What Can I Bring to the GRE Test?

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What Can I Bring to the GRE Test?

If you have never taken the GRE test before or perhaps, it has been a long time since you took the test, you may be wondering, and “what can I bring to the GRE test?” This question is common amongst many students who intend to take the GRE test.

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You should be informed of all the essentials you need to bring to avoid any form of delay or disappointment on the test day. This article outlines the most important thing you must get to the test, other items you may need to bring to the test whether computer-based or paper-based as well as other items that may look essential but must not be obtained. Let’s take a look.

What You Can Bring to the GRE Test?

The most important thing you need to bring to the test centre, whether you are writing a paper-based GRE or a computer-based GRE is a Valid Identification. This is because, without a valid ID, you will not be allowed to take the examination, no matter what. You must also note that you cannot use just any ID. There are specific criteria that must be met before your ID can be termed as valid at the test centre. They include:

  • The name on the ID must match the name you used to register for the test, not including accents, apostrophes and spaces. This is very important.
  • It must be valid and not expired.
  • It must be an original and not a photocopy.
  • There must be a recognizable photograph and signature of you on the ID.
  • The ID must be government-issued. Student IDs, Company IDs, etc. will not be accepted.
  • If you do not have a single ID which meets all of these conditions, you can make use of supplemental ID documents such as a confirmation of identity letter from your school, to meet the criteria. However, please note that the last name to appear on your primary ID must be the same as the name used to register for the test.

It is always advised that when coming for the test, you bring multiple forms of identification if you can. This is to ensure that if there is an issue with your identification, you have other documents of title which will enable you to write the test. Once again, please note that without an authentic means of identification, you will not be allowed to take the test.

Computer-Based GRE

Having emphasized the importance of a valid ID in taking the GRE, there are other items which you can bring which will help to keep you organized and calm and in all, give you a good test experience. Here we go:

1.Bring Some Extra Layers- Over time, it has been observed that testing centres can get cold, hence the need to bring additional layers of clothing like a cardigan, sweater or perhaps a jacket. This helps to keep you warm and regulate your temperature, which will keep you focused on your test and ensure that you are not distracted because of your body’s feels.

2.Come With Your Water- This is very important because you tend to get thirsty in the process of taking such a test. Although you will not be allowed to bring it into the testing room with you, you will be allowed to drink it during breaks. Feeling thirsty can be quite a distraction. This is why you must make sure you drink sufficient water before the test (but do not drink too much, so you do not have to use the restroom too often) and also during your breaks. This helps you to be sufficiently hydrated and also helps you concentrate.

3.Snacks- Remember, snacks, not food. You must bring a snack with you because the test can be quite long so you need all the energy you can get. Although you will not be allowed to bring it into the test room, you will be allowed to take it during breaks. Make sure your snack is healthy and made up of carbs and some protein to keep up your energy, such as a granola bar. Do not take a snack with simple sugars like candy because this can lead to fatigue.

Paper-Based GRE

Although a paper-based GRE is slightly different from the computer-based one because it is not computerized, the items you need to bring are very similar. Let’s take a look:

  • A Valid Identification- This has been stated earlier. It is necessary for all types of GRE tests.
  • Confirmation E-mail- Along with your ID, you must come with a copy of your confirmation e-mail. This will be your admission ticket.
  • Writing Materials- Be sure to come along with your pencils and erasers. The required pencils are #2 or HB pencils. The testing centres are not bound to provide writing materials for you.
  • Layers- As earlier stated, you may need to keep yourself warm.
  • Water and Snacks- Always come with your water and snacks to keep your strength up and keep you hydrated.

All these are essential items that you need to bring to the GRE test. However, there are some items which you would not be allowed to bring to the centre, as essential as they may seem. They include:

  • Calculators- You will not be allowed to bring in one. You will either be provided with one or your computer will have an in-built one.
  • Watches and Jewelry- Only wedding and engagement rings are allowed. Keep all other jewellery at home, including watches.


Keep in mind that an essential item you need to bring to the GRE is valid identification. All other items are optional but probably necessary (such as pencils if you are taking a paper-based test). Snacks, layers, water are all critical to boost your overall test experience and keep you healthy. Do not get jittery about what you need to bring. If you are still asking, “what can I bring to the GRE test”, all you have to do is read this guide.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.