Preparing for Game Day
Effectively preparing for the GRE is not simply a matter of reading books and answering practice questions – it’s about preparing yourself for a particular type of performance. A strange combination of a sprint and a marathon, the GRE is its own unique sport, and like any other sport, must be approached with targeted training. Here are four reasons, a prep plan is so important for your success:
- Knowing What NOT to Study: It’s not worth it trying to learn everything about the test – studying what will make the biggest difference in your score is the only way to get the maximum return on the time and energy you put into your program. Trying to learn everything about the test is a waste – you’ve got better things to do, and fortunately for you, there are plenty of people out there who already know more than they want to about the test who can tell you all about it. All you need to do is get really good at taking the test.
- A Proper Training Regimen: There are many complicated factors that come into play when executing a proper study plan for the GRE. For example, many students do not know that taking a full-length practice test within the last week of their prep is not recommended – it generally causes more fatigue during the actual test. Planning things like practice tests, study time, and especially time to relax in advance are vital to your success; a standard routine is a vastly important aspect of your program because your body needs to get well accustomed to your routine to be completely ready for the big day.
- Realistic Simulation: This also means that realistic simulations of the GRE are essential to your success. If your GRE is scheduled for 8am on a Saturday, then when do you think you should schedule your practice tests? That’s right – 8am on Saturday mornings. But if you don’t plan ahead, then your Friday might include a late night at the bar, which means you are more likely to sleep in and eat Cheerios in bed all day Saturday rather than take your test. Think about it.
- Taking the Test Seriously: Making a plan for your prep is not just about improving your score; it’s about mentally committing to the test and fully immersing yourself in the prep experience. Make a positive plan and believe in it! Maintaining an ambivalence in regard to taking or studying for the test is another big waste of your time – don’t do yourself the disservice of believing that you deserve anything less than the very best test score possible; make a plan, and execute it – now!