offers hundreds of GRE video lessons and practice questions. Go there now.
Sign up or log in to Magoosh GRE Prep.

Last Minute GRE Tips

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.

 

Closing Thoughts

The power of positive 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.

 

About the Author

Kevin has taught for over ten years from San Francisco to Japan, helping students prepare for tests, like the GRE, GMAT, and SAT. He enjoys sharing what he learned, so even more students can achieve their goals. When he is not helping students dominate standardized tests, you can find him in the Pacific Ocean or on a granite dome in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Follow him on Google+ and on Twitter @KevinRocci!

4 Responses to Last Minute GRE Tips

  1. vani September 25, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    Thanks for the great tips, Kevin!

    • Kevin
      Kevin September 25, 2014 at 9:36 am #

      Happy to help! :D

  2. Sarah Ghabrial August 21, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

    Great blog! I’m getting to write the GRE tomorrow. I’m going to walk in with a lot of swagger and aim for the scores I want! :)

    • Kevin
      Kevin August 22, 2014 at 9:53 am #

      YES!! Swagger in there and show that test who’s the boss! :D


Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will approve and respond to comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! :) If your comment was not approved, it likely did not adhere to these guidelines. If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply