The GRE exam is the most attempted exam if you wish to pursue your Masters overseas. While it is mostly conducted at GRE exam centers, there is now an option for you to attempt the GRE online test from the convenience of your home, especially due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Besides, the GRE online test is available everywhere, except Iran and Mainland China.
Attempting the test at home certainly assures a stress free experience, however, there is a human proctor who will monitor the exam online through ProctorU. Moreover, the testing at home is available throughout the week 24/7.
The registration process of the online GRE exam is similar to that of the exam taken in centres. You have to create an account on ETS and select the GRE General Test. Then you have the option to select the “Test at home” choice. Complete your registration by selecting the date and time of your exam and making the payment. You will receive an email confirmation with all essential instructions like the test date, time and an initial login password.
There are various environment and equipment requirements which are listed out below. In case you fail to meet these requirements, then you will not be able to attempt the test from home.
What You Are Allowed to Have/Use for the Test:
- Only a Laptop or Desktop is allowed, you cannot attempt the exam from a mobile device or tablet.
- PC: Windows® operating system, versions 8 or 10.
- MAC®: Mac OS X® 10.5 or higher (10.13 High Sierra is recommended).
- Firefox® or Chrome™ browser
- You need to download and install the ETS test browser on your computer that you will use for the online GRE exam. You have to run the file after you complete downloading it. You can check all of your equipment by running the ProctorU equipment check.
- Speaker – You are permitted to use either an external speaker or internal speaker to listen to the proctor. Headphones or earphones are not allowed.
- Microphone – You can use an internal microphone or external that is not part of your headset to speak to the proctor.
- Camera – The camera should move 360 degrees to provide a complete view of the room, which includes your table surface before you commence the exam. This can be a built-in camera on your computer/laptop or a separate webcam.
Environment and Testing Space Requirements:
- Seating and Tabletop – Your keyboard and computer have to be on a table surface or a desk. The surface and the area surrounding it must be cleared of all things that are not permitted to be used during the exam. This includes cell phones, study materials, cameras or notes. Food and drink are not allowed during the exam. You must be seated on a standard chair and are not allowed to lie down on a bed or couch.
- Privacy – It is important that you are alone in the room and no one should enter during the test. You cannot take the test in a public place like a park, restaurant or internet cafe.
- Clothing and Appearance – No ornaments like cufflinks, jewelry, headbands, hair accessories, tie clips, combs, barrettes are accepted. Facemasks are not permitted while attempting the exam at home. You should be dressed appropriately since you will be constantly monitored through a camera by the proctor. The photo will be shared to the institutions that will receive your scores. It is necessary that your ears are visible during the exam and are not covered with your hair, hat or any other items.
- Materials for Note Taking – You are not allowed to take notes on normal paper for security concerns. You can use a small desktop white board with an erasable marker or a sheet of paper which is kept inside a transparent protector along with an erasable marker.
What to Expect on the Test Day:
There are many accommodations which are provided when you are taking the GRE at home. Some of them are extended time, screen magnification and extended breaks. It is recommended that you have a government issued ID card at hand while you are attempting the exam. Make sure that you are signed into your ProctorU dashboard half an hour before the actual exam. The exam link becomes available just before your scheduled test start time and you are provided with necessary instructions. Once you complete the exam you will receive your scores for the Quantitative section and Verbal section just like you do when you complete the exam in the test center.
ETS has made it known that the GRE Online or at home will be available for as long as necessary owing to the pandemic situation. You can rest assured that while the scores are being sent to the universities for admissions there will be no mention of the test being taken online or at a test center.
We trust that this article helped to shed some light on the GRE online exam process. Good luck!