Although everyone knows the standard recommendations for the 24 hours before any big test – get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, etc., these tips can help you reduce stress in the hours right before exams such as GMAT, GRE, TOEFL and so on.


Tip #1: Wake up

Waking up does not mean simply getting up and walking out the door. When your brain is tired, it is also slow and easily tripped up. This is why it is really important to make sure you are fully alert before you go into the GMAT.

Be sure to get out of bed early to give your body enough time to regain consciousness before going into the test centre. Showering, stretching, and going on a brisk walk can help get your blood pumping oxygen to your muscles and your brain.

Then, make sure to stimulate your intellectual powers by getting ready for the kind of material on the GMAT. The two key steps here are to read and comprehend something academic and to do some easy maths. A great way to do this is working through two GMAT practice problems of each question type. This is just enough to get your brain in gear but not enough to wear you out before the test.

Check out: How to Choose GRE and GMAT Test Dates

Tip #2: Calm down

Test anxiety is real and a lot of advice focuses on steps you can take during the test. However, there is a lot you can do to manage your anxiety even before going into the exam. This is where waking up early has a second benefit – not having to rush to the testing centre and not having to worry if you hit traffic helps prevent outside stress the morning of the test. Additional steps such as gathering your ID, preparing any snacks, and laying out your outfit the night before can help to reduce possible stress.

A valuable bonus tip is to pick an outfit with layers that you can put on and take off depending on how warm or cold you are during the test.

Finally, while taking deep breaths is a common recommendation, it is not a joke. Conscious breathing can have a huge impact on your stress level. Be sure to study your breathing before going into the testing centre so you can start the exam on the right foot.