Make it count to TOEIC Test Preparation
The fact you are reading this article probably means that you will be taking a TOEIC exam in the nearby future, perhaps even tomorrow. The last 24 hours leading up to your TOEIC exam are as crucial to achieving a good score as the last month(s) of studying have been. There is scientific evidence that shows what you do on the last day before your exam can make or break your score, so pay close attention. In this article, we will give you some advice on the do’s and don’ts during the final countdown.
Balancing study and relaxation
You’ve been studying very hard and for a long time, so it may seem as if the day before your TOEIC exam is your last chance to squeeze in a few extra of hours studying. Be careful however, as the way you study on the last day before the exam is very critical, and studying incorrectly might actually be counterproductive towards achieving a good TOEIC score. The key to getting the most out of your final day is to balance the right amount of study with the right amount of relaxation.
Do’s for Your TOEIC Exam
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend any time on studying. The day before your exam is your last chance to learn, so make use of it wisely. Here are a few things you should do when studying on your last day before your exam.
- Do take regular breaks
Studying uses a lot of energy, so especially on the day before your TOEIC exam, be sure to take plenty of breaks to recharge yourself. Perhaps take more breaks than you usually would on any other day you spent studying, especially if you are combining the studying with a job or other daily occupation. However, be careful that taking breaks doesn’t become an excuse to procrastinate; only take short breaks and do small relaxing activities after an hour or more of studying. Going outside for a walk and to get fresh air is scientifically proven to benefit your ability to re-energise your brain and can boost your focus and attention. Stay off social media or other media content such as TV or movies, which might make it very easy to lose track of time.
- Do study reflectively
Reflective studying means that you shouldn’t try to learn any new things, but instead look back on the material you have already studied in the last few weeks or more. At this point, you should have covered all subjects (listening and reading) of the TOEIC exam. You have probably learned a lot of new vocabulary and grammar already. For today, try to focus on the things you have already learned, instead of new material. When you are learning reflectively, you should start by spending a brief moment skimming all areas of English that you learned in the time you studied for the exam. Cover all areas, and note which areas you struggle with most. Once you find something that you have more difficulties with, dig deeper to find the root problem. Then, spend your last few hours of study perfecting these parts.
- Do take practice exams
Practice exams are a great way to test your knowledge, and in our previous articles we have recommended making them a part of your regular study routine. However especially on your last day of studying they can be particularly helpful. Use them early in the day and make them a part of your reflective studying plan for the day. Do not leave practice exams until the last moments of the day; you’ll run the risk of making yourself nervous about any parts you did not score well on in the practice exam. If you can, take the practice exam at the start of the day to help you understand which areas need the most attention.
Don’ts for Your TOEIC Test
Not doing the wrong this is maybe even more important than doing the right things. Sure, doing the right things will help you improve, but doing the wrong things may actually make your performance on the day of the exam much worse. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t study too much, too late
You might be tempted to cram as much study material into your head while you still can, but allowing yourself to simply process everything you have studied over the last few weeks is way better. Maybe you are familiar with the term ‘information overload’. Studying too much, too late will block your brain from processing and taking in any new information as it becomes overloaded with information. You will end up wasting precious time and especially energy on things you won’t remember the next day.
- Don’t stay up all night
Many of us may be familiar with ‘pulling an all-nighter’, that is to say, studying until late at night or worse; throughout the whole night. Rest is incredibly important, especially on the day before you take your exam. Not sleeping enough will negatively impact your cognitive ability and concentration the next day. Getting enough sleep is crucial to a good test performance, and at least eight hours of sleep is recommended. Don’t sleep for too long either, however, as oversleeping may also negatively affect your brain; studies show that oversleeping, or hypersomnia as it’s called, impacts your brain and mental health in similar ways as sleeping too little.
- Don’t wake up too late
Especially if you are taking your exam in the afternoon, it might be tempting to stay up late, sleep eight hours, and wake up late in the morning. Unfortunately, this is also not good for you. Adhering to a regular sleeping pattern, as well as getting enough sleep at the right time, is as important as the amount of time you spend sleeping. Staying up later makes you use more energy, and throws your biological clock off-balance. This means you will need more sleep to compensate, and your sleep will be less consistent, leading to a lack of cognitive function and, yep you guessed it, concentration. Instead, wake up early and take some time to relax, also on the day of your exam. If your exam starts in the morning, allowing yourself to have enough time to make it to the test center will also be beneficial. Time-induced stress (such as being late) will increase your levels of anxiety which may harm your performance during your exam.
Sit back, relax, and let it happen
If you follow these tips, you are set to be refreshed and ready to tackle the TOEIC exam the next day. As much as relaxation is important the day before, try to keep up the same mood on the day of your exam. Don’t spend much more time studying in the morning, just relax, enjoy some off time before the big moment. And remember, the TOEIC exam is simply a reflection of your current level of English, so scoring lower than you intended should only be a motivator to keep improving until your next attempt. As much as well all want to pass on the first try, learning is all about doing and improving. If your TOEIC exam is tomorrow, we wish you good luck and hope you are able to rest well before the big day. You’ve done a lot already, tomorrow will be your chance to prove it!
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