The Day Before Your GMAT Exam
You’ve studied for months, and your scores on the practice tests are promising. Finally, you have registered for the GMAT exam, and it’s almost test day. There are ways to ensure that the 24-48 hours leading up to the test will help you get your best score. Here are some tips on how to spend that time.
Map It Out
It’s essential that you know the exact route you will take and how long it will take you to arrive. Plan to be at the center at least 15 minutes early. If you are driving, make sure there is plenty of gas in your car, and take into account any traffic, roadwork, or weather. If you are taking public transportation, be sure you have the correct fare prepared.
Take a Study Break
The day before your GMAT is not the time to try new problems or do a practice test. In fact, you could quickly kill your confidence if you hit a tough run in new problems. Low confidence would do far more damage than any further information could add. Instead, use the day before your test to refresh the concepts you know. Remind yourself of the types of problems and your strategies to face them.
Don’t avoid GMAT materials altogether. You’ll be thinking about the test either way, so aim to do so in a productive way. Try working a few of each type of problem that you’ve done before. This will refresh your mind without frustrating you. Think of it as an opportunity to remind yourself what you are capable of accomplishing. After a short review, move on to more practical preparations.
Plan for GMAT Success
Be sure to gather everything you will need for the exam so that you’re not rushed or stressed right before you leave. Remember your photo ID and admissions ticket. Choose comfortable clothes to wear. Verify that your keys, wallet or purse, and any other essentials are together and easy to grab. Write down the names of any schools you want to designate to receive your scores. You could also bring a snack (to eat on breaks) or some quick study materials to review right before the exam.
Exercise for Stress Relief
Few things help relieve stress like physical activity. Obviously, the day before your GMAT isn’t the day to run a marathon. Instead, choose a moderate activity that will get your heart pumping and blood circulating. This kind of work will stimulate the part of the brain associated with memory and will contribute to better sleep. Just be sure not to do anything very active too late in the day, or it could hinder sleep instead.
Get Good Sleep
If there were only one tip to give, it would be this: Get as much quality sleep as you can. Proper rest is critical for memory, focus, and confidence. Try not to go to bed too early, or you may have trouble falling asleep. Additionally, avoid screens, like smartphones, computers, and television, 2-3 hours before you go to bed. Ideally, you should aim for eight hours asleep. Also, don’t forget to make sure you wake up on time. Set an alarm (or two). Plan to wake with plenty of time to get ready, eat a good breakfast, and make your way to the testing center on time.
You can boost both your confidence and your GMAT score by carefully planning the day before your exam. Preparing yourself with sleep and exercise, as well as managing details like transportation, will give you the right about of space and time to relax and go in feeling prepared. If you are looking for a game plan to get you to that point of preparation, then check out our one-of-a-kind EMPOWERgmat course here.