GRE at Home vs Testing Centre


Meridean Overseas

Updated On 23 September 2023 & Read Time 7 minutes



While planning to study abroad, one of the most common exams students appear for is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). GRE is a standardised admission test that provides a common base to the university for selecting applications. Therefore, appearing for the GRE test is advisable if you are also planning to study STEM-related graduate courses in universities abroad.


Now, one of the decisions test-takers must make is whether to opt for GRE online or GRE offline. In this blog, we'll explore the key differences between taking GRE at home and GRE at a testing centre to help you make an informed decision.


Advantages of Taking GRE Test At Home

It is vital for you to know the advantages of taking GRE at home to make an informed decision. So, here are some of the benefits of taking GRE test at home:

  • The most significant advantage is the convenience of taking the GRE from the comfort of your home. You can choose a test time that suits your schedule without commuting to a testing centre, saving you both time and travel expenses.

  • GRE test at home eliminates the need for transportation to a testing centre, which means you can use that time to prepare or relax before the exam, potentially reducing pre-test stress.

  • At-home GRE testing often provides more flexible scheduling options. So, you can find available test slots on various dates and times, including weekends and holidays, which may not be as accessible at testing centres.

  • Being in a familiar environment can help reduce test anxiety. You can create a quiet, comfortable space in your home, potentially leading to better performance.

  • For individuals with disabilities or medical conditions that make travelling to a testing centre challenging, GRE at home can be a more convenient option.


Disadvantages of Taking GRE at Home

While taking GRE test at home offers several advantages, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider:

  • Taking GRE test at home requires specific technical prerequisites, including a compatible computer, a stable internet connection, and equipment like a webcam and microphone. Therefore, failure to meet these requirements can lead to technical issues during the exam that can adversely affect your performance.

  • Your computer and software must meet ETS (Educational Testing Service) requirements. Installing the required software and ensuring your computer functions correctly can be challenging for some individuals.

  • Remote proctoring can sometimes be stricter than in-person proctoring. The proctor may scrutinise your testing environment more closely, which can make some test-takers uncomfortable.

  • Technical issues can occur during at-home testing, such as software crashes, computer freezes, or problems with your microphone or webcam. Dealing with these issues during the exam can be stressful.

  • If ETS determines that you violated any testing rules or experienced technical issues that affected your exam, you might risk having your test invalidated or cancelled.


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Advantages of Taking GRE At the Testing Centre

Now, let’s explore the advantages of taking GRE offline at the centre below:

  • Testing centres provide a controlled and professional environment specifically designed for standardised testing. This setting minimises potential distractions and creates a focused atmosphere.

  • You don't need to worry about technical issues or equipment compatibility when testing at a centre, as test centres provide the necessary computer, software, and test materials, ensuring a consistent testing experience.

  • In-person testing allows for immediate assistance from on-site proctors. Proctors can provide immediate support if you encounter any technical issues or have questions during the exam.


Disadvantages of Taking GRE At the Testing Centre

Below are some of the problems that you might face while appearing for the GRE at the test centre:

  • You must travel to the testing centre, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming. Depending on your location and the availability of testing centres, you may need to allocate extra time for transportation.

  • Testing centres may have limited availability, particularly during peak testing periods. Securing your preferred test date and time may require planning well in advance, and you may have less flexibility in choosing a test slot.

  • Some test-takers may experience higher anxiety levels when taking the GRE in a formal testing environment, and their performance on the test can be affected.

  • You may have limited or no break time between sections in some testing centre formats. This can be challenging for test-takers who rely on short breaks to rest and refocus.

  • Testing centres have stringent check-in procedures, which can be time-consuming. You'll need to provide identification, go through security measures, and follow specific rules, which may add to your pre-test stress.


Similarities Between GRE Online and GRE Offline

The GRE online test and the GRE offline test share several similarities despite the differences in delivery methods. Here are some key similarities:


Test Format: The content and structure of the GRE, including the types of questions, sections (Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning), and the overall format of the exam, remain consistent whether you take it online or in person.


Scoring System: The scoring methodology for the GRE is the same for both online and in-person tests. Your scores for each section and the total scores (Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning) are calculated in the same way.


Cost: The cost of appearing for the exams is the same, which is around 22,000 INR. There are no discounts on online GRE tests.


Question Types: The GRE includes various question types, such as multiple-choice questions, text completion, sentence equivalence, quantitative comparison, and data interpretation. These question types are consistent across both tests.


Difficulty Level: The GRE is a standardised test, so whether you take it in person or online, there is no change in difficulty level.



Q: Is it better to take the GRE at home or test centre?

A: The choice between taking the GRE at home or at a test centre depends on your preferences and circumstances. Taking it at home offers convenience, while a test centre may provide a more controlled environment. Consider factors like comfort, technology, and potential distractions to make the best choice for yourself.


Q: Will universities know if I took the GRE at home?

A: No, universities typically won't know whether you took the GRE at home or at a test centre unless you disclose this information. ETS, the organisation that administers the GRE, treats both testing environments equally in terms of score reporting.


Q: Is GRE at home accepted for fall 2024?

A: The acceptance of the GRE at home for the fall 2024 intake will depend on individual universities and their policies. Some universities may accept the GRE test scores for certain graduate programs, while others may not.



In conclusion, choosing between taking the GRE at home and at a testing centre is a decision that depends on your circumstances and preferences. Consider your access to the necessary technical requirements, ability to focus in different environments, and scheduling constraints. Both options have their merits and demerits, and the key is to select the one that aligns best with your needs to perform at your best on test day.


Are you also planning to study abroad and apply for STEM-related courses? If yes, we encourage you to speak with our expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). If you cannot travel to our offices, we offer online counselling services via our website. Our dedicated counsellors will provide you with the best guidance regarding your application to study abroad. Apart from this, our expert counsellors will also offer assistance in the visa process for your successful study abroad journey. Don't hesitate to contact us at or call us at 1800-1230-00011.

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