACTIVELY and to make yourself remembered by your teacher! Since it is extremely difficult to overcome a poor initial impression, try to do this from day one! Your teacher will value any kind of contribution, including kicking off a discussion on a difficult topic. Take risks when others play it safe! That will surely make you memorable in the eyes of any teacher!


Take advantage of the teacher’s office hours to clarify important issues! This is the equivalent of NETWORKING in the adult world; interacting personally with your teacher, you can make yourself remembered!


Review all your class notes immediately after you arrived home in order to maximise the long term retention rate of newly learned concepts with minimum effort. By doing so, you will reduce the time needed to review material right before an exam, test, or paper!


Do any homework due next day ONLY after reviewing today’s class notes! Why? Because you will save time before tests, papers, and exams, as well as you will be able to complete homework more quickly due to the first 3 steps above!


Any time you feel burned out after arriving home, be sure to do some active physical exercise - jogging, bicycle riding, table tennis, weight lifting, etc. - in order to relieve stress. Be sure to minimise travel time while doing so: ideally, you should do these things right at, or around your home!


Resist the temptation to do wasteful activities such as playing video games, spending too much time on social media and your mobile phone, or chatting online under the pretense that you are actually relieving stress through these activities. As a matter of fact, you don’t! You only procrastinate and when you get back to your studies you will be even more stressed because of this procrastination!


Resist the temptation to stay up late at night with the excuse of having to finish your homework. Remember! If you have to stay up late at night to finish your homework that is a sure sign that you haven’t been applying the Effective Study Habit steps above!!!


Reward yourself by making plans for the weekend! In addition to doing exercise regularly, thinking about your weekend plans you will be better able to focus on your studies during the week! Limit your social life to the weekends and make sure that it is based on personal interactions instead of online socializing! Your mantra should be: Quality, NOT Quantity!


Get to know yourself as soon as you can! Becoming aware of your personality strengths and weaknesses will help you in choosing electives at high school, declaring a major at university, and ultimately, choosing a profession you truly enjoy. Beware! Filling out internet based questionnaires does not achieve the desired purpose due to the predictability of the questions and our natural predilection of wanting to look good. The proper way to get to know yourself is to have a personal interview with someone who asks you practical, innocent looking questions, which mean nothing to you, but tell volumes about you to the right professional! Ideally, this process should be accompanied by career advising as well!


Balance your leadership skills with your team playing skills throughout your school projects. Be sure to participate in individual presentations, team projects, and extracurricular activities in order to enhance your acceptance chances at the top universities in the world!

Zoltan L. Radvanszky, MBA

  • IESE Barcelona - MBA
    UCLA Los Angeles - BS, Mathematics
  • Over 15 years of private and group test preparation experience; Coaching the full spectrum of the university application process.
    Reputation Maximization, Verifiable References, Private Test Preparation, Super Efficient, Career Advising, Educational Advising, Professional Mindset, Outstanding Inspirational and Motivational Skills
  • ELITE TEST PREPARATION: I helped my clients get into Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, New York University, Yale, Brown, Chicago, UCLA, USC, London Business School, London School of Economics, Warwick, INSEAD Fontainebleau, HEC Paris, IESE Barcelona, Bocconi Milan, University of St. Gallen, etc.