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Approaching Test Day

Test day is tough, whatever the test. At least as important, though, is the time leading up to the big day. The right approach can make all the difference.

1) Take a break. Two or three days before your test date, give yourself a break and stop studying. Not only does cramming not work, but trying to go over everything at the last minute will stress you out and have a negative impact on your performance. If you’ve prepared well, you deserve to relax. A couple of days off will allow all of the information to sink in. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and don’t think too much about the test or the material.

2) Early to bed. If you’re a night owl, this is particularly important. A week before the test, start going to bed early, and wake up each day at around the time you’ll have to rise on test day. This will adjust your body’s clock, making it much easier to get up for the test. You’ll also be more alert when you do.

3) Go over your strengths. Some people simply must keep reviewing, even on the morning of the test. If this is you, try not to fixate on sections or material with which you’re not as confident. Instead, improve your test-day state of mind by going over what you know best. There’s always room for improvement anyway.

4) Be prepared. Of course you need to be prepared for the material of the test, but don’t forget to have all your other, seemingly less significant ducks in a row. Know how you’ll get to the test and leave ample time. The night before the test, gather everything you’ll need—ticket, ID, calculator, pencils, a water bottle, a snack, etc.—and double check that everything’s ready to go for the morning.

Set yourself up for a great test day and it will be reflected in your score. Most of all, remember to relax, and walk out under those fluorescents with your head held high.


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