After weeks of preparation, the GRE sits on the horizon. You’ve spent hours and hours attacking practice problems and testing out strategies in mock tests. Now the time has come to apply all that you’ve learned. And there is a lot you can do to optimize what you’ve learned. But there is a lot you can do to derail what you’ve learned.
One Week Until the GRE (7 Days Left)
Keep the intensity high and continue to study. No need to change anything at this point. If you are unsure what to do in your final week, here are some suggestions:
- Take a practice test 5 – 7 days before the actual exam so that you can practice your pacing and build up your stamina for the long test ahead. Make sure to include all the essays and an experimental section too.
- Review your notes, especially problems and concepts that you have struggled with. It’s important to have everything you’ve learned fresh in your mind on test day.
- Any practice you do at this point should be timed.
- Work on your weaknesses as much as you can.
One Day Left
Do nothing! That’s right. It might seem counterintuitive and it might seem like the last thing you should do, but you need to rest up for the big day. Cramming is not going to help you one bit on the test.
- No test preparation all day! Seriously!
- Eat a large, healthy, leisurely dinner—no alcohol!
- Lay out all that you will need for test day.
- Go to bed earlier than usual.
The Day of the GRE
- ABSOLUTELY NO LAST MINUTE TEST PREPARATION!
- Eat a large breakfast, full of protein.
- Do relaxing, fun activities to pass time until the test.
- Light exercise is a great way to burn off anxiety and prime your mind for the test.
What to Bring to the Test
- A liter of water
- Healthy energy-packed snacks (nuts, protein bar, etc.)
- On breaks, make sure to get up and move. Moving and stretching the large muscles of the body (legs, torso, and back) will get oxygen flowing, which will help keep you awake and keep you thinking clearly.
The power of positivity thinking is profound. Every person at every moment freely decides their attitude. Regardless of all else that is happening or will happen, we all choose how we react and deal with struggles, challenges, and adversity. Now you are faced with quite a challenge—the GRE. So choose to walk into that testing center with some swagger. Stand tall and choose to be positive. Decide that you will totally dominate the GRE. Be confident in your abilities and trust yourself. At that point, you have no other recourse. You first must believe that you can dominate the GRE and reach your target score. After that anything is possible.