GRE Test Anxiety Can Seriously Hurt Your Scores
Here are 5 quick tips to beat GRE test anxiety:
1: Don’t Get Intimidated by the GRE
The GRE can be an intimidating test for students, but there’s no need to worry. I have set thousands of people on the path towards their desired future and beat test anxiety myself!
I know how important relaxation is when taking the GRE exam because I’ve helped thousands of students Ace the GRE in my role as an instructor. Taking a step back and relaxing is critical in getting your best possible score – which will allow you access to the best colleges and universities.
Getting into the university or college you want is critical to your future success, so it’s no wonder you would tend to stress about it, but that is counter-productive. I’d like to offer you some inside information that will help bring the GRE into perspective, and turn from the monster you might imagine, into the simple, flawed, and easily beatable test it actually is.
2: Honestly Assess how Anxious You Are
At the start of every GRE prep course, students should ask themselves if they feel confident about taking their test on a 1-5 scale. 1 means “I’m not worried at all” while 5 stands for somebody who gets sick or has sweaty palms when thinking about taking the test. Go ahead and do this now, then take a second and read on for why it doesn’t matter.
Regardless of your level of anxiousness, there is a simple fact that will reduce your stress level to zero within seconds.
3: The GRE is a Flawed Instrument that is Easily Crackable
The GRE exam is not a be-all-end-all measure of intelligence nor can it gauge your potential for success in grad school. The results from the GRE exam say little to nothing about your overall intelligence and in terms of predicting your academic success, it is almost completely useless.
That said, many universities use it to determine your admittance into their programs, and courses. I don’t believe they should, it remains a fact.
You don’t have to be particularly intelligent to get a good score on the GRE. In fact, the people who score the best on the CRE simply learn how to “psyche out your adversary,” in this case the test writers.
4: GRE Test Writers Frequently Use Trick Questions
It’s a well-known fact among GRE instructors that GRE test writers use strong mental connections between certain words or math concepts to lure you into picking false answers.
This results in many very intelligent people scoring very low on the GRE, simply because they weren’t on the lookout for these trick questions durin their testing.
I assure you, the GRE is a flawed testing instrument that’s vulnerable and written in a way that’s completely crackable. So, I recommend for GRE prep course Utah students to master my test-taking strategies, rather than try to transform them into linguistical super heros and math geniuses overnight.
Seeing the trick questions for what they are is not even particularly difficult. In fact, I notice that once students are simply on the lookout for trick questions, once they get their guard up, they’ll call them out faster than I will.
When you are taking the test, and you instinctually gravitate toward an answer that seems correct, that’s when you know you’re being tricked. The test writers put these trick questions and answers in the test to try to weed out people who are “simply good test takers”, but by turning traditional test writing formulas upside down, they actually did quite the opposite.
4: Don’t Tell Anyone, but Your GRE Test Scores Might Not Even Matter
It’s true. Call the admissions office or even a member of the admissions committee at the school(s) you’re applying to and ask some point-blank questions about the GRE:
- What percent of my application will my GRE score be?
- What is the lowest score you admitted last year? Is there a low-score cut-off?
- How are test re-takes treated?
You’ll probably find that your GRE score is just one small part of the whole process—not a do-or-die element. I guarantee once you understand this fact you’ll have an easier time focusing on studying rather than fretting about whether you’ll be able to hit your target score.
5: Complete Lots of GRE Practice Tests
Another anxiety reducer I recommend: take a ton of practice tests until you’re bored and comfortable. Of course, you need to make sure you get into a GRE prep course that offers a good assortment of practice tests, and I will recommend a few later in this article.
In the run-up to your exam, go over a few questions every day, and don’t even worry about answering them. Instead, just try to understand them. Once you’ve gone over some questions and they made sense in your head, go back to the first one you reviewed and it will seem that much clearer. You’ll probably feel emboldened to answer it correctly, without even writing anything down.
This is a strategy I recommend when you’re practicing, and when you’re taking the actual test. Read through 3-4 questions at a time and just try to understand them, without marking your answer. Once you feel you understand 4-5 of them, go back to the first and work it out.
Confidence is key to success with the GRE, and knowing you understand many of the questions on the test without even really trying will boost your test-taking confidence sky-high.
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