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On day experience of GRE exam during COVID

Last updated on July 9, 2021, 11:50 a.m. by rugved

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the United States and Canada and few in other countries. In this article, I

First of all, I would clear one of the most commonly asked question which is ‘What all do we need to carry to test center?’ . We need to carry only passport and mask.

Outside the exam center

  • One or two days before your GRE exam date, you will get a call from GRE test center to remind you about the test and ask you if you have any doubts or confusion about exam’s location etc.
  • Carry your passport and mask with you.
  • Reach the exam center at least 30 minutes before your exam time. I would suggest you to reach 45 minds before the exam time.

Inside the exam center

  • Once you reach the exam center, they will check your body temperature.
  • You will be asked to form a line and your passport will be checked.
  • They provide you pen. Carrying your own stationary is not allowed.
  • They check the photo and also do signature comparison. So wherever they ask you to sign make sure that it matches with your signature on passport.
  • After checking the passport , they will give you a locker key and a form.
  • Fill the form. Keep all your belongings inside the bag and put it inside the locker. Keep eatables outside the bag (They will tell you where to keep the eatables)
  • At this point, all you should have with you is passport, locker key and pen.
  • Then they will ask you to form a line.

Security check and seat allotment

  • They check students one by one.
  • They will ask to empty your pockets, raise your pant legs above your ankles and pull up your sleeves above your wrists for visual inspection.
  • Don’t wear any jewelry etc.
  • After the checking is over, they ask for passport.
  • In my case, they had asked me to keep my passport with myself throughout the exam but in some centers you have to submit it to them and collect back after you complete your exam.
  • They will click your photo and assign you a computer. Exam rooms mostly have air conditioner.
  • Now, you have to go to the main exam room and find your seat. Just to verify your seat , you will see your photo (which they just clicked) on the computer screen allotted to you.

NOTE: GRE is not like school exam where everyone is required to compulsorily start at the same time. You may start as soon as you are allotted the computer or maybe wait for a minute before starting the exam. When I had entered the main exam room, most of the students had already started the exam and were typing essay. So, don’t panic if you see others starting before you.

After the exam begins

  • If at any time during the test you need a scratch paper or have a problem with your computer, or for any reason need the administrator, raise your hand. Note that they take the old scratch paper before giving you a new one.
  • There will be 2 essays(30 mins each ) followed by 2 sections (verbal and quantitative) with one-minute break between these sections.
  • After 2 essays and 2 sections (verbal and quantitative) the computer will show you the option to take a 10 minute break or skip it. It is suggested to take a break because 3 more sections are remaining after this point.
  • Carry all your stuff with you — passport, key, pen etc.
  • You can use this break for eating, going to washroom etc.
  • Even though its a 10 minute break, they again do the security check when you come back to exam room. This consumes some time of your break so it is advised to come back in 6–7 minutes.
  • You cannot use your phone , study material etc during the break.
  • Don’t panic if for some reason you exceed the 10 minute break . I took 11 minute break and my test did not start automatically. But still , just try to come on time.
  • Now again there will be 3 sections with one-minute break between them.
  • After completing the last section, your quantitative and verbal scores will be displayed on the screen. Make sure that you remember the scores properly because test center does not provide you any printout of score card and also it will take 10–15 days for your score to be available on ets portal.

That’s all , now your test has ended successfully. Time to chill .

Thank you for reading the blog and I hope you found it helpful.
All the best in advance :))


by rugved
KJ Somaiya College of Engineering Mumbai

Avid learner
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