Test Centers Review

This is the second time I took the GMAT and am very disappointed with the unprofessional set up. The first time I took the test in August 2017 in Mumbai and the experience was above expectation. This difference in experience has strongly affected my performance. It is unacceptable that a candidate's career is in jeopardy because of a test center. I’m currently highly anxious and depressed. I was so shocked at the score that I couldn’t complain straight away.

To begin with, the waiting area at the test center did not have any seating arrangement, instead there was just enough space for 3 people to stand. I reached the test center at 1.30 PM, 30 mins in advance as advised by GMAC, as my test was scheduled at 2PM. Because there wasn’t enough space in the waiting area for all the candidates, we were asked to wait outside in the building’s stairwell, where it was as hot as 96 degrees with no place to sit.

After over 30 minutes of waiting, I inquired at the test center as it was 2PM, time for the test to begin. The officials asked me to continue waiting in the stairwell with no explanations other than “there is some error”. The officials were polite but gave no clear directions. I ended up waiting in the sweltering stairwell. I was hungry but the officials at the test center could not tell me how long it would take, so I couldn’t step out to get some food. Finally, at 3.45 after 2 hours of standing and in the stairwell I was called in to start the registration process. I wanted to use the washroom before the test, however the washroom is not usable as the door can not be closed. By then I was exhausted, uncomfortable and hungry. This is not the mindset in which a candidate should have to give the GMAT.

I would like to point out that while preparing for GMAT, I had carefully scheduled my day to optimize my performance, detailing my sleep and meal timings as well. Scheduling my test at 2PM was a strategic decision having practiced all my mock tests at the same time. Waiting for almost 2 hours threw things off schedule. The poor communication and inadequate infrastructure only added to the anxiety.
I could not believe that a GMAC center could be so inefficient.

I strongly urge GMAC authorities look into this and make sure that candidates like me do not have to suffer. Such highly unprofessional behavior should not pass unnoticed. Further it is extremely unfair that certain candidates face discomforting situations where as others have a smooth experience since such incidences greatly affect the GMAT score.

Few other concerns at the center:
- Noise problem: The testing room should be as quiet as possible, if not absolute. The wall and door should facilitate noise-cancellation. The noise from people walking in and out and chatting with each other outside should not be heard from inside the testing room.
- Noise cancelers: The center did not have noise cancellations (Mumbai center had these). Instead they had earplugs which were not very effective.
- Test taker’s companions were allowed to enter the waiting area and stand around where as there wasn’t enough place for all the candidates. The companions also tend to make noise, in this particular case there was a toddler running in and out of the center.
- GMAT rules: I was not asked to read the GMAT rules, directly asked to sign in and register

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