Click HERE: A Step-By-Step Technique for Reducing GRE Test Anxiety through Relaxation, Visualization and Affirmation>>>
Taken from an interview of Mark by Liz Gillespie in her blog:
More aspiring graduate students took the GRE last year than ever before: a record 800,000 worldwide.
Perhaps you’re one of them. Maybe you’re cramming for it now.
Unless you thrive on the thrill of being hit by dense reading passages, a barrage of weird math factoids and twists, tight timing, 24-dollar words, and rapidly expressing an opinion about an obscure idea, taking a standardized test can be an anxiety-inducing process. But here are 4 steps to triumphing over that nervousness.
Step 1: How anxious are you?
The first step in tackling that anxiety, is asking yourself just how anxious you are, says Mark Wahl, a math learning specialist who teaches a GRE prep course in Seattle.
At the start of every course, Wahl asks his students to rate themselves on a scale of one to five: one being the adrenaline junkie who fears nothing and five being the type who gets nauseous and sweaty on the palms just thinking about test-taking.
Regardless of where his students fall on that scale, Wahl’s strategy is to take the anxiety down a notch or three by bringing the test down to size.
Step 2: Remember the GRE is a ‘flawed instrument’
The test is not a be-all-end-all measure of intelligence nor can it gauge your potential for success in grad school, Wahl says.
And you don’t have to be Einstein to get a good score. You have to learn how to “psyche out your adversary,” in this case the test writers who use strong mental connections between certain words or math concepts to lure you into picking false answers, Wahl says.
Wahl calls the GRE a “flawed instrument” that’s “vulnerable” and “written in a way that’s crackable.”
So the goal is to master test-taking strategies, not to transform into a verbal super hero and math know-it-all overnight.
Step 3: Determine the importance (or lack thereof) of test scores
Another big anxiety-buster Wahl recommends is calling the admissions office or even a member of the admissions committee at the school(s) you’re applying to and asking 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?
If you find out it’s just one small part of the whole process—not a do-or-die element—you’ll have an easier time focusing on studying rather than fretting about whether you’ll be able to hit your target score.
Step 4: The test-day warm-up
Another anxiety reducer Wahl recommends: On test-taking day, do a warm-up in the morning. Go over some questions you’ve worked on and review how you figured them out. Get your mind in that mode of looking at a question and tackling it with confidence.
As Wahl says, “There is a freezing up when the screen first comes on: ‘Oh my God, I can’t even read that question!”
Once you’ve gone over some questions, go back to the first one you reviewed and it will seem that much clearer. You’ll probably feel emboldened to answer it correctly, knowing that you’ve prepared for a flawed test—one that isn’t nearly as big of a deal as you thought it would be.
Also, here’s another link for more reflection about test anxiety.