Last Updated: February 23, 2021
GRE General Test at Home-All you need to know
GRE is a competitive exam offered by ETS for students planning to pursue their studies in graduate and professional schools along with business and law. The test can be taken by students all over the world and can have different educational and cultural backgrounds. It is offered in around 160 countries and is conducted on a continuous basis throughout the year.
The GRE test includes three question types which are verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. They measure your ability to analyze and draw conclusions for information they provide, to understand and interpret quantitative information along with critical thinking, and the ability to articulate complex ideas with proper reasoning.
The test used to be conducted online or in a paper format in various test centers present all over the world. But due to the pandemic, ETS has provided students with the option of attempting the test from their homes if they find that more accessible than physically going to a test center. This page will provide you with all the information required about the GRE test at Home.
Understanding how GRE Test at Home Works
ETS is offering an option for students to take the test at home instead of the test center due to the pandemic. This option has been made available considering safety factors and commuting convenience. The test will be offered in all locations where the GRE test is normally available except China and Iran. It is available around the clock, seven days a week with options of availing of the test even 24 hours after you register.
This option lets you prepare for the test with your own schedule and to work on the same system that you have used to practice your typing skills. The nervousness associated with being physically present in the test center can be eliminated and you are allowed to stay within your comfort zone as long as it meets the requirements put forth by ETS.
Equipment Required for Test
One of the complications you can face while opting for the Home-based test is not possessing the right kind of equipment they require. The requirements regarding equipment are as follows:
- You should have a desktop or laptop that you can use for the examination. You are NOT allowed to take the examination on a tablet or mobile phone.
- The system can be a PC with a Windows Operating System with the 8th or 10th version.
- The system can also be a MAC with a Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. They recommend a 10.13 High Sierra.
- The system should contain a Chrome or Firefox browser.
- The internal or external speaker of the system should be fully functional. The use of headsets or earphones is not permitted.
- The internal or external microphone (not part of the headset) should be fully functional. You will communicate to the proctor using this microphone.
- The built-in camera of the computer or the webcam that you use should allow a 360-degree view of the room including the tabletop before the test.
Environment Required for the Test
ETS specifies the kind of environment that is ideal for the test and this includes factors like privacy, how your tabletop and seating should be, your appearance during the test, and the materials you can keep with you.
- No one should be allowed to enter the room you occupy during the test.
- The test cannot be taken in a public setting.
- Your computer or laptop must remain on a desk/ tabletop.
- There should be no extra items on the table than what is specified.
- You should be seated on a chair. Overstuffed chairs, beds, and couches cannot be used to sit for the test.
- You are not allowed to consume food during the test.
- Your ears should be visible at all times. It should not be covered by your hair, a hat, or anything else.
- Dress appropriately since you will be monitored and this picture will be shared with institutions that receive your scores.
- Avoid jewelry and other hair accessories.
- Do NOT use regular paper to take notes. Use a small desktop whiteboard or a sheet of paper inside a transparent sheet protector, both with erasable markers.
- These notes must be erased at the end of the test and shown to the proctor.
Steps to take before the Test
- Install the ETS Secure Test Browser after downloading it on the system.
- You will be required to run the file after downloading it. There are two versions of this available-one for Windows and another for Mac.
- Run the ProctorU Equipment Check to ensure that your system, the microphone, and the speaker are intact and in perfect shape to use for the test.
- In case of firewalls and other security issues, disable or reconfigure your applications before the test.
How to Register?
Things you need in hand
- Ensure that you meet all requirements based on environment and equipment.
- Keep your identification documents ready. It is preferred that you provide your passport details as your primary ID.
- Create an ETS account for GRE General Test, if you haven’t already done so.
- The name provided in the ETS Account should be the same as what is written in your primary ID.
- Request accommodations for a disability or health-related needs if you so require it before you register.
- Log in to the ETS account you have created for the GRE General Test.
- Select the Register/Find Test Centers option on the home page that appears.
- Select the option called Test at Home on the page that follows. The Test at Home option will be available based on the availability of the test in your country.
- You will be asked to Verify your email address after which you can continue.
- Confirm your time zone or select a new one to pick your test appointment.
- Select an available test date from the calendar they show after you have chosen the 2 months in which you can possibly take the test.
- Now, select an available time for the test.
- Click on the link called Register for this Test
- Fill in the details required and pay for the test.
- After payment, you will receive a confirmation mail from ETS with information regarding your test and the test link for the day.
Test Day Information
- Fix any issues in your system after running a final check with ProctorU Equipment Check.
- Keep your passport/ ID, acceptable note-taking materials, and a cellphone or handheld mirror for check-in.
- Ensure that the room is quiet and that there is sufficient lighting. The table that you are using should be clear along with your immediate surrounding.
- Click on the URL they sent along with the confirmation mail. You will have a maximum of 12 minutes after your scheduled time to log in. Your test will be canceled if you delay any longer.
- Start the session and complete the authentication processes after which you will be told about the exam rules.
- Once authentication is done the proctor will launch the ETS browser and let you access the test. The entire process can take around 20 minutes to complete.
- You are required to disable any screen-sharing or remote-access software like Skype, Zoom, etc. that is present on the system.
- The test contains 6 sections with a 10-minute break after the 3rd section and 1-minute breaks between the other sections. Failure to return in time during the break will cancel the test.
Receiving the Score Report
The GRE General Test at Home differs from the Online Test only in the way it is conducted. The post-test procedures regarding the score and on sending reports remain the same as the other formats.
- You will be able to receive the score report in your ETS account after 10-15 days after the test date.
- Your score report will be sent to institutions of your choice after 10-15 days of the test.
- Additional score reports can be requested for an additional charge of $20 per institution.
How to Apply for Re-test?
If you find that your scores aren’t satisfactory for the colleges you have applied to, you can always apply for a retest and take the test with a better idea of what to expect. Procedures for applying for a retest are as follows:
- The GRE General Test can be taken once every 21 days up to a limit of 5 times in a year. This is the same for people who have canceled their previous scores as well.
- Follow the same registration steps as you did for applying the previous time.
- You can either choose a home-based test or a test center according to your convenience.