The day before a major test can be particularly excruciating; on the one hand, you can't wait to get the exam over with, while on the other hand, just the thought of taking the exam makes you afraid. So, how do you deal with these contradictory feelings? Well, here is an extremely simple solution; do nothing. Yes, you heard that right. As far as possible, try to avoid doing anything related to studies a day before a test.
If you have been preparing for a major test like the SAT, MCAT, GRE, USMLE, GMAT etc., chances are that your mind has been bombarded with an overload of information. You have tried your best to organize things in your head, but it might still be more than what your brain can handle. Therefore, it makes all the sense in the world to take a break and give your mind some well-deserved rest. This way, your mind can put together all the bits and pieces to construct a meaningful whole.
Treat the day before an exam like any other day
We know this is easier said than done but we will still urge you to try. When you wake up on the day before an exam, pretend like it's a lazy Sunday . . . sleep a little later than you would on a regular day and try to relax your body. When you finally get out of bed, don't reach for the books! Research has shown that students who relax on the penultimate day perform better on tests.
Make plans for after the exam
Even in dire straits, thoughts of having a blissful time after the exam must have kept you going. Luckily for you, that time won't be too far away 24 hours before the exam. Call up your friends and make plans about the next day, check out movie listings or fantasize about going to your favorite restaurant. All in all, stay relaxed and don't allow your mind to stray elsewhere.
Have a little workout session
We would have told you to get some sleep but we know how difficult that can be before an exam. Instead, you should tire yourself out enough to get some decent sleep. On the day before the test, make some time for a light workout session. The crucial word here is light. Don't overdo it since you don't want to be in any physical discomfort during the exam. Go for an evening walk or swim a few laps or do some yoga; this will keep you calm and composed and it will help you fall asleep easily.
Watch your caffeine intake
For a lot of students, coffee is a potential savior during prep time. However, it's not a great idea to have a lot of coffee the day before the exam. It might keep you awake through the night and this, in turn, will make you sleepy and agitated during the exam. Therefore, be a little cautious about the quantity of caffeine you have before a test.
Get your stuff ready for the exam
For any kind of standardized test, you will need to carry a bunch of things to the venue, including a photo ID, admission slip, particular kinds of pens or pencils, watch or timer, calculator (if permitted), etc. So make sure to get these things organized the day before and put them in your bag. Next, pick out comfortable clothes for the day of the exam. Finally, take a deep breath and remind yourself that at the end of the day, it's just an exam. The more relaxed you feel, the better you will perform! All the very best!