As they say, you should relax and sleep well a day before your exam or an interview. So, the same is applicable for GRE, the 4-hour exam which test your analytical ability and critical thinking. Cramming the day before the GRE test will not only make you nervous but will also affect your score. When you have been into intensive preparation for months, you really do not have to sit and cram the topics again. GRE tests the candidate’s aptitude based on practical knowledge and real life scenarios, hence, there is no point sitting with a text book all night long and wake up with puffed eyes. You would not want to nod off during the exam, therefore, nothing is more important than a good night’s sleep. Besides that, here a few tips you should follow before the test day.

  1. Strict to your routine for the day before the test be it going out for a morning walk or reading a few pages of your novel. Do not deflect from that other than a proper sleep.
  2. Do not cram unnecessary and fray your nerves on something which you think you might have missed our earlier. Relax and just solve a few practice questions and again, do not panic if you are not able to solve them.
  3. Now on the exam day, when you are fresh after a proper 6-7 hour sleep, do have your breakfast since you will have to hustle your brain for the long test and for that, you need healthy food to energise the brain. Eat nuts and bananas preferably but stick to what your body is used to.
  4. The most important thing is your I.D. – a valid photo I.D. that includes your name, photo and signature. Remember to keep your I.D. one day before the test to avoid the last minute hassle.
  5. You will also need to bring a confirmation email to the test centre with all the details of the test.
  6. Wear layered clothing such as sweatshirts and jackets since the test centre is usually cold and you might feel distracted in case you are not comfortable.
  7. Carry a bottle of water and keep yourself hydrated.
  8. Do not carry calculator or any other electronic device.
  9. At the end of the test, you will have an option to send your scores to four schools for free by using the feature called Score Select. It is advisable to have a list of four schools on your mind before the test day.
  10. Before the test day, familarise yourself with the route to the test centre. Check with the GPS co-ordinates to have a fair idea of the venue in case you are not able to visit the same one day before the test.

Will all these simple pointers, you can easily get through the exam day without panicking or getting nervous. Just remember to relax and sleep well one day before the test day. Do not stress yourself and think about the consequences beforehand. Just be confident and enjoy the exam.

GRE Test Day: Take it easy

Anxiety on a day before any examination is normal and if it is GRE, then it might be a slightly more, given the importance of the examination for each candidate. Well, worry not, we are here to help you. We have put together everything that you must know before the GRE Test Day.

A Good Night’s Sleep

Yes, remember those times in school when you were told to go early to bed and early to rise was your mantra. Well, it should be no different before the GRE. Dozing off in the middle of an examination has always been the tricky part while you are in the examination hall. A day before the GRE, it is very important for you to stick to your normal routine which of course, must be on track while you have been preparing for it. Say no to any invitations to mingle socially and plan on rescheduling them for a later date. Doing something extraordinary like switching off your mobile phone or handing it over to your friend to keep yourself away from it, will not be helpful. While you are at following your normal routine, ensure that you eat on time and go to bed early to have the necessary energy to sit alert and active for the four plus hours.

No cramming

If you plan on pulling an all-nighter for an intense cramming session, trust me, it is not a good idea at all. The GRE tests are based upon to assess your preparation over the last few months or years. A night’s cramming will only exhaust you. This doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to practice any questions at all but I insist that you should relax as much as you can. Soothe your nerves so that you do not end up feeling drained out the next morning.

Packing your bag for the GRE

It is crucial for you to carry a valid Identity Proof that carries your name, signature and photo. In case you are writing the test outside the U.S, do carry your passport. Another very important thing to pack up in your bag is some energy bars. Now don’t take it literally. To write a 65-line essay on, you sure do need to pump your brain with something that will help you in sustaining the marathon. I suggest dates and nuts for that extra fuel you need to beat the stress to get to the end of it.

Here’s your GRE test day checklist

Things that you need to pack

Valid Identity Proof

Authorization Voucher

A water bottle to keep you hydrated

Carry a sweatshirt in case the examination hall is too cold

Things that you pack but not carry to the centre

Snack bars, nuts and dates for the break

Cell Phone (in case you have to tell your mom to pick you up later)

Last minute lifeline notes

Things that you cannot pack

Any stationery – pens or pencils

Calculator (only the on-screen one is allowed)

Other information that you might find helpful

If I want to know the schools that I need to send my scores to, can I send it the same day? Is there a definite number of schools that I can select?

Yes. Using the feature, Score Select, you can send your scores to a maximum of four schools on the GRE test day. This feature will come up once you finish the test. There is also an option to send scores from all the GRE-tests that you have taken in the last five years, all for free.

If you are willing to send your scores to more than four schools, then you have to pay a fee of $25 per school.

Duration of the test

The test will take approximately four hours, starting the timer from checking in the center, background verification questions, two 30-minute essays and five math/verbal sections. The good part: the scheduled breaks in between the sections. It is advisable to be seated at all times except during the breaks but make sure you raise an alarm if you feel suffocated or need medical attention in some way. The clock keeps on ticking if you wish to take breaks more often than the ones that are scheduled.


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