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gmat problems Oct 21, 2022
Breathe during GMAT exam

The big day has arrived; after weeks or months of preparations you will finally take the GMAT exam. During the exam, the questions are familiar and you are feeling comfortable. But then; a difficult question appears on you screen and you have no idea of what should be the right answer. You start stressing out and thoughts like ‘ maybe I am not smart enough for this exam after all?’ might come to your mind..

Because the questions can be quite difficult, the GMAT is often a feared test. But don’t worry; a moment of panic while taking the test, doesn’t mean that you’re not ready to take the test and a lot of candidates experience this. In this blog we will give you four tips to prepare yourself well for a moment of stress during the exam.

1. Adaptive test

The GMAT exam is adaptive, which means that questions get more difficult as you give the right answers. As a result of this, all GMAT candidates get questions they find difficult to answer; a so called ‘ceiling effect’. In this way, good estimations of the level of the candidates can be made. So, are you confronted with a difficult question? Don’t panic, answer it as good as possible and go on to the next question! 

2. Scratchpad

During the GMAT exam you are allowed to use a scratchpad; a laminated notebook where you can put notes and calculations in. Use this scratchpad to eliminate answers and to put down answers of your reasonings. In this way you can divide a difficult question in different steps so you get a better overview of what the questions is about. By using the scratchpad you prevent being stressed out about questions you thought were too difficult at first instance.

3. Focus on what you do know

When you are already insecure and anxious before taking the test, your reaction might be that you start to focus on what you don’t know, since it is in our nature to focus on things and events that confirm our thoughts. Thoughts like ‘I knew I can’t do this’ can occur and these thoughts are definitely not helping. Try to not put yourself down but look for things you do know. Are there any parts of the question that you can calculate or reason? Answer the question as good as possible and start the next question with new courage! 

4. Breathing

Due to stress and tension our heartrate increases and our breathing get faster. This leads to a restless feeling that makes you feel even more uneased. Are you having a moment of panic while taking the exam? Take a moment to breathe during the little break between two test sections. Try to breath through your stomach instead of highly  your stomach instead of highly your chest, and you will notice a calmer feeling.

Follow these four tips to get a more comfortable feeling during the GMAT exam! And remember, a little bit of ‘healthy’ stress is never a bad thing!

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