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Test-Taking is a Skill You Can PerfectPractice is the most important key to success on standardized exams. The best way to improve your skills is to practice with older versions of the test. Adhere to time limits in order to learn how to focus on a multiple-hour exam. When you feel confident and prepared, you are far more likely to score well.
Avoid Skimping on SleepWorking through the evening may enable you to finish a paper or project, but it is a poor exam prep technique. The average standardized test is an exercise in endurance. Approaching an exam—any exam—without adequate sleep leaves your mind struggling to make the necessary connections. Note, too, that caffeine is not a substitute for proper rest. Schedule at least eight hours of sleep the night before your test.
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Ignore RumorsUnless a teacher specifically tells you what an exam will assess, do not trust rumors regarding tests. While general advice is often helpful, your perception of an exam will depend on your individual learning style. Gossip about tests can make even the simplest questions seem impossible, so take all rumors with a grain of salt and stick to the facts you know.
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Andrea Deck is a professional GRE tutor and contributing writer for Varsity Tutors. She is a graduate student at Columbia University in the class of 2015.