Stressed about the GMAT? GRE? Keep these best practices in mind:

Does taking a timed, standardized test stress you out? Well, know that you’re not alone.

Standardized tests like the GMAT, GRE, SAT, ACT, or LSAT can easily become a major source of stress as the time until your exam begin to dwindle to only a few weeks or days. Stress can be a good thing: it can motivate you to work harder, to try new methods or approaches, or to push away the other distractions in your life. But stress before a major exam needs to be managed appropriately. Here are some tips:

In the week(s) leading up to your test, you should:

1. List your weaknesses and create a study schedule to overcome them, one topic at a time.

2. Get some exercise. It’s a natural way to de-stress.

3. Limit self-deprecating humor and keep a positive attitude. Telling yourself you’re never going to be prepared doesn’t help.

4. Get sufficient sleep. Read more

Congrats to Grockit’s Top 10 Members, December 18-24!

Trophy!

Congrats to the following Grockit members who completed the most practice in the third week of December 2013!

1. Saranya S.           Grockit GMAT    560 Questions Answered

2. Dhananjay J.     Grockit GMAT    483 Questions Answered

3. Evangelia            Grockit GMAT    467 Questions Answered

4. Nicholas               Grockit GMAT     462 Questions Answered

5. Isha                        Grockit SAT         442 Questions Answered

6. Kuldeep K.           Grockit SAT          430 Questions Answered

7. Salsabeel             Grockit SAT          401 Questions Answered

8. Kaushik               Grockit GMAT     368 Questions Answered

8. Alpeshkumar    Grockit GMAT     368 Questions Answered

10. Jyotirmoy R.  Grockit GMAT     347 Questions Answered

Can you answer 200 Questions on Grockit before 2014? See if you can make the list! Congrats — Ethan

Grockit adds New GMAT Integrated Reasoning Content

We’re excited to announce that we’ve begun adding new GMAT content as part of our commitment to continued development of Grockit’s products.

GMAT students will find a new set of videos covering the basics, strategies, and question types covered in the Integrated Reasoning section. Along with GMAT IR question practice launching in 2014, these videos are the first of many new content videos that will be available to GMAT students in the coming year.

Grockit GMAT students can find the videos available now under the “Video Courses” at https://grockit.com/gmat

For a sample, check out:

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=lofwSdTlYAs

Look for more question packs, skills videos, and more in all of our preparation materials. We’ll keep you updated here — and don’t hesitate to let us know what features and content we can bring to you in the New Year!

–The Grockit Team

 

Congrats to Grockit’s Top 10 Users, December 11-17!

Trophy!

Congrats to the following Grockit members who completed the most practice in the second week of December 2013!

Firas A.               Grockit GMAT    954 Questions Answered  *2nd week at #1!

Dhara                 Grockit GRE         587 Questions Answered

Waseem A         Grockit ACT         528 Questions Answered

Casey                  Grockit GMAT    445 Questions Answered

Emily S.             Grockit GMAT     438 Questions Answered

Kate L.                Grockit ACT         430 Questions Answered

Vishesh D.         Grockit GMAT    409 Questions Answered

Patrick W.        Grockit GMAT    399 Questions Answered

Daniel E.            Grockit ACT        373 Questions Answered

Ganesh              Grockit GMAT     363 Questions Answered

Did you make the list? Keep up your practice at grockit.com!

Follow Grockit on Twitter for News and Updates

Happy New Year!

As 2013 comes to a close and we look forward to a wonderful 2014 at Grockit, we want to keep you aware of all of the upcoming updates, upgrades, and product releases that we have planned. Keep an eye out for all of the great changes, and follow us on twitter. You’ll find us providing live updates and discounts by following @grockit, or any of our product pages at @grockitGMAT, @grockitCollege, @grockitLSAT, @grockitGREprep.

Thanks for a great year at Grockit and for a great first few months as part of the Kaplan family.  –Ethan

Congrats to Grockit’s Top 10 Users, December 4-10!

Trophy!

Congrats to the following Grockit members who completed the most practice in the first week of December 2013!

Firas A.               Grockit GMAT    592 Questions Answered

Madison R.         Grockit GMAT    570 Questions Answered

Ben                      Grockit GMAT    470 Questions Answered

Siddhartha S.   Grockit GMAT    445 Questions Answered

Liliana                Grockit ACT        440 Questions Answered

Prashant            Grockit GMAT    438 Questions Answered

Paddy                 Grockit GMAT    420 Questions Answered

Harish K.           Grockit GMAT   366 Questions Answered

Huda S.              Grockit SAT        365 Questions Answered

Mohamed          Grockit GMAT   357 Question Answered

Keep it up and answer more questions at grockit.com!

Managing Standardized Test Stress: An Expert Opinion

Every autumn, as students of all ages prepare to take the admission tests for college and grad school that get administered at year’s end, a whole slew of newspapers, websites and even television reporters turn their attention to how freaked out everyone is. Here’s a link to a typical example: http://www.kswo.com/story/23909436/special-report-test-stress

KSWO is certainly well intentioned, and I suppose there’s some value – some reassurance or fellow-feeling, maybe – in hearing the first-hand testimonials of those currently shaking in their boots at the prospect of playing little David to the test’s Goliath.

Read more

Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Your GRE Score

Practicing free GRE test questions on ETS’s official GRE website or on Grockit is a great way to familiarize yourself with the content, but you’ll also need a comfort-level with the revised format to take a bad GRE score to a good GRE score. Here are the top ten things you’ll need to know about the GRE scoring to add a great GRE score to your graduate school application.

  • The AWA scoring is between 0-6.

    This remains unchanged from the old GRE. You’ll still writing two essays, which will be scored in .5 increments by two graders. You will receive “NS” or no score, if you do not type any text. You will receive 0 if you write in a foreign language, or completely off-task.

  • Verbal and Quantitative are on a 130-170 scale.

    The scaled score on the GRE is the most noticeable difference between the older GRE and the revised GRE (as of August 2011). The scaled score is in increments of 1 point. (Previously, the GRE scaled score was between 200-800).

  • Official scores will be received 10-15 days after the test.

    On Test Day, you will receive an “unofficial” score, but you can view your official scores a couple weeks later for free online by creating a “My GRE Account” here.

  • It costs $12 to get your score by phone.

    If for some reason you cannot create an account online, you can call  1-609-771-7290 or  1-888-473-7267 toll free and pay the $12 by debit or credit card. It’s much easier to create the “My GRE Account” if you can!

  • Scores are valid for five years.

    The Revised GRE test scores are cumulative and reportable for five years after the testing year in which you tested (July 1 – June 30). So, for example, if you took the test in May of 2012, your score would be valid until June 30th, 2017.

  • A cancelled score does not appear on record.

    Remember that if you view your “unofficial” score at the GRE testing center, you cannot then choose to cancel it. You must cancel before seeing your score, and if you cancel your score will not be reported to any score recipients and you will not receive a refund.

  • Be familiar with the percentiles.

    The GRE offers tables showing the percentile equivalents for all scaled scores here. This will help you understand where your scaled score falls percentage-wise.

  • There are two Verbal sections and two Quantitative sections that are scored.

    There is also an additional unscored section, which may be Verbal, Quantitative, or AWA. Don’t try to guess which section is the experimental unscored section – it can appear in any order. Treat all sections as if they are scored.

  • The “research” section, if you do see it, is not scored.

    This is separate from the “unscored” section, and may or may not appear on your GRE. If it does appear, it will always come last in the test and unlike the unscored section, will obviously not be similar to the scored sections.

  • You must answer every question.

    The Revised GRE allows you to mark questions and return to them later, skipping around within a section. Make sure that you still answer all 20 questions within each section. Don’t forget about ones that you skipped or your score will be negatively impacted!

Check out more great tips at our GRE Blog or at grockit.com!

 

How to Study the Week Before Your GRE

Farb N.

In my years as a teacher I’ve learned a lot about how to get ready the week before your GRE. I’ve learned from my own experience in preparing for the test but also from the many students I’ve had. Eventually I put together what I think is a good routine for the week before the test and I’ve found that it works for me and a lot of my students have agreed. I would always share this advice with my students at the end of my time with them.

These suggestions are all about creating a routine for yourself. The more routine you have the less likely you are to get nervous and excited. A calm and cool state is the best thing you can do to actually hit your maximum potential score on the test. Having the week and day before the test planned out will help this a lot.

Farb N. Grockit Founder

Need a few more points to help your grad school odds? Get a 7-day pass to Grockit for only $9.99

One Week Before the GRE

  • DO Stay healthy

    Make sure you exercise, eat well, and get lots and lots of sleep.

  • DO Get a Massage

    If you can, try and get one two or three days before the test, but not the day before.

  • DO Clean your living space

    A clean and organized living space helps promote a focused and confident mind. A lot of people don’t think this makes a difference until they try it.

  • DO Visit your test site

    If at all possible make a visit to the test center you’ll be taking your test at. The less you have to think about in terms of traffic and road conditions on test day, the fewer excuses your nerves will have to get wired.

  • DO Review the rules

    Know what items you can and can’t bring to the test including any ID requirements. You don’t want to be surprised the day of the test.



Expert Tip

I generally recommend taking no more than one or two full length MSTs during the week leading up to the GRE. If you do take any full length practice tests, try and replicate the routine you will have for the day of your real GRE. For this week, try to have some un-worked practice questions that you can practice with.


Student Advice

Timed practice is really important at this point because you want your mind and body to be used to the pace of the test. Try working some drills in which you give yourself two minutes to answer each question or ten minutes to answer five. It’s really important to make sure you’re putting the same effort into reviewing your work and not just doing more and more questions.

Day Before the GRE

    • DO Have fun with Friends

      Just keep it tame enough that you’ll be ready for your test.

    • DO Eat your favorite dinner

      Avoid foods like shellfish or spicy meals if you have a sensitive stomach.

    • DO Watch a Funny Movie before Bed

      Our recommendation? Step Brothers.

    • DO Sleep at least 8 hours

      Set multiple alarms so that you don’t oversleep.


    Expert Tip

    The theme of this day is rest, relaxation and recreation. Give your brain a break from GRE work. This will accomplish a couple things. One, you’re less likely to get last minute nerves about the test and two, you’ll give your brain some time to get out of practice mode and into a cool state before the test. DON’T do GRE work the day before the test.


    Day of your GRE

      • Do Wake up Early

        Give yourself at least 2 hours before your test if you have a morning test.

      • Do Eat your favorite breakfast

        But don’t eat too much. Try to balance sugar, carbohydrates, and proteins.

      • Do drink coffee if you usually do

        There’s no point in changing your morning routine, so…

      • Don‘t drink coffee if you usually don’t

        Straying from your daily routine isn’t sensible on the day of your test.

      • Do Warm Up

        Work 3 of each question type from each section of the test.

      • Don’t check your answers to your warm-up

        It’s tempting, but remember the goal is to warm up, not to test yourself.

      • Do Arrive 30 minutes before the test starts

        This will ensure that you have adequate time to get in the mindset to ace your GRE.



      Expert Tip

      I think it’s important to do a short warm-up before your test. The idea isn’t to get practice or to learn something new. The idea is to not have the very first GRE questions you work that day counting for your real GRE score. Working just a few questions without checking the answer choices will help prime your brain for the questions and timing of the test. Working a few questions without checking the answers also preps you for what the test will feel like as you can’t find out how you’re doing as the test goes.



      Student Advice

      Dress in layers. Whether its summer or winter, you never know what the temperature will be at your testing site. You won’t be able to petition the GRE for 10 more points because you were too cold or too warm. Take control of your test day experience.

      At Your GRE

        • Do Bring a pocket snack like an energy bar

          You can’t eat during the test but having a snack is good if you step out to the bathroom.

        • Do have a totem for support

          Bring something small that belongs to someone you care about that you can have in your pocket or on you.

        • Do bring everything you’re instructed

          Remember to bring your ID, confirmation, and any other required materials.



        Expert Tip

        If you’ve been doing good timed practice, you should have a good sense of the pacing of the test and how it should feel. Rely on this and the techniques you’ve learned for working the different types and styles of questions. The ideal state is basically being a robot. This means you’re just doing the work in an unemotional state.

        Finally

          Remember, build a routine for the week before the test and you’ll be in your best mental state for the big day. Good luck!

           

           

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