GMAT, Graduate Management Admission Test, is a computer-based examination which is conducted for admission to graduate business programs, such as an MBA. It is one of the most significant tests that examine your critical thinking and analysis skills.
Since GMAT has a significant impact on an individual’s admission to a business school, it is pretty obvious that it will lead to some stress. Even if you are completely prepared for facing this difficult examination, a little bit of test-day anxiety is quite normal.
What is GMAT Test Anxiety?
GMAT Test anxiety, in simple terms, is a mixture of stress and fear that occurs before or during the test. It is quite obvious that the intensity of the exam and the pressure to perform makes it highly stressful for the students.
We all know how detrimental anxiety is to our ability to think and decide. For tests like GMAT, you study for months; you practice and master every concept and on the final day, you get so nervous that you made things worse for yourself!
GMAT is one such test where students experience test anxiety. The pressure and the desire to perform better and to get admission in a good business school adversely impact the performance. So, when you face the test anxiety during your GMAT exam, this is what we commonly refer to as GMAT test anxiety.
Symptoms of GMAT Test Anxiety:
The test-day anxiety which may affect your mind and body in several ways has certain common signs and symptoms. Some of them are:
- It gets difficult to understand and make sense of the questions.
- You feel unfocused and confused.
- Your mind feels blank when you are sitting for the test.
- Your breathing and heart rate are faster than normal.
- There is a feeling of exam stress and tension.
- Sometimes, you may even feel lightheaded or dizzy.
- You may start sweating more than normal.
- You are surrounded by negative thoughts regarding your performance.
Techniques to Counter Anxiety:
While there are several techniques to combat the exam stress and GMAT test anxiety, some of the best techniques that you can practice are mentioned below:
- Breathing Techniques: Just take a long and deep breath each time you are done with an answer. Also, whenever you get stuck and you start feeling blank or confused, just take a deep breath and experience the impact! Your brain will automatically start working more efficiently and this will surely solve half of your problems. After every breath, remind yourself of how far you have come and how far you have to go!
- Early preparations: There is no denying the fact that, the amount of time you invest in your preparations is directly proportional to the amount of confidence you will have. There is nothing worse than the last-minute panicking and wishing for extra time to study. In a test like GMAT, it is always better to prepare yourself for at least 2 weeks before the exam so that you can keep some time for review or revision.
- Always keep check of the date: A calendar is more than useful for an individual preparing for GMAT. A calendar will always help you make targets so that you can stick to them whenever you see the calendar. You just have to figure out and mark the days and dates on which you have to study a particular subject or topic and keep preparing as per the schedule.
- Arrive at your test center before time: When you arrive early at the test center, you get enough time to relax your body as well as your mind. It is very important to reach the examination hall with a stress-free and relaxed mind. You can give yourself enough time to drink water, breathe and roam around for a little while if you wish!
- Exercise: To overcome the exam stress and GMAT test anxiety, one of the best techniques is to exercise on a regular basis. While you are busy preparing for your examination, try to take out some time to get the fresh air and exercise in an open place. This will help you release your stress and anxiety and will prepare for an even more productive day.
- Always be proud of yourself: The very fact that you have been preparing for such a difficult exam is in itself an achievement. The journey may sometimes seem overwhelming as there’s a lot that you need to do and study before taking up the test. It is both physically as well as mentally exhausting. However, just keep reminding yourself that you are not going to give up and you are not going to ruin all your past efforts by putting yourself under stress at the time of the test.
- Never compare yourself to others: Comparison, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, is the thief of joy! Comparison can distract you and can adversely impact your GMAT performance. All that you need to do is to focus on your mind and your questions. You don’t get enough time to waste on thinking about other’s performance. The comparison will only worsen your GMAT anxiety and will increase your exam stress.
Well, since you have come so far, all you need to do now is to believe in yourself. Get rid of your exam stress and anxiety by keeping in mind these simple techniques. Just give your best and wait for the results. For more advice on how to overcome exam stress, feel free to contact Sage Education Services and book a free consultation with us.