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# How to stay focused during the test?

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Senior Manager
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29 Feb 2008, 12:40
Please, share tricks for staying mentally focused when taking the GMAT (practice or real).....special foods, medicine, excersises prayers, meditation, etc....

I find it very difficult to stay focused for a long period of time. Sometimes I just need to take a 1 min break in the middle of a section and regroup. When that happens during a RC passage, I'd have to start over and read from the beginning.....
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29 Feb 2008, 12:53
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all i can say is i only drank a little water and did not eat at all..and I DID LOSE FOCUS during verbal.

so i'd eat a little something, half a banana or something in each break. I also only look 4 mins after AWA and 5 mins after Quant. Now i wish i doubled those times, it would have helped.

also don't get too hot or too cold
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01 Mar 2008, 13:16
drink cold coffee (like Nescafe) or tea before verbal (and not earlier). If you can't get it, try coke - it also contains coffein
When I drove a car for long distances I used to drink energetic drinks like red bull, too, but to my mind they alter your reasoning so avoid their use
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01 Mar 2008, 14:44
In my opinion you should do nothing different on the test day, make it as normal as possible. I don't eat breakfast normally so I didn't eat breakfast on test day, I'm only an occasional coffee drinker so I didn't have one on test day. I took each break allowed and got some water, walked around. I don't snack normally so I didn't snack. Try to keep it as familiar as possible, you don't want to try some new energy drink, have it get you wired and nervous, and then start thinking of some funny aftertaste in your mouth during some mega CR passage...
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04 Mar 2008, 05:52
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any drugs out there to stimulate the mind?
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04 Mar 2008, 06:17
I have to take atleast one break during each sessions. I had to get up, strecth a little bit, move your neck around a few times.

I tried chewing gum too.

Can we take some food with us and eat during the exam????
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04 Mar 2008, 08:34
bobinabob2 wrote:
any drugs out there to stimulate the mind?

I've been trying to research those:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/mem.htm
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04 Mar 2008, 13:29
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maverick101 wrote:
I have to take atleast one break during each sessions. I had to get up, strecth a little bit, move your neck around a few times.

I tried chewing gum too.

Can we take some food with us and eat during the exam????

Not sure if this is the policy at all centers, but mine did NOT let me chew gum or bring any in my pockets! This really freaked me out b/c I chew gum a lot on a daily basis, not just to calm me down but to avoid getting a dry mouth. Also, I don't think my center had a vending machine and they didn't let me go to my locker to grab anything, so I don;t think you should bring food.
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20 Jan 2017, 22:17
this worked for me. I feel quite stressed when I take the test, if I was losing focus, I kept talking to myself aggressively, to pull my attention back and I also used a lot of cuss words throughout the test(very softly though, don't disturb others), swearing helped me release the stress and focus.

Also during the breaks, apart from using the washroom, splashing water my face and eating a little. I stood in place and jumped, it might look a little odd, but it will help circulate blood to all parts of your body, then I bent down for a few seconds to allow blood to flow to my brain. I kept talking to myself, just like a coach talks to his/her boxer before entering the ring. You need to keep yourself motivated. If you can stay calm and focused by observing your breath,that's great. But the test is time bound and stressful so I'm not sure how much that will really help.
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21 Jan 2017, 13:28
I have the same issue during exam. For my Verbal part was the most difficult one. It was the last and in the middle I realized that it is really difficult to concentrate. My advice is to make a short brake. It is better to skip one question than answer incorrect on lest 10.
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24 Jan 2017, 10:02
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Fun to see this thread revived, nine years later!

A few thoughts:

• No gum is allowed at all in GMAT test centers. Sorry. I'll admit that I've wedged a chunk into my cheek a few times during actual GMAT and GRE exams, but technically speaking, it's against the policies.
• Of course you're allowed into your locker to grab food during your breaks. The people running Tangaroo's test center back in 2008 were just plain wrong.
• And yes, you definitely should eat during your breaks. Keeping your blood sugar stable is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your concentration. Just steer clear of super-sugary snacks, or else you might crash in the middle of the test: http://www.gmatninja.com/2013/04/01/sna ... s-in-gmat/
• For anybody who struggles to maintain focus on the verbal section (me!), I'd recommend practicing with LSAT CR & RC sections. They feel harder than GMAT questions, and really help build your capacity for suffering through painful passages: http://www.gmatninja.com/2012/11/12/lsa ... rehension/.
• Personally, I drink tons of caffeine during my pre-verbal break -- but that's just me. If you're not used to drinking caffeine -- or if you have a tendency to get nervous or jittery -- then it's a bad idea to suddenly start drinking the stuff just for the GMAT. I strongly recommend experimenting with snacks and caffeine during your full GMATPrep exams, just to see what works for you personally.

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Re: How to stay focused during the test?   [#permalink] 24 Jan 2017, 10:02
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# How to stay focused during the test?

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