GRE Testing Center Regulations & Protocols (2024 Updated)

William Cohen
Published by William Cohen
Last Updated On: December 18, 2021

The GRE test is available at more than 1,000 test centres in more than 160 countries worldwide.

You can take the GRE test as a computer test year-round or as a paper test in specified locations a couple of times a year.

I’ve taken a GRE test myself, and I wanted to share my experience with the students who plan to take this test in the future. Hopefully, this guide will provide more than enough information about the registration process, regulations, and procedures of GRE testing centres.

Here’s everything you should know about GRE testing centres.

GRE Test: Centre Testing vs. at Home

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, GRE started offering tests at two locations: at a centre and in a test taker’s home.

GRE Centre Testing

A computer room

GRE is given at testing centers around the world. In most places, you can take the GRE at a test centre throughout the year.

The main advantage of taking the GRE at a test centre is that it gives candidates a neutral testing space.

Here, you don’t have to worry about interruptions from your roommates or the electricity going out and cutting your test time short.

To learn more about testing centres regulations, scroll below.

Taking the GRE at Home

A woman taking an exam on laptop

Taking the GRE at home has become a permanent option. The home test is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week around the world.

This is a great option if the test centre closest to you is closed, or there aren’t any available dates.

The main advantage of taking the test at home is that you don’t have to worry about securing a spot.

In fact, you can secure a test date within 24h after you register, so this is a great option if you’re in a rush.

GRE at home has the same format, content, and limitations as the one in a test centre. You can take it up to five times a year, every 21 days.

You’ll be using your own computer and equipment for the test.

On a home test, there’ll be a proctor watching you online throughout, and you’ll be recorded.

Also, the candidates are required to have a whiteboard. Before the test begins, you’re asked to show the blank whiteboard to the proctor.

The whiteboard can be used to solve problems, as pencil and paper aren’t allowed at home.

Same as with centre testing, the candidates will see the results straight away.

2 Types of GRE Test

Close up image of a student's hand writing on paper, and another student's hand using a computer

You can choose between two types of GRE tests - computer-delivered and paper-delivered.

1. Computer-Delivered GRE Test

Some GRE testing centres offer computer-delivered General GRE tests year-round. These tests are also occasionally offered at additional testing locations.

The slots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so you should register for the computer-delivered test as soon as you’re ready.

You can take this test once every 21 days, but no more than five times a year.

2. Paper-Delivered GRE Test

GRE testing centres have a lower availability for paper tests compared to computer-delivered tests.

Moreover, not all paper-delivered centres are open on all test dates.

If you want to take a paper-based GRE test, you should log into the online GRE Registration System. After logging in, you can choose a GRE testing centre that works best for you and a suitable date. Make sure you have plenty of time to prepare for this test.

The same rule applies as for the computer-based test - you can take a paper-delivered GRE test once every three weeks, up to five times a year.

How to Register for the GRE Test?

Woman using a laptop for online registration

Keep in mind that GRE test centres aren’t automatically allotted. Instead, you have to choose the GRE testing centre that works best for you.

Here’s how to register for a GRE test [1]:

  • Create an ETS account on the official ETS website.
  • Fill in your personal information.
  • Once you’ve received the confirmation email and verified your account, log in.
  • Choose the GRE testing centre and date.
  • Pay for the test.
  • Print out the confirmation for future reference.

GRE Testing Centres Regulations

school classroom desk and chairs, and different electronic devices on desk

There are several basic rules applicants need to follow at GRE testing centres, including:

  • An applicant should arrive at the GRE testing centre at least an hour before test time.
  • Applicants aren't allowed to leave the centre before four and a half hours are up.
  • An applicant has to read and sign the confidentiality agreement at chosen GRE testing centre, which indicates that they agree with all rules and regulations.
  • Applicants will receive a scratch paper, which can’t be used during breaks or before the GRE.
  • Applicants aren’t allowed to use a personal calculator, but an on-screen calculator can be accessed for the Quantitative Reasoning Section.
  • Applicants aren’t allowed any electronic devices.
  • Applicants aren’t allowed any personal items other than the ID inside the GRE testing centre.
  • GRE testing centres record all activities.

What to Bring to the GRE Test Centre?

A man showing his finger prints, and a woman holding up her ID card

All candidates need to bring an original ID document that proves their identity before taking a GRE test.

“The moment you enter the test centre, the first thing they’ll ask you is your ID proof. Make sure to carry your ID proof, and put it in your bag.” - Pranjali Kokare, GRE test taker

If a candidate doesn’t bring a valid ID, or in case the ID doesn’t match the candidate’s registration name, this candidate won't be allowed to take the GRE test.

The ID document has to:

  • Be an original — Photocopies aren’t allowed.
  • Be a government-issued national or state identification.
  • Be valid — expired documents aren’t accepted.
  • Include the candidate's name as shown on the registration, photograph, and signature.

Note: You must present the original ID documents. Documents shown on electronic devices aren’t accepted.

Other forms of verification you may be asked for can include:

  • Biometric photo identification
  • Video recording
  • Voice identification
  • Fingerprint or thumbprint recognition

Recommended Article: What to Bring to the GRE Test?

GRE Testing Centres Covid 19 Procedures

Female student wearing a face mask while holding books and a thumbs up

Educational Testing Services had adopted protocols aiming to keep candidates healthy amid the spread of coronavirus.

These are the protocols GRE testing Centres have put in place:

  • All candidates must bring and wear a mask to enter the testing centre.
  • Candidates are only allowed to take off the mask for identity check purposes.
  • Candidates are provided with disposable wipes to wipe down the testing area.

Note: GRE testing centres are frequently cleaned, especially the high-touch surfaces, to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Prepare Yourself for Visiting a GRE Testing Centre

I’ve covered everything you should know about visiting a GRE testing centre and taking this test.

Make sure to arrive on time and bring a valid ID. Keep in mind that you aren’t allowed any personal items inside the centre.

Don’t forget to bring a mask with you since the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, and you need to protect yourself and other candidates.

As long as you follow the mentioned guidelines, you will be fully prepared for a visit to a GRE testing centre.


  1. https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/register/how

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