Stress of Graduate School Tests
Stress of Graduate School Tests
Sustainability Features

Dealing With the Stress of Graduate School Tests

Karthik Krishnan

Dealing With the Stress of Graduate School Tests

The idea of taking standardized tests to further one’s education doesn’t end in high school. People who are looking to move on to a graduate school in a specific area of study know that it’s important to have good grades in tests that set you up for schools that are tailored to business, law, medical and other areas. Those tests often determine the quality of the grad school that you attend, which can have a big effect on your job prospects after the fact.

It would stand to reason that the most intelligent, well-prepared students will be the ones that perform the best and get the highest scores on these exams. But there are many cases of students who have the knowledge and preparation to do well on graduate school entrance exams but struggle with the actual tests because of their elevated stress levels. The pressure gets to them and causes them to do worse than they really should.

If you’re worried about being prepared for either the GRE or the GMAT, a tutoring expert like GRE Compass or GMAT Compass is just what you need. Here are some other tips to lower your stress level come test day.

Get Prepared Early

It may seem obvious that students should start preparing for their graduate school exams well ahead of time. And yet many students, pressured by time constraints and commitments, often fall victim to the perils of waiting till the figurative last minute. Take a good look at the material that needs to be covered on the test you’re taking, and then be realistic about how much time it would take you to go through it all and know it well. Don’t try to digest it all at once; take it in bite-sized lessons, learning each one as you go and then moving to the next. You should also pick out one night per week just to review the lessons you’ve already learned.

Sleep Well and Often

People who are fatigued tend to be more stressed, which increases the chances that they won’t do as well on these tests as they should. That’s why it’s important not to get caught up in the feeling that you need to pull “all-nighters” orstudy into the wee hours of the morning. For one, if you’re extremely tired, you probably won’t retain the information you’re trying to study. And it’s also likely that you’ll be tired come test day, which can greatly hinder your performance.

Relaxation Techniques

Obviously, if you can find ways to relax during the tests, it will keep stress at bay and improve your chances of a good score. Deep breaths are a quick, easy way to lower any rising stress. You also need to stay confident of your abilities. You know how much you’ve prepared for this crucial exam. Look at the test as an opportunity instead of a burden. That attitude can have you looking forward to it instead of dreading it.

Stress is the enemy of good performance on graduate school entrance exams. So get rid of it before and during the test, and you’ll likely be extremely pleased after it’s all done and that score is nice and high.