What prospective graduate students can expect when taking the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT online.
Graduate entrance exams are adapting to meet the needs of students preparing to apply for graduate school while they follow social distancing recommendations at home. Most graduate exams are offering rescheduling for students who were planning to take their exam this spring, and several are moving online, as long as COVID-19 safety guidelines remain in place. Here’s what to expect if you were planning to take an exam this spring or summer:
The GRE General Test at Home
The change: An at-home, digitally-proctored GRE General Test is now available. The new GRE General Test at Home (“At Home GRE”) is monitored by a human proctor over video and is identical in content and format to the GRE offered at test centers. Students also still see their score preview immediately after they complete their exam. ETS plans to continue to make the online test available if public health concerns extend into or beyond the summer. All rescheduling fees are currently waived so that students can choose a test time that best fits their schedule under these new circumstances.
Who can take the test? Anyone, anywhere the GRE is normally available.
When is the test? Test times are available throughout the day on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, from now through June 30th (ETS may add additional test dates as they monitor the situation).
How do I register? Students can schedule the At Home GRE here.
What else do I need to take the test? To take the At Home GRE, students need to ensure that their computers meet the necessary requirements to run the software and create the testing environment at home. Windows OS is required, and so is a physical whiteboard or scratch paper with a transparent protector that can be written on with an erasable marker.
For more details on the At Home GRE, check out this interview with a student who recently took the remote exam.
The change: The LSAT is moving to offer an at-home digital exam called LSAT-Flex that will be available to students who were scheduled to take the March and April tests, as well as the LSAT scheduled for June 8th. The first LSAT-Flex will take place in mid-May and is open to students who were signed up for a March or April LSAT. Scores from this test are tentatively scheduled for release on Friday, June 5th. The second LSAT-Flex is scheduled for the week of June 14 and will be available to students who were signed up for the June 8th LSAT. LSAC hopes to release scores from this test on June 30th. The new at-home test will be formatted just like the free Official LSAT Prep practice tests available on LSAC’s LawHub, with three scored 35-minute sections (compared with the four scored 35-minute sections and the additional unscored section of the original test). There may be plans to make more LSAT-Flex dates available for students this summer, as LSAC continues to monitor the public health situation. LSAC is also offering rescheduling fee waivers on a case-by-case basis and recommends calling their help line if you’d like to reschedule your exam for a later date.
Who can take the test? The first at-home version of the test is only available to test takers who were scheduled to sit for LSAT tests scheduled in in March and April, and now a second at-home test will be available to students who had signed up for the June 8th LSAT. LSAC is considering extending LSAT-Flex availability into the summer for more students, if necessary.
When is the test? The first LSAT-Flex will be held the week of May 18th. Most test times are available on May 18th and 19th, with some availability later in the week. The second LSAT-Flex is scheduled for the week of June 14th, with most test times available on June 14th and 15th.
How do I register? Eligible students who were set to take the exam in March, April, and June have been automatically registered for the LSAT-Flex and will receive instructions for scheduling their at-home test. While it is not yet certain whether the July LSAT will also be moving to the at-home format, registration is open for this exam and the students must sign up by May 28th.
What else do I need to take the test? Technical and testing environment requirements for taking the remote test can be found at ProctorU.
The GMAT Online Exam
The change: The GMAT Online Exam is now available for test takers any time of day, any day of the week. The at-home test is structured almost exactly like the in-person GMAT, with 31 Quantitative questions, 36 Verbal questions, and 12 Integrated Reasoning questions, but it excludes the Analytical Writing Assessment. Including the 15-minute check-in time, the test will take students 3 hours to complete. Students will not be able to preview their score immediately following the exam, but their score preview will be emailed to them within a few days of taking the exam, and official scores are ready within two weeks. Students are not permitted to use a physical scratch paper and must use an online “whiteboard” for calculations and notes, which is a new feature of the at-home test. GMAC is currently waiving all cancellation, rescheduling, and score reinstatement fees.
Who can take the test? Anyone can sign up to take the new at-home test.
When is the test? The GMAT Online is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is currently scheduled to run through June 15th, with the possibility that more at-home test dates will be made available.
How do I register? Students can register for the GMAT Online here, and can schedule their exam 24 hours before they take the test.
What else do I need to take the test? Like the At Home GRE and the LSAT-Flex, the GMAT Online is remotely proctored and students can check that they meet the proper testing requirements here.
The change: While the MCAT is waiving all rescheduling fees, as of now there is not a remote testing option. Instead, three new in-person test dates have been added to the testing calendar in the months ahead. In order to increase capacity for the new test dates, the AAMC has created a shortened version of the test that will run 5 hours and 45 minutes and include all four sections tested on the full-length exam. The AAMC notes that they will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and provide additional updates as circumstances evolve.
Who can take the test? Everyone is eligible to sign up for the added MCAT test dates.
When is the test? The new test dates are planned for June 28th, September 27th, and September 28th—with three test times available on each date.
How do I register? Registration for the new exam dates is currently scheduled to open on May 7th.
As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to schedule a free consultation with a Marks Education tutor by contacting [email protected]
If you have questions about the graduate school application process or whether our counseling services might be right for you, please reach out to schedule a free consultation with Nisha Sardella.
Marks Education offers wide-ranging services in counseling and tutoring for students seeking admission to high schools, colleges and graduate schools.