GMAT test day checklist: What to bring and nice-to-have items

Updated on: Jun 10, 2024

Taking a graduate management admission test is an unavoidable process for any person who wants to do business administration. It’s a general exam which is set to evaluate the candidate’s analytical, mathematical and verbal skills hence it requires one to be well prepared with a clear mind on GMAT test day.

To make your GMAT test day experience successful and stress-free, you should be prepared and organized.

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

In this article we have compiled a GMAT test day checklist that covers all necessary items and considerations for your exam success.

How to book your GMAT test

Booking your GMAT test is  is an important step towards pursuing a postgraduate degree in business administration but however simple it may seem there are some steps that one need to know when scheduling for their exams.

Below are steps on how best you can book your GMAT test:

  1. Visit the official GMAT website - Start by going through website link which belongs to GMAC, you find it by searching “Graduate Management Admission Council” on Google or any other search engine. The URL should be
  2. Create an account -  If there is no account yet click ‘Create Account’ button then fill in necessary details such as full names, email address and password making sure accuracy of information provided is doubled checked before submission.
  3. Log in to your account - using email address together with password this will give access into Dashboard where different sections like Registration; Scheduling etc., can be found under tabs placed at top side bar menu located towards left hand side screen top corner.
  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 test location situated within your preferred country and city of choice where you would like take up GMAT examination after scroll down page until see various options listed for different centers available in that area also known as ‘Test Centers’.
  6. Check available test dates and times - Check dates/times availability provided next to each test center on calendar view displayed there; choose date/time slot convenient enough basing it according personal timetable considering other engagements one may be having during period under consideration but note popular slots tend get fully booked faster so plan early enough.
  7. Provide personal information - Provide personal info including names, address details (postal/zip code), contact number(s) together with DOB i.e., fill form correctly providing accurate information matching identification document used during registration process such as passport number or national ID card etc., which will be presented when sitting exam.
  8. Agree to terms and conditions - Accept terms/conditions by ticking/checking box indicating ‘agree terms/conditions’ after reading through them carefully particularly areas concerning cancellation policy, rescheduling regulations and testing center rules.
  9. Confirm your details and payment - Review payment section where summary all entered data is displayed plus total cost calculated based upon current rates applicable at time then validate correctness before clicking continue button proceed making payment securely using valid credit/debit card.
  10. Receive confirmation and scheduling details - Get confirmation and scheduling details – After your payment is processed, you will receive a confirmation email with your GMAT appointment details. This email will have the test centre address, reporting time and instructions for test day.

Also Read: GMAT Syllabus and Exam Pattern

What time should I study on the Gmat test day or the day before?

Should I do intensive studying on the Gmat exam? Should I study hard for Gmat? Generally, it is not advisable to do intensive studying on either the Gmat test day or the day preceding it. During this period of time intense studying can lead to mental fatigue and higher levels of stress which may negatively affect your performance in an exam.

Instead, try going through key concepts, practicing time management strategies as well as engaging in activities that promote relaxation and mental well-being. It’s crucial to approach an examination with calmness coupled with confidence; thus over-studying right before taking such a test could work against this objective.

Also read: GMAT Exam Dates and Fees

When should I arrive at the GMAT test center?

It is recommended that you arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled test start time. Getting there early allows one to complete check-in process, familiarize themselves with testing environment among other things they need know about their exam centers while mentally preparing for what lies ahead.

However, always check specific instructions given by different GMAT test centers; some may advise for earlier arrival or even have their own particular procedures which they expect candidates follow strictly during these times.

e.g., additional security measures might require people show up much earlier than 30 minutes prior completion of check in process hence ensuring smooth beginning into ones’ testing day- thereby minimizing possible stress associated with rushing around last moment trying find where exactly one should be at particular hour so as not miss out starting point etc.

Essential items to bring for the GMAT test day (Checklist)

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

1. Valid identification document

Ensure that you do carry a government issued photo identification document which is not expired. The most commonly used are; valid passport or national ID card – whichever applies to an individual’s status in terms of their nationality but ensure name on such ID matches one used during registration process otherwise this might work against person sitting exams.

2. GMAT confirmation email

Make sure to have either printed out copy or else soft copy version saved somewhere safe within your mobile device like smartphone or tablet etc., since it contains important information i.e., test centre address, reporting time and appointment details among others.

3. Snacks and water

Remember also packing some snacks (preferably light ones) together with bottled water in order to keep oneself hydrated throughout duration of taking these tests which may entail long hours without breaks depending on number sections being covered under different modules etc., thus enabling students concentrate better during study periods as well as remain energetic throughout exam sessions.

4. Prescription medication

Any prescribed drugs needed should be brought along together with appropriate supporting documents but make sure comply fully according to each specific center’s rules concerning usage medications during tests etcetera.

5. Watch without an alarm

You can carry a wristwatch for time keeping purposes only provided it does not have an audible alarm feature plus lacks internet connectivity capabilities thereby ensuring adherence towards laid down regulations governing conduct while sitting for various examinations like GMAT among many others.

6. 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, these can help you concentrate and block out any distracting sounds in the test center.

2. Highlighters and erasable pens

You may 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 items that help you relax or stay focused (such as a stress ball, a certain pen, or a good luck charm), feel free to bring them. These things can offer a sense of normalcy and comfort during an otherwise nerve-wracking experience!

4. Extra batteries or charger

If you plan on using any electronic devices during your breaks (such as a phone or tablet), it is recommended that you bring extra batteries or a charger so they do not die throughout the day.

5. Tissues or hand sanitiser

It never hurts to carry around tissues and/or hand sanitizer for personal hygiene– especially during those cold/flu seasons!

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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