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GRE Test Prep: On Test Day

This guide will help prepare students to take the GRE.
  • Dress so that you can adapt to any room temperature.
  • Test centers do not have large waiting areas. Friends or relatives who accompany you to the test center will not be permitted to wait in the test center or be in contact with you while you are taking the test. Except for ETS-authorized observers, visitors are not permitted in the testing room while testing is in progress.
  • ID verification at the test center may include thumbprinting, photographing, videotaping or some other form of electronic ID confirmation. If you refuse to participate, you will not be permitted to test and you will forfeit your registration and test fees. This is in addition to the requirement that you must present acceptable and valid identification.
  • If an institution that you have designated to receive your scores requests to see your photograph taken at the test center, ETS will send that photo or other information in ETS's files to that institution as necessary to detect or prevent unlawful activity and to protect the integrity of the GRE® test.
  • Food, drinks and tobacco are not allowed in the testing room.
  • If you have health-related needs that require you to bring equipment, beverages or snacks into the testing room or to take extra or extended breaks, you need to follow the accommodations request procedures described in the Bulletin Supplement for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-related Needs (PDF).
  • Do not bring cell phones, smartphones (e.g., BlackBerry® or iPhone® devices), PDAs and other electronic or photographic devices into the test center. If you do, you will be dismissed from the test, your test fees will be forfeited and your scores will be canceled even if dismissal is not enforced on the day of the test. Test administrators are not permitted to collect and hold cell phones or other devices. If you are seen using any of these electronic devices and/or transmitting data, including but not limited to text messaging, email and photographs, your device may be inspected and/or confiscated. You may not access your phone during the test or during breaks to check messages or to check the time.
  • Personal items other than identification documents are not allowed in the testing room. You will be required to follow the procedures set by the test center for storage of your personal belongings. You may also be asked to empty your pockets. Storage space is limited, so plan accordingly. You will not have access to your personal items during the test. Personal items such as hats, scarves, jackets and outerwear that are taken into the test room are subject to inspection by the test administrator. Failure to comply may result in dismissal from the test and/or cancellation of scores.
  • Neither ETS nor the test centers assume any responsibility whatsoever for personal items or devices that you choose to bring into the test center.
  • The test administrator will assign you a seat.
  • On occasion, weather conditions or other circumstances beyond the test administrator or ETS’s control may require a delayed start or the rescheduling of your test appointment. In the event that a technical problem at the test center makes it necessary to cancel your test session, or if it is later determined that your scores could not be reported, you will be offered the opportunity to schedule another test appointment free of charge or receive a full refund of the original test fee. In addition, you may seek reimbursement from ETS for reasonable and documented expenses associated with traveling to the test center, even though technical problems are generally not the fault of ETS. To request reimbursement, contact GRE Services with the following information within 30 days of your original appointment: your name, date of birth, mailing address, daytime telephone number, email address, original test date and registration or CBT appointment number, and a brief description of what occurred at the test center. All reimbursements will be made in U.S. dollars.
  • ETS reserves the right to take appropriate action and/or notify appropriate authorities including, but not limited to, law enforcement authorities, if a test taker responds in a threatening or disturbing way to essay questions or communicates with ETS either verbally or in writing in a threatening or disturbing manner.

The following procedures and regulations apply during the entire test session, which begins at sign-in, ends at sign-out and includes breaks.

  • If you requested and received an authorization voucher from ETS, you must take it with you to the test center.
  • Report to the test center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled testing 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.
  • Note for individuals testing in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea: The test will begin at 10 a.m. local time. Report to the test center no later than 9:30 a.m. on the test date.
  • You will be required to write (not print) and sign a confidentiality statement at the test center. If you do not complete and sign the statement, you cannot test and your test fees will not be refunded.
  • ETS reserves the right to ensure the security of test content by using electronic detection scanning devices (e.g., hand-held metal detectors/wands). Failure to comply may result in dismissal from the test and forfeiture of your test fees.
  • You may be required to sign the test center log before and after the test session and any time you leave or enter the testing room.
  • You may be asked to remove your watch and to store it during the test administration.
  • The test administrator will provide you with scratch paper that may be replenished after you have used all pages of the scratch paper initially given to you. You may not take your own scratch paper to the test, nor may you remove scratch paper from the testing room at any time. Scratch paper is provided to assist test takers in working out problems and for appropriate note taking during timed sections of the test. Scratch paper should NOT be used during breaks or before the test. At the conclusion of the test, you will be required to return all scratch paper to the test administrator. If you are observed using any documents or unauthorized papers other than the designated scratch paper distributed by the test site, they will be confiscated by the test center staff.
  • If at any time during the test you have a problem with your computer, or for any reason need the administrator, raise your hand.
  • Testing premises are subject to videotaping.
  • The GRE® revised General Test includes an optional 10-minute break after the third section and one-minute breaks between the remaining sections of the test. These break times cannot be exceeded. You are required to remain in the test center building or in the immediate area. You are not permitted to go outside the test center building unless it is to use the restroom during the test administration, including during breaks.
  • If you need to leave your seat at any time other than the break, raise your hand; timing of the section will not stop.
  • You will have access to an on-screen calculator during the Quantitative Reasoning sections.
  • Personal calculators are not permitted in the testing room.
  • At the end of the test, you will be given the option to report or cancel your scores. If you choose to report your scores, those scores will become a part of reportable history and cannot be canceled. You will also be able to view your unofficial Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores.
  • Because of the essay scoring process, you will not be able to view your Analytical Writing scores at the time you test.
  • Test centers cannot provide printed copies of unofficial score reports.
  • You will be asked to designate your score recipients at the test center on the test day. If an institution is not listed, ask the test center administrator for the appropriate form to indicate unlisted institutions. Complete the form and turn it in before you leave the test center. The form will not be accepted after you leave the test center.
  • If you do not select score recipients on the test day, or you would like to send your scores to more than four score recipients, you will need to submit an Additional Score Report request for a fee of US$25 per score recipient. See Ordering Additional Score Reports.

The following procedures and regulations apply during the entire test session, which begins when you are admitted to the test center, ends when you leave the test center and includes breaks.

  • Test administrators will not honor requests for schedule changes.
  • Report to the test center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled testing 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.
  • Take your admission ticket and identification document(s) to the test center.
  • Take three or four sharpened No. 2 or HB pencils and a good eraser. Pencils and erasers will not be supplied at the center. Mechanical pencils and pens are not permitted.
  • No test taker will be admitted after test materials have been distributed.
  • With the exception of your admission ticket, paper of any kind is not permitted in the testing room.
  • You must have the test administrator’s permission to leave the room during the test. Any time lost cannot be made up. You are required to remain in the test center building or in the immediate area.
  • You may wish to pace yourself with your own watch, but the test administrator is the official timekeeper. Watch alarms are not permitted to track time.
  • You may work only on the test section designated by the test center supervisor and only for the time allowed. You will not be permitted to continue the test or any part of it beyond the established time limit.
  • You will write your essay responses and enter your answers to test questions in the test book, rather than on a separate answer sheet.
  • You will be provided with an ETS calculator to use during the Quantitative Reasoning sections.
  • You may not use your own personal calculator.
  • At the end of the test you will be required to return your test book to the test administrator. This material is the property of ETS.
  • The GRE revised General Test includes a 10-minute break after the second Analytical Writing section. This break time cannot be exceeded. You are required to remain in the test center building or in the immediate area. You are not permitted to go outside the test center building unless it is to use the restroom during the test administration, including during breaks.
  • At the end of the test, you will be given the option to cancel your scores.
  • You will be asked to designate your score recipients during registration or on your admission ticket correction stub.
  • If you do not select score recipients when registering or on your admission ticket correction stub, or you would like to send your scores to more than four score recipients, you will need to submit an Additional Score Report request for a fee of US$25 per score recipient. See Ordering Additional Score Reports.
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