GRE At Home

The current situation is complicated. What is now called “The Great Confinement”, a stage in which most of the population remains at home as a preventive measure against COVID-19, has changed the way in which daily activities are carried out. In this vein, ETS (the company in charge of applying the Graduate Record Examination GRE ) has made a version of the GRE available: GRE At Home. As its name implies, this exam is presented at the home of the applicants who, in another situation, would go to a test center to solve it. How is this exam? What peculiarities does it have? Some of the students have taken the Online exam and agree on the points that we will talk about in this post. In addition, we will include at the end the full testimonial of a student who scored excellent on the GRE at Home.

What do they demand? Should I adapt a space to solve it?

Indeed, our students comment that you should not have anything on the walls of the room where you will present the test. In the event that something cannot be moved (a television, a bookcase, among others), you will be asked to cover it with a sheet or cloth. This will be monitored by the Proctor (the person who will review you throughout the exam), who will ask you to show the 360 ​​° of your room, including under the desk where you are presenting it.

We recommend that the room you choose is a free one, which you can easily vacate, such as a study.

Remember! No one can enter during the test application, and any strange noise allows the Proctor to cancel your test.

GRE At Home

Do I have to download specific programs? Specific material?

There are very specific hardware and software specifications. Unlike GMAT At Home, GRE cannot be supported on an operating system other than Windows. If you have a Mac, download Windows on it or get a PC. A student was unable to present it, and had to reschedule it due to this technical problem. In addition, you need to download ProctorU and the special GRE test software. We suggest you download them in advance to avoid mishaps. The appointment starts 15 minutes before the exam and, if it takes you longer than that time to download something necessary, it will be considered a technical problem and you will have to reschedule it. Restarting it for technical problems has no cost, but you must be careful.

Recommendations from our students

Hardware-wise, you must have a microphone, speakers, and a webcam. The microphone must necessarily be internal, while the speakers and webcam can be external or internal. You cannot mute the microphone during the exam, nor can the camera turn it off or cover it. It will be reason for cancellation.

What do I take notes with?

The GRE at Home gives the ease of using a white board or acetate sheets to take your notes with a erasable marker. You CANNOT take notes in pencil or pen on plain paper. This is because you do not stay with the notes. At the end of the session, they ask you to erase all your notes and show all the sheets that you have used during the exam (in case you have used them).

Recommendations from our students

Use fine-tipped markers so that you have more space to write, do not make your letter too large, try that the board does not invade your workspace too much (if you use it).

How do you monitor me?

With Proctor U, the Proctor has two functions: to control your computer and to have access to your webcam and microphone. You won’t be able to see the Proctor, but you can hear him. Be careful with all the movements and noises you make, as they could cancel your exam. In the experience of those who took this version of the exam, it is possible that different people are monitoring you in the exam, or there may be several. Despite the above, you do not notice that they are there, so you can concentrate easily.

Recommendations from our students

During breaks and at the end of the exam, it took up to 5 minutes to notice that your hand is up. First you have to send a message to the chat that you have enabled, describing that you are on break and will go to the bathroom, or that you have already finished the exam. In case they don’t answer you, you should wave your hand in front of the camera. Avoid making strange noises.

At the beginning of the exam, you will be asked to place your cell phone or a hand mirror in front of your computer screen, so that the Proctor checks that there is nothing on it. In addition, they will tell you to put the cell phone in a specific place, in plain sight. We definitely recommend not to introduce it to the area (there is a risk that it may sound, which is counterproductive), and to have a hand mirror.

At the end of the exam, what is the next step?

Once you finish the exam, contact the Proctor in the same way that we mentioned in the previous point. They’ll send you to a poll, ask you to delete all the notes in front of them, and show you your score (which you can’t cancel).

Recommendations from our students

A student asked if she could take a screenshot of her score. It was allowed. We recommend that you express this type of doubt to the Proctor: it is better to let the reviewer know what you are going to avoid misunderstandings.

Finally, what is the difference with the GRE face-to-face?

The main difference is the checking process before the exam, because due to its conditions, it has to be more rigorous and exhaustive, in order to prevent students from cheating and the exam is equally valid as the one presented in Test Centers. As for the rest, the use of a chalkboard or acetate can be a distracting factor by having to constantly erase. Practice your problems with these tools if you plan to do the GRE At Home to become agile in this regard. As for the rest, the dynamics of the exam is the same, so there should not be a difference between the score you obtain at At Home and in the GRE of Test Centers. It is not a disadvantage or advantage, but a different way to apply it.