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Active Rest In Between GRE Sections?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Boston2k, May 25, 2008.

  1. Boston2k

    Boston2k 10+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    When I took the GRE, my mind was a bit fried after spending the time/effort on the essays, which I believe affected my performance in the verbal/quantitative. I took the 10 minute break in between, is there anything I can do other than walk around/get water/bathroom that will help refresh me? Same goes for the 1 minute break between other sections. I was wondering if anyone had personal anecdotes or research knowledge on the issue, because I don't want to have an inaccurate reflection of performance :(
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  3. PsychBiker

    PsychBiker 7+ Year Member

    May 6, 2008
    Closing my eyes and breathing deeply always helped me. Its kind of like a meditation thing: clear your mind, listen to your breathing. Also, splashing some water on your face never hurts. :)
  4. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist 7+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    Short of snorting a line of crystal meth, probably not... Getting up and moving around is the best bet... take all the breaks, they are helpful to be sure.

  5. RayneeDeigh

    RayneeDeigh 5+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    I'm one of those weird people that skipped the break and just wanted to get it all done. I never take the optional breaks for anything.

    But as crazy as it may sound, a friend told me that aromatherapy helped during the break. Take a candle or something with an "energizing" scent and sniff it during your break. It's not as good as cocaine I'm sure, but hey it can't hurt.
  6. terpskins10

    terpskins10 PhD Student 5+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    The breaks are optional? How does that work, do half the people leave and half stay or something?
  7. Ilovecows

    Ilovecows 2+ Year Member

    Feb 3, 2008
    opt to take a break or go straight to through to the whatever section comes next (quant / qual). Maybe everyone in the room is not writing the GRE. So it wouldn't be half leave half not leave. It's different like that. Not like those SATs. (from so long ago).
    Btwn the sections there's a break you can use to stretch fingers, stretch body...

    What my friend who took it last mo told me.
  8. blindchaos

    blindchaos 5+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2007
    Same here - I just skipped them b/c I wanted to get it done and over with!

    And yes, it is optional - at the site where I took my test, people were taking a variety of tests (not just the GRE) and people started at different times so even if multiple people were taking the GRE, they wouldn't hit breaks at the same time (and some people will finish sections before time runs out so they'll get to breaks more quickly than someone who started at the exact same time and uses up the full time allotment).

    I also didn't want to take a break b/c the lady that took me into the testing room was rather snooty in explaining how to take a break (or go to the restroom). You have to raise your hand, wait for the proctor to come over to you, be escorted out of the room and taken directly to the restroom while someone waits just outside the restroom for you OR if you just want to walk around, you are limited to the front lobby so someone can watch you the whole time (to make sure you aren't cheating or pulling notes/cheat sheets out of your pockets, etc) and to make sure you don't talk with people coming into the lobby to start their tests. It seemed like way too much of a hassle to me and the lady was kinda rude and honestly I'm just impatient :p

    The only thing I did do was take the sound-reducing headphones they offered so I wouldn't be distracted by everyone tapping away at their keyboards (it was kinda loud in the room).
  9. psybee

    psybee Psychology Grad Student! 5+ Year Member

    if you memorize the instructions for the sections (each section will have a tutorial) you can use that time to take a breath, and especially in the begining,, get used to the sound reduction headphones. they were ultimately helpful for me, but it took a few disorienting minutes to get used to quiet.
  10. EquestriAnn

    EquestriAnn 2+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    I'm not sure if all testing centers are the same, but people come and go at different times, it's not like there are 20 people who all go in and take the test together. There was some other girl in the lobby with me who was taking a nursing test but I never saw her again after I went in. You do it all yourself on the computer, it has a countdown during the break but you can just click "continue" and go on if you don't want the break. One of the biggest problems I had was that my eyes really hurt after staring at that bright shiny computer screen for hours, so I took the break and went to the bathroom and rubbed my eyes and tried to regain some energy.
  11. EquestriAnn

    EquestriAnn 2+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    My Princeton Review instructor told me to skip the instructions and prepare my scratch paper, which I did. However she also told me that the experimental section is always at the end and it's optional, which I believed. Had I read the instructions I would have found out that it was not at the end nor was it optional, but this was all a surprise to me. So after a 45 minute math section which I thought I bombed, I had another math section pop up and I was SOOOO confused. I raised my hand but nobody came to help me so I just did it all the while cursing my overpaid instructor. I should have raised hell with TPR but I ended up doing fine and figured it wasn't worth it.
  12. Psycycle

    Psycycle Psychologist 10+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2006
    I put a chocolate bar in my locker and ate it on my break. The quick sugar rush definitely picked me up for the second part of the test.
  13. JockNerd

    JockNerd 5+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    yeah, I just took a big breath and skipped the break.

    As for the original post, for goodness' sake don't let the essays stress you. They're marked in 3 seconds, the strongest correlate of grade is essay length, and no admissions committee cares about them.
  14. pinknyyy

    pinknyyy 7+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    I skipped the break because I just wanted to get it over with... I also didn't put a lot of effort into the essays so maybe that kept me calm :p

    Just try to clear your head for a minute and go for it... You'll be fine :)

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