GMAT test day checklist: Everything you need to succeed

By Edvoy• Last updated: Nov 8, 2023
GMAT test day checklist: Everything you need to succeed
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GMAT is a crucial step for individuals aspiring to pursue a graduate degree in business administration. As a comprehensive examination designed to assess an applicant's analytical, verbal, and mathematical skills, the GMAT demands thorough preparation and a clear mind on test day. To ensure a smooth and successful experience on your GMAT test day, it is essential to be well-prepared and organised.

A comprehensive checklist can serve as your guide, ensuring you have everything you need before entering the examination room.

In this article, we present a comprehensive GMAT test day checklist, outlining all the necessary items and considerations to help you excel on the day of your exam.

How to book your GMAT test

Booking your GMAT test is an important step in your journey towards pursuing a graduate degree in business administration. The process of scheduling your GMAT exam is relatively straightforward, but it's essential to familiarise yourself with the steps involved.

Here is a detailed guide on how to book your GMAT test:

  1. Visit the official GMAT website - Start by visiting the official website of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the organisation that administers the GMAT. The website URL is
  2. Create an account - If you don't have an account already, click on the "Create Account" button and provide the required information such as your name, email address, and password. Make sure to double-check the accuracy of the information you provide.
  3. Log in to your account - Once you have created an account, log in using your email address and password. This will give you access to the GMAT dashboard.
  4. Locate the "Register for the GMAT Exam" option - On the GMAT dashboard, look for the option that allows you to register for the exam. It is usually prominently displayed, but if you can't find it, you may need to navigate through the website's menu.
  5. Choose the exam location - Select the country and city where you wish to take the GMAT test. The website will display available test centers in that location.
  6. Check available test dates and times - The website will provide a list of available dates and times for the selected test centre. Choose a date and time that best suits your schedule and availability. Keep in mind that popular test dates may get booked quickly, so it's advisable to plan ahead and book early.
  7. Provide personal information - Fill in your personal information, including your name, address, contact details, and date of birth. Ensure that the information you provide matches the identification document (passport or national ID) you will use on test day.
  8. Agree to terms and conditions - Read through the terms and conditions presented by GMAC and agree to them by checking the box. Make sure you understand the policies regarding cancellations, rescheduling, and test centre regulations.
  9. Confirm your details and payment - Review all the information you have entered to ensure accuracy. If everything is correct, proceed to the payment section. You will need a valid credit or debit card to pay the registration fee. Follow the prompts to complete the payment process securely.
  10. Receive confirmation and scheduling details - Once your payment is processed, you will receive a confirmation email with your GMAT appointment details. This email will include the test centre address, reporting time, and instructions for test day.

Also Read: GMAT Syllabus and Exam Pattern

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Should I study on the day or the day before the GMAT test?

Generally, you should avoid intensive studying on the day or the day before the GMAT test. Intense studying during this time can lead to mental fatigue and increased stress levels, which may negatively impact your performance on the test.

Instead, focus on reviewing key concepts, practising time management strategies, and engaging in activities that promote relaxation and mental well-being. It is important to approach the test with a calm and confident mindset, and studying excessively right before the test can undermine that.

Also read: GMAT Exam Dates and Fees

What time to arrive at the GMAT test centre

It is recommended to arrive at the GMAT test centre at least 30 minutes before your scheduled test time. Arriving early allows you to complete the check-in process, familiarise yourself with the test centre environment, and mentally prepare for the exam.

However, it is always a good idea to check the specific instructions provided by your test centre as they may have their own recommended arrival time or specific procedures.

Some test centres may require you to arrive even earlier than 30 minutes to complete the check-in process, especially if it involves additional security measures. By arriving early, you can ensure a smooth start to your test day and minimise any potential stress or last-minute rush.

Essential items to bring for the GMAT test day

Some of the essential items you should bring with you for the GMAT test day are:

1. Valid identification document

Bring a government-issued, non-expired photo identification document. The most commonly used documents are a valid passport or national ID card. Ensure that the name on the ID matches the name used during registration.

2. GMAT confirmation email

Carry a printed or digital copy of your GMAT confirmation email. This email contains important information such as the test centre address, reporting time, and your appointment details.

3. Face mask

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's essential to bring a face mask or face covering. Check the test centre's guidelines to ensure compliance with their specific mask requirements.

4. Snacks and water

It's a good idea to bring a small snack and a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated and nourished during breaks. Choose easily digestible snacks like energy bars, nuts, or fruits.

5. Prescription medication

If you require prescription medication, bring it along with the necessary documentation. However, check the test centre's policies regarding medication to ensure compliance.

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6. Watch without an alarm

You may bring a wristwatch to keep track of time during the exam. However, make sure it doesn't have an audible alarm or any internet connectivity.

7. Comfortable clothing layers

Dress in comfortable, layered clothing so that you can adjust your attire according to the test centre's temperature. This allows you to stay focused and comfortable during the exam.

Nice-to-have items for the GMAT test day

Some of the nice-to-have items for the GMAT test day are:

1. Earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones

While not essential, bringing earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones can help you focus and block out any distracting noises in the test centre.

2. Highlighters and erasable pens

Some test takers find it helpful to mark important information or underline key points on the scratch paper provided during the exam. Consider bringing highlighters and erasable pens for this purpose.

3. Personal comfort items

If you have specific personal comfort items that help you relax or stay focused, such as a stress ball, a particular pen, or a lucky charm, you can bring them along. These items can provide a sense of familiarity and comfort during the test.

4. Extra batteries or charger

If you plan to use any electronic devices during your breaks, such as a phone or tablet, it's advisable to bring extra batteries or a charger to ensure they remain operational throughout the test day.

5. Tissues or hand sanitiser

It's always handy to carry tissues or hand sanitiser for personal hygiene, especially during cold and flu seasons.

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What not to bring: 5 things to avoid on GMAT test day

On GMAT test day, it's important to know what items to avoid bringing to the test centre to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Here are some things you should not bring:

1. Electronic devices

To maintain the integrity of the exam, electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, or any other electronic communication devices are strictly prohibited inside the test centre. These devices can be a source of distraction or potential cheating tools, so it's best to leave them at home or in your vehicle.

2. Unauthorised study materials

The GMAT is a standardised test, and specific study materials are permitted for preparation. However, bringing unauthorised study materials, such as test prep books, notes, or cheat sheets, is strictly prohibited. The test centre will provide you with the necessary materials, including scratch paper and a pen.

3. Food and drinks

The GMAT is a lengthy exam, and you may feel the urge to bring snacks or drinks to keep yourself energised and focused. However, test centres usually have strict policies against bringing food or beverages into the testing area. Instead, you should take advantage of the optional breaks during the exam to refuel and recharge outside the testing room.

4. Writing implements

The GMAT provides all necessary writing implements, such as pencils and erasers, at the test centre. Bringing your own pens, markers, or highlighters is unnecessary and may not be allowed. It's best to rely on the materials provided by the test centre to ensure consistency and avoid any potential issues.

5. Bags and backpacks

Avoid bringing bags, backpacks, purses, or any large containers to the test centre. Most test centres have strict policies regarding these items and may not allow you to carry them into the testing area. It's recommended to carry only the essentials, such as identification documents and keys, in a small bag or wallet.

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Having a well-prepared GMAT test day checklist is crucial for a successful test-taking experience. By ensuring you have everything you need, you can focus on the exam without any distractions or unnecessary stress. By following the official GMAT guidelines and the instructions provided by your test centre, you can approach the test day with confidence and maximise your chances of success.

Frequently asked questions

What should I do the day before the GMAT test?

The day before the GMAT test, focus on activities that promote relaxation and mental well-being. This includes light exercise, engaging in calming hobbies, getting enough sleep, practising time management strategies, and reviewing key concepts.

What items should I bring with me on GMAT test day?

You should bring your valid identification documents (such as your passport or driver's licence), your GMAT appointment confirmation, and any necessary test centre-specific documents. Additionally, bring comfort items like a sweater or jacket, essential personal items like medications, and a snack or drink for the breaks. Check the official GMAT website or contact your test centre for any specific requirements.

Can I bring a calculator to the GMAT test?

No, you cannot bring your calculator to the GMAT test. An on-screen calculator will be provided during the Integrated Reasoning section of the exam.

Should I arrive early at the GMAT test centre?

Yes, it is recommended to arrive at the GMAT test centre at least 30 minutes before your scheduled test time. This allows you sufficient time to complete the check-in process, familiarize yourself with the test centre environment, and mentally prepare for the exam.

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