What do you do to prepare for a big exam/event 1 week out?
29 April, 2016
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We asked some of out experienced GAMSAT® Exam tutors for some helpfull last minute pointers in the lead up to the GAMSAT® Exam, and here's what they said.
- Build up your general knowledge with every spare moment you get - listen to informative radio, watch movies based on historical events or documentaries
- Practice writing an essay a day and train up your wrist muscles
- Pack your stationery and things to take to GAMSAT® Exam two days ahead in case you need to buy something a day ahead
- Double check the times and make sure you take photograph ID such as a driver's licence
- Don't eat a very big breakfast!
- Don’t talk to anyone before the exam unless they are a close friend, the worst thing is speaking to someone who stresses you out just before you walk into GAMSAT® Exam
- For humanities: each day one essay, one poem, one article (e.g. opinion piece) and a chapter/short story of fiction
- Keep your stress levels at the sweet spot between not stressed enough and too stressed.
- Use your favourite stress reduction technique.
- Use the brains of friends and family. Strike up a conversation on a theme.
- Keep a regular sleep-wake cycle. Go to bed the same time every night and wake up the same time every day.
- Practise brainstorming and essay planning (simulating 5mins reading time and 5 minutes of writing time for essay planning) using the quote generator on http://www.ellipsoid.org/gmi/random-quote-generator
- Download useful Apps for quick study on the go (eg. *FREE* Apps O=Chem for revising functional groups, MCAT Vocabularly Lite for vocab drills)
- Plan something fun for the night after/week following GAMSAT® Exam so you can reward yourself and unwind
- Work out how you will reach your test venue. Nothing creates anxiety like being late.
- A run or long walk is a great way of clearing & focussing your mind.
- I ran several kms the night before gamsat® Exam, to tire myself out so I could get a good night's rest before the exam.
- Pack some lunch with you - don't assume there will be food outlets nearby. Bring some water and keep well hydrated
- Make sure you work on a regular routine at least 2 weeks prior to the exam. And don't change that routine. This gives your body time to adjust and maximize performance and endurance during the day.
- The challenge is to maintain maximum concentration throughout the length of the exam, which is easily up to 6 hours. Make sure you eat low GI foods as well as low fat foods, this prevents you from falling into a slump half way through the exam.
- Try not to rely on coffee since it might be difficult to predict when the coffee stops working.
- Try practising your GAMSAT® Exam questions during times of the day that will match those during the exam. For example, focus on section I and II between 10 am and 1 pm, whereas you should start section III after 2 pm. This allows you to gauge your concentration as per the day cycle.
- Keep up to date with current scientific trends. A good site to use is www.reddit.com/r/science
- Leave early because stressing about arriving on time ruins the day.
- Do as many practise questions as possible.
- Make sure to develop an eating habit at least a week prior to the day so that you can sustain your energy and concentration.
- I planned my route to the GAMSAT
® Exam testing venue and got a lift to reduce risks of not finding parks
- Don't feel like you have to talk to other people taking the GAMSAT
® Exam before the test. I found it made me more nervous.
- I agree with the other tutors - exercise the night before helps bring on the sleep no matter how nervous you may be.
- The day of the GAMSAT
® Exam is not a day to alter your routine so if you're a coffee drinker, have your coffee. If not, don't start the habit on the day of the GAMSAT
- And don't skip breakfast because you don't feel like eating - the GAMSAT
® Exam is an energy-demanding event; you need the glucose!
- Definitely bring some lunch so you're not worried about walking to local shops or the likely-packed cafeteria. Use lunchtime to eat, drink, go to the toilet and relax.
- Whenever I have a stressful situation coming up, I do whatever I can to reduce the unknowns. Drive there to check out the route, suss out parking if you're planning to drive yourself, or look up (and actually travel on) public transport BEFORE the day so you know how long it takes.
- Bring food and water. Nothing destroys concentration like huger/thirst. Also, lollies for a mid-test sugar hit. It's a long day.
- Reward yourself for your hard work; you won't be spending much money the weeks before because you SHOULD be studying, so promise yourself a treat, whether it's going out to a restaurant, something new or a trip somewhere.
- Study in the same state you'll do the test in. This means studying in a quiet, isolated place for extended periods of time. It also means keep to your routine; don't dose up on extra coffee/red-bull etc, it will hinder more than help.
- Relax; take a breath and let go of any stress.
- Practice Practice Practice! If you find yourself getting all the questions right, find harder ones. Do questions that you can't solve and ask for help. If you can do harder questions, then you can do easy ones. Do not waste your time on easy questions.
- 2 Weeks out, I generally do a lot of study, 1 week out, start making sure you have a regular sleep routine.
- Don't do all-nighters. Make sure you have plenty of rest the night before.
- Don't freak out or stress if you have no idea about an example problem you come across while studying. Ask a tutor or post online, know that we can/should be able to explain everything.