GRE Test Day FAQ

Should I arrive early at the test center on test day?

Yes, you should arrive early at the test center as there is a check-in procedure that you have to go through before taking the exam. Make sure to be there at least 30 minutes early. If you are 15 minutes late on test day, the administrators may not allow you to take the exam.

What is the check-in procedure?

Once you show up at the test center, you have to present a valid GRE-approved photo ID to the administrators. They may ask you to raise your hands and leg pants above the ankles to be sure you are not bringing any unregulated test aids into the center with you . will take your picture, signature, and fingerprints and they will ask you to sign a GRE confidentiality statement to where you agree to the rules and regulations. 

What documents should I bring to the test center?

There are 2 things you’ll definitely need with you on exam day. Firstly, make sure to bring your GRE-approved photo ID which contains your name, your date of birth, a recent photograph, and your signature (a passport, a national ID card, or a driving’s license). You will not be allowed to take the GRE if you don’t present that document. Another thing to definitely bring with you on test day would be your appointment confirmation letter or email. It is not necessary that you bring that with you, however, it is good to have it on you in case of a misunderstanding or mistake in the system.

Pro tip: It is also a good idea to bring a list of your choice of graduate programs that you want your scores sent to. You don’t want to have to decide that on exam day.

What am I allowed to bring into the exam room?

You are not allowed to bring anything with you into the exam room, as everything will be provided for you. Electronic devices like phones, tablets, smartwatches, etc. are also not allowed. Even though you can bring snacks and water with you to the test center, you will not be allowed to take them with you into the exam room, as you’ll be asked to put them in a storage room or locker. However, you will be able to access those during your breaks.

Am I allowed to bring a calculator?

Personal calculators are not allowed when taking the GRE exam, so it is best to leave it at home. In fact, it is a good idea to leave any electronic device that you will not need at home.

Is there a dress code that I should follow?

There is no specific dress code for the test day, however, you should make sure that you dress comfortably and that you bring extra clothes in case it is cold in the exam room.

What do I do if my computer stops working while taking the GRE?

If that is the case, one thing that you should not do is try to fix the computer by yourself. The best way to handle that situation is to raise your hand and ask for the administrator’s help.

What is the best way to handle disruptions while taking the GRE?

According to the policies, any disruptive situation that deviates from normal testing procedures will be thoroughly examined and the decision will be made on a case-to-case basis. In that case, you might be allowed to retake the exam with no additional charge or you can ask for a refund of the initial test fee. Nevertheless, there will be noises such as coughing, shifting, and other small sounds that can distract you during the exam. In order to avoid this affecting your concentration drastically, spend some time practicing for the exam in an uncontrolled environment, such as a coffee shop to get yourself used to the movement and sounds of others while practice focusing on your prep.

Will I be given something to write on during the exam?

You will be provided with pens and scratch paper by the test administrators once you are seated. If you are taking the online GRE there is an on-screen scratchpad and recently introduced a pre-approved scratch paper option.

Do we get breaks during the exam?

As the GRE exam takes a lot of time to complete, you will be allowed to go on a 10-minute break after the 3rd portion of the test, and you will receive a 1-minute break between all other sections. Our instructors advise you to take advantage of this time for what it is meant for, a break. Clear your mind from exam activities and try to focus on relaxing. Eating a snack is always encouraged as this will give you an energy boost, just make sure that it is the right type of snack.

What do I do if I am not feeling well on test day?

Generally, it is not a good idea to take the GRE exam if you’re not feeling too well on test day, as the GRE is long and your health can potentially affect your progress and final score. Be careful, if you have to reschedule your test within four days of the exam, you will forfeit your registration fee and will need to pay the original registration costs all over again.

How many times can I take the GRE exam?

There is no limit on the number of times you can take the GRE exam (you can take the GRE exam up to 5 times in a 12-month period). However, it is not advised that you take it more than 3 times as it may give the wrong impression to graduate schools and it’s unlikely that your scores will improve that drastically in between exams.

How do I send my GRE scores to the schools I am applying to?

You will get a few options regarding when to send the GRE scores to the schools of your choice. Firstly, you can bring a list of graduate schools on test day and your scores will be sent to those programs free of charge. Another option would be waiting to get your official score and then sending them to the schools of your choice. In this case, you’ll have to pay $27 USD for each school that your scores are sent to.

Let us know if you have any additional questions regarding your GRE test day and one of our Top 1% Scored Instructors will be happy to answer them.

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