GRE Test Day

The ETS offers a detailed list of Test Center procedures and recommendations, as well as helpful advice for test takers. Most importantly, it is forbidden to bring cell phones, smartphones, electronic devices, or any test-related information into the testing center. If you do, you will be dismissed from the test, and your scores will be cancelled. It is also forbidden to have any test-related information written on your person or belongings. Personal items other than identification documents are not allowed in the testing room – personal items such as hats and coats that are taken into the test room are subject to inspection by the test administrator.

When to Arrive

Report to the test center at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time; if you arrive late, you may not be admitted and your test fee will be forfeited. Plan to be at the test center up to four and one-half hours. You will be required to write and sign a confidentiality statement at the test center. The computer-based test administrator will provide you with scratch paper for use during the test; you may not use the paper before the test or during breaks, and all paper must be returned in its entirety to the test center administrator at the end of the testing session. Testing premises are subject to videotaping. The GRE has an optional 10-minute break after the third section, and one-minute breaks between the other sections. At the end of your test you will be given the option to cancel or report your scores.

What to Bring

It is recommended that you dress in layers so that you can take off or put on clothes to maintain a comfortable temperature regardless of the conditions in your testing environment. Test centers have small waiting areas, so friends and relatives are not allowed to accompany you to the exam. Food and beverages are not allowed in the testing room. The test administrator will assign you a seat. You are not permitted to leave the test building except if necessary to use the restroom. For the paper-based test, take three or four sharpened pencils and a good eraser, as pencils and erasers will not be supplied at the testing center. For the computer-based test, a calculator will be provided as part of the testing program; for the paper-based test, a handheld calculator will be provided along with your exam.

How to Remain Calm During the Test

By the time you are taking the GRE, you have already (hopefully) dedicated a substantial amount of time to studying the skills, content, and format of the test, so that the material feels familiar to you while you are working. The most important technique for maximizing your test score on the day of the test itself is to ensure that you focus and remain productive for the duration of the test. If you find yourself getting distracted during the exam, stop what you are doing and take a few seconds to refresh yourself. Because the sections are independently timed, you do not need to hurry through questions at the cost of accuracy. If you find a reading passage that seems particularly difficult, or a math problem that does not make sense to you, skip it and review it after you have completed the rest of the section. Your attention and dedication are your most precious resources, and you must utilize them continuously if you are to endure through the test and achieve a top score.

Testing Accommodations

For students with disabilities or health needs, ETS has a variety of testing accommodations available, including: Extended Testing Time; Extended Breaks; special keyboards, touchpads, trackballs, screen magnification, and selectable testing colors; reader or scribe assistants; oral or sign language interpreters, or printed copies of spoken directions; brailes slates and styluses. ETS will also make accommodation for a variety of medical conditions, including those affecting digestion, immune function, respiration, circulation, endocrine functions, or conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, and chronic pain. Students requiring accommodation must submit registration forms, a letter of support from a doctor or medical professional describing the condition and the nature of the required accommodation, and a registration fee. Students who use wheelchairs, canes, crutches, service animals, or insulin pumps do not need to make a special request to receive accommodations.