With the onset of the pandemic making every aspect of life uncertain, adaptations have been made to keep students from falling behind schedule on taking their standardized tests. Educational Testing Services (ETS) is offering provisions for candidates to take the GRE test from the comfort of their homes to mitigate health concerns. This service has successfully simulated the computer-delivered GRE test with some additional requirements for ensuring the test\’s integrity.
How is the test taken?
ETS enables students to avail the test on their laptops/desktops through the ProctorU platform. However, candidates need to pay attention to the rules and regulations and ensure all the test arrangements themselves. The basic protocols remain the same, with candidates presenting their passports and other acceptable IDs during the test. The only difference is that the candidates will be monitored by an online proctor, who will have access to the candidate\’s computer screen and webcam. The proctor will provide real-time instructions to ensure that all testing instructions and procedures are followed.
What arrangements need to be made?
In addition to the GRE test\’s general requirements, some equipment and environment requirements have been introduced for the \’Test at Home\’ service.
- Laptop or desktop: The test cannot be taken on a tablet or mobile device. Only desktops or laptop computers, running on either windows or mac operating systems, can be used.
- Chrome or Firefox browser: Download and install ETS Secure Test Browser through Chrome or Firefox. Upon completion, the ProctorU Equipment check tool can be used to diagnose the configurations of the device.
- Webcam: A webcam is a must. It will be necessary to show a 360-degree view of the room from which the candidate appears for the test.
- Microphone and speaker: Separate headsets are not allowed. Internal or external speakers and microphones will be required to communicate directly with the proctor.
- Private space: The room from which the test is to be taken should be free from any external interruptions.
- Desk and Chair: There should be a visible tabletop that must be clear of all unapproved items. The candidate must be positioned on a standard chair in front of the webcam.
- Appearance: The candidate must be dressed appropriately for the test. The photo captured through the webcam will be shared with the universities that receive the test scores.
- Exam materials: No notes can be taken on regular papers during the test. Instead, a small desktop whiteboard or a transparent sheet protector and an erasable marker may be purchased by the candidate for the purpose.
How to register for the GRE at Home?
The process to register for the GRE at Home is like the conventional GRE exam registration. The candidates should Log in to their ETS account and select Register/Find Test Centers. Then, on the page that comes up, the option to choose \”Test at home\” should be found in the candidate\’s country, stated in the account address, is eligible.
How is the experience different?
The GRE test experience at home depends upon how comfortable a candidate is with administering their exams. If unsure, one can experience the actual test using the free practice tests offered by ETS. It used to be the case that some candidates would become intimidated by the new environment in the testing centers while taking the conventional computer-delivered GRE test. Familiar surrounding at home can boost the confidence and performance of those candidates. However, one needs to consider his/her at-home situation as it is crucial to have a private space without any external interruptions for an extended period. Candidates often worry about some of the uncontrollable technical factors, such as power outages and internet connectivity loss during the test. Such instances are a possibility, and the exam proctors are aware and assist the candidates with reconnecting to the server and resuming the test from the exact question from where the test got disconnected. Candidates should still try to minimize the probability of such failures to the best of their ability. Ultimately, the convergence of the test-taker’s adaptability and the test moderators\’ considerate mindset has resulted in successful exam experiences for most candidates so far. The same will be the case for those considering the GRE\’ Test at Home\’ option in the future.