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GMAT Tip: Relieving Test Anxiety in the Last Week

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Everyone gets nervous and anxious in the weeks and months leading up to test day, but what about the last week or two leading up to test day? If you’ve been sticking to a study plan and schedule, you may still be looking for ways to up your test day game.

• Inventory what you know. Don’t worry about trying to learn new material. You’ve already put in the time, so organize and review what you already know. Do shorter drills that focus on specific question types, topics and levels of difficulty. Think through your plan of attack for certain question types and topics and make sure you know what to look for so you can decide which approach to take on test day.

• Dress Rehearsal. Consider taking one more practice test, but ideally take it 7 – 14 days out so you have time to review your results and think through what you can do better on test day. Use your last few tests to practice things you’ve been working on in your study sessions. If they don’t work quite so well or take away from pacing, better to learn that lesson on a test that doesn’t count.

• And get a life. Remember all those things you put on hold or gave up while you were studying? Take some time during the last week to get back to activities you truly enjoy. It’ll give your brain a chance to breathe and provide a much needed distraction. Just remember, the GMAT is not a content test, so you’re not going to make significant strides by trying to cram and learn new material and skills in the last week. More likely than not, you’ll confuse yourself and set yourself up to make easy mistakes on test day. So go grab dinner with a friend and commit to talking about something that’s not the GMAT. Better yet, grab dinner with a friend who thinks the GMAT is the latest health food craze and not the potential gate keeper for B school.

You’ve done the work, and while eating well, getting good sleep, and practicing breathing techniques might not seem like the best way to spend your last week, these activities will go a long way in relaxing you come test day. Lay out your test day kit of snacks, what you’re going to wear, how you’re going to get there, and what you’re going to do after you finish. Remember, if you’ve done the work, the hay’s in the barn. Now it’s time to execute.

The above GMAT Tip comes from Veritas Prep. Since its founding in 2002, Veritas Prep has helped more than 100,000 students prepare for the GMAT and offers the most highly rated GMAT Prep course in the industry.