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 at your best on test day by using some common sense.
Click here to read Part 1 of this Stress Management series.
Anticipate problems and brainstorm solutions in advance
What should I do if I realize that I’m five minutes behind on time? What am I going to do if I start to feel mentally fatigued or distracted but the section isn’t over yet?
How do you make a guess on the different types of problems? When do you make that decision—I need to guess now, and this is how I’m going to do it? You can (and should) think about all kinds of things in advance so that, on test day, you’ll be able to just react. This will also lessen your anxiety because you’ll have anticipated all kinds of problems and you’ll know you have solutions for them in place, just in case.
Exercise. Eat well. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep—that’s crucial. Don’t pound the caffeine and pull late night-study sessions. Make sure you’re doing non-GMAT things: dinner with friends, a movie, hobbies or other activities you enjoy. Do things that will genuinely take your mind off the GMAT for a while.
Deal with severe anxiety issues
Severe anxiety issues can include physical reactions, such as a racing heart rate, sweaty palms, dizziness, nausea and feelings of panic. If you are experiencing severe reactions, you may need to discuss your symptoms with your physician. Your physician may be able to refer you to a therapist who can help with such things as deep breathing exercises, meditation, redirecting anxious or repetitive thoughts and other methods of reducing anxiety.