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Stress Management

Chris Lele
Lesson by Chris Lele
Magoosh Expert
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This is a very important video, but you may have been tempted to skip over it. Maybe at this point that makes sense cuz you really haven't delved into the GE much, but there's gonna come a point and may come very soon when your patience is tested, where you just wanna throw up your arms and say, okay, enough, I hate this expletive test. And you wanna give up for that moment.

And that's really what this video is for is getting you through those moments. Now, my hope of course is that we have an excellent product here that allows for as few of those flustered moments as possible. Nonetheless, you're still gonna need a lot of patience when you're doing GRE prep. And it's not just because maybe you haven't seen math in 10, 15 years or vocabulary words scare you, and maybe even English isn't your first language.

It's the fact that you're gonna put in a lot of effort and a lot of time, and you're not necessarily gonna see results right away. And of course nobody wants to hear that. Let's say you wanna get in a good shape, you wanna have big muscles or be really mean. The last thing you want someone to tell you is, well, you have to follow my workout but you're not gonna see results at first, you wanna say, no, I want the quick fix.

The GRE either there really is no quick fixes and take a lot of patience and what you're gonna notice is that you will finally improve, but it's gonna be more of this plateau-ing. And what I mean by that is, well, you start off here. The higher up you go, the higher your score. First, you're gonna get a little bump.

Brain gets a little bit of exposure to the GRE and you're feeling good. But then you kinda hit this wall and there's that plateau. And by the way, I'm a horrible artist. That's not the worst straight line in history, but there we go, somewhat better. What this means is, this here, this axis is high. You go one for a while, a week, two weeks not improving.

And it's at this point you're gonna need patience. Because you will suddenly improve. You're gonna go up a little bit. A few points in math, a few points in verbal. Gonna get better but it's gonna be a process like this plateauing, plateauing. Unfortunately it's not a otherwise everyone would do very well on the GRE.

Now, something else when it comes not necessarily patients but I guess it does find a patient's a little bit, something a little more subtle. And it's the idea of learning from your mistakes and of course that almost sounds cliche. Yeah, learn from your mistake, do better next time but in this GRE context and the test prep context, learning through mistakes is a lot more nuanced than that, and what I mean is when you get flustered, when you can't solve a problem, the first thing you wanna do is you wanna look at the answer.

You wanna think, okay, well, what's the answer say? And oftentimes the answer is very illuminating. Hopefully, our video explanations in every case help you arrive at the correct answer. But the idea is are you gonna be able to avoid that same mistake in the future just because we gave you an explanation?

Now hopefully, the explanation helped. At the same time, though, when you make a mistake, you should try to figure out what you did wrong, you should really dissect your thought processes so that you can next time say, , I'm going to do this instead of what I did the first time around. Now part of learning from mistakes is this idea of confusion.

And of course, we all have confusion on the GRE standardized tests. But the idea of confusion here is when you get to a certain point in a hard problem maybe it's 30 seconds, maybe it's about a minute, about this point, you're feeling flustered, feeling confused and you wanna give up. Starting off, it's very important for you not to give up. Not even to worry so much about the time.

And I know it can be very stressful cuz we have these questions with the timer counting down, but you can hide that timer. You can allow yourself to delve into the problem and understand what's going on. So this confusion isn't a bad thing. It's just and opportunity for you to figure out what this problem is about. Now think on it at a deeper level.

You try many possibilities. For instance in math, if you're not sure how to approach the problem, how to get to the answer, try a few things, experiment. But it's when this confusion rears its ugly head, it's as if you stop and give up, that's the problem. That's where this can maybe come back to patience.

And it's working through that confusion and finding your answers that's really gonna help you improve. And even if you don't get the right answer, going back through it and learning from your mistakes is gonna be very helpful in this process. So if you're watching this video now and you're gonna go and do all these GRE questions have yet do so.

Remember this video, maybe a month down the road, maybe even before you take the test. But I'd definitely encourage you to come back here and see how these apply to your GRE journey or point where you're at. And I'm sure at least one of these will. It's a good idea to come back here, of course.

And apply this video to the difficulty that you're having with the GRE. Again, it's almost inevitable, I don't wanna say, yeah, just watch all these videos, everything will become really easy. You'll get a perfect score. No, not at all. Again, its patients just gonna be plateauing.

That means they'll increase a little bit. It'll take a while for you to hit the next plateau. Okay, now as far as kinda test management goes and the whole psychological component, there's a really big thing I'm missing out, I'd be totally remiss if, I forgot to talk about managing stress the day of the test, test day during the actual test.

This is what it's really all about, you could have the utmost patience as you go through the preparation for the test, you could work for three, four months and be really ready and then you get to the test and stress unravels you. And I've talked to many people, had many students over the years who this is a problem. So what can you do?

Well, a few things. First off, breathe. It seems like the most simple thing possible to imagine, but it can really help, because what's gonna happen is you're gonna feel a knot in your stomach, just as if you were about to go on stage and talk to 2,000 people, that same butterfly, that same knot, is gonna be there.

If you breathe from your stomach, low down deep breaths and not so much from your chest and lifting up your shoulders, this is gonna help stabilize the natural panic response you're gonna have test day and trust me, it is inevitable, a panic response will rear its ugly head. So definitely breathe, learn how to breathe and, in essence, prepare yourself for battle by doing mock tests, can't recommend this to them.

Mock tests are something you can take on our website. We have mock test. You can take the mock test that ETS provides. Those are the people who actually write the GRE. And so this is great cuz you're gonna notice your pulse quickening, you're gonna feel flustered, you're gonna wanna run or leave, wherever it is you're taking the test, but the idea is that if you can learn these coping mechanisms during the mock test, it will better prepare you for testing.

So that's it as far as stress goes and psychological component but I don't wanna underestimate. This is a big part of doing well is, not just the discipline, not just following the videos and learning but really that patience. And if that doubtful voice, just probably mentioned the doubtful voice says, well, I can't do it any point, any point whether it's right after you do that, watch these videos and try a few questions or that actually test day itself.

I'm not good at this. Learn to ignore that voice. Think in terms of what have you learnt about the techniques, what have you learnt about the concepts, what have you learnt about pacing. Should you be doing a very difficult question? Maybe not. The doubtful voice is just saying I'm not good at it while you're actually doing one of the most difficult questions, skip it.

Each question is worth the same. Again, learning to cope, deal with these issues before the test or the mock test is your best way to prepare for testing.

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Intro to the GRE