Taking the GRE is a pivotal step toward attending your graduate school of choice. As such, the Educational Testing Service, or ETS, places several restrictions on what test-takers can bring with them on test day. Knowing what to bring to the GRE beforehand minimizes distractions and helps you focus completely on doing your best.
Proper documentation is the most important item you need on test day. You will need the following:
- government-issued photo ID
- one supplemental form of identification
Names Must Match Up
The first and last name on the ID must match the name you submitted during registration. If the names are different, call the test center before test day to sort out any issues. Otherwise, you'll be unable to enter the building.
Due to recent global health concerns, some test centers may also require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test. Be sure to find out prior to test day if you need to add those items to your list of what to bring to the GRE test center.
You might need to wear a mask during the exam as well, so remember to bring at least one mask and a few backups in case your main mask breaks.
Items to Avoid
A valid ID, required face coverings, and the test-related supplies mentioned below are the only things you need to bring with you when you take the GRE.
Do Not Bring
Test takers must leave all other items at home or in their cars. Some common examples of items that are not allowed in the GRE testing center include:
- Cell phones
- Watches and other wearable electronics
- Headphones and recording devices
- Jewelry, apart from engagement and wedding rings
Personal items such as ties, hats, hair accessories, scarves, and other apparel are subject to inspection when you arrive to take your test. If you require accommodations in the form of medical equipment, snacks, beverages, or other necessary items, you must request those before test day.
What Else Do I Need to Bring to the GRE?
Along with necessary documentation and protective face coverings, GRE testing centers allow you to bring essential testing supplies with you.
Extra non-mechanical No. 2 or HB pencils are especially helpful when dealing with lead breaks.
Also, a good eraser is vital for keeping your test form neat and legible.
Food or Snacks
When deciding what to bring to the GRE exam, keep in mind that the exam takes about three hours and forty-five minutes to finish. You'll have one 10-minute break and a few one-minute breaks between certain test sections, so making the most of that time is crucial. Since you can't bring snacks or drinks into the test room, keep some healthy food in your locker for a quick bite during your break.
What Do I Need for an At-Home GRE?
You may encounter a period when ETS offers the exam remotely, in which case you'll need to know what to bring to a GRE done via computer. In addition to your valid photo ID and supplemental form of identification, you'll need a working PC or laptop with an approved web browser.
Your computer must have a microphone, camera, and speakers to communicate with the proctor during the test.
At the start of the exam, a GRE test proctor will ask you to use either a mirror or mobile phone to show your computer screen during the check-in process. Instead of regular scratch paper, you'll use a whiteboard with an erasable marker or a single sheet of blank paper inside a transparent sheet protector.