How To Keep Your Sanity While Preparing For The GRE

By: ApexGRE
Contributor: Nemrout Safarian
Date: September 24, 2021

The Hows:
1. Taking a GRE Preparation Course
2. Creating an Effective Study Schedule
3. Controlling Your Emotions
4. Maintaining Connection to Your Support Team
5. Resting and Getting Good Sleep
6. Celebrating Your Big and Little Achievements
7. Meditate
8. Doing Things You Love

Experiencing too much anxiety over the GRE Exam might cause a negative impact on your mental health and make it difficult for you to keep your sanity. Moreover, it might even make it more challenging to concentrate when studying and disrupt your sleep schedule. However, with the correct test stress and anxiety-busting tactics, as well as an effective studying schedule, your GRE exam preparation may become much simpler.

Here are 8 tips we recommend in order to make your GRE exam preparation stress-free and effective.

1. Take a GRE Preparation Course

Everyone’s GRE story is different. Some people can get a high score based on everything they already know, without opening a GRE book. But, for most students, a preparation course or one-on-one prep time with a GRE personal tutor is necessary for two reasons: first, it puts you in the right direction in terms of exam content, strategies, solution paths, and tactics to tackle problems, by helping you structure a concrete and designated studying plan; secondly, it makes you feel much more confident and emotionally calm, as you work with a trustworthy and an experienced professional who knows the ins and outs of the exam and preparation for it, and can assist you with anything necessary throughout the process. Apex GRE, for example, offers complimentary consultation calls for interested individuals, looking for structured and personalized GRE preparation. 

2. Create an Effective Study Schedule

Don’t wait for the perfect time to take the GRE. This moment may never reveal itself! Life will always throw you curveballs and can end up curtailing well-thought-out plans. Situations may arise which may interfere with your GRE preparation. During your GRE prep, you should take the extra effort to harmonize any unexpected situations with your study schedule. One effective method you could try is to divide your studying schedule into multiple time frames throughout the day so that you can concentrate in smaller doses rather than studying for 5-7 hours straight and losing your ever so vital focus. Study the materials during the weekdays and devote some part of your weekend to practice tests where necessary. Those, in turn, will help you to assess your progress and help you to understand your main strengths and weaknesses.

3. Control Your Emotions

At some point, the GRE will stress you out, making you feel disappointed and frustrated. This is natural! Whether it is an unsatisfactory score on a practice test or the feeling of giving up, the GRE can make it easy to have an emotional breakdown. However, it is important to be able to take control of your emotions, and have a “never a failure, always a lesson” attitude. Every time you make a mistake, try to dive deep into that specific concept and figure out why you made that particular mistake, and learn from it. This is exactly how you make progress. Whenever you feel like you can’t go on anymore, remember your goals and aspirations, and that this test is a key to the completion of those. With the proper frame of mind, you will find yourself studying again in no time.

4. Maintain a Connection to Your Support Team

The people you communicate with during your GRE preparation process are very important and can hugely affect your frame of mind. Try not to isolate yourself too much from them, spending your whole time in your room cracking all those GRE books and practice tests. Instead, spend time with the people whose presence is pleasing to you, who support and believe in you – whether it’s your family, your best friend, or the new acquaintance that has no idea what the GRE even is. Constant communication with the people you love will positively affect your overall mentality and help you stay positive when preparing for the test.

5. Get Some Rest and Good Sleep

Another essential thing to remember is to arrange your sleeping schedule. When you need to get up at a certain time, subtract half an hour from the number of hours you wish to sleep. This time becomes the designated moment for turning off the lights. The extra half-hour is crucial, as we frequently overlook the time it takes to get ready for bed, set the alarm clock, and so on. This being said, be cautious as to what you are eating or drinking as an unhealthy diet can negatively affect your sleep schedule. Although the effects of caffeine may differ from person to person, try to avoid all sources of caffeine after 3 p.m. and modify accordingly. Aside from coffee, caffeine is found in a variety of foods and drinks, including tea, chocolate, and carbonated beverages. However, there are benefits to caffeine products when consumed thoughtfully. 

6. Celebrate Your Big and Little Achievements

Your GRE preparation process aims to help you reach your goals! Reward yourself a little – take a moment and celebrate your achievements – whether it is seeing progress on practice test scores or a complicated Math concept that you finally mastered. It will help you feel more positive and confident about your overall knowledge and skills and be brave enough to challenge yourself with tougher concepts. As you progress down your GRE journey, be sure to celebrate your short- and long-term accomplishments.  These moments of celebration will undoubtedly assist you in keeping yourself on top of your game.

7. Meditate

Studying hard and spending time on your GRE study materials is very important. However, you need to keep in mind that during this process, your mind should be at ease as much as possible, and mediation can provide you with that!

The goal of a study done by Santa Barbara academics was to find an answer to the question of whether meditation can increase students’ test scores on a test. The researchers gave a group of students a two-week mindfulness training course to determine if effective mindfulness practices may help them perform better. Following the program, participants were required to take a GRE reading comprehension test. The test takers who followed the mindfulness training protocol fared better on their examinations, with considerably higher average marks, according to the researchers. So, you can be sure that by meditating you will definitely improve your overall performance on the test.

8. Doing Things You Love

Nothing can ever make you happier than doing what you love. Whether it’s singing, dancing to your new favorite pop song, or watching movies, you should devote some time to distracting yourself from studying by doing the things you enjoy. Not only will this help you not to feel pressured and overwhelmed by all those GRE materials, but it will also make you feel much more energetic, full of life, and HAPPY. These are absolutely necessary for you to perform as well as possible on your GRE test.

Good luck studying and remember to believe in yourself!

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