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Test Day


In this video, we are going to talk about test day. Now, that's something that's easy to overlook in all the flurry of prep that you've been going through. But, it's very important because if we are caught unprepared for certain test day details, that can definitely sabotage much of our hard work. So let's start off with something simple.

Will you take the test at home, which at the moment, isn't available to every test taker? Or will you take the test at a test center? The at home GRE is a convenient alternative to taking the test at a test center, because there is no difference between the two tests. The format, difficulty, duration, and structure are 100% identical.

The only difference is the delivery. The regular GRE test is conducted at a test center. There you will take the test along with other students in a room with one or more proctor monitoring the activity. The home version of the test is administered through a program called ProctorU.

You can take the test from whatever quiet comfortable space you set up and an online proctor will monitor you via webcam will also have access to your screen. So when deciding between the two, consider the pros and cons and what will ultimately be the best testing scenario for you. The at home option gives you more schedule flexibility than booking a spot at a center.

You won't have to leave home, deal with traffic, parking, navigating to the center, and all the other commuting concerns that people leaving their homes would have to contend with. But, some people have trouble focusing at home, and will feel more like it's time for game day level focus when they arrive at the center. Or, if you don't have reliable Internet, you might run into trouble.

Wireless connections aren't always as stable as wired ones. Are you able to connect directly if you need to? If your Internet lags too much, the online proctor can cancel your test. Basically, any technical issues you run into at home would be something you'd have to navigate, whereas if something goes haywire at the test center, it's on the administrators there to sort out.

If you take it at the center, you just register and show up, all the technical stuff, not your concern. Ultimately, you should choose the best most convenient environment for you to feel that you can focus solely on taking the test the moment it begins. A big part of this is also choosing a time that is best for you. Now this sounds a lot easier than it may actually turn out to be.

Of course, it's not a problem if you take it at home, but if you wanna take it at a center and you want 10 in the morning, or 12 in the afternoon, or maybe you are an evening person and you want 4:00 PM. These tend to be pretty common slots, and so they're the ones that usually go first, meaning that people book them and they're no longer available. So if you want one of those prime slots, try to sign up well in advance.

There are peak months for the GRE, so if you're taking the test at a center anytime between August and December, sign up in advance as much as possible. Next, this one is a little more subtle, but it's a big one because you're nerves on test day. You wanna know the layout of your testing environment. If you're taking it at home, ideally, the way you've set up your space to practice, that is the same way that the setup will go when you take the GRE.

Don't decide to reorganize things on the day of the test. If you're heading to a center, be sure you know where the testing center is, you wanna know exactly how you're gonna get there. Is there traffic? Is it difficult to park? Should you take public transportation?

You wanna know all of these things and eliminate as many stressors as possible. The best way to do that is to go there a little bit early, maybe even a few days beforehand. Do a mock run pretending that it's the day of the test a few days early and go through all of those motions. Know which public transportation to take, or if you're driving, which roads to take, and where to park, and then actually walk up the stairs, get yourself used to the elevator, know exactly where the testing center is in this big maze-like building.

This will all help you psychologically on test day, especially if you have a history of being very nervous for tests. If that's you, I would definitely do a trial run, and then on the day of the test, you can just retrace your steps, and there you go. Remember that planning for test day is a part of preparing for the GRE test.

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