10 Tips for G-Day: Exam Day Strategies

When it comes to getting a great score on the GMAT, knowing how to answer the questions is only one piece of the puzzle. You also need to know how to optimize the conditions needed to achieve that great score.

So, here are some things to consider for the big day.

Get a good night’s sleep before the test

This one seems pretty obvious, getting a good sleep does not mean jumping into bed and hoping for the best. A long, deep sleep the night before your test is far too important to leave to chance. You need to do whatever it takes to maximize the likelihood of a restful sleep. If that means refraining from caffeine all day, doing mental imagery exercises, or sleeping with earplugs and an eye mask, do it. If it means booking a hotel closer to the test center so that you can sleep in peace, do that. On a similar note, do not wake up early on test day for a last-minute cram session. At this point, 2 extra hours of sleep will have a much bigger return on investment (ROI) than 2 hours of cramming.

Eat a good breakfast an hour before the test

Studies show that doing so will sharpen your cognitive skills and give you more stamina. Also, be sure to eat something during your breaks.

Dress in layers

First, you never know what the temperature of the room will be. Second, stress can elevate your own body temperature. Third, your comfort is of utmost importance. So, save your suit and tie for another day.

Improve your GMAT score with Magoosh.

Arrive early

Very early. The last thing you want to do is begin the day anxious about reaching the test center on time. Give yourself a big buffer to account for any delays such as traffic and vehicle breakdowns.

Scope out the facilities before the test

Remember, that the entire testing process can last up to 4 hours, and during this period you’re allowed only two 8-minute breaks. So, you certainly don’t want to spend any of those precious minutes trying to locate the restrooms and water fountains.

Have strategies for stress reduction and time management

Well before test day, you should identify techniques that will help you remain calm and focused during the test. The techniques that work best for you may be different from what works best for other people. So, be sure to find the techniques that work best for you and practice them . . . a lot! The same goes for time management strategies.

Speak up if your conditions are less than perfect

If there’s something that will impede your ability to effectively focus on the test, speak up . . . before the test begins. Is your chair adjusted properly? Is it quiet enough for you? Are there any distractions? If there’s some way to make your test experience better, see if the test-center personnel can help.

Use the tutorial time wisely

The GMAT begins with a tutorial. If you’ve practiced with mock tests, you need not pay attention to the information on the screen. Instead, use this time to calm your nerves, clear your head and remind yourself of the relaxation techniques and time management strategies you will employ during the test.

Pace yourself

Yes, it’s easier said than done. You have a perfectly viable time management strategy; just don’t forget to use it.


This not only keeps a healthy supply of oxygen flowing to your brain but also helps to reduce your anxiety.

Improve your GMAT score with Magoosh.

These simple, common sense tips will help you maximize your performance on test day.

Ready to get an awesome GMAT score? Start here.

Most Popular Resources

No comments yet.

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply