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What to do day before/morning of test???


Mered
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I've heard conflicting advice about how to go about the day of your test. I take my GRE at 12:30pm on a  Friday. 

Some have said that the day before and the morning of the test should be strictly reserved for relaxing ( no test prep at all) so that you are not mentally recharged come test day. 

Others have said that it's okay to review the day before (obviously not overdoing it). And that the morning of the test it's okay to do a few practice problems just to get your brain in gear and ready for testing. 

Any advice on which approach I should take? 

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HI Mered,

As a general rule, you don't want to do much studying right before your Exam. "Cramming" isn't particularly beneficial in these types of situations and you'd be better served by going into your Exam well-rested and ready to work. That having been said, a bit of light review is fine and working through some practice questions the morning of your Exam can help to get your mind into 'test mode' (just don't work on anything too difficult).

GRE Masters aren't born, they're made,

Rich

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I wonder if studies have been done on this.

But really, at this point, you have taken tons of tests in your life. Do what makes you feel the most comfortable. Even if what you are doing isn't what the people around you are saying, the goal is to do whatever you need to put yourself in the most "ready" state. I personally like to ease off on review/studying starting the day before a test but not take it off completely. I also scheduled my GRE around noon because that's my most alert time and I feel more confident when I quickly review some key study points just prior to walking into a test. So, I made a one page "cram guide" of things I wanted to ensure I knew and I looked at that in the ~hour prior to the test. 

I do this for most of my tests, it's just part of my test taking ritual that comforts me and helps me feel prepared. To be honest, I don't think it ever directly helps me, chances are, the absolutely critical stuff would be stuff I already learned awhile ago. But the ritual puts me in the right mindset to take the test (or at least I feel that way).

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Took my GRE at 12:30 as well. As a definite non-morning person (and barely early afternoon), here's what my day looked like (I performed only slightly better the day of (169V/161Q) than my practice exams, so take what you want). 

1. Woke up earlier than normal (by getting to sleep earlier, which was only possible because I intentionally got 2 hours less sleep than normal the night before), had a small breakfast, watched sports commentary TV (my vice).

2. Did SAT tutoring. This was the most important step for me. My brain takes a little time to get going, so this helped me enter the testing center feeling alert. 

3. Got to the test center about 30 mins early. Ate a banana. Talked with fellow test takers. Made jokes. Owned the area. Welcomed new people, told them how to sign in. It may have made me look ridiculous, but it made me super comfortable.

4. Took a lot of time to make sure I was comfortable in the actual chair. The instructions aren't timed as far as I can tell, so take your time. Deep breaths, stretch out. 

5. Realize it's not an intelligence test, or a test of how good you were at college. It's a test of how good you are at taking the GREs. 

You got this. Good luck. 

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