Thanks to the pandemic, the standard of being able to do everything from home is still going strong – including taking those standardized tests for grad school! Whether you’re scheduling the GRE or GMAT, you now have two test-taking options:
- Go to the testing center on your scheduled date and time and complete the test with a proctor
- Schedule a time to take your test at home with flexible times
The GRE and GMAT are not necessarily needed for grad school these days with the recent dropping of the requirements during COVID. However, if you take them and have a favorable score, it could still help your graduate school application.
What Is The GRE?
The GRE, also known as Graduate Record Examinations, is the most common exam for students who want to apply to graduate school, specifically those not looking to study at certain business schools. Some business schools do still accept the GRE since it’s the most commonly taken test. However, if you know for sure that you want to attend a business school, the GMAT might be a better fit.
But not to worry, if you take the GRE or the GMAT, your scores can be converted between the two. The GRE specifically focuses on these four areas of evaluation:
- Verbal reasoning
- Quantitative reasoning
- Critical thinking
- Analytical writing skills
Where Can I Take The GRE?
You have two options once you’ve decided to take the GRE.
- You can take it at an official testing site, which can be found in several locations across the country.
- Or, you can take the test from the comfort of your home workspace.
Taking the test from home may be a better option for some students, including:
- Anyone who is still hesitant to visit public spaces due COVID
- Anyone who can’t make it to a testing site
- Anyone who are balancing a full-time job and/or family and need the convenience of taking it from home with flexible hours
GRE At-Home Testing Requirements
Keep in mind, the at-home GRE test isn’t as easy as taking the test on your laptop while lounging on the couch. There are multiple requirements you have to meet in order to qualify to take the test at home.
GRE Test at Home Equipment Requirements
The at-home option is obviously convenient, but it is the test taker’s responsibility to ensure they meet the proper equipment and environment settings. And that may not be as easy as you think.
- Desktop or laptop computer (no tablet, Chromebook, or mobile devices)
- Approved, licensed operating system:
- PC: Windows® operating system, versions 10 or 8
- MAC®: Mac OS X® 10.5 or higher (10.13 High Sierra is recommended)
- Browser: Google Chrome or Firefox
- A single monitor (multiple monitor/dual-screen setups are not allowed)
- Speaker (headsets and earphones are not allowed)
- Microphone (not part of a headset)
- Webcam (may be built-in or separate, but the “camera must be able to be moved to show a 360-degree view of the room, including your tabletop surface, before the test”
GRE Test At Home Environment and Testing Space Requirements
To ensure test integrity, you must also be able to demonstrate to online test proctors that you are not able to cheat during your online GRE.
It is vital that your environment is conducive to taking a long and difficult exam without distractions. As a result, there’s an extensive list of requirements pertaining to privacy, your tabletop and seating, note-taking materials, and even your clothing and appearance.
How Many Times Can You Take The GRE At Home?
Whether you didn’t get the score you wanted the first time or you just want another shot at taking the test, you can take the GRE multiple times. GRE test takers are eligible to take the test once every three weeks (or 21 days). And you are only eligible to take the test a maximum of 5 times in a year.
How Much Does It Cost To Take The GRE At Home?
It currently costs $205 to register to take the GRE at home. You’ll also need to add in the cost of any additional equipment you’ll need to meet the requirements. There are ways to obtain financial aid through fee waivers and vouchers for registration, and various forms of financial assistance is available if that’s something you need.
Is The GRE At Home The Right Choice For Me?
We’ve all learned how to do things more efficiently at home in the last couple of years: working, studying, happy hours. So, if you’re looking to take advantage of those skills and take the GRE at home, use this guide to make sure you have the right at home setup.
Check your workspace and make sure it’s somewhere quiet where you can sit for hours without interruptions. It’s recommended to be somewhat tech-savvy in case you have a technical glitch or something goes wrong. You won’t have a computer lab proctor to help you if you’re at home.
So, if you’ve studied and feel comfortable taking on the challenge of the GRE at home, then go for it! You should have all the information you need to put your best foot forward in your next step toward grad school.