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The Computer-based GRE — Testing Rules and Procedures

This page describes the procedural features and rules involving the timed sections of the computer-based GRE revised General Test.

NOTE: The pre-test tutorial, which immediately precedes the timed exam, will step you through the features and functions of the testing interface.

Navigating the Timed Test

  • You can proceed to the next test section at any time; you don't need to answer all available questions or wait until all available time for the current section has elapsed.

  • You can skip questions and earmark them for later review, and you can return to any question you've answered and change your answer. But these options are available only for the current timed section; you can't return to earlier test sections.

  • You can access the test directions for the type of question being presented by clicking on the appropriate icon.

  • Brief rest breaks are provided between exam sections. At your option, you can exit any break early and proceed to the next test section. Immediately after a break, the next timed section automatically begins.

Recording Your Responses

  • You must compose your two GRE essays using the built-in word processor. (Handwritten essays are not permitted.) Keyboard entries are limited to American English characters.

  • To respond to multiple-choice questions, you select an answer choice by clicking on the button to its left. You can't use the keyboard to select answers. (You deselect a choice by clicking on another one or, in the case of questions where more than one choice can be correct, by clicking on the same choice again.)

Availability and Use of Testing Aides

  • Access to an on-screen calculator is provided for the Quantitative Reasoning sections. The calculator's functions include only the four basic operations and square root.

  • You are not permitted to bring any calculator, PDA, cell phone or other electronic device into the testing room. You may be asked to remove your watch as well. (Lockers are available for storing your personal belongings.)

  • You are not permitted to bring any books, papers, pencils or pens into the testing room. Scratch paper and pencils will be provided for all exam sections.

  • During each timed section, a countdown clock is displayed in the screen's upper-left corner. You can choose to hide it if you wish. The clock will provide a visual alert when 5 minutes remain in a section (and the clock will reappear if you hid it).

Terminating an Exam Session and Canceling the Test

  • You may cancel your session and your scores at any time during the test or immediately after the test — in which event none of your responses or scores (if any) will be tabulated or reported.

  • If you pause too long between sections, the exam session will automatically terminate (after a warning), and no responses or scores for any section will be tabulated or reported.