Taking the GRE during Coronavirus Outbreak: Home Testing & GRE Postponement Updates

    Bhavya Rawal Bhavya Rawal
    Study Abroad Expert

    Keeping in mind the public health concerns caused by the outbreak of Coronavirus in several regions across the globe, ETS (Educational Testing Services) has come up with some precautionary measures to assist GRE Test takers:

    • Introduction of GRE General Test at Home
    • Postponement imposed for GRE in certain countries
    • Sanitization at operational test centers

    Since the GRE General Test is primarily a computer-based test, ETS has introduced a provision for test takers in certain countries to take the GRE General at their home. However, since GRE Subject tests are held on paper only thrice in a year, the upcoming GRE Subject test which was scheduled to be held on April 4, 2020, shall be cancelled worldwide. 

    GRE at Home

    The GRE at home facility is available in select countries for GRE General test takers from March 27, 2020. This is a temporary solution introduced by ETS. The GRE test pattern, content, on-screen experience, and scoring remains the same for GRE tests being held at home. An online proctor will be monitoring the test taker throughout the duration of the exam to ensure fairness. 

    For now the GRE at home facility is available in the following locations: United States, Colombia, France, Canada, Italy, Germany, Spain, Hong Kong, and Macau. However, the ETS is working on making the at home testing feature available at other locations depending on the impact of the pandemic.

    Apart from being at one of the locations where GRE home testing feature is available, test takers have to meet certain other eligibility requirements that have been outlined below:

    • Test takers must have a desktop or laptop with Windows operating system (version 10, 8, or 7)
    • Headphones or wireless speakers are not permitted and test takers must use an internal or external speakers to hear the proctor
    • Testing is not allowed in a public space and test takers must be in a room where no one enters during the test
    • The testing device (computer/laptop) must be placed on a desk or a table top with no unnecessary items placed on the tabletop
    • Candidates must be seated on a standard chair and dressed appropriately as their picture will be shared with with institutions receiving the score
    • Candidates can only take notes on a whiteboard with erasable marker or a paper with transparent sheet protector and erasable marker
    • Candidates are required to erase all notes with the proctor watching upon completion of the test
    • No food or drink is allowed to be consumed while the test is being conducted

    Keeping in mind the above mentioned conditions, candidates have to install the ETS Test Browser and follow the instructions on the screen to set up the browser. With the browser installed, candidates have to link their computer with the ProctorU System Check. Once the candidate’s system is checked and all the eligibility conditions are met, they can register for their home test appointment.

    After the system check has been completed, candidates need to start their registration process with ETS for GRE and also process their registration with ProctorU. The testing experience and result reporting will remain the same for at home test takers for GRE. The registration fee will remain the same, i.e., $205 USD for at home test takers and they will have the option to select from the available test dates and timings in their ProctorU account. Candidates can also reschedule their at home testing dates anytime before the previously chosen test date for a rescheduling fee.

    Candidates taking their GRE general test at home have the option to view their test results for the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections. At the end of the test, candidates will be asked whether or not they want to report their test scores to the designated institutes. If they choose to send their scores, they will be allowed to view the unofficial test scores (for QR and VR sections). However, if they chose to cancel their test reports, GRE test scores will not be displayed.

    GRE Postponement

    In many locations across the world, the GRE general tests have been postponed to safeguard the test takers as well as people working at the testing centers. Asian countries where the GRE tests remain postponed till further notice are mentioned below:

    • Nepal- postponed till March 31
    • India & New Zealand- postponed till April 11
    • Mainland China- postponed till April 30

    For areas where test centers remain open, extensive precautionary measures are being taken to safeguard the testing areas. Frequent sanitization is being ensured to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Furthermore, test takers are allowed to wear a surgical mask to the test center, where they will only be asked to remove it temporarily for the sake of getting their photo clicked and ID verified.

    ETS is waiving all rescheduling fees for test takers whose GRE test dates have been postponed. Candidates will be notified via email about the postponement and rescheduling of the test. However, for candidates whose tests have not been postponed but they want to reschedule their test due to health concerns, the regular rescheduling fee will be charged. 

    To reschedule their tests due to health concerns or any other reasons candidates can reach out to the GRE via email at gre-info@ets.org or give a call at 1-866-473-4373. Test takers also have the option to avail live chat, which is available on the official website of GRE.

    For students who had their GRE subject tests scheduled on April 4, ETS has decided to cancel the subject tests completely and refund the entire registration amount to the candidates. Subject test dates for the 2020-2021 year will be released in April and registration for the same will be available from July 1, 2020.

    Accommodation requests for disabled people taking the GRE may be delayed due to limited staffing. However, 

    Precautionary Measures for GRE Test Takers

     If candidates feel feverish, have dry cough, and experience fatigue, it is best to reschedule their test to a date when they have recovered from these symptoms. The Coronavirus has now become a global pandemic and many countries are officially on a lockdown to prevent the spread of the disease. 

    Candidates taking the GRE are strictly advised to maintain social distancing and practice basic hygiene methods such as frequent washing of hands, wearing a mask in public places, etc. for the safety of themselves and others around them. Since all operating test centers are being frequently sanitized and candidates are being provided with tissues to clean their desks after they are done taking the test, it is clear that ETS is doing their best to contain the spread of this global pandemic. In these distressing times, they GRE test takers are encouraged to stay positive and practice all precautionary measures. 

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