6 Test Day Tips for Success


6 Test Day Tips for Success

1. Mentality

This first test day tip is pretty simple: the better you feel, the better you perform. Be sure that you are your best-self on test day. You should be well rested and nourished and present and poised (both physically and mentally). Pay attention to your posture and breathing, don’t let nerves get the best of you. Confidence is key, this does not begin on test day, but in the days, weeks and even months leading up to it.

In order to get your mind right, you must feel confident in your prep. Give yourself adequate time to prepare; don’t cram as this only increases anxiety. Your preparation will bolster your confidence come test day, especially if you are retaking the test. Recognize as you prepare, that there will be times where you feel stressed and possibly overwhelmed. You have to learn to accept these feelings and work to move beyond them. Learn from your mistakes and adjust your methods accordingly by putting your full energy into prep. Visualize yourself performing well on the test and the future opportunities that it will bring you.

Now that we’ve discussed your prep up until your actual test day, here are some test day tips to ensure that you will be totally prepared and confident:

2. Feed Your Brain

In order to ensure mental clarity, it is important to have a nourishing breakfast that will provide you with energy to fuel you through the duration of the test. A balanced breakfast is one rich in protein and whole grains. Some great protein-rich foods to incorporate into your breakfast include nuts or nut butters, eggs or yogurt. Whole grain options include; toast, oatmeal or granola.

3. Don’t Go in Cold

Though we don’t recommend last minute cramming or studying on test day, it is important to “warm-up your brain.” This can be done while you’re eating breakfast; take time to read the paper, work on a crossword or Sudoku puzzle.

4. Dress for Comfort

You might not think your outfit on test day will have much impact on your test score, but it does matter. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and dress in layers. Despite the temperature outside it would be a great inconvenience for a blasting AC unit or stifling heater to make you physically uncomfortable and unable to focus on the task at hand. Be sure you have a light jacket to battle a frigid classroom and even if it is freezing outside, be sure to layer a t-shirt under your sweatshirt. In the event you become overheated, you can remove your top layer.

5. Relax

Spend some time before you leave home getting into the right frame of mind. Admissions’ exams can cause great stress and anxiety. Practice behavior that will quiet your mind and calm your nerves. For some, this might be taking a moment to say a short prayer or positive affirmation. For others stillness comes through a few minutes of meditation. Many of us employ music as a tool to help us relax. You could even listen to your favorite artist en route to your testing center.

6. Pack a Snack

Here we are talking about food again! But, food really is fuel. Your short break would be well spent eating a snack that can propel you through the rest of the exam. Be sure to steer away from artificial energy boosters such as energy drinks or sugary snacks. Ultimately these things provide momentary highs ending with a crash that could really affect your ability to concentrate and finish strong. Instead, opt for a piece of fruit or handful or nuts and water to keep you hydrated.

Good Luck, hopefully you can employ these test day tips to complement your prep in pursuit of your dream score!

About the Author

Lisa Alvarado is a Managing Tutor with MyGuru. She holds a Bachelor's degree in History from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters Degree in History with a focus on the historic studies of race, ethnicity, and gender from Purdue University. As a tutor, Lisa enjoys guiding students through the college application process and begins instilling the skills necessary to apply to and succeed in college long before the application process even begins.

MyGuru is a recognized leader in 1‐1 tutoring and test prep and has a particular focus on delivering customized 1‐1 GMAT tutoring.

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