GRE Snacks 7 – Master test anxiety with tips from a GRE perfect scorer

Tyler York
GRE Snacks

Anxiety affects everyone, especially on high stakes exams. But NOT being anxious is key for high performance. So how do we master it? Orion shares his tips that helped him land a perfect GRE score and that he normally charges thousands to share with his clients.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive course to maximize your score on the GRE exam, check out Achievable’s GRE course that was authored by Orion.

GRE Snacks 7 – Master test anxiety with tips from a GRE perfect scorer transcript:

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 Welcome to GRE snacks snackable episodes about the GRE exam and graduate school admission. I'm Tyler founder of Achievable. Let's get started. So for today, we are going to talk about how to master test anxiety just generally end with the GRE exam Orion. I feel like with your background. This is a really good topic for you to cover my experience in a tree but some of you might know I'm also a licensed psychologist in California. So I work with people's thoughts and feelings all the time as part of my private practice here in the Bay Area.
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 So, let me tell you that test anxiety can.
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 Create an enormous negative impact on students performance. If unaddressed unfortunately know at the end of the day, it's what you can show show. If you have privately practice Mastery of all of these different concepts, if you are scoring very very well in your diagnostics at home in your pajamas on the day of the test your flooded with terrible panic and anxiety. Unfortunately, you're not going to get the score that you otherwise deserve because that Panic is just going to obstruct your ability to perform on par with your potential. This is something that is extremely important to mitigate especially for those who are interested in performing at a high level above let's say a 163
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 Performative aspects things like managing your test anxiety dealing with concentration or fatigue sharpening your mind against mine laundry.
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 These things become increasingly important if you want to achieve at the highest echelons in this standardized test and probably any other domain of Mastery elements become more important.
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 So I'll start off by saying that one of the best ways of mitigating test anxiety is to know your stuff backwards and forward it goes without saying but Masters don't get as anxious as novices in their domains of expertise now test anxiety and panic and happen to anybody but you can do your part as a student by mastering the material that's given for you to learn if you know this backwards and forwards if you could do a ratio box in your sleep, if you know the seven-step body paragraph rubric for an argument essay just right off the bat then you're going to be in a very good position to rely on your training and just execute when the time comes make sense now, here's a big panic.
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 He's like the mortal enemy of test-taking. I don't know if you've ever experienced Panic tiling probably have is a human being but my experience satanic is like a white out. It's like deer in the headlights. My mind goes blank all of my previous training and plan goes out the window and I'm kind of in like survival mode and we don't want to be there when we're taking a high-stakes standardized test because I will be like what we did in 8th grade. We regress when we're under intense anxiety stress or pressure. We all do no matter how mature we think that we are. So we want to make sure that we kind of keep our anxiety levels low enough so they don't spill over into panic.
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 I'm saying this because once Panic it's the scenes of actually really hard to address the way I manage test anxiety is to prevent it from occurring. There's not much you can do one or two hits the scene. There's one little trick that I know I'll get to that in a few minutes. First of all, we'll talk about how to like pull out the Panic at its roots as a psychologist. I understand that behind every single feeling is a thought.
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 And that's what takes on several varieties from person to person but we were talking about panic in the context of the sanitize test like the GRE thought of something like I can't do this. I'm running out of time. I don't know what to do. I'm going to fail I'm failing and I believe it is true. I would feel panicked anybody would feel panicked who had that thought attended to it and believe that it was true. The feeling of panic is in personal. That's my point feelings are kind of anybody who had that thought and believed it to be true and tended to it would also feel the same way.
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 So this is important preciate because it means that certain thoughts are not your friend.
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 You can't allow yourself to think any thought that you want and expect that. You're still going to remain cool as a cucumber while you take this test certain thoughts. Just need to be kind of pulled out by the root.
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 We can't allow ourselves the luxury of attending to certain thoughts because we know that they provoke are anxiety. Okay, I think those thoughts anymore doesn't work. Sometimes invited. They don't knock they just sort of barging in like
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 So it's not that you were inviting those thoughts into your mind. They just sort of show up uninvited.
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 But what you do have some control over is whether you attend to them or not.
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 Attention is the conduit through which things enter into our Consciousness and when things are Consciousness they expand like a liquid or whatever. We attend to gets bigger like a magnifying glass.
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 It increases the intensity of whatever we're attending to so our work is not to prohibit certain thoughts because that's not really possible to be like jealously guard our attention so that we don't allow ourselves to attend to them and how do we do that?
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 Well, basically what we want to do is put our attention somewhere else as quickly as strongly as possible.
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 Counter-intuitively what that means is we're actually going to make our situation slightly more difficult on ourselves for a short amount of time because if we can absorb ourselves in a slightly more challenging tasks.
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 Then our attention gets absorbed in that and not the anxiety producing thought and the entire producing. Can leave through the window that it came in through.
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 Does this Lake jumping in and taking a just like you think you're freaking out about your testing you like just puppies puppies puppies, or is it more in the context of the test?
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 If you're really in puppies make you feel real safe and warm and protected maybe puppies work for you Tyler. I'm not here to judge. But as a psychologist, I don't know what our attention really gets hooked on our adequate challenges challenging but like a puzzle crossword our disposal when were the middle of taking a test like the GRE that I was going to but I mentioned earlier.
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 I'm not feeling it from the psychiatric mental status evaluation, which is what psychiatrist used to kind of see if people are psychotic or not. And it's real simple serial sevens works. If you start with a random number, let's say 1:50, and then you try to mentally subtract 7 from that number every second. So it's like 15143 136 129 122 115 108 101-94 not absorbed in this and you want to fail at
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 Let me explain why this works. First of all seven don't really have a a very obvious pattern. So it's not something that you can kind of Dubai wrote especially if you're just picking a number out of the blue you generally will have to attend to it and for most people subtracting 7 from a three-digit number requires a lot of attention, especially if you're doing it once the second here is the great invisible but compelling challenge for your mind to occupy yourself with to get hooked and absorb into the task and then to increase the difficulty like the rate of you take me away until you fail at it. Why does that work? Because when you fail it's like your attention system crashes and then it like hard reboots.
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 This means that what if you get absorbed in this task and you do it until you fail your attention will go down and it will reboot and whatever it was there before shouldn't be there anymore because you've absorbed the tension and it failed.
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 Does that make sense?
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 At that point the only way that that's how it's going to come back at 10. If you were invited to the great thing about this that you're doing it. This should only take 10 to 30 seconds Max to be effective. And you could also try this. Is there any kind of jealousy if you recognize the thoughts that tend to stimulate that emotion see if you can't like
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 Put your attention away from those thoughts using the serial sevens technique in your own life to see if it actually works that's a super interesting tactic and I really love that you shared that. I think that that's going to be something new that no one charger for I'm also curious. I think there's more General strategy around Mansion test anxiety, like from a higher level. I think you know, they can be simple things like make sure you get enough sleep make sure you show up early to the test center so that you're not freaking out about getting to the tested it before you even get there. Right like give time to kind of just like process and things like that anything else that you do you recommend absolutely act like their mom for a little bit if you do but you don't do it for a few days before your test you get good night sleep for several days up into that you practice waking up at that time you get to the testing center for doing it in person with plenty of time you rehearse.
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 Do some warm-up before you actually take the test to your Ori thinking Jerry thoughts. You're in the vibe.
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 All of that you make sure you have breakfast or lunch you bring a snack for your longer break to keep your blood sugar energy up all that stuff.
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 Here's another really good higher order hack. So that's what you're asking for is deep diaphragmatic paced breathing. So let's kind of break this case. Breathing is any breath where the exhale is longer than its inhale and hold it on to repeat on for holding onto out on a date holding onto so basically as you can see my exhale was twice as long as my inhale, why is it helpful? This is actually know yoga cat.
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 Extending your exhale relatives or inhale activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is the body's inherent relaxation response. It like makes your vessels dilate which allows circulation and oxygen to improve it just chills you out.
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 It's also important to breathe from the diaphragm. Like your belly shallow chest breathing is both a sign of anxiety and causes anxiety possible. You want to put your hands on your belly button and try to Breathe Into Your Hands slow and deep extending your Excel relative to your in hell you could kind of do this. I guess the entire time you're taking the test, but it's really important do it like during your brakes as a way to kind of like give your body a reset and I'm up in your mind a small chance to rest and reset before the next Spring, right? And also I saw this great video, I think a lot of people seen it out of the monkey explaining how meditation works and what medication is this idea that like meditation is Justice like state that you have her. And he's like no vegetation is just you just sit there and your brain your monkey brain is chattering away and you just telling it you're just making it stop over and over again and that's meditation.
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 And his big thing was the with the breath the reason why like they're they're the advantages of the breath and being conscious of the breath that you talked about. But the main reason why it's important for meditation is because it's something for your mind to do so that it's easy to block the other stuff. So I feel like that also probably all ties in
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 Is true if you talk to me about I'll try to concentrate on meditation as opposed to mindfulness meditation where there is a point of focus in a lot of countries do meditations use the breath of the point of focus because it's hard to think about nothing as a psychologist. I know you can't tell people not to do something doesn't work. What you do is you give them something else to do instead that is actually more in line with what they really want and doesn't cause extra necessary problems like a 07
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 Great. Alright. Well, this is GRE snacks hosted by Orion from Stellar GRE and Tyler from Achievable a tubal in Orion and partner to build a great GRE course, you can check it out for free at achievable.me.
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