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I have my exam in 10 days and am already nervous. What do you guys do to relax. I have tried going to the gym and that does not really help, it just makes me tied and sleepy.
Try this simple breathing exercise. Take a deep breath in through your nose for 5 counts, hold it in for 5, and then blow the air out gradually through your mouth for 10 counts. Breathe normally for a couple of breaths, and then repeat the exercise. Do this a few times - this is one of the oldest breathing exercises around, and I swear that it works. I have used it to very good effect to combat stage fright, on occasion.
You can do it at any time, but it is also easy to do in the prep room just before you go in to do your actual test. It will really help you focus. That being said, if you practice doing it over the next few days, whenever you are feeling particularly tense, you will train your body to relax. The breathing pattern forces your heart rate to slow and to stabilize, which triggers a host of other positive physical reactions.
Watch the Simpsons! Seriously. Watch something that's both silly and intelligent like the Simpsons or Daily Show (even in repeats), or go get stupid (reasonably stupid) with your friends or significant other. Take your mind off it; don't just redirect your physical energy.
I would suggest to keep the significance of the event in context. Works like a charm, every time.
Think of the worst case scenario, and by that I mean the worst case scenario and think what would happen if that comes true, then, magically, everything will take its real value.
As an example I can tell you mine. Failing my attempt to get a decent score will only delay me one more year to go to business school. As much as I'm ready and want to do it now, one more year doesn't sound like the worst someone has ever faced in their lifes.
Then I see the benefits of the worst case scenario: I would have an extra year to craft my application, to strengthen any weak areas in my application...
But let's say that my worst case scenario is even worse. My family will stop talking to me, everybody will think I'm a failure and any other silly thing we can think of...
Then I can certainly relax knowing that time will prove me right. Getting what I want is just a matter of time, not a matter of capacity.
Don't think this is true? Look back into your life and think of all the silly stuff you've done and that at the moment stressed you just like the gmat is stressing you now, and tell me what difference did it make. If you can answer something else than a big fat nothing, then whatever that thing is, must be waaaaay more important than a test. See? It's all about context.
So relax, enjoy seeing how a CAT test is trying to break you and not the other way around.. whatever comes out of it, it will be a positive experience.
Best of luck!
Edited to fix some major typos...
Last edited by asdert on 29 Nov 2007, 19:38, edited 2 times in total.
I am not an evangelist for EFT, but I have had some good experiences using it. You can google it for detailed instructions.
EFT is a tapping exercise that mimics acupuncture. You tap different pressure points as you chant a short phrase, something like, "even though I am profoundly nervous, I completely love and respect myself."