GRE Test Day Tips & Tricks

You’ve put in a lot of work to study for the GRE—it only makes sense to stick the landing. Here are some great GRE test day tips and tricks to help you eliminate distractions and focus on top performance.

Review the Test Regulations

You don’t want to prepare for weeks and months only to find out on the day of the test that you have some issue that could have been avoided with one glance at the test center procedures and regulations. To keep it simple, here are a few things you’ll want to make sure you do on the day of the test to avoid any issues:

  • Eat ahead of time. Food, beverages, and tobacco are not allowed in the testing room.
  • Show up early. Get there at least 30 minutes ahead of time to report in. If the area is new to you, make sure to give yourself a buffer to compensate for traffic, especially if you’re traveling during rush hour.
  • Review rule exemptions. Consult the GRE bulletin for information about any special exemptions that may be required for health/nutrition needs.

Eat A Normal Breakfast

According to some studies, eating breakfast is associated with “on-task behavior” in the classroom, which suggests a link between being properly fed and having enough concentration to handle the questions you’ll encounter on the GRE. That said, it’s best to stick to your typical breakfast. You don’t want any diet changes to cause restroom issues on test day.

You’ll also want to avoid overconsuming water. Yes, it’s important to stay hydrated, but if you overconsume water, guess what else will fill? Your bladder. As you approach the morning meal, don’t get too fancy. Simply have your usual. Drink water to avoid thirst but not so much that you’ll feel compelled to go to the bathroom when you should be concentrating.

Equip Yourself For Testing

Consult the GRE website for tips on what to bring to the test center. In general, you should plan to bring the following to the exam center:

  • Photo ID—preferably two forms of identification
  • Confirmation email
  • Three or four No. 2 pencils, already sharpened. Avoid mechanical pens and pencils.
  • An eraser

Avoid Cramming

If you’re reading this far in advance of your GRE, then you should be prepared: avoid cramming. Cramming is a poor strategy that results in more work than it’s worth. You’ll have much more success with memory retention if you space out your test studies, especially as part of a regular routine.

Take a Practice Exam

If you need to eliminate some of your test-day jitters, try using a practice exam to get the feeling of the test out of the way first. This will warm you up for the type of thinking that you’ll have to practice during the exam itself, and it can help to eliminate test-day nerves as well.

Work With A Tutor

Finally, if you still have enough time before your exam day, hire a Jantzi GRE prep tutor. A professional tutor can help you to adequately prepare for the exam with test strategies, exercises, practice questions and more.