GMAT Test Day Checklist

Students preparing for the GMAT test

What to Expect on the GMAT

Getting high GMAT scores gives grad students a better chance of getting into their chosen business and management program. Along with doing all the necessary studying and test prep, knowing what to expect on your GMAT exam can alleviate any nervousness or anxiety you have about taking the test. It can also help you avoid any testing violations that could get you removed from the testing center.

What to Bring to the GMAT

Whether you're planning to take the GMAT exam in person or remotely, there are certain things that you need to bring with you in order to check in and take your test. There are also some items that you cannot take into the testing center or have in your work area during the exam. Use our GMAT checklist to learn what to bring to a GMAT testing center.

Check-In Documents

Arriving at least 30 minutes before your GMAT appointment is a smart way to ensure a smooth check-in process. On test day, you'll need a valid ID that includes your full name, date of birth, a photo of you, and your signature. All the details on your ID must match the information you provided when you registered for the exam.

Registration Confirmation

It's also a good idea to bring the confirmation letter or email you received after you booked your GMAT exam date. You may not need it, but it could come in handy if there's a mix-up about your test date and time. Test center staff will take a photo of you to confirm your ID. Some states also allow staff to take a palm scan to verify your identity if you need to leave and return to the testing center.

What Not to Bring to the GMAT

Knowing what not to bring on GMAT test day is also important. Aside from your ID, the only things you can take into the testing center are a light sweater and prescription eyeglasses. Personal items that must remain outside the testing center include:

  • Cellphones
  • Music players
  • Watches
  • Wallets, hats, and handbags
  • Books
  • Notes
  • Study guides
  • Food and drinks

These items must remain in a locker or your vehicle during the duration of the GMAT exam. Students who bring prohibited items into the testing center must forfeit their test fee and pay to reschedule their exam. You may have to wait a minimum of 31 days before you can retake the test and can even receive a three-year ban if test center staff suspects you of using any of the above items to cheat.

Provided Testing Supplies

Since you're also not allowed to bring your own scratch paper, pens, or pencils to the GMAT testing center, the test administrators provide supplies for each student. After you check-in and put away any prohibited items, testing center staff will give you up to five note boards and a note board pen that you can use for scratchwork during the exam.

Virtual GMAT Test Day Checklist

If you're taking the remote proctored GMAT exam on a computer, you'll need to remove all the aforementioned items from your work area. Online test-takers are also unable to use touchscreens, graphic tablets, or any device that requires a stylus. You can, however, use a physical or online whiteboard for scratchwork and notetaking during the test.

What to Expect During the Online Exam

Once the GMAT exam begins, an online clock will start counting down to let you know how much time you have to complete the test. Use the clock to track your progress and make sure you're working at a good pace. Both the Quantitative and Verbal portions of the GMAT use computer-adaptive testing, so the program will select each follow-up question based on your previous responses.

What to Expect After the Test

Upon completing the GMAT, you'll be able to see an unofficial score report that includes your scores for the Quantitative, Verbal, Integrative Reasoning sections of the exam. You'll also receive a total score based on the Quantitative and Verbal portions of the test. Your Analytical Writing Assessment score will only be available on the official score report.

Accepting the Results

After you get your results, you'll have two minutes to decide whether you want to accept or cancel your unofficial GMAT scores. Those who accept their unofficial scores will receive a printout of their results before leaving the testing center. If your scores are lower than you'd like, you can cancel your scores and schedule a date and time to retake the GMAT.

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