Jump to content

GRE Psychology Subject Test Workout

Steve Frost

Recommended Posts


The test is 170 minutes long. Test fatigue is a real possibility here. What are ways to keep the momentum going?

Should you drink lots of water hours before the test in order to stay hydrated?


In the general test, fatigue was an issue for me (I never took the subject test). The sheer length coupled with the anxiety of knowing just how important the test is, slowly chips away at your energy. It's tough. Here are a few things I have read about/ and or did in an attempt to keep my mind sharp. Keep in mind this is for the general test but I'm thinking most of it will generalize over to the subject exam.

1. I did several full-length practice tests including the essays before the quant and verbal sections to simulate the kind of length I would be dealing with on the real deal (mostly two weeks before my exam). This is sort of a pain to do and you really have to remind yourself why you are doing it, as writing an essay and throwing it away right after can be difficult. I would get a hold of several subject practice tests and do those, simulating real testing conditions as much as possible. I thought of it as building my test taking muscle.

2. To answer your water question, I've actually read that drinking a lot of water before the test can be a bad thing, as there is no pause button once you get going, so you really have to figure out how much water you can drink beforehand without feeling like your bladder is going to burst during the exam. I drank a moderate amount of water and ate a few power bars before the exam. Then during my break I drank a little more water at the center. The water where I sat the exam was pretty gross. There were little disposable cups in the bathroom and you just filled up with bathroom sink water and drank from that.

3. Before the test, I did (most of) the tutorials and just tried to relax and breath deeply as the computer showed me how to use a mouse and left click. I also took my allotted breaks and did some deep breathing there too, to relax. Test anxiety can really mess up your energy levels, so it is important to keep it under control.

4. When you are doing practice tests, really be cognizant of your pacing, as this can help keep anxiety levels down too. You don't want to spend too much time on each question or else you will really be screwed in the middle and end of the test, and this will freak you out.

5. I've read mixed things about caffeine. I'm not a coffee drinker so I may not be the best person to give advice on this. Some sources say not to drink caffeine on test day (which means you'd likely have to give it up several days beforehand so that your brain can adjust) as it can lead to burnout halfway through the test. I'm not sure how accurate that statement really is, as you also have to consider that if you studied on caffeine and you do everything on caffeine, you might just want to take the test on caffeine too.

6. Another thing I've read is to not make any big changes in your diet or habits. Don't quit or start smoking before the test for example, as this could really mess with your energy levels.

Hope that helps.

Edited by A. sesquipedale
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great! Thanks! You get a break for the GRE? I did not know that. I wonder if that goes for the GRE Subject tests too like the Psychology one.

I just took the GRE psych this year. There is no break but of course you can do it at the expense of your own time. Like what sesquipedale said, just do a couple of full length tests. Get acquainted with the demands of the test beforehand and I'm sure you'll be fine. And of course reviewing your material before a good night sleep is a good idea as it helps in memory consolidation so have a good rest. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use