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The GRE® Subject Tests

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On Test Day

Learn about the policies and procedures, what to bring, and what to expect, so that you can feel more confident on the day of your GRE Subject Test.

Review the GRE® Information Bulletin for the complete test day policies, including test session procedures, canceling your scores, absence from a test and dismissal from a test. 

A note about test security

Test security is very important to ETS. There are policies and procedures that test centers must follow to ensure the test is administered fairly and securely. If you fail to follow the instructions of the test center staff, you won't be permitted to test, and your test fee won't be refunded. Any violation of security procedures during the test or during a break may result in dismissal from the test center and/or cancellation of your test scores. You can review all the security policies and procedures in the Bulletin.

The list of things you must bring to the test center on the day of your GRE Subject Test is short:

  • valid, acceptable identification (ID)
  • your confirmation email that confirms your test choice, test date, test center and score recipients
  • three or four sharpened No. 2 or HB pencils and a good eraser; mechanical pencils and pens aren’t permitted
  • a mask

If you have health-related needs requiring you to bring equipment, beverages or snacks into the testing room or to take extra or extended breaks, you need to request accommodations prior to registering.

Bring valid ID

You’re responsible for bringing valid and acceptable IDon the day of your test and each time you report to a test center. ID requirements vary depending on your country of citizenship and where you plan to test.

The ID you present at the test center must exactly match (excluding accents) the name you used to register. If the test administrator questions the ID you present, you may have to provide supplemental ID.

Bring a mask

If you don’t bring a mask, you won’t be admitted to the test center. You may or may not need to wear it for the duration of your test session, depending on local policy. You’re permitted to wear a mask even if it isn’t required. Medical masks and cloth face coverings are acceptable. Masks with valves or vents aren’t permitted.

Don't bring personal items

The only personal items you’ll be permitted to bring into the testing room are your ID and your mask. No other personal items are permitted. For the full list of prohibited items and items that may be inspected, see the Bulletin.

Before the test, test enter staff will provide instructions about where to store personal items. If you fail to follow test center staff instructions, you will not be permitted to test, and your test fee will not be refunded.

Make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before your test time, to allow time for check in. See the Bulletin for all test center procedures and security policies during check in and your test session. If you arrive late, you may not be admitted and your test fee would be forfeited.

The total testing time is 2 hours and 50 minutes. There are no separately timed sections, so you may work straight through the test at your own pace. You’ll record your answers on a separate multiple-choice answer sheet. Mark only one answer for each question.

You’re free to skip questions that you might have difficulty answering and come back to them later during the time provided. If you want to change the answer to any question you recorded on the answer sheet, erase it completely and fill in the oval corresponding to your desired answer.

You may use your test book to work out your answers, but be sure to mark all your answers on the separate answer sheet before time is called. No credit will be given for answers recorded in your test book.

Your score is determined by the number of questions you answer correctly, and nothing is subtracted from your score if you answer a question incorrectly. To maximize your score, it’s better for you to guess at an answer than not to respond at all.

At the end of the test, you’ll be given the option to report or cancel your scores. To learn more about canceling your scores, see the Bulletin. If you choose to report your scores, they’ll be sent to the up to four free score recipients you selected during registration.

On occasion, weather conditions or other circumstances beyond the test administrator or ETS's control may require a delayed start or the rescheduling of your test appointment. In such cases, you’ll be offered the opportunity to schedule another test appointment free of charge or receive a full refund of the original test fee. In addition, you may seek reimbursement from ETS for reasonable and documented expenses associated with traveling to the test center. To request reimbursement, contact GRE Services with the following information within 30 days of your original appointment:

  • your name
  • date of birth
  • mailing address
  • daytime telephone number
  • email address
  • original test date
  • appointment number
  • a brief description of what occurred at the test center

All reimbursements will be made in U.S. dollars.

ETS takes test security very seriously. Although tests are administered under strict supervision and security measures, testing irregularities may sometimes occur. Please contact ETS as soon as possible to report any irregular behavior that is either observed or reported to you — for example, someone copying from another test taker, taking a test for someone else, having access to test questions before the exam, or using notes or unauthorized aids. All information will be held in strictest confidence. Reports of cheating will be investigated thoroughly and offenders may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the applicable laws.

Email: Office of Testing Integrity (OTI)
Phone: 1-609-406-5430 
Toll-free Phone: 1-800-353-8570
United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada only