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10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center

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10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2017, 02:36
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10 Things NOT to Do at the Test Center



This past week we had a member who was asked to leave after looking at their notes during the break and another member last month had their score canceled for turning their cell phone on. These are very painful moments for everyone but these are GMAC's rules and it is important to know them and not to break them as the test administrator has their job to do. Make sure you know these.

Be Careful!


  1. Bring the right ID! If you take GMAT outside of your country of residence, you MUST bring your passport. Location-specific regulations are here.

  2. Testing aids, such as calculators, notes, or study guides, blank sheets of paper, stop watches, etc are not allowed at any time in the test center. This means - you cannot even bring them to the test center!

  3. Personal items, such as cell phones, backpacks, wallets, purses, or handbags are not permitted in the testing room

  4. Access to Telephones, cellular (mobile) phones, or other communication devices, Notes, Scratch paper, Calculators or watch calculators, Watches, stop watches, or watch alarms, Personal data assistants (PDAs), Beepers or pagers, Photographic devices, Stereos or radios, Any other electronic devices that could aid testing, Books or pamphlets, Dictionaries, translators, or thesauri, Pens or any other writing utensils, Rulers or any other measuring devices will not be permitted at any time while you are in the test center, during the test session or during breaks. I read this that you can use them before or after the exam but not after you check in and before you check out.

  5. You will not be permitted to leave the testing room without the test administrator’s permission

  6. Your Exam will start immediately after you come back from your break. You will not be permitted to sit/rest at the workstation if you come from your break early

  7. You will not be allowed to eat or drink while in the testing room, but may do so during scheduled breaks. No tobacco products during the entire test.

  8. You are not allowed to go outside of the testing area. In the past, you were allowed to leave, but no longer an option.

  9. You must arrive at the Test Center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled GMAT appointment. GMAC no longer provides exact amount of time you can be late to the appointment (used to be up to 15 mins late was OK)

  10. And finally, just in case :wink: Weapons, including but not limited to firearms, knives, or any object that could be used as a weapon, are prohibited from the test center. These items are not allowed on the premises and may not be stored in the provided lockers. This policy includes off-duty law enforcement officers and persons with conceal and carry permits



GMAT Horror Stories:





Tips & Recommendations:


  • To block out the most noise, try using ear plugs + headset
  • You will be given 5 sheets of laminated paper + dry erase markers, like these - you can draw grids or ABCDE tables during the time you are "reading" instructions. Manhattan Prep's Stacey has a great article about it.
  • Take the night off the day before and try to relax
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to the test center
  • Don't do anything unusual (don't work out more, eat what you usually eat)
  • Dress in layers (all test centers are air-conditioned with a few exceptions)




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Re: 10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 25 Dec 2017, 02:32
Can u wear ear plugs during the test?

otherwise try taking some mocks in not ideal conditions, like a coffee shop or somthing, to make urself strong against noise etc[/quote]

I have the same issue. I'm okay with office noise, or something constant, but things like chair pulling, hammering on and off, people whispering etc. really put me off. I even sleep with ear plugs and have multiple kinds for multiple occasions lol Are they allowed in the test center? I tried working in not ideal conditions (actually, they are never ideal haha), but as I mentioned, I'm just too used to ear plugs at this point...

Edit: they give you ear plugs in the test centre before the exam, but don't forget to request them! Highly recommended!!!

Originally posted by Dreya on 03 Dec 2017, 12:16.
Last edited by Dreya on 25 Dec 2017, 02:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2017, 12:13
I was also wondering today whether day have water in the test room :think: I'm fine not bringing my own water inside, but I pretty much always have some on me. If not, then I can't help, but feel thirsty, or start hiccuping... :lol:
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Re: 10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2017, 22:16
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You will find a water dispenser in the common area, right outside the test room. No food or drinks are allowed in the test room.
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Re: 10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2017, 01:12
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Something I found frustrating that people should probably keep in mind: Palm vein scanning sometimes takes a few tries.. At my latest test, the scanner had some issues and it took about 2 min longer than usual. Since this wasn't an issue when I took my first test, I was in the common room taking my break up until the 6min mark of the break, not expecting the scanner to act up at that time. Since the vein scanning took so much time, I ended up having a few minutes deducted from one of my sections... :(

My advice: Aim to take breaks under 5 min if you don't want to lose time on the 2nd and 3rd sections of the exam.
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Re: 10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2017, 02:29
yukidaruma wrote:
Something I found frustrating that people should probably keep in mind: Palm vein scanning sometimes takes a few tries.. At my latest test, the scanner had some issues and it took about 2 min longer than usual. Since this wasn't an issue when I took my first test, I was in the common room taking my break up until the 6min mark of the break, not expecting the scanner to act up at that time. Since the vein scanning took so much time, I ended up having a few minutes deducted from one of my sections... :(

My advice: Aim to take breaks under 5 min if you don't want to lose time on the 2nd and 3rd sections of the exam.


Yes, I had the exact same problem. When I arrived, the whole process needed to be repeated (scans, photo, signature), and on my 2nd break (it was a bit longer than the 1st one as I got really hungry lol) the scanner acted up and I lost some time from my 3rd section. It was not even about that extra 1, or 2 minutes, but on top of that you can expect that your marker will not write properly right away, and also, you're just starting it in a stressed and nervous state of mind, which is very detrimental.
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Re: 10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2017, 06:06
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Dreya wrote:
It was not even about that extra 1, or 2 minutes, but on top of that you can expect that your marker will not write properly right away, and also, you're just starting it in a stressed and nervous state of mind, which is very detrimental.


THIS. Even something so small can feel really stressful on test day.

Also, my pen did run out of ink in the middle of my Quant section... Which caused more stress and time deduction :sad:
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Re: 10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2018, 11:26
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I know it's silly but remember to always check your passport for any stray paper before entering the test center. I have once carried paper currency in my passport, unknowingly of course, to the test center. It's presence was discovered by moderator during the last break to which I responded casually by handing over currency note (read singular) to the moderator.

I was handed the currency note as I came out of the testing center. All good until now.

Fast forward to 10 days, I received a mail from Pearson security that my score was forfeited as I have carried currency (Read charts on pages 17 and 18 of the GMAT Handbook) into the test center. 2 hours of brain fade followed after which I have advocated my innocence in a letter to Pearson security clearly explaining the circumstances while pointing towards video evidence of my actions during the exam.

A week later, I received the news. Common sense prevailed. The good guys at GMAC responded positively to my appeal although they could cancel my scores by simply reiterating Terms & Conditions of the exam. My score was reinstated.

PS: This was my 2nd attempt at GMAT. Scored 710 after a poor 560 during my 1st attempt.

TLDR: Passport and clothes. Nothing else into the test center.
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Re: 10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2018, 09:52
The GRE General Test includes an optional 10-minute break after the third section and one-minute breaks between the remaining sections of the test. These break times cannot be exceeded. You are required to remain in the test center building or in the immediate area. You are not permitted to go outside the test center building unless it is to use the restroom during the test administration, including breaks.
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Re: 10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jun 2018, 14:31
Just took the exam and after scoring well on all my practice exams, got a bloody 570 :( very sad and frustrated.

Did learn a lesson though: the lesser the number of pockets, the better. I had a shirt pocket and multiple pant pockets and just going through and emptying them out every time took so much valuable time away.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: 10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2018, 05:51
strivingFor800 wrote:
Just took the exam and after scoring well on all my practice exams, got a bloody 570 :( very sad and frustrated.

Did learn a lesson though: the lesser the number of pockets, the better. I had a shirt pocket and multiple pant pockets and just going through and emptying them out every time took so much valuable time away.

Posted from my mobile device


what is "scoring well"? in my experience, a +/- of about 30 points seems normal

i agree with you about the pockets. i had a lot of pockets i didn't even realize i had until i got my pat down
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Re: 10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2018, 09:00
maayo wrote:
strivingFor800 wrote:
Just took the exam and after scoring well on all my practice exams, got a bloody 570 :( very sad and frustrated.

Did learn a lesson though: the lesser the number of pockets, the better. I had a shirt pocket and multiple pant pockets and just going through and emptying them out every time took so much valuable time away.

Posted from my mobile device


what is "scoring well"? in my experience, a +/- of about 30 points seems normal

i agree with you about the pockets. i had a lot of pockets i didn't even realize i had until i got my pat down


700+. My practice exams range from 720-770 so a 200 point drop isn’t normal.
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Re: 10 Things Not to Do at the Test Center &nbs [#permalink] 13 Jul 2018, 09:00
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