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philopsych

Tips on stamina? (GRE)

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Hey everyone. I'm taking the GRE in mid September. I'm doing fine with studying the material and getting practice problems right. Even so, when I take practice tests, I don't have the stamina to perform  adequately on the test. On the last test I took I was so burned out by the time I got to the last section that I just didn't have the energy to accurately do the math. If the test was only 2 hours, then I think I'd be okay. I just can't keep my energy up for the full length of the exam. Do any of you have any tips on how to increase stamina to help with success on the test?

I plan on taking at least one practice test a weekend leading up to the test, so hopefully that helps. 

 

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Hi philopsych,

I'm not sure if this is the same as what you experience but for me I tend to lose focus as I get to the latter parts of the GRE. What helped for me was to take full advantage of the break times. I'm not sure if you're including the break times when you take your practice test but it is absolutely helpful to take the time to do a mental reset! For me, I would take a short walk around the room, drink some water, eat some snacks and do some stretches. I did see other students bring face wipes or little bottles of aroma that they would use to refresh themselves during the break time.

If your stamina problem persists, it may be advantageous to pause briefly in some of the sections. Maybe for only 30 seconds or a minute. Obviously we don't want to take a lot of time away from your other sections, but it may help your overall performance.

Probably best to experiment with different methods while you take your practice tests so by the time you take your real test you have an idea of what works for you.

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Take a walk during the intermission and clear your head from the past sections. If you've done well, your second half of the GRE should be a lot harder.

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I don't know if this is applicable for you, but I had one section that I was much better at than the others. I scored in the 160s on the verbal without much effort, and it took me around ten minutes to finish and check over that section. Instead of immediately diving into the next section, I treated my remaining time like a small break (especially since the next section would be quant, and I was much worse at that). I'd let the timer run and lean back in my chair and relax until I felt ready to go on or my verbal section time ran out. 

It's worthy of note that you only get one extended official break during the middle of the exam. During the short two minute breaks between sections you will not have easy access to water/the bathroom/etc, and as it is likely that others will be taking the GRE or other exams in the same room, you generally aren't allowed to get up and walk around. Treat your practices like the real test in this way. Learn some "mindfulness" techniques that you can do sitting at a chair in front of a computer.

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I just took the GRE in late August and scored 168V, 164Q, and 4.5 W, for what it’s worth. I think I stayed somewhat attentive and fresh for a few reasons.

First, I only took one simulated practice test, so I might’ve avoided overall burnout on the material. Second, I studied less than one hour per day during my study buildup, which decreased overall burnout, again. And third, I experimented with properly balancing my caffeine and water intake in the weeks prior so I could stay totally amped the entire exam while avoiding the need to run to the restroom. I had this approach down to a science.

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I definitely agree with SortOfOld. When I try to cram too much information in my head at once I end up sleeping badly (dreams about the topic, etc) and getting things mixed up.

Another strategy is to pick your test time carefully. I am not a morning person so I picked a 1 pm start time, but if afternoon is your siesta time then pick a morning slot.

I also pounded a 5 hour energy right before, which worked great!

 

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