Everything You Need to Know about GMAT Test Day
Being prepared for GMAT test day can alleviate a great deal of stress and help facilitate an optimal testing experience. Students should first and foremost make sure they know how to get to the test center. It is advisable to visit the location in advance of the actual test, in order to become familiar with the transportation routine (traffic, directions, parking, etc.). Test-takers should plan on arriving at the test center at least half an hour before the test begins. Test centers generally have waiting areas where students can relax, read a newspaper, or do some last-minute studying. In order to be admitted to the test center, students must bring valid identification, a letter or email from Pearson VUE confirming the test appointment, and their list of business schools that they wish to receive scores. Valid identification must include the test-taker's name (exactly as it appears on registration), date of birth, a recent and recognizable photograph, and signature. Documents that meet these criteria include passports, driver's licenses, military IDs, or government-issued national identification cards. All forms of identification must be current (expired documents are not allowed). Snacks and drinks are allowed only during breaks and cannot be taken into the test room (they must be stored in lockers outside of the testing area). Test-takers are advised to pack all of their materials the night before the exam.
Nearly all personal items are prohibited in the test center during the testing period (the only exceptions are identification, locker key, light sweater, and prescription eyeglasses). Any other possessions brought to the test center must be stored in lockers while taking the test. Items specifically prohibited include cell phones, watches, calculators, all other types of electronic devices, books, pens, rulers, and paper. Weapons of any kind are not permitted in any area of the test center. Test-takers are provided with booklets of scratch paper and pencils, and additional scratch paper will be provided on request. Beyond the documents required for admission, students will not need to bring any additional items in order to complete the test.
All testing aids are expressly forbidden while taking the GMAT, including electronic devices, books, or any other item that could assist a test-taker. Students are subject to video and audio monitoring while undergoing the exam, and students may not communicate with each other in any way or otherwise disrupt the testing session. Leaving the test room during the test period without the permission of the test administrator is prohibited, and students must stay in the designated areas during breaks. Access to cell phones, laptops, or any other communication device will not be permitted during break periods. Test materials cannot be removed from the test center and cannot be reproduced in any form.
Upon arrival at the test center, the first step is to check in. This process begins with the presentation of valid identification and the signing of the GMAT Examination & Testing Rules Agreement. Administrators then digitally record the test-taker's signature, photograph, and palm vein pattern. Before being assigned a computer workstation, students must sign the non-disclosure agreement. Students who do not complete all steps of this process will not be allowed to take the test. The GMAT begins with the analytical writing assessment (30 minutes), followed immediately by the integrated reasoning section (30 minutes). Test-takers are then given an optional five-minute break. Next is the 75-minute quantitative section and then another optional five-minute break. The test concludes with the 75-minute verbal section. Total testing time (with breaks) is 3 hours and 40 minutes. After finishing the test, students are shown their unofficial total scores and section scores for verbal, quantitative, and integrated reasoning. They are given two minutes to either accept or cancel these scores. Before leaving the test center, students are asked a series of questions about demographics, background, graduate school plans, and willingness to participate in surveys.
Test-takers who fail to follow all of the above policies will receive sanctions that range from cancellation of scores all the way up to lifetime testing bans, depending on the nature of the violation. Policy violations (accessing electronic devices, accessing study guides, improper storage of items, or accessing other unauthorized items) result in score cancellation, indication of a violation on official score reports, and testing bans of one to three years. Serious policy violations (disrupting others, falsifying score reports, taking the test for others, disclosing test content, or providing fraudulent payment) can lead to testing bans of one year to life as well as revocation of scores and notification to schools.