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GMAT Anxiety

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GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2010, 09:56
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GMAT Anxiety
While anxiety can happen at any time, the most intense moments occur within 24 hours of the test, particularly during the test itself. For the most part, this is a normal sensation. In fact, some may argue that a little nervousness may actually help to keep test takers more alert. However, anxiety can definitely hurt your score, as it can prevent a good night’s sleep and cause panic during the exam. The general stress associated with your GMAT preparation, along with the physical discomfort associated with a multi-hour exam, can aggravate the situation. Fortunately, there are strategies to minimize these distractions. Here are a few suggestions that I have seen throughout the forums.

During your prep:
  • Learn as much as you can about the GMAT’s structure, content, and testing procedures. Read about the test center’s rules. Visit the official GMAT website.
  • Incorporate appropriate guidebooks and be comfortable with all the concepts. Become familiar with every type of question.
  • Strengthen your endurance. When ready, time yourself while practicing questions. Take the GMATPrep CAT’s under test conditions. Don’t skip the AWA. Also, consider a test simulation booklet for CAT practice.
  • Don’t waste time on tricks or ways to “outsmart” the test makers. Focus on the fundamental concepts and strengthen your skills by reviewing the material and practicing questions.
  • Express your GMAT-related problems in the GMATClub forums. Many members have experienced what you are presently going through and can answer questions, offer advice, and serve as a support group.
  • Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes proper nutrition and exercise.

GMAT countdown:
  • Schedule a suitable date and time for the test. Don’t take the GMAT at an uncomfortable time.
  • Don’t cram during the last week of the test and burn yourself out.
  • Visit the test center before your test date. Become familiar with the area and know exactly where you will take the test and how you will get there.
  • Take at least one day off from any GMAT preparation prior to the actual exam. Use this day to relax and energize yourself for the upcoming test.

Test day:
  • Eat a good meal sometime before you go to the test center.
  • Arrive at the test center early. Give yourself enough time to become comfortable.
  • Focus on the question in front of you. Forget about any past question that you may or may not have answered correctly. That’s history and doesn’t concern you. And don’t obsess about the algorithm. If you see an easy question, then maybe you answered the previous one incorrectly. Maybe it’s just an experimental question. The only productive thing to do is answer the problem in front of you.
  • Take deep, slow breaths and look away from the screen sometimes. This reduces eye and neck strain. Even closing your eyes for a short moment helps.
  • Take the allotted breaks. During this time, go to the bathroom, eat or drink something, stretch, and splash cold water on your face. Be aware of the time, though.
  • Remember: you’re always in control. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t score above 700. If you’re unsatisfied with your performance, you can retake the exam and change things. Cancelling the score is also an option.


Helpful Links
ETS guide on reducing test anxiety:
http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/PRAXIS/p ... nxiety.pdf

Discussions on GMAT anxiety:
http://gmatclub.com/blog/2010/06/gmat-p ... t-anxiety/
experiences-strategies-overcoming-test-anxiety-93090.html
pre-test-anxiety-94370.html
shocked-in-my-gmat-exam-its-a-test-of-nerves-and-i-failed-96550.html
shaky-confidence-2-days-before-test-87636.html

Overview of the test center:
gmat-testing-center-physical-environment-80167.html#p602307
video-tour-of-the-gmat-testing-center-very-interesting-90032.html

Nutrition:
stay-healthy-score-higher-22103.html
eating-healthy-while-applying-to-b-school-98378.html
gmat-snacks-98462.html


This list, while (hopefully) helpful, is by no means comprehensive. If you have any comments or suggestions, please don't hesitate to share your ideas below!
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2010, 11:07
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Excellent post!! +1 for you. 100 up!! :) Have you added your snacks link here or I missed that?
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2010, 12:22
Expert's post
Thanks for the comment! Kudos to you as well for the helpful suggestion. For some reason, I was a little hesitant to add the nutrition links. But you're right; they probably belong in this thread.

What did you think about the ETS document? Some of the suggestions are obvious and it doesn't directly deal with the GMAT. However, this company used to administer the GMAT, so any of its insights will hopefully be of some benefit. Besides, test anxiety isn't specific to any one test, whether it occurs during the GMAT, the GRE, or any other exam.

Thanks again! :)
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2010, 12:26
I think the document is relevant & helpful. As far as anxiety is concerned, I dont think there is much difference b/w GMAT & GRE. :)
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2010, 05:12
GRE was shorter and i really wrote it unprepared...
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2010, 13:09
I just wrote the GRE in June. The exam is a little shorter. However, the reading comprehension section passages were harder to interpret compared to those in OG12.
Anyway, this could be just my perception - I am a non-native English speaker.
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2010, 18:10
resh wrote:
I just wrote the GRE in June. The exam is a little shorter. However, the reading comprehension section passages were harder to interpret compared to those in OG12.
Anyway, this could be just my perception - I am a non-native English speaker.


I had to rush through the Verbal section. Just too little time. 30 Questions in 30 minutes.

IMO GRE Quant was more straight forward than GMAT. It's very easy to get a Quant score of 760+ on the GRE.
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 09:47
thanks... this is very useful. I have a problem wherein i finish my verbal too soon.... the result being some silly mistakes which could be rectified on more careful and close reading.... so its very imp to pace yourself!
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 12:29
nice kudos! always good to relax going into the test
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 12:38
Anyone have any weird relaxation techniques or food they eat day of test?
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 12:46
Dawgie wrote:
Anyone have any weird relaxation techniques or food they eat day of test?


well since my test centers always has the test at freaking 8am i had to sleep early. I went to see movies or just played some video games. get to place an hour early to scout. Usually see one or 2 others in their cars too (chat with them if girl alone). usually get out my notes and go over basic formulas again and idioms etc. I drink my 5 hour energy drink 1/2 hour before the test - usually on my way in the building. then just relax really. I would suggest getting there early so your anxiety will calm down..
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 12:48
shaselai wrote:
Dawgie wrote:
Anyone have any weird relaxation techniques or food they eat day of test?


well since my test centers always has the test at freaking 8am i had to sleep early. I went to see movies or just played some video games. get to place an hour early to scout. Usually see one or 2 others in their cars too (chat with them if girl alone). usually get out my notes and go over basic formulas again and idioms etc. I drink my 5 hour energy drink 1/2 hour before the test - usually on my way in the building. then just relax really. I would suggest getting there early so your anxiety will calm down..

I agree with going in there early, I saw this guy doing push ups and sit ups. He said he pulled an all nighter. He just couldn't sleep so he kept studying. He didn't look too happy when he left the test center.
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 19:06
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2010, 11:19
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Even though I know the AWA counts, I conditioned myself to think of them as a warm up exercise for my brain, almost like a brainstorming session. That way I took them in a very relaxed manner that started to get my brain flowing and set the mood for the rest of the test.

First time around I really panicked on the quant section, running out of time. I took my 5 minute break after and told myself just shake it off. I reasoned that I probably didn't do as bad as I thought I did and letting it upset me during the verbal portion is only going to make things worse. I didn't do great, but definately not as bad as I thought and really killed it on the verbal, so I think my little pep talk worked.
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2010, 21:20
Excellent post. The AWA should not make you tensed, it should just be a starting point on what is coming next. So be cool and calm especially on your AWA. Deep Breathing and looking away from the screen every now and then will help you a lot. Also the breaks should be utilised to probably wash your face and to drink water/energy drinks :)
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2011, 13:19
Great post! It is very important to relax and reduce stress during the test!! I can attest to that!
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2011, 15:40
Remember one KEY fundamental. Anxiety before the exam is because their an expectation to succeed. If your anxious it's because you've already invested lots of time in preparation and therefore you expect to succeed. What does this really mean? Well, you've sufficiently prepared yourself for what's ahead so take a deep breath, visualize your 7XX+ score on the screen... and get to work!

On a side note, I was soooo pumped on my test I finished verbal with 18 minutes left... yes, that's right... 18 minutes. /sigh
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2011, 02:34
losttraveler wrote:
Remember one KEY fundamental. Anxiety before the exam is because their an expectation to succeed. If your anxious it's because you've already invested lots of time in preparation and therefore you expect to succeed. What does this really mean? Well, you've sufficiently prepared yourself for what's ahead so take a deep breath, visualize your 7XX+ score on the screen... and get to work!

On a side note, I was soooo pumped on my test I finished verbal with 18 minutes left... yes, that's right... 18 minutes. /sigh


wow that is a lot of time left! any tips for the verbal side of things?
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2012, 08:55
excellent post..kudos +1.
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Re: GMAT Anxiety [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2012, 09:19
I always try get myself in the state of mind to not panic or not let nerves get the best of me, not only for tests but for all kinds of situations. You never want to make a decision with emotion dominating rationality.
Re: GMAT Anxiety   [#permalink] 05 Apr 2012, 09:19
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