May 01, 2012

Joined: Aug 10, 2009

Posts: 66

Kudos: 157

DC Testing Center


The testing center is located near Farragut Square in DC, so it was pretty easy to find and also accessible from the Red, Blue, and Orange Lines. So I took the Metro to Farragut West and walked over. The Testing Center is located in an office building so you will need to show your id twice, once at the front desk and again at the actual testing center.

Once I got upstairs I had to take a number, but the staff moved everything along quickly. I was actually able to take the test 5 minutes earlier than my scheduled time. Also, there are other tests than the GMAT being taken, the person sitting next to me was in scrubs because he was taking the boards. The room is small with maybe 12 or so stations, but all of the computers had headphones that muffled everything (they're weren't earplugs, but rather over the ear blot out sound), and pretty much everything, I could hear myself breathe because there wasn't much background noise. The center was mostly quiet, and I would definitely take another test here.

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May 02, 2012

I took a test at this center on Monday. Generally, I thought the test center was nice. However, i could not believe how unattentive the proctor was. Between my quant and verbal section, I raised my hand to take my break (the 8 minutes had started ticking down) and the proctor just didn't react. She was staring at the monitors and did not notice me waiving both arms across the room for over a minute. On facebook maybe? This was not a huge deal, I took my break and still had time to get back to the test.

What was a big deal for me was when I ran out of ink during the verbal section, raised my hand for a new pen and this happened again. I should have been able to power through and not let it affect me, but for the first time ever I didn't finish my verbal section. The proctor's job is to watch the test takers, make sure they don't cheat and bring them new supplies when needed. The fact that I had to wait minutes (in the sceme of a test is a long time) to get a fresh pen was pretty harmful to my overall experience. I did 3 points worse than my average on verbal and my overall score was 30 points lower than my average on my last four practices. Also, when I finished the test, I turned around to leave and the proctor was gone. Obviously didn't matter for me because I was done, but I couldn't imagine what would have happened if one of the other test takers needed something.

I don't know if there is something else the proctors can do on those monitors, but they shouldn't be able to. There should be images of the test takers and that's it. The proctor was clearly looking a different website or something because she did not notice the test taker frantically waiving his arms trying to get her attention.

Ultimately it's on the test taker to manager their stress level during a test. Unforeseen circumstances will arise. But it's really hard for me to accept the lack of attention paid the test takers who are paying $250 for the experience