Assessment tests like the GRE can be extremely nerve-wracking because you don’t know what the questions will be, and you know you have a certain time to figure them out. This can make test-takers who haven’t been in school for a few years even more nervous. It makes you question whether the GRE is hard or not. Plus, you don’t know what to expect while taking the GRE general test and the place where you have to take the test. The great thing is that you don’t have to be entirely in the dark about the GRE. There are a few things that you can expect and prepare for while taking the test.
The first thing you can expect is that you will either spend a great deal of your morning or a great deal of your afternoon at the test center. The GRE is about 3 hours and 45 minutes long, including a 10-minute break and several one-minute breaks. Test-takers can expect four major GRE sections of your test and one experimental section, all being at least 30 to 35 minutes each. You can prepare yourself mentally by taking GRE practice tests, eating a well-balanced meal before taking the test, and getting a good night’s rest before entering the testing center to stay focused during the whole testing period.
Inside the Testing Room
Before you enter the testing room, make sure you bring absolutely nothing inside, including your cell phone. There will be lockers on the outside of the room to put your snacks and other belongings in. You will not be allowed to bring anything in the testing center, not even tissue. The proctors will provide you with scrap paper, pencils, and tissue if you are ill.
Also, a huge reason to practice staying focused is that everyone will not start and finish their test simultaneously. People will be starting after you and finishing before you or getting to their break time before you, so there will be a bit of movement going on throughout your testing period. Your desk will look similar to a cubicle, so it shouldn’t be too distracting.
Most testing centers usually have cold rooms to bring in a jacket, or you could wear long sleeve shirts to stay warm and comfortable. Just know that you will have to empty them in front of their security staff before entering the room. Before your test begins and during your 10-minute break time, you can use the restroom. During these times, you should also take the time to stretch, drink some water, and eat a snack to get you through the remainder of the time without being hungry. The only other time you will be able to leave the room to use the restroom is an emergency. The proctors, however, will not stop the test, and your time will remain running.
If you still aren’t sure about what other policies you need to know about the testing center, ETS has all of the information listed on their website.