GRE testing day: 5 tips for success

The day you’ve been preparing for is just around the corner: testing day! While it may be tempting to do some last minute cramming the night before or day-of, it will probably do more harm than good. Instead, read these tips to ensure success on test day: 

Get a good night’s sleep the night before. You’ve probably heard this one time and time again, but it is scientifically proven that a good night’s rest improves retention and can lead to a better test performance. So get those 8 hours!

Stop studying. Take some time to calm your nerves and relax before your test. A good rule of thumb is to completely finish studying at 8 p.m. the night before a test and briefly glance over your study materials the day-of. Take some time to exercise, read a book, or even watch a movie to relax and unwind before the test. 

Eat a good breakfast. The right food can energize your system and improve your alertness to sustain you throughout the test. If you do not normally eat breakfast, you should still make the time to eat something. Protein-rich foods are great for mental awareness. 

Prep your materials. ETS provides guidelines on what to bring and what not to bring to the test center on their website. You’ll likely want to bring:

  • Admission ticket
  • Directions to the test center 
  • Photo ID 
  • Pencils (*no mechanical pencils) 
  • Water bottle and snacks 

Plan ahead. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get to the testing center by arriving at least 15 minutes early. Running late and rushing can add unnecessary stress before your test. 

Test day is not the time to start doubting your abilities. You have been preparing for weeks at this point — trust that you know the information and be confident that you’re ready to tackle this test.