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Taking the GMAT- GMAT Test Centers


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Taking the GMAT can be a stressful experience for many business school candidates. To ease the stress that comes with taking the GMAT, try to learn as much as you can about the exam conditions. This article will focus on GMAT test centers and test center procedures. To learn more about the GMAT test itself, click here.

Prior to the Test

Before taking the GMAT, you need to make an appointment. Once that is done, make sure that you know where the test center is. You should also know how to get there. Try to arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes before your GMAT appointment. You will need to check prior to taking the test. If you are late by fifteen minutes or more, you may not be allowed to take the test. Even worse, your GMAT test fee may be non-refundable.

Presenting Identification

Before taking the GMAT, you will be required to present proper identification at the GMAT test center. The name on your identification must match the name that you used to register for the GMAT. The following forms of identification are acceptable for U.S. citizens:
  • Government Issued Driver's Licenses
  • Government Issued I.D. Cards
  • Military Cards
  • Passports
If you are not a U.S. citizen (and taking the exam in the U.S.) you MUST have a passport or green card. No other ID is acceptable.

After presenting proper identification, you will also be required to provide a photograph, signature, and a digital fingerprint.

What to Bring to the GMAT Test Center

Besides proper identification, you will also want to bring your appointment confirmation letter or email (if you have one) and the names of the GMAT Programs that you will be submitting your GMAT scores too.

Typically, GMAT test centers do not have large waiting areas. Though you are allowed to bring friends and relatives to the test center, they will not be allowed to wait for you in the waiting room.

What Not to Bring to the GMAT Test Center

The GMAT test center environment is very strict. Personal items, including purses, backpacks, and cell phones are not allowed. You will be required to deposit all of your personal items in a storage area at the test center. Here are a few other items that are strictly prohibited:
  • Calculators or PDAs
  • Books
  • Rulers
  • Alarms or stop watches
  • Notes or paper of any kind
  • Pens, pencils, or other writing instruments
  • Electronic or photographic devices
The GMAT Testing Room

When you take the GMAT, you will be seated at a quiet and private computer workstation. The test will begin as soon as you are seated at your computer. Most GMAT testing rooms are kept at a comfortable temperature. Still, it’s a good idea to dress in layers should you get hot or cold.

During the Test

The GMAT lasts for approximately four hours. Other than the two optional breaks that are schedules during the test, you will not be allowed to leave your seat. If an emergency arises, you can raise your hand and notify one of the GMAT administrators. Please note, however, that testing will not stop in your absence and lengthy and repeat absences will be recorded by the GMAT administrator.

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