She Took The GRE At-Home Test. Here’s What It Was Like

Pre-Exam Logistics For The At-Home GRE

By Mary Richter, GRE Content and Curriculum Lead, Manhattan Prep

Your tech requirements

Before your test day, it’s critical to read through all the technical requirements on the ProctorU resource center page and the ETS At Home information page. It’s important to note that, at this time, the GRE at home is available only on a laptop or desktop PC—no Macs and no other devices.

You will need to install the ETS Test Browser as well as the appropriate web browser and extension (ProctorU recommends the Chrome browser). Next you’ll need to run the ProctorU system check, and it will probably tell you that you don’t have Flash enabled. Check out these tips on how to enable Flash. (Note that both Flash and the ProctorU extension are potential security threats, so we strongly suggest disabling Flash and uninstalling the ProctorU extension once you finish taking the test.)

On the ProctorU system check page, you can fill out the Live Technician form to chat with a technician, if you choose. The technician can do a final check via remote access to make sure you’re ready to go. To do this, you’ll have to give remote access to the technician, which enables them to see your screen, see you and hear you via webcam, and control your mouse—just like on test day.

Finally, there is a Test Your Equipment page that you may want to run for further technical diagnostics.

If there is a tech-related issue on test day that prevents you from taking the test, you will likely be able to reschedule your exam for free—more on this below.

At this time, ETS is not offering the GRE at home to test takers requiring accommodations.

Registration/Scheduling

You can register and pay for the exam here. Create an ETS account, log in, click the “Register/ Find Test Centers, Dates” button, and select the GRE General Test. From here, you should be able to choose the “test at home” option. Hover over the “info” icon to see some basic requirements.

You’ll have to register and make your payment of $205 before you’re able to choose a time and date, but don’t worry—as of this writing, test slots are available 24/7 for virtually all dates.

After you pay, ETS will email you an order confirmation. This email notes that ProctorU will send you a separate email with instructions for scheduling your test date and time, and you should receive that email from ProctorU within a day. Follow the instructions in the email to view and schedule the reservation. You will be assigned a temporary password, but we recommend changing it to a password that you will remember. Once you select a time, you will see your test reservation and a countdown timer on your ProctorU dashboard.

Rescheduling/Cancellation

You can reschedule your test for free at any time before your appointment on the ProctorU dashboard. According to the ETS website, the normal cancellation policy applies to the at home GRE—you will need to cancel at least 4 days in advance in order to receive a partial refund. 

Getting ready for test day

Review the ETS At Home information page and watch the Pre Exam Checklist Video. You may want to review the Student Walkthrough Video to get a sense for what the check-in process will look like. Make sure you clear the room of all unauthorized items per the Pre Exam Checklist Video.

Since you’ll have to use an erasable surface (like a standard white board) for scratch paper, if you need to order one you’ll want to allow plenty of time for it to arrive. One of our students waited five days to receive a package—even with an Amazon Prime account.

What to expect on test day

Thirty minutes prior to your scheduled time (per ETS instructions—though the ProctorU instructions don’t state that you need to be here this early, so it’s unclear), log into your ProctorU dashboard. Approximately 5 minutes before your scheduled time, your ProctorU exam link will become active. You’ll be led through a series of instructions, terms and agreements, and face recognition protocols. Make sure you have your government-issued ID handy. During this time, ProctorU will initiate a screen share and access your video/audio. You may have to wait some time for your proctor to arrive; there are reports of proctors being up to thirty minutes late to exam appointments. It’s also possible to start your exam a little early—one of our students was able to start about 10 minutes ahead of her scheduled time.

Once your proctor arrives, they chat further instructions to you. These instructions may involve putting your phone out of reach behind you, doing a pan of your surroundings with your webcam, and/or showing the proctor the whiteboard/marker you will be using. (You must use an erasable surface for your scratchwork.) Next, the proctor will set up your test and enter the administrator’s code to unlock your exam. And now the exam begins! 

DON’T MISS: TEST PREP COMPANIES THAT PROVIDE THE BIGGEST SCORE BOOST or THE GRE CAN NOW BE TAKEN AT HOME

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