GMAT Impact: Stress Management (Part 1)

When it comes to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this biweekly blog series, Manhattan GMAT’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform on test day by using some common sense.

Everyone struggles with some amount of anxiety when taking a test like the GMAT, but some people struggle more than others. Stress can also affect your preparation before you ever get to the test center—if you are too stressed out when studying, this will hurt your ability to make and recall memories. So what can we do to reduce studying and test-taking stress?

Know what is coming
If you have not already done so, read the first blog post in this series: In It to Win It. The nutshell: you are not trying to get everything right. Nobody gets everything right—including me and other 99th percentile testers!

Having the right attitude going into the test will help significantly. I like to pretend that I am playing tennis. Nobody expects to win every single point in a tennis match—that would be silly. But I do expect to win more points than my opponent, and I do not stress out when I lose some points.

You will of course need to know what is coming in terms of the formulas and rules and so on. But also know that you are not going to know everything and that is okay.

Manage your time well
When people try to get everything right, they often mess up the timing. Discovering that you are behind on time just compounds your stress and makes everything worse, so we have to know how to manage time well all the way through the test. We also need to know what to do if we find ourselves in trouble on the timing.

Read this article on time management and start incorporating its recommendations into your study right away.

Check back in two weeks to read Part 2!

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