The months, weeks, and days leading up to a major admission test can be a major source of stress for students. Unfortunately, that stress doesn’t necessarily go away once the test is over. In this post, we cover some of the best ways to manage stress after handing in your test.
1. Breathe deeply
As soon as you turn in your test, take a deep breath! All those months of studying will have finally paid off. As you exhale, let go of any tension left in your body. Practicing deep breathing (for about three to five minutes daily) can calm your mind and balance out any emotions you have about the test.
2. Don’t compare yourself to other people
After the test, remember to keep the focus on your own test performance, not anyone else’s. How your best friend, neighbor, classmate, or study buddy feels they did on the test really doesn’t matter. Stay away from Internet forums, which are a popular place for people to gather and discuss how the test went online. Remember, no one will have their score back yet, so there’s no point speculating about your scores.
3. Keep your mind off the test
There’s no use spending time or energy on the test anymore when you can’t go back to change your answers. We know it can be tempting to worry over potential missed questions, but it won’t be worth the stress. If someone asks how you did, just say you’d rather not talk about it and change the subject. Looking for other ways to take the test off your mind? Try picking up a new hobby, spending time with friends, or reading a good book.
4. Stay productive with your applications
Just because the test is over, doesn’t mean the application process is. Put your energy toward your personal statements, essay supplements, resume, and interview prep, and you really won’t have time to stress out about your test score. Follow up with your professors about the status of your letters of recommendation; ask your school’s registrar about when they’ll be sending your transcript. Once you get your test score back, you want to be ready to submit your applications (particularly so if the programs you’re interested in practice rolling admissions).
Test prep is a stressful time for most students. Once your test is over, give yourself the recognition you deserve. Take a few days off to have some fun – whether that means going on a shopping spree, taking a weekend trip, or going out to a fancy dinner, there’s no shortage of ways that you can treat yourself.
Catherine writes for the Magoosh Blog to support future grad school students by unlocking tricks of the test prep and application trade. Catherine spends her free time checking out local farmer’s markets, reading food and lifestyle blogs, and watching Bravo. She is forever in search of the best Mexican and Italian food in any given city.